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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Memorial from Benjamin Hawkins and Hugh Williamson concerning the British seizure of the ship Adventure
Hawkins, Benjamin, 1754-1816; Williamson, Hugh, 1735-1819
April 15, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 824-825

No I.

The undersigned Delegates in Congress from the State of North Carolina beg leave to represent, that some time in the year 1780 application was made by the Honorable Abner Nash, Esquire, the Governor of the State of North Carolina to the British Commandant in Charlestown for leave to send cloathing and other articles which might be acceptable and afford relief to the North Carolina prisoners who were confined there; that leave for that purpose was obtained from General Patterson the then British Commandant as appears by two letters which we have the honor to lay before Congress.

That in consequence of such permission a flag Schooner called the Adventure, loaded with thirty six hogsheads of Tobacco and sundry other articles, having on board some British prisoners of War, sailed from Beaufort in North Carolina on 9th June, 1781, for Charlestown (this was the third vessel that had been sent with similar supplies the two first were properly received). That on the 20th of the said Month, near the Bar of Charlestown the said Schooner was seized by a British Ship of War, the Cormorant, and sent into the harbour no regard being paid to the flag under which she sailed nor the permission that had been granted; and altho complaint thereof was made to the Commandant (who we believe on enquiry

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will be found to have highly disapproved the seizure) yet no part of the Schooner or her Cargo was recovered.

The Delegates are persuaded that by the original and other authenticated papers which they have the honor to lay before Congress it will fully appear that the whole proceedings in this business were, on the part of the State, fair and candid; incapable of any possible construction that could violate the honor of the flag or the faith of a State, and that nothing could have been intended but what was professed, the relief of distressed prisoners, that too, in the manner which had been agreed upon.

Wherefore the Delegates in pursuance of their instructions request, that Congress would be pleased to direct the Secretary for foreign affairs to forward the necessary documents to the British General and Admiral at New York and claim compensation for the said Vessel and Cargo.


April 15th, 1783.