Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Encouragement For Seamen

The following article printed in The Freeman’s Journal Portsmouth, New Hampshire, July 26, 1777.

WHEREAS the seamen of these States have for some time past been discouraged from entering into the navy, by thinking they have hitherto been unfairly dealt with in respect of prize money, and the regular payment of wages: Therefore, to remove all cause of future complaint, I will be answerable to every person who may enter to serve under my command, for the punctual and regular payment of wages. And I will also, with the consent and approbation of officers and men, appoint an agent for the prizes, whose duty it shall be to see the captors part sold to the best advantage, and to make punctual, just and regular payments to every person concern’d.

Every seaman in the navy is entitled to eight dollars per month wages, with an advance of forty dollars at entry on board. Every marine or landsman is entitled to six dollars & two thirds per month wages, with an advance of twenty dollars at entry on board. Every private person, who may loose a limb or be disabled in engagement, will receive two hundred dollars smart money; if kill’d, his wife or family will receive it. Every person, who may be disabled in engagement, will receive half pay during life or an allowance proportioned to the injury sustained. The pay is extended to persons in captivity, provided they return to the service as soon as possible. The captors share one half of all merchant ships, and of all effects taken by sea or land, without resistance; they share the whole of all ships of war, & of all privateers authorized by his Britannic Majesty to war against these States. They will also receive a bounty of twenty dollars for every carriage gun then mounted, and of eight dollars per head for every man then on board and belonging to such prizes. There are ten shares set apart for the most deserving, with various Advantages, grounded upon resolves of Congress. Persons of abilities will be promoted in proportion to their diligence and merit;-and no equal encouragement can be given in privateers.

The Continental Ship of war Ranger at Portsmouth under my command is in readiness for sea. Such persons as think proper to enter, are requested to apply on board, or at the Ship’s rendezvous where they will receive further information.

Portsmouth, July 26, 1777. John Paul Jones


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