INSTRUMENTS OF PROTEST
In the early days of shipping, there was no insurance to cover damages and loss of ships or cargo.The Masters of ships, being hundreds of miles from homeport, and having no way to report such damages to the owners would enter port at the nearest courthouse.They would record such damages with the register of deeds, so as to protect themselves from being sued or imprisoned when returning to homeport.
These protests are in most cases the only records of severe storms that hit our coast and of piracy at sea.These records have also been found in private journals, attorney's files, Colonial Records, and loose papers.
I WILL BE ADDING NEW PROTEST AS I LOCATE THEM.
1723 JULY 24
To all to whom this public Instrument of Protest shall come Hugh Drysdale Esq. his Majesty’s Lt. Governor of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia and Vise Admiral of the same maketh known and manifest that on the 24th day of July in the 9th year of the Reign of our sovereign Lord George by the grace of God of Great Britain, France and.Ireland, King Defender of Faith etc.Annoque Dominic 1723, personally come and appeared before me Thomas Fry, Master and Part Owner, Elias Audart, Mate, Samuel Rood, Mariner of the--Ship called the PARRE GALLEY, bound for the port of London in England from North Carolina in America.
At which time the Master made it appear to me that the ship was Plantation Built and belonging to His Majesty’s Subjects and was of Burthen. sixty tons or thereabouts, loaded with 592 barrels of Tarr for the aforesaid port of London.
The said Thomas Fry, Elias Audart, Samuel Rood of the ship PARRE GALLEY did on Solemn Oath Declare;
That about 10 of the Clock in the morning on Saturday the 12th day of July they weighed anchor from Occocock Inlet in North Carolina in prosecution of their intended voyage to the aforesaid port of London.That on the Tuesday following, being the 15th day at 5 of the Clock in the morning the Ship sprung a Great leak and that having set both pumps and ply'd them to the utmost of the Power of all hands aboard the ship.Yet notwithstanding the water increased within the hold 9 to 10 inches an hour, inasmuch that the said Master arid Crew were at length constrained to Quit the aforesaid Ship and betake themselves in order to preserve their lives, to their boat.That about an hour after quitting the saidship they Espyed a Ship who bore down upon them and took them up.The Ship so taking them up was called the CONTENT from Liverpool, bound for Virginia, the Master named Fouler.The Master and Mariners by their nearest Computation reckoned themselves 15 or 16 Leagues East South East from Cape Henry at the time of their being obliged to Quit the said Ship.Thus Done and protested before me at Williamsburgh the day and year above mentioned..
1739 MARCH 26
PORT OF BEAUFORT, NORTH CAROLINA
This 26t ' h day of March, 1739, Peter Leward, Master of the Sloop TWO BROTHERS of South Carolina, James Watken, Owner Emanuel Jones,Pilot, Samuel Grice, Mate, Thomas Navill, Nathaniel Guyon, Sailors come. before me, Ralph Eves, Esq. of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Carteret, within the said Port, and made their Several Oaths upon the holy Evangelists;
That the above said Sloop was this day Loaded and all things ready on board to proceed her voyage to the Island of Antigua, one of the West India Islands belonging to his Majesty King George the Second, and attempted to go to sea. at Bogue Inlet in North Carolina, being the same Inlet that the Sloop came in at and loaded in the Harbor.Having then proper wind and tide to go over the Bar of said Inlet to sea, but before the vessel could reach. The Bar the wind failed and it proved stark calm.All endeavors now was used by the Pilot and us to preserve the vessel from perishing.The wind suddenly arose together with the Violence of the Tide of Flood and drove the vessel on the Shoals where she Stranded or Bulged and was entirely Lost.About five of the Clock the same day, two anchors and cables were carried out on head and all Endeavors used to save the said Vessel to the great hazard of our own Lives.Therefore we the said Master as well as the aforesaid mate and men do protest against the Seas and Shoals..
1.741 JULY 10
Be it known unto all men by this public Instrument of Protest, that on this tenth day of July in the fifteenth year of the r-reign of our sovereign Lord George, the second King of Great Britain, France and Ireland.. and in the year 1741, personally appeared before me Gabriel Johnston, Esq. Capt.General, Admiral and Commander of Chief in his Majesty's Province of North Carolina:
Benjamin Carkett, Commr. of the Sloop GUARNSEY of Edenton.
Andrew Frasher, Chief Mate of "I ""
Francis Blakely, Seaman ""
That they were bound on a voyage from Eden-Lon, in the Province of North Carolina, from which she departed on the 7th day of June last, to Boston in New England, having on board the sloop; 600 barrels of pitch and tar, 50 bushels of corn, 400 pounds of dressed deer skins.
