n.a. Vital Records of Marblehead, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849, Vol. II - Marriage and Deaths, (The Essex Institute, 1904).
Claghorn, Charles E. Women Patriots of the American Revolution: A Biographical Dictionary, (Scarecrow Press, 1991).
Daughters of the American Revolution. Lineage Book - National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Vol. 42, (National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1903).
Kaminkow, Marion and Jack.Mariners of the American Revolution, (Magna Carta Book Company, 1967).
Kellow, Ken. entry for "America, schooner/armed brig", (americanwarofindependenceatsea.com, 21 September 2014).
Lewis, James A. Neptune's Militia: The Frigate South Carolina During the American Revolution, (The Kent State University Press, 1999).
Lindsey, Benjamin J. Old Marblehead Sea Captains and the Ships in Which They Sailed, (Marblehead Historical Society, 1915).
Revill, Janie. Copy of Original Index Book: Showing the Revolutionary Claims Filed in South Carolina Between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786, (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969).
Secretary of the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War, (Wright and Potter Printing Co., 1896).
Taylor, Sandra G. entry for "Hannah Barker Bartlett of Marblehead, Massachusetts", in "Bartlett Female Patriots of the American Revolution", (rootsweb.ancestry.com, last updated on August 7, 1998).
Wates, Wylma Anne, editor. Stub Entries to Indents: Issued in Payment of Claims Against South Carolina Growing Out of the Revolution, Books C-F, (South Carolina Archives Department, 1957).
Wikipedia, entry for "USS Hancock (1775)", page last modified on 12 October 2015.
Wikipedia, entry for "Samuel Tucker", page last modified 11 June 2015.
Pension Application of Nicholas Bartlett S33986
Pension Application of John Mayrant S32390
(Note: In the previous post, dated "12/03/2015", a website was located that will be of great use for the research being conducted concerning the frigate South Carolina. No author's name is given, so the "author's name" has been cited by his/her e-mail address of "awiatsea.com". Now, the writer of this blog has located the name of this website's author and believe it to be Ken Kellow. So, until otherwise proven incorrect, the name used in relation to any citations from this website will be given as Ken Kellow.)
As the writer of this blog was gathering materials to report on Nicholas Bartlett, first as a 2nd Lieutenant and later as a 1st Lieutenant on board the frigate South Carolina, he became aware that prior to signing on board the frigate South Carolina, Nicholas Bartlett had already accrued quite a reputation for himself as a fighter for the patriot cause in the American Revolution. As a result of these discoveries, the writer of this blog will embark on recitation of his prior Revolutionary War activities and life and will conclude with addressing the issue of the "unnamed" servant who is only referenced in the stub entry for Nicholas Bartlett.
Some of the information concerning Nicholas Bartlett seems to be rather confused and fragmentary. This writer has not been able to locate a birth date for Nicholas Bartlett, only a baptism date, and this, only approximately. Lindsey's work, Old Marblehead Sea Captains, page 7, cites his baptism date as being "...in 1750." Also, he is frequently referred to as "Nicholas Bartlett, Jr." yet, there seems to be no mention of who his father was, his occupation, the date of his marriage to Bartlett's mother, or any other life details. One issue that is clear is that it is relatively safe to assume he was "Nicholas Bartlett, Sr." Nicholas Bartlett, Jr.'s baptism date should have been within a short period of time after his actual birth, so he should, ostensibly, have been born in 1750 and baptized relatively quickly after his birth that same year.
According to the work published by The Essex Institute, Vital Records of Marblehead, Massachusetts, page XXX, Nicholas Bartlett married Hannah Barker on June 16, 1776. Even as they were exchanging their wedding vows, the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, PA was in the process of drafting the document that would become known as the Declaration of Independence, issuing it just over two weeks later. The Taylor article, entry for "Hannah Barker Bartlett...", pages 1-2, confirms that Nicholas Bartlett commanded the brigantine America but, cites the year of his command of that vessel as being 1776, rather than 1777-1778.
(Note: Identical information, verbatim, is contained in Claghorn's work, Women Patriots, page 230, for Hannah Barker Bartlett. Since the Taylor article was last updated on August 7, 1998 and the Claghorn work, Women Patriots was published in 1991, it would appear that Ms. Taylor published her article on "Hannah Barker Bartlett" and drew her information directly from the earlier Claghorn work.)
(Note: The "Pension Application of Nicholas Bartlett S33986" should mention a birth date for the applicant but, does not in this case. Also, a date of appearance before a judge should be given but, likewise, it is not. It lends absolutely no assistance in discerning the date of filing though in the first sentence of the application Nicholas Bartlett states his age, "That I Nicholas Bartlett, Aged 69..." The only possible association with a date is that this pension application might have been filed in accordance with the Act of Congress of 1818, which gave the pensioners of the American Revolution the opportunity to file their claims for assistance from their government. It this was the case with Nicholas Bartlett, he would have indeed been born in 1750, the same year cited for his baptism.)
