AMERICANREVOLUTION.ORG

A RELIC OF THE REVOLUTION

CHAPTER V.

Fourth Death - Captain Brown's Escape - His Men sent to Prison - Discharge from the Hospital - Yellow Fever -Fifth Death - Cruelty to the Dead - Examination - Commitment to Prison - Prison Allowance - Hunger - Prison Employments - Charity Box - Hard Fare - Guard Alarmed - Friendly Visitors - A Mean Trick.

MAY 20. There is a great frolic near by, called a bull-bating. We have a view of the people, but not of their sport.

We hear that the prisons are ready for the reception of the rebel prisoners, as we are called, and I daily expect our company to come on shore to them.

21. I gather strength, but as yet I am so weak as to be able to walk but very little. My chief employment is reading, but my eyes are weak, caused by rubbing them when I was almost blind.

22. There are two other Americans now in this ward, very sick with the small-pox; and one or two of our company, who are very sick.

23. I took my ninth portion of physic.

24. It is six weeks to-day since I came on shore, and five weeks to-morrow since I was brought into this building with small-pox. Today I asked the doctor for some beef, which he granted; he also ordered me to go below into the recovering ward.

25. To-day I was upon full allowance, and drew a pound of beef, a pound of bread, a pound of potatoes and three pints of beer.

26. This morning about seven o'clock, died James Jutson, an old man, prisoner from the Queen, taken with Captain Brown in the privateer sloop Charming Sally.

27. To-day we were forbidden the liberty of going up stairs to speak to our sick shipmates.

28. Yesterday, seven of Captain Brown's crew were sent to prison, from the ship, and Captain Brown made his escape from the "Fountain Tavern," in Plymouth Dock, where they were sent to be tried. Also, to-day took my tenth portion of physic.

29. To-day twelve of us were discharged from the hospital, but the boat did not come for us. We hear that the Bellisle has arrived in the Sound, has the yellow fever on board, and has been laid under quarantine, in the Sound, some time.

30. As we were discharged yesterday, and the boat did not come for us, to-day we were put upon what they call cazzelteer, and only draw half a pound of bread and a quart of milk. A prisoner in the middle story, last night, being very sick with the small-pox, got out of his bed, threw up the window and jumped out. He fell head first, about twenty feet, upon the hard ground, bruising himself sadly.

31. It is now seven weeks since I came on shore, and six weeks to-day since I was brought here with small-pox.

June 1. It being pleasant weather, the nurse permitted me to walk in the garden.

2. We expected to have been removed, either to the ships or to prison, but were not.

3. To-day we were again discharged, but the boat did not come for us. Last night, one William Woodward, a prisoner, taken in the sloop Charming Sally, made his escape from this ward.

4. As we were discharged yesterday, and the boat did not come for us, we were again put upon cazzelteers and draw only a quart of milk, and a half pound of bread.

To-day is the King's birth-day, and there is great firing of cannon, and chiming of bells, in Dock and Plymouth.

This morning about three o'clock, another prisoner died of small-pox - the same person who jumped from the window, as before mentioned.

He taken in the privateer sloop Charming Sally. After he was dead, his coffin was brought, which proved to be near six inches too short. But rather than have another made, they jammed him into that, in a most shocking manner.

5. This morning early, the boat came for us and twelve of us went on board and were carried along side the Blenheim, to which ship our company, and that of Captain Brown, had been removed since we went on shore. Four of the twelve that were in the boat belonged to the captain's crew. They were put on board the Blenheim, but the rest of us were carried on shore again, and guarded to the Fountain Tavern, to be tried by the judges; for that is the place where they sit. We were put into a small room, surrounded by a guard, and having eat nothing through the day, were very weak; so we got the soldiers to boil us a little meat, which we had obtained at the hospital. After this, we were all called up before the judges and examined. They asked each of us in what province we had been born, and whether or not we had a commission from Congress? At what time we entered on board the Dolton? Whether we were taken by the Reasonable? To each of their questions we answered. We were then sent below into the little room again; then we were called up the second time, one at a time, and asked the same questions, to which we answered. They then read them over to us, and asked us if it was true, to which we replied it was. We told them we were out to fight the enemies of the thirteen United States. After we were examined one by one, the third time, we were all called up together, as at the first, and our commitments were read to us and delivered to the constable. My commitment read as follows:

"Charles Herbert, you are supposed to be guilty of the crime of high treason, and committed to prison for the same until the time of trial."

We were then delivered to the constable, and guarded to Old Mill Prison, Plymouth.

Alas! I have entered the gates but the Lord only knows when I shall go out of them again.

June 6. Our allowance here in prison is a pound of bread, a quarter of a pound of beef, a pound of greens, a quart of beer and a little pot-liquor that the beef and greens are boiled in, without any thickening, - per day.

7. Pleasant weather, but we are kept in all day as a punishment for a misbeholden word spoken to the sentry on guard.

8. Sunday; and there has been a great number of persons at the gate to see us, who gave in, for our relief, several shillings.

9. Rainy weather, so that we keep house all day, except when we go out to draw our provisions.

10. There have about ten or twelve prisoners come from the ships to prison to-day. Having so lately had the small-pox, and being so long physiced afterwards, I require more victuals now, than I ever did before; and our allowance is so very small, and having only sevenpence left of what little money I had when I came to prison, I had a continual gnawing at my stomach; and I find that unless I take some method to obtain something more than my bare allowance, I must certainly suffer, if not die, and that soon. As necessity is the mother of invention, I am resolved to try to get something, and to-day when a carpenter came to put in a window at the end of the prison, I entreated him to bring me some deal, and I would make him a box, which he did.

11. To-day we have made a charity-box, and put it up at the gate. There is written upon it, "Health, Plenty, and Competence to the donors." I have finished the box for the carpenter, and he likes it so well that he wants more made, and he brought me some more wood for that purpose, - some for him, and some for myself.

12. I have been busy all day making boxes, and some of the prisoners are making punch ladles, spoons, chairs, and the like; for which they, now and then, get a shilling.

13. We have chosen a purser amongst ourselves to take charge of the avails of the charity-box. Some days we get four or five shillings, and upon others, not more than four or five pence.

14. To-day we drew only half a pound of greens. They tell us it is by the order of the board; our meat is very short, and our broth only the pot-liquor with the fat skimmed off.

15. Last night the guard was alarmed. They supposed that they heard noises as if we were breaking out of prison; this is the second time this guard has been alarmed when we were all silent.

16. Wet weather, so that we keep house.

17. I have been employed for several days past, making boxes, and carving them. To-day I sold two, one for a shilling, the other for ninepence.

18. To-day there have been several gentlemen and ladies to see us, and they gave us several small books; I sold, also, another box for a shilling.

19. There is one of the prisoners who has been unwell for several days, and is now broke out with the small-pox.

20. There are about ten prisoners brought to prison nearly every day; but there are only a few more to come.

21. I have now got into such a way of making boxes and selling them, that I can afford to buy myself a breakfast every morning; commonly bread and milk, which is brought to prison every morning for sale.

22. Sunday; there have been great numbers of people to see us, and the prison guard, confederating with the turnkey, have got a box put up at the gate, and they will let no one look in to see us, without paying in a certain amount. To-day we are told that they got fifteen shillings in their box, which they divided among themselves; but the people who put it in thought it was for the prisoners. We, therefore, took in our box, and are resolved to put it out no more.

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