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sound of a bugle in the barrack-yard; when he went out in the morning to the captain was asleep; but one of our the office he would certainly receive, neighbors, a dry joker, awoke him, and as a present, a dragoon's horse and equipinformed him that the guard had been ments. relieved by a troop of horse, and that
SYBILLE FRIGATE-MARCH TO DARTMOOR
On the afternoon of the day the Ben- for any purpose; and as 110 more prisbow arrived at Spithead we were again oners had come on board, it was so selhustled about and sent on board the dom that we could avail ourselves of this Sybille frigate, coinmanded by a Captain great privilege, that the hold, which Forrest. The captain was on shore, not remarkably odoriferous of and the lieutenant in command said he sweets when we were put into it, very had orders from the captain to prepare shortly became redolent of all manner a place in the hold for 200 Americans. of villainous effluvia. We were once Seventy of us were accordingly ushered or twice permitted to go up-one-third into a room, parted off from the main at a time, and remain on deck one hour, hold, six feet long and twenty-five feet when the whole posse of marines on wide. It was not possible for even 70 board were under arms to guard us.human beings to exist in so small a place, Even when in the hold, there were and yet the officer said it was prepared several sentinels, with loaded muskets, for 200. We should inevitably have stationed at the hatchway; and one suffocated in this worse than black hole, followed each man who was permitted if the lieutenant, who appeared to to go up, singly. ashamed of his orders, had not permit Notwithstanding this precaution, one ted part of us, as a great indulgence, to daring fellow of our company contrivtake up our quarters in the main hold. ed, one night, to steal up when the senThis was a place which the light of tinel was napping on his post ; and he heaven never deigned to visit, and con went prowling about among the messes tained a tier of water casks, and above of the crew, and eased them of some of them a layer of six or eight inches of their superfluous clothing and provissoft mud, in which another tier of water ions. Another night, the sentinel at casks had been imbedded-part of this the hatchway fell asleep and dropped upper tier had been taken away, and his musket down among us. We took into the vacant space, caused by their it away ; but when the poor fellow disremoval, we contrived to crawl and to covered his loss, he cried so piteously, stow ourselves away in the best manner in view of the punishment that awaited we could. It was not possible for me, him, that we gave it to him again. who was one of the smallest of the com When permitted to go up, we were pany, to stand upright, and our tallest placed in a boat, contined amid-ships men could hardly contrive to move on deck, and the marines were staabout from one part of this delectable tioned all around us. There was an residence to another. There were a American sailor among the crew of this few straggling boards in the hold when ship, who, to the extent he dared, showwe first went down, but the officer, ed us kindness; he had been impresseither fearing that they would be con- ed, and was still held against his will. taminated by our contact, or that we One day, when we were in the boat, should make use of them as weapons of they exercised some of the men by offence, caused them to be removed. shooting at a bottle, suspended from We then had nothing to sit or lie down the fore yard-arm, and they made on but the mud; and we used to make wild work enough of it. Several had our toilets in the morning by scooping fired without success, when it came to the mud out of our ears. We were not the Yankee's turn; his shot smashed permitted to go up, except one at a time, the bottle. This excited our national
pride, and we shouted out, spontane- Van Tromp, so that we were obliged ously—“ Hurra for the Yankee !" but to start on our travels the next mornthis was high treason against the pomp- ing with empty and hungry stomachs. ous English captain, and he caused us The next morning, we were taken to be driven down below again, quick on shore in the transport boats, and step.
landed at that part of Plymouth called The pretext for our cruel treatment Plamoaz, where we found one or two was, that they were afraid that we companies of soldiers, who were to esshould rise upon them; and this, too, cort us on our inland journey. From in the English channel, in sight of other some cause or other, we were detained ships all the way, and almost under on the mole an hour or more, although the guns of the batteries on shore ; yet impatient to move, and to know the I do not know, if we had continued on worst of it. At last the word was board this frigate a day or two longer, given to march; the soldiers shoulderthat we should not have been goaded ed arms; the music struck up a lively into sufficient desperation to make the tune, and away we trudged, as attempt. Had not the treatment we ther-beaten, dirty-looking a crew as received in this vessel effectually de ever paraded on the soil of " merry prived us of appetite, we should have England”—Sir John Falstaff's ragged suffered from hunger; for our food regiment not excepted. Our trump was, as nearly as we could judge, about may have shaken the dust of the Syone-third of a pound of salt beef per bille from our feet, but it could not disday, and half a pound of mouldy ship- lodge its mud from our tattered habilibread, alive with weevils, for each man; ments and tangled elfin locks; it was and, in the morning, an addition of half too firmly imbedded, and required many a pint of what they called cocoa, but in days' purification in the bathing-pond which the proportion of cocoa to wa of Dartmoor before we got rid of it. ter was alınost infinitely small.