And then did take on board the sloop, in order to pilot and conduct her to Ocracoke Barr, one JAMES WAHAB, a man usually employed to pilot vessels through many channels lying between said town of Edenton and the Barr and Inlet of Ocracoke.Having proceeded with various winds, tides, currents, and weather till the 25th.At that time got as far as a shoal called the HORSE SHOE, distance from inlet 5 miles, at which time with a fresh gale of wind from the
South, Southwest about 2 of the Clock in the afternoon, ran on a Shoal of land with vessel, which she struck with great violence, the tide running its last quarter Ebb.
The Deponents further say that they carried off an anchor and cable in order to hall the vessel- off the Shoal, but could not till about 8 of the Clock in the evening.The tide of the flood running very strong and the wind increasing, the Pilot ordered the Great Anchor to be let fall the Boltsprit into the water, in order to hold in case the other anchor and cable should fail, and to prevent the vessel from running any further onto the Shoal on which she did then lay almost afloat.
They further saith, that soon after, the Sloop did float and by the strength, of the tide, then steered over the Great Anchor so far that it came under her bottom, and pierced through the plank to cause her to leak great quantity of water so that both pumps could not keep her free.At 4 of the Clock the next morning, the 26th she was full of water and sunk to the bottom in 9 and 1/2 feet of water.
The deponents did. then proceed to unload the Cargo and put it on board a Sloop, one Capt. Draper, in order to put it on shore.The Pilot then left the vessel, and the deponents continued to labor in getting the stores, sails, and running rigging until the 2nd day of July, at which time they say a Sloop and Ship come off the bar and make a signal for a Pilot.None answering, they anchored without the Barr with the Sloop and Ship and fitted two Crafts with sails and oars, and about 60 people and proceeded over the Barr towards land.
The deponents resolved, with their company of 13 in number to attack them at their landing, for which. intent they carried down their Jack and waved them to come on Shore, but the boats kept off, and went one on board Capt.Draper's Sloop and the other on board the Sloop GUARNSEY as she lay sunk, after which they landed on Ocracoke about 4 of the Clock, and approached the houses of OLIVER and KERSEY.They then fired a volley of small arms into the said Houses, and Capt. Carkeet, with others, heard old Mrs. OLIVER [illegible] in a most piteous manner.
The deponents then went to the boat of the Sloop
GUARNSAY, which lay a distance from thence. and remained on the boat till next day when they went off in order to go on board their Sloop Guarnsey, when they saw a large Sloop was got into the Harbour at about the distance of one quarter of a mile from their Sloop and they on board the sloop did send a boat full of men in pursuit of the Deponents, but their Boat happily got clear and further say that the next day they say a large Boat, and thinking it was Capt.Gales Pilot Boat, as they were at some distance from land, the Deponents then made towards her, but on approaching, they saw it was the boat that had chased them the day before.The deponents stood off from them and were chased for about 2 hours at a small distance by the said boat, but kept good their ground, whereupon the others distance from pursuing and stood back towards the Sloop in the Harbour, after which the deponents stood down also after them.In a short while saw several great smokes ascending, which the deponents do believe and imagine that the said people and crews of the Boats and Sloop had fired all the goods carried ashore by deponents, and carried off all the sails, cables and anchors, and further depose they believe they ENEMIES from seeing a SPANISH Pendant hoisted on the Sloop, and from their Manner and Action in all respects.Wherefore the said Benjamine Carkett, Andrew Frasher, Francis Blackley and James Fisher, do hereby solemnly protest against the Winds, Seas, Currants, Tides, and the depredations of the said Enemies for all damages, losses and expenses which have already accrued to, or shall hereafter be suffered and sustained by the owners, freighters and all and. every other person or persons concerned in the said Sloop Guarnsey.In Testimony whereof they have hereunto set their hands and seals at Edenton., North Carolina, the day and year first before mentioned.
