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The Rebels at Machias
Updated 10:59 AM ET Oct 21, 2000

"Pilot Nathaniel Godfrey's Report of Action
between the Schooner Margueritta and the Rebels at Machias"

Machias, District of Maine, Massachusetts (June 1775) - Laying in Mechias River, about of a Mile below the Falls, to protect two Sloops belonging to Mr. [Ichabod] Jones Mercht, one laying at the Falls, the other a Mile below us, Mr. [James] Moore and the other Officer being aShore at the Meeting House, hearing a Bustle looked out of the Window & saw a Number of People Armed making towards the House, they immediately jumped out, & made their escape in a Boat sent from the Schooner, before their pursuers (who were very numerous) came up with them. A Party immediately went to the Sloop which lay'd at the Falls & plundered her, then assembled to the Number of One hundred within hail of the Schooner, & demanded her to strike to the Sons of Liberty; Mr. Moore enquired what they wanted, was answered Mr. Jones, whom they said was onboard the Schooner. At past 8 o'Clock in the Evening Mr. Moore thought proper to weigh Anchor and drop down towards the Sloop which lay'd below him; which they discovering made themselves Master of her, & ran her ashore. Mr. Moore than anchored within Fifteen Yards, with an Intent to retake her, & get her off; he was hailed on Shore by the Rebels, once more desiring him to strike to the Sons of Liberty, threatening him with Death if he resisted, upon Mr. Moore's replying he was not ready yet, they fired a Volley of small Arms, which was returned from the Schooner with Swivels and Small Arms. The Firing continued about an hour and a half, Mr. Moore then cut the Cable, drop't down Half a Mile lower, & anchored near a Sloop laden with Boards. In the Night they endeavored to Board us with a Number of Boats & Canoes, but were beat off by a brisk fire from the Swivels & obliged to quit their Boats, four of which in the Morning were left upon the Flats full of holes; we had but one Man Wounded. We hauled the Sloop alongside, took in some Planks, & made a Barricadoe fore & Aft to defend ourselves from the Small Arms. The Captain of the Sloop being well acquainted with the River, carried us down at Daybreak, during the Passage we were continually fired at from the Shore, having a smart Breeze, in jibing, carried away our Booms and Gaff: we saw a Sloop at Anchor about a League off, Mr. Moore came to an Anchor, sent his Boat aboard her, & brought her alongside, took her Boom and Gaff & fixed them in the Schooner, A Sloop & Schooner appeared, we immediately weighed Anchor & stood out for the Sea, they coming up with us very fast, we began to fire our Stern Swivels, & small Arms as soon as within reach. When within hail, they again desired us to strike to the Sons of Liberty, promising to treat us well, but if we made any resistance they [would] put us to Death, Mr. Moore seeing there was no possibility of getting clear, luffed the Vessel too and gave them a Broadside with Swivels & Small Arms in the best manner he was able, and likewise threw some Hand Grenadoes into them; they immediately laid us Onboard, the Sloop on the Starboard Quarter, the Schooner on the Larboard Bow. At that Instant Mr. Moore received two Balls, one in his right Breast, the other in his Belly the other Officer was slightly wounded in the Side, one Marine killed, two more Wounded, & two Seamen. The Rebels took Possession of the Schooner, & carried her up to Mechias, in great triumph, with their Colours flying. they carried Mr. Moore down into his Cabbin, & asked him why he did not strike when they hailed him, he look'd up and told them "he preferred Death before yielding to such a sett of Villains" -- The Rebels had two Killed and four Wounded, one of which expired soon after, Mr. Moore was carried to Mr. Jones's house, where he expired the day following in the afternoon, the 18th the Rebels marched those Men belonging to the Schooner (who were not wounded) to the Congress. Mr. Moore telling them before his death, that I was a pressed Man, I obtained my Liberty, & went Passenger in a Brig to Halifax, for which I paid four Dollars.

   (Signed) Nath Godfrey

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