The spectacle could not, I presume, sorry to feel obliged to go into these de- be a rare one to the people of Plytails, for I would much rather find oc mouth; yet it seemed to be one of casion to praise than to blame those great interest to them—if we could who had charge of us during our cap- judge from the crowds gathered togetivity ; but the treatment we received ther to view us as we passed along.-on board this ship was marked with so Docks, grog-shops, and ale-houses sent evident a design to oppress us, that I forth their tenants to see us ; and, early can conceive of no palliation for it. as it was in the day, the sailors were
We sailed from Spithead on the af- carousing in the grog-shops, and the ternoon of the 26th of September, and noise of revelry and debauch resoundarrived at Plymouth three days after. ed from within their walls. The peoIn going into the harbor, we struck ple were civil enough; they did not inupon an unfinished part of the break- sult us, either by language or gesture ; water, but we got off in a little while and some, I thought, seemed to eye us without material injury. But the with a look of compassion. event was not without danger to us Before we started, we were in the hold; for the frigate careened rounded by men, women and children, over to one side, and the water-casks offering cakes, and fruit, and ale for of the upper tier gave way, and came sale ; and those of our company who smashing down among us--so that we had any money had thus an opportuhad to dodge liither and thither to avoid nity of breaking their fast. them. Luckily, a few bruised shins Most of us left Plymouth with cravwere the only consequence.
ing appetites, which the luxury of In the evening, we were removed breathing the fresh air had very much from the Sybille, and were put on board sharpened, but with the comfortable the Van Tromp, an old 64 gun-ship, prospect of marching 16 or 18 miles used as a sheer-hulk. Whether by before we could get any thing to eat ; mistake, or with fraudulent intention, and our legs were so much cramped by we were reported to the officer of the our sitting posture in the dungeon of sheer-hulk by the purser of the Sybille, the Sybille, that we could not walk as being victualled for the next day; without considerable pain. The officer and we had nothing to eat on board the of the guard was not disposed to make
much allowance for these circumstan- One of my messmates had on a very ces, but caused the soldiers to goad good overcoat, or pea-jacket, when we the poor laygers with the points of started from Plymouih, but we had their sharp bayonets, which they found not proceeded far. before he found it to be admirable promoters of motion. irksome to wear it. He accordingly Now and then some poor fellow was took it off and bore it on his arm, for found to be utterly unable to continue some distance, when, finding himself the journey on foot, notwithstanding unable to carry it farther, he hired a these army surgeons were faithful and companion to bear it for him. This diligent in the application of their spe one soon became tired of it, and relincifics ; and he was then pitched into quished his bargain, and he then endeathe baggage carts.
vored, in vain, to hire some one else. At length we arrived at a small vil. He then offered to make a present of it lage some eight or ten miles from Ply- to me, and although in my state of desmouth, where the soldiers who had titution, I eagerly coveted it, yet I had guarded us thus far left us, and a de as much as I could do to drag my legs tachment from Dartmoor took us in along, and I refused it. After endeacharge. The day was wearing away, voring in vain to give it away, he, in the soldiers were impatient, and we desperation, threw it down by the road were hungry and tired; so we started side, when it was picked up by a soloff again over the muddy highway, up dier and tossed into the baggage carts this most bleak and sterile moor. It when they came along. It was restored had been up hill work for us before, to him in prison. but we were now going up hill in good At last, after a weary journey of 16 earnest. It was up hill as far as the miles, we came to a straggling village eye could see; and not a blade of grass, called Princetown, which is but a little nor the remnants of one, not an object distance from the prisons, and the inwhich appeared to be susceptible of habitants of which were, in some way cultivation, could be seen. It was all
or other, dependent on them for supbleak, barren, desolate. We had pass- port. It was called Princetown in hoed hitherto through a highway, on nor of the Prince Regent, afierwards either side of which were fields, which George IV., who was the owner of this although the harvest was gathered, bore moor. Here we halted for a few mimarks of high cultivation; but now all nutes, and then resumed our march. was changed to sterility.