(Note: The writer of this blog has just recently found information concerning both the birth and death dates for Nicholas Bartlett. According to the citation for Nicholas Bartlett in the Daughter's of the American Revolution's work, Lineage Book, page 214, his dates are simply given as 1751-1819. Thus, if these are indeed correct dates for Nicholas Bartlett, he was born in 1751 which would have been slightly after the baptism date given in Lindsey's work, Old Marblehead Sea Captains, page 7, but, still within the acceptable "error" range for this time period. But, if he indeed died in 1819 and his pension application was in response to the congressional Pension Act of 1818, then he would have received his pension and almost immediately died due to his pension number being prefaced with an "S", which indicates "survivor" or a person who had actually served during the American Revolution.)
He definitely had naval experience prior to signing on board the frigate South Carolina but, once again, the various different commands he served under or had under his personal command are confusing and seemingly unconfirmed. Lindsey's work, Old Marblehead Sea Captains, page 7, cites Bartlett's various shipboard assignments during the American Revolution as follows:
1776 - Schooner Hancock, Captain Samuel Tucker commanding, Nicholas Bartlett was the 1st Lieutenant on board.
1776 - privateer schooner Hero, Captain Nicholas Bartlett commanding.
1777 - privateer brigantine America, Captain Nicholas Bartlett commanding.
1778 - privateer brigantine Favorite, Captain Nicholas Bartlett commanding.
1778 - privateer brigantine Penet, Captain Nicholas Bartlett commanding.
------- - privateer brigantine General Glover, Nicholas Bartlett commanding.
1780 - Frigate South Carolina, Commodore Alexander Gillon commanding, Nicholas Bartlett was the 1st Lieutenant on board.
(Note: This writer finds it interesting that in Lindsey's work, Old Marblehead Sea Captains, page 7, Nicholas Bartlett is cited as having commanded the privateer brigantine General Glover in an undetermined year during the American Revolution. No reference to this vessel has been located by the writer of this blog. The Taylor article cited several paragraphs above indicates that Nicholas Bartlett commanded the General Glover in October 1779, which would fit in the chronological order of Bartlett's commands cited directly above. It goes on the state that Nicholas Bartlett was captured by the British while serving as the commanding officer of this privateer brigantine. The same information is communicated in Lindsey's work cited immediately above but, goes on to cite that "...while in the General Glover [Nicholas Bartlett] was taken prisoner, carried to England and confined five months, when he escaped and went to France and Holland." The Taylor article simply states that "...in October 1779, Bartlett was captured by the British. After a long period of confinement he was finally exchanged." If the Lindsey work's information is indeed correct, then it would place Nicholas Bartlett in the correct area of Europe at the correct time to sign on board the frigate South Carolina.)
This blog writer can only find information on three of these ships-of-war cited two paragraphs above- the schooner Hancock, the brigantine America, and the frigate South Carolina. There is ancillary information on the privateer brigantine Penet but, nothing definitive except a statement that Nicholas Bartlett was the master of this vessel as well as the privateer brigantine Favorite. As further information is discovered concerning these different patriot ships-of-war, they will be cited here in full. The schooner Hancock was among the first vessels outfitted as privateers on orders from General George Washington to prey upon British shipping going into and out of Boston harbor while he was involved in the siege of Boston in the summer and winter of 1775. According to the Wikipedia entry for "USS Hancock (1775)", originally, she was known as the Speedwell and was "...hired from Mr. Thomas Grant of Marblehead, Massachusetts in October 1775..." the list above cites Nicholas Bartlett as being under the command of Samuel Tucker while on board the schooner Hancock. Again, according to the Wikipedia entry for "USS Hancock (1775)", this would mean that Nicholas Bartlett would have signed on to the schooner Hancock at some point after April 1776 when Samuel Tucker was assigned as captain to the privateer schooner Hancock, though it is conceivable that Nicholas Bartlett was already the 1st Lieutenant on board the schooner Hancock when Samuel Tucker came on board as captain of that schooner.
(Note: According to the Wikipedia entry for "Samuel Tucker", Samuel Tucker (November 1, 1747 - March 10, 1833) was an experienced seaman himself. He was from Marblehead, MA also and began his naval career at the early age of 12 years old as a cabin boy on board the British warship, King George. In July 1774 and at the age of twenty-seven, he had risen to command a merchant vessel. He was actually in England when he received news of the outbreak of the American Revolution. He returned in the autumn of 1775. After his return to America, he was chosen as one of the commanding officers to assist in leading a small flotilla of schooners against the British in support of General George Washington's siege of Boston, MA. He commanded initially the schooner Franklin and later the Hancock, in which Nicholas Bartlett served as 1st Lieutenant.)