Oct 30, 1749
By this Public Instrument of Protest be it made known.,.. WILLIAM DOWWS, Master, PHILIP CALAWAY, Carpenter, and GEORGE MAY, Mariner, lately belonging to the ship Dolphin being duly sworn ... swear that on the 29,th June last they sailed from Boston New England in the ship Dolphin bound for Ocracoke Inlet in the port of Bath in North Carolina, and from thence to London, that on the 3rd day of August following they arrived at Ocracoke and moored and unrigged in Bacon (Beacon) Island Harbor, that on the 7th day of October following, them lying moored and unrigged in Bacon Island Harbor... there arose a storm of wind
and rain from the NE by which the sloop called the Endeavor of Boston, Isaac Chikenders, Master, lying in sd harbor drove on the ship Dolphin bow, and forcing the sd ship to part her cables she had out to eastward and obliged her to ride by one cable and anchor.That-on the 8th day of October at 4 o'clock in the morning the other anchor parted and the ship was drove on the shoal where she lay -beating till 9 o'clock, that the wind then shifting to the SW drove sd ship off the shoal.When the wind being extremely violet and seas boisterous, the master and crew cut away the ship's mast in order she might ride, and prevent her driving out of the harbor upon the shoal.Nevertheless the violence of the wind and seas kept sd ship from driving her anchor not holding, which obliged master and crew cut away the cable to prevent the, ship driving on the north breaker of Ocracoke Bar, a dangerous shoal, notwithstanding all their endeavors, the sd ship was drove on the north breaker of Ocracoke Bar, where she beat her rudder off, and part of her sheathing, that the sea being very high and boisterous popped them several times and tore in their dead lights, that the ship malting a great deal of water, obliged them to keep both pumps going.In this condition and - where they continued until one o'clock of 8th of October, when sd ship Dolphin was drove by the violence of the wind and sea on shore on Ocracoke Island, where sd ship had not long struck, until the sea have her laid broad side to the shore and made a free passage over her, so the crew could not stand to the pumps, and soon washed five feet water in hold, and the storm still continuing, the seas hove the sd ship on her broad side.The said deponents declare that on a survey made by several masters and a carpenter of ship Dolphin, then lying on shore on Ocracoke Island, they found her stranded and settled much in the sand, her rudder off, her stem part broke in two, and her planks _ and her back broke, so that said ship could not be got and rendered unfit for service, for all which reason WILLIAM DOWNS, Master, PHILEP GALAWAY, Carpenter, and GEORGE MAY, Mariner, of the ship Dolphin ... do Solemnly protest against storms, winds and seas for all damage suffered..
By this Public Instrument of Protest...
SAMUEL WAKELY, Mate, JOHNSON HODGKINS and DAVID TROY, Mariners, belonging to the Sloop SARAH, made oath... that on the 24the day of May last, about nine of the clock in the morning, being at anchor in Lyn Haven bay, the sd sloop was taken by a Spanish privateer schooner, the commander whereof put eight Spaniards and a Linguistic on board of the said sloop, in order to have carried the sd vessel to the Havana or St. Augestine.And the sd Spaniards being unskillful navigators, obliged to entrust the deponents and with the crew and management of the sd sloop, who kept hovering about t the coast between Cape Hatters and Cape Henry till the 15th of June following, at which time the parting of the mast, giving way, they prevailed on the sd Spaniards to suffer them to cut away the mast, to go to shore in a boat to get a spare, and the said David Tory together with two Spaniards and the Linguistic went on shore, where he met with EZEKIAH FARROW with two other men promised that night they would go off to the sloop to assist them but the weather would not then prevail, the next day this deponent cut away the mast and then desired leave to go ashore to grind their axes, David Tory, two Spaniards and the Linguistic where they met with EZEKIAH FARROW, RICHARD BARBER and GEORGE SCARBOROUGH, JACOB FARROW, FRANCIS JAWSON (JACKSON), WILLIAM SCARBOROUGH, JAMES W. _____, . JASHUA WALL, and FRANCIS PUB,
Inhabitants of North Carolina, assembled together under a ____ assisted and helped these
deponents to secure the Spaniards and the Linguistic,, and then went on board the sd sloop, retook her and secured the Spaniards and sent them to Denton? (Kinston), and then the deponents were obliged to unload part of the loading, to wit; 427 bushels of wheat, 200 bushels of corn, 21 barrels of pork, one barrel of hogs fat, and about 5 1/2 tons of iron, to raise a new mast. * The wind serving northerly, these deponents proceeded to Ocracoke and came into the said port on the day of the date hereof.And the aforesaid mate and mariners do further testify and declare that they did their utmost to protect the aforesaid vessel and damages for the benefit of the owners of sd stoop.Wherefor the said mate and mariners have desire to make Publication, that being taken by the said privateers at the time was the reason of the damages done to the said vessel and cargo on board the sloop.Therefore they do publicly and solemnly protest against all damages that hath happened by reason of the enemies privateers.. I hereby set my hand and seal this sixth day of July 1748.
*The local inhabitants took these items as pay for their help in rescuing the crew and ship and raising the new mast.One can only imagine the shortage and difficulty of obtaining such on the Outer Banks 1748.
The deposition of Alexander Dalrymple;
The dependant says that he was the master of the brig, ATLANTIC, the property of James MKinlay, that on the return of said brig from New York on the 26th of July 1,806 - he came to an anchor in the upper waters of Beacon Island, that Valentine Wallace, a branch pilot came on board and finding the brig drew too much water to go over the Swash, directed her to be trimmed to such draft of water as that could go over the bar with, which was done the same night equally to orders.That next morning he hoisted his colors for the dais Valentine Wallace to come on over, but the said Valentine neglected coming and three days afterwards to wit, on the 29th James Jones another pilot came over, and took charge of her and brought her to New Bern.
That during that time to wit, from the 26th to the 29th the weather was so favorable that had the pilot wished to come on board, he might easily had done so.
That on account of the absence of the pilot the brig remained three days at anchor and was delayed in her voyage,
and further he sayeth not.