Turtle Hunter, Seaman

Turtle Hunter. Turtle or Turkell Hunter served under Captain Seth Harding on the Oliver Cromwell from 8 May to 14 October 1777 as a seaman. He also served as coxwain (sailmaker) on the Oliver Cromwell under Captain Timothy Parker from December 1777 to September 1778. According to New London’s Indian Mariners by Jason R. Mancini adapted from his article in Perspectives on Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Power in Maritime America, Mystic Seaport (2006), “A number of the workers (on the Confederacy) were associated with the Mohegan community directly across the river. Many of these men, including Peter Neshoe, Thomas Mosset, Turtle Hunter, Gurden Wyaugs, Ebenezer Tanner, Daniel Uncas, Dennis Mohegan, Simeon Ashbow, and James Jeffrey, were almost exclusively employed as ships riggers between October 1778 and February 1779 (He is listed on the Frigate Confederacy Riggers’ Returns 1778-1779). The nature of this work, which involved detailed knowledge of ship engineering and operation, suggests that these men were all by this time experienced mariners and recognized as such. Furthermore, men from various Indian communities, including some of those involved in the construction of the Confederacy, later sailed as crew members: Simeon Ashbow and Daniel Uncas as marines, Ebenezer Tanner as a cook’s mate, and William Fagins, Jonas Peege, and Turtle Hunter as seamen.” The claim of Turkell Hunter for service as seaman on the Confederacy in the amount of $40.94 including interest to 14 April 1781, the date of the Confederacy’s capture, was adjusted by the Treasury Department on 7 February 1794. Turtle Hunter’s name appears on the prisoner list of the Jersey prison ship suggesting that he was imprisoned there when the Confederacy was captured.

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