The Capture of the Washington

By D. Bonner Smith, published November 1934


The American armed brig Washington was captured on 5th December 1775 off Cape Anne by HMS Fowey after a chase of 2 ½ hours. Her ensign was a white field with a green pine tree in the middle with the motto: Appeal to Heaven. She was turned down for being bought into the Royal Navy as an armed vessel but provided important intelligence that was sent to the Admiralty. Captured documents forwarded to the Admiralty included commissions from the President of the Congress to Captain Sion Martingale to command the ship and to Lt. Turner as her Lieutenant, and instructions to the captain by Washington, recited here, including the purpose of the cruise to seize prizes and avoid battle, that prisoners were to treated with kindness and provision for the payment of prize monies. The crew were sent to England, where they were provided with new clothes and ultimately ‘released’ to serve in the Royal Navy away from America.

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Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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