After Nicholas Bartlett's tour of duty as 1st Lieutenant on board the schooner Hancock in 1776, he also served a captain of the privateer schooner Hero, also in 1776. Nothing more is known of this patriot vessel other than its name and that it was a schooner engaged in privateering activities. After this, in 1777, Nicholas Bartlett became the captain on board the privateer brigantine America. According to Kellow's article concerning the privateer brigantine America contained in the website "americanwarofindependenceatsea.com", the vessel is variously described as a "schooner" or as an "armed brig". This ship had several captains before Nicholas Bartlett but, was under the command of Nicholas Bartlett from August 28, 1778 to August 22, 1779. The America had been commissioned on September 13, 1776 and was owned through out her sailing life by a series of individuals who were all from Boston, MA, most notably for duration of ownership, Thomas Harris and David Devens, again, both of Boston, MA. When Nicholas Bartlett took command of the ship on August 28, 1778, the schooner/armed brig America is cited as being armed with sixteen cannons of unknown caliber/weight of shot, except that the original armament was 4-pounder cannons, so one mus assume that the caliber/weight of shot most likely had not changed. Thus, the America was probably still armed with 4-pounder cannons. The vessel is also noted as being equipped with fourteen swivel guns, again, of unknown caliber/weight of shot. The Kellow article also notes that the America is cited "...as having a crew of eighty men. America was noted as measuring 120 tons."
(Note: The only two ships not referenced so far in this post of which Nicholas Bartlett was commander on board are the privateer brigantine Favorite and the privateer brigantine Penet. The only citation of the existence of these two ships-of-war that this blog writer can locate appears in the Secretary of the Commonwealth's work, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War, page 9. The citation for Nicholas Bartlett refers to him as "Nicholas Bartlett, Jr." and clearly states that he was "... also, Master, brigantine "Penet," portage bill for voyage from Boston to France and return; engaged December 28, 1776; discharged July 8, 1777; service, 6 months 10 days; also, Master, brigantine "Favorite," portage bill for voyage from Boston to South Carolina, thence to France, and back to Boston; engaged February 21, 1778; service 1 month 24 days; reported captured by the enemy April 15, 1778." This blog writer has encountered another source which mentions these two patriot vessels. It is the Daughters of the American Revolution's work, Lineage Book, page 214, which states that Nicholas Bartlett "...was master... of the Brigantine "Penet" and of the "Favorite" sailing from Boston to France 1778." These two separate sources seem to corroborate each other but, they also seem to confuse the issue even further by stating that Nicholas Bartlett was also the "master" of the brigantine "Charming Sally" in 1776. The Secretary of the Commonwealth's work, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War, page 9, states that he was "Master, brigantine "Charming Sally"," portage bill for voyage from Boston to France and return, engaged December 28, 1776 (service not given)." The Daughters of the American Revolution's work, Lineage Book, page 214, states that "Nicholas Bartlett ...was master of the "Charming Sally" 1776..." The reference to the Charming Sally is not repeated in the list of ships commanded by Nicholas Bartlett cited in Lindsey's work, Old Marblehead Sea Captains, page 7, though both the
brigantines Favorite and Penet are both cited as having been under the command of Nicholas Bartlett. In his pension application, "Pension Application of Nicholas Bartlett S33986", Nicholas Bartlett cites that he "...did take charge and command of the Brig Penet -- in service of Government to go to France for military stores proceeded on this voyage and returned to Boston, July 1777 with a cargo of powder ---arms, clothing &c -- for the Army of the United States.")
But, as is evident from the list cited in Lindsey's work, Old Marblehead Sea Captains, page 7, Nicholas Bartlett began as a ranking officer on board ships-of-war in the patriot Cause, to quickly progress to actual command of ships-of-war in the Atlantic Ocean arena of war against Great Britain. He must have been quite experienced and skilled at commanding ships, both in peace and times of war. Thus, he would have been the kind of naval officer sought after by a senior commander of a vessel-of-war such as Commodore Alexander Gillon and the frigate South Carolina in the summer of 1781.
(Note: It is evident from the citations above that Nicholas Bartlett had not only been an officer on board ships-of-war fighting for the patriot Cause but, had also been the Master (Captain) of several vessels prior to signing on board the frigate South Carolina. Yet, his name does not appear among those cited in the post entitled "Others of Rank" on board the Frigate South Carolina: "Captains" Listed on the Roster of the Frigate South Carolina" and dated "03/03/2015". None of the men cited in that earlier post appear on any of the captive's lists of the three British men-of-war which transported the crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina as prisoners into New York City harbor on December 23-24, 1782. It is to be assumed then that these men did not take part in the second brief voyage of the frigate South Carolina. This observation has lead this blog writer then to assume that the earlier post addressing "Captains" who were on board the frigate South Carolina concerned those who had been captured earlier by the British, incarcerated in British prisons - Old Mill Prison and Forton Prison among them - and then released as part of a prisoner cartel. As part of these cartels, they were transported to France and began to search for a means to get home to America. They found that means in the frigate South Carolina and signed on as either "volunteers" or simply as "Captains" in order to gain access to a one-way voyage home to America. So, evenSouth though Nicholas Bartlett should certainly have been included in those cited as having commanded ships prior to signing on board the frigate South Carolina, he was fundamentally different from these other "Captains" in that he deliberately signed on as a "ship's officer" rather than simply viewing the frigate South Carolina as a means of reaching home - America.)
The writer of this blog has made a serious error in neglecting to consult the Kaminkow work, Mariners of the American Revolution up to this point in the research on Nicholas Bartlett. Not only does this excellent work cite numerous American maritime prisoners taken