It was night when we had succeeded On our journey, hitherto, we had in crawling over this tedious road, and met a number of market women who had arrived at the depot. The baggage were going to, or returning from Ply- carts had not yet come up; so we mouth. We were objects of great cu were all huddled into an empty prison, riosity to them; and they upbraided us without any change of raiment, and in their Devonshire patois, with being without any bedding, and the keys turnrenegade Englishmen and traitors, and ed upon us. Presently we had some predicted that they should shortly have pickled fish, and some bread and water the pleasure of seeing us all hung. It sent in; and never shall I forget with was in vain to protest that we were what avidity we seized upon them, Americans ; they would not believe it; how we rolled the sweet morsels into they could not conceive how, being our mouths, and how we washed them Yankees, we had white skins and talk- down in copious draughts of pure waed the language, as one of them said, ter. Never, never, till my dying day, “almost as gud as we do.". No! shall I forget it; for it was the sweetest no! there is but one Yankee among ye repast I ever partook of. Having thus all."_" And which is he?" inquired broken, what to many of us was a one of our number. “ There he is," thirty hour's fast, we laid ourselves said she, pointing to a black man, a na down in our wet and muddy clothes, tive of one of the West India islands, on the cold stone floor, and soon forgot who spoke English very imperfectly. our weariness, and wretchedness, ir
To show the utter weariness of most sleep. of our party, I will relate a simple fact :
FIRST DAY IN PRISON-INTERIOR OF TI, PRISONS-DESCRIPTION OF THE
With the cold stone floor for my bed | ard a Salem vessel, captured previous and my jacket rolled up for a pillow, I to the war, under the orders in Counslept soundly. I had become inured cil. An officer, and one or two men, to hard lodgings by my experience on were left on board ; and they, with the the 24 pounder, for which I would assistance of Wurburton and some gladly have exchanged my soft one in others of the prize crew, retook her the Sybille. I knew nothing that night, and brought her into Salem. There except that, in the course of the even he resided several years, and then went ing, the doors were opened to let in out in one of the earliest privateers fitanother detachment of prisoners. Not ted out from thence, in the rank of a poppy, nor Mandragora, could minister petty officer-was captured in herto me such sound sleep as I experienced was recognized and sent to Spitheadthen ; but when I awoke in the morn- tried by a court-martial, couvicted and ing, I was cramped with the cold. hung at the yard-arm of one of the
I was aroused by the turnkey open- men-of-war. ing the ponderous doors of our prison While cruizing in the Frolic, we house, and by his harsh command, to captured a small sloop, belonging to St. "tumble up and turn out.” We were Vincents, but not being of much value, turned out into the yard, where we we released her. We enlisted out of found a number of prison officials wait- her a young Englishman, about sevening for us. Each man was measured, teen years of age; he had never been and his height recorded in a book; he in the United States, and enlisted on was critically examined, and his face board of us on account of the cruel peered into to discover any mark by treatment he received from the captain which he might be distinguished ; this, of the sloop. We did not put him on and his complexion, were likewise re- the schooner-roll, for fear of accident: corded. He was interrogated as to his and when captured, we reported him as age, place of nativity, the vessel he was a prisoner. When we arrived at Barcaptured in, and the station he filled on badoes, the sloop was there, and the board. His answers to these questions captain came on board the Heron and were set down agninst his name. Wo complained of the young man. Ile had a worthy Irishman of our compa- was arrested as a traitor, put in irons, ny; and when asked, where he was and sent on board the admiral's ship. born, he answered, “Ould Ireland, sir. His trial took place in a short time afI'll niver deny me counthry; but I've ter, and we were afrai that he would me American natchuralization papers be hung, and felt much interested in about me.” — Your naturalization pa- his fate, as he was a very amiable young pers will not serve you," said the clerk ;
On his trial, however, one or “ you will be hung for a rebel, you two English man-of-war's men went Irish scoundrel.” "Och botheration," before the court and swore that they said pat, “and bad luck to ye, the knew the lad to be an American, havhemp isn't sown yet, that'll make me ing boarded at his mother's house, in last convulsion," and off he went laugh- Norfolk, Virginia, when he was ing. He was never afterwards mo mere child. He was acquitted, and lested. I never heard of but one in- enlisted on board of one of the ships. stance of the absurd extremity of the We always supposed that this story law being executed on any British sub was connived at by the English officers ject captured in an American vessel; to save the youth from being hung. though no doubt there were a great I had a neighbor while in prison, many so captured. This was a young, who frequently corresponded with his likely, and interesting man, named (I parents in some part of England, and as believe) James Wurburton. He was all letters had to go and come unsealed one of a prize crew, which was put on through the hands of the commander of
the depôt, he must have known of the right arm.” The pretender, B., im. relationship; but the man was always mediately pulled up his sleeve and distreated as an American citizen-(I be played the device and initials. Still lieve he was a naturalized one,) and there was something suspicious in the was sent to the United States with the
man, and many doubted if he was the rest, after the peace.
