October 12, 1775: The Day Portsmouth Was Boston

This evening arrived in the Piscataqua river a ship from England intended for Boston [MA]. It appears that yesterday she was in company with the Raven man-of-war, bound to the same place, but parted with her in the night. Meeting a fisherman at the eastward of Cape Ann, the captain inquired the course to Boston.  The honest fisherman, pointing towards Piscatqua, said, “There is Boston.”

The crew shaped their course accordingly, and soon found themselves under the guns of a battery lately erected by the people of New Hampshire. The commander of the battery, with a number of men, very humanely went on board to pilot the ship up to Portsmouth.  “I cannot go there,” said the captain of the ship, “I am bound to Boston.” “But you must,” replied the other. Then he ordered her to get under way, and soon carried her safe alongside a wharf, where she is taken proper care of. She has been out eleven weeks from Bristol, in England, and has on board eighteen hundred barrels, and four hundred half barrels of flour, intended for the use of the besieged army in Boston.  [Holt's Journal, October 12, 1775]

Source: “Diary of the American Revolution: From Newspapers and Original Documents,” by Frank Moore, C. Scribner, 1860, page 145

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