Alphabetical List of Officers and Men of the Frigate Queen of France (1780). A partial alphabetical list of 90 Officers and Crew of the frigate Queen of France assembled from a statement of all the claims which have been adjusted and allowed at the Treasury Department, and for which certificates of registered debt issued, in virtue of a law entitled “An act providing for settlement of claims of persons under particular circumstances barred by limitations heretofore established” passed on the 27th of March, 1792. Most of the claimants represent the last crew of the Queen of France prior to her scuttling associated with the siege of Charleston which resulted in the surrender of over 5,000 American soldiers and sailors on 12 May 1780. Each man’s rate, date the claim was adjusted to and amount of claim is noted. Many of the claims are adjusted to 15 July 1780, presumably the date of their parole. Continue reading
William Blodget. Son of Dr. Benjamin Blodget (1717-1781) and his first wife Mary Slatterlee, William Blodget (or Blodgett) was born 8 June 1754 in Stonington, CT and named after his oldest sibling who had apparently died sometime during the previous ten years. William’s thirty-two year old mother Mary died shortly after his birth on 26 August 1754, followed in death within weeks by his older siblings Benjamin and Anna. William’s father Dr. Benjamin Blodget was quickly remarried to Abigail Swan on 20 March 1755 at Stonington by Rev. Joseph Fish, the same minister who had married his parents eleven years earlier. In addition to William and his surviving sister Mary, the doctor’s household included seven children by his second wife. Continue reading
Samuel Chandler. A list of accounts prepared in 1810 by the Treasury Department under the act of 27 March 1792 regarding settlements with Army and Navy veterans of the Revolutionary War published by Gales and Seaton in “American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive of the Congress of the United States from the First Session of the First to the Second Session of the Seventeenth Session of Congress, Inclusive” (1834), includes an amount of $1.84 settled on 7 February 1794 for Samuel Chandler- chaplain of the Continental Navy frigate Trumbull. Interest on the comparatively tiny sum was authorized to commence beginning 20 November 1780, suggesting that date as his last in service on the vessel. The monies may be related to several days of unpaid wages, however the sum is not divisible as the daily increment of a chaplain’s stipulated salary of twenty dollars per month. Continue reading
Chaplain Hallet. Despite his omission from the list of officers and men of the frigate Confederacy on pages 601-602 of the “Record of Service of Connecticut Men, Part I, Naval Record of Connecticut, 1775-1783″ edited by Henry P. Johnston (1889), a former Major Hallet apparently entered on board the frigate Confederacy in the capacity of chaplain prior to the vessel’s departure from New London, CT for her maiden voyage on Saturday 1 May 1779. The Confederacy was operating in the Delaware Bay by the end of May when Elias Boudinot sent a letter to George Washington revealing that Hallet was accused by two persons of being an agent in British service. A prominent New Jersey lawyer prior to the American Revolution, Boudinot was made commissary-general of prisoners in May 1777 at General Washington’s request. In that position, Colonel Boudinet was responsible for the care of British prisoners and for supplying provisions to American prisoners held by the enemy. Due to his proximity and connections with New York, the commissary-general was acquainted with espionage activities on both sides and although Boudinot had left the post in July 1778, his opinion on such matters was well trusted. Forwarding the accusation to the Board of War, Washington added in a letter dated Saturday 22 May 1779 and quoted by Parker C. Thompson in “The United States Chaplaincy, Vol 1” (1978), “If the facts are true which it contains, the Chaplain on board the Confederacy appears to be a very improper person for such a Trust.” The Marine Committee of the Continental Congress responded with a letter from John Brown to Captain Seth Harding of the Confederacy dated Wednesday 26 May 1779, “Sir, I am ordered by the Marine Committee to desire that you will send up the Chaplin of your Ship to the place under a Guard so as to be brought before the committee on friday evening next at Six O’clock.” It is not known if the frigate came back into Philadelphia early enough in June to deposit the former chaplain at the Marine Committee’s doorstep for their 4 June 1779 inquisition. Nothing more is known concerning the personal history or the outcome of the accused turncoat. Sometime during the Summer or early Fall of 1779, Major Hallet was replaced as chaplain by Presbyterian clergyman Robert Keith who went on board the frigate Confederacy near Philadelphia.
George Richards. Born near Newport, RI about 1755, little is known about the early years of George Richards. One source suggests his father was a lawyer named David who probably died at Newport on 29 March 1761 at the age of 49 and was a Quaker. Congregationalist pastor of East Church in Salem, MA; William Bentley writes in his diary published one hundred years after this 1814 entry that George Richards “had a brother who died in Salem, in humble condition, whose sallies of wit were known to persons of every name, & they were sure upon first notice. I have repeatedly noticed him in my Journal, administered the charities of his brother, & performed the last offices for him at the close of his life.” This brother David died on 20 November 1810 at the age of 58. The Richards brothers also had a sister Agnes who died on Sunday 16 September 1792 in Boston at the age of 33. Continue reading