true one; and the circumstance made Some twenty-five years, or more, no little stir, at the time, in our little prior to my arrival at the depot, there community, and his slightest movehad lived in Salem a young man, an ment was watched, for something to only son of one of its most respectable disprove or corroborate his assertion. inhabitants. His father, who was a One day, when the crew were getting ship-muster, had educated him to his in the shingle-ballast, a crowd was own profession; and being a young standing round, and this man took a man of more than ordinary talents and pebble-stone and slung it, with his right great energy of character, his pros- hand, over a neighboring building. — pects in life were of the most promis- " There !” said one, " that proves that ing nature. About the period above he is not J. B.;-he was left-handed." mentioned, he went on
a voyage to
The man heard him and took up anFrance, and, from some cause or other, other pebble, and, with his left hand, he left the vessel, avd ceased from all threw it further than he had the other. correspondence with his connections. The frigate sailed, and the man went Time wore on, and nothing was heard with her, and none knew with certainty of J. B., till about the beginning of the whether he was J. B. or an impostor; present century, when the frigate Es- but the opinion settled down into the sex was fitting, at Salem, for her first latter supposition. cruise, a man of her crew claimed to be More time passed away, and nothing the long-absent J. B. B. had a large futher was henrd of B. or his countercircle of friends and acquaintances, and, feit. The morning when we were inthe circumstance becoming known, terrogated and recorded, as I have demany went to see him. He called scribed, a crowd was gathered round, them all by their names ; related many as usual, to see the new comers; and circumstances of their condition; spoke after I had answered to my name, of the incidents of their former acquaint- which was called in an audible voice by ance, and succeeded in convincing many the clerk, and had been inspected, I that he was the veritable J. B.; and was accosted hy a man-a rough, weaeven his parents, who at first doubted, ther-beaten and care-worn sailor, bearhad begun to believe that this was their ing the marks of premature old agelong-lost son.
with the question, if my father was A man, who had been the most inti
-, naming mate friend of B. when they were boys, them correctly. On my answering in and who had continued the intimacy the affirmative, he asked me if I had up to the time of his departure, went ever heard them speak of J. B. I on board the ship, and a gentleman who told hiin that I had heard them both was present, has related to me the cir- speak of him as a mutual acquaintance, cumstances of the interview. He says and particulary in relation to the man that, when this person first made his on board the Essex. He said that he appearance, the pretender said, “ There had heard of that circumstance, but
-," naming him correctly; that the man was an impostor, as he but that he did not appear to be desir- himself was the veritable J. B., and
to meet him. Presently, how- had not been in Salem for more than a ever, the person accosted him, and ask- quarter of a century. He related to ed him if he was J. B.; and on his re me his history, which was the usual ply that he was, he said to him—“If one of a sailor-of ship-wrecks and imyou are J. B. you have a particular pressinent, and hard fare and hard mark, (naining it,) on your right foot." usage, but with which I shall not trouTire pretender pulled off his shoe and ble the reader. displayed the true mark. The gentle I saw him again, occasionally while man then said, “ J. B. had a certain there ; but did not know whether he device, with certain initials, (naming was the true man or the impostor, until them,) tattoed with Indian ink on his after my return home. Some time