18th Century American Manuscript – Revolutionary War

Historic 1776 Manuscript Regarding the Captured Schooner Woodbridge – a Concern to George Washington

This is an original Revolutionary War Memorandum Regarding The 1776 condemning & sale of the Schooner Woodbridge | The memo is a Bill of Sale on laid paper measuring 6″ x 7.75″ | The manuscript is an A.D.S. – a document that was hand-written and signed by the person named | It is dated “Boston, Jan 26, 1776” | The Bill of Sale is signed by Job Prince “Job Prince”, a wealthy ship-master of Boston, Mass.

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Additional information
  • This is an original Revolutionary War Memorandum Regarding The 1776 condemning & sale of the Schooner Woodbridge | The memo is a Bill of Sale on laid paper measuring 6″ x 7.75″ | The manuscript is an A.D.S. – a document that was hand-written and signed by the person named | It is dated “Boston, Jan 26, 1776” | The Bill of Sale is signed by Job Prince “Job Prince”, a wealthy ship-master of Boston, Mass.

    Condition: Very Good considering age and use.  The edges are lightly chipped.  The manuscript was expertly restored by a paper conservator with a few imperceptible touch ups to ink. Light creasing and expected folds.

    This Bill of Sale was referred to by George Washington in a documented letter from George Washington to Peter Van Brugh Livingston of the Massachusetts Court in August 30, 1775. The Schooner Woodbridge had been carrying a cargo of flour, bread, bran, and corn from Philadelphia to Newburyport when it was captured off Cape Ann on July 31st by the British sloop of war Merlin. The Woodbridge was subsequently condemned and sold at Boston (this document representing the bill of sale of that transaction). At the time of the capture of the schooner, George Washington’s letter addressed his concerns to the court about the capture of this schooner, in addition to others, repeatedly occurring by the British and was requesting a call for action.

    This is a fantastic pre-revolutionary document which highlights the agitation between the colonialists and the British leading up to the Declaration of Independence and revolutionary war, and which was referenced by George Washington in a letter he wrote to the Massachusetts General Court.

    George Washington’s letter in full is shown below:

    GEORGE WASHINGTON TO THE MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL COURT

    Sir: Camp at Cambridge, July 31, 1775.

    I have considered the Application made me yesterday from the General Court, with all the attention due to the Situation of the People, in whose behalf it is made, and the Respect due to such a Recommendation. Upon referring to my Instructions and Consulting with those Members of Congress who are Present, as well as the General Officers, they all agree that it would not be consistent with my Duty to detach any Part of the Army now here on any Particular Provincial Service. It has been debated in Congress and Settled, that the Militia, or other Internal Strength of each Province, is to be applied for Defence against those

    Small and Particular Depredations which were to be expected, and to which they were Supposed to be competent. This will appear the more Proper, when it is considered that every Town and, indeed, every Part of our Sea Coast, which is exposed to these Depredations, would have an equal claim upon this Army; It is the Misfortune of our Situation which exposes us to these Ravages, against which, in my Judgement, no such Temporary Relief would possibly secure us. The great advantage the Enemy has, of Transporting Troops, by being Master of the Sea, will enable them to harrass us by Diversions of this kinds; and should we be tempted to pursue them upon every Alarm; The Army must either be so weaken’d as to expose it to Destruction, or a great part of the Coast be still left unprotected. Nor, indeed, does it appear to me, that such a pursuit would be attended with the least Effect; The first Notice of such an Incursion would be its actual Execution; and long before any Troops could reach the Scene of Action, the Enemy would have an Opportunity to accomplish their purpose and retire. It would give me great pleasure to have it in my power, to extend Protection and Safety to every Individual; but the wisdom of the General Court will anticipate me in the necessity of conducting our Operations on a General and impartial Scale, so as to exclude any first cause of Complaint and Jealousy.

    I beg, Sir, you will do me the Honor to Communicate these Sentiments to the General Court, and to apologize for my involuntary Delay. As we were alrm’d this Morning by the Enemy, and my Time taken up with giving the necessary Directions.

    I shall be happy in every Opportunity of shewing my very great Respect and Regard for the General Court of Massachusetts Bay, and am, Sir,

    1. Fitzpatrick, ed., Writings of Washington, 111, 379-381. “

    The transcribed bill of sale is shown in full below;

    “Memo of a Bill of Sale for the

    Schooner Woodbridge of Appretund

    The Intents of the Bill of Sale

    Is only to secure his Property

    & if in my Power to Improve

    Her for his army advantage

    Of when matters is settled.

    I promise to Accounts with

    him the said Sam White

    For the same

    Boston Jan 26, 1776 Job Prince”

  • Weight

    1lb.

    Height

    8"

    Width

    6"

    Depth

    1"

    Weight

    1lb.

    Height

    8"

    Width

    6"

    Depth

    1"

    Artist / Maker

    Job Prince

    Date

    1776, 18th Century

    Medium

    Ink

    Kind

    Books, Maps, Documents and Manuscripts, Collectibles, Ephemera, Marine, Memorabilia, Militaria, Political

    Origin

    American

    Size

    S (up to 14 in.)

    Subject

    American Revolutionary War, Autographs, Document, Historical, Marine, Military, Politics, War

    Support

    Laid Paper

    Title

    Bill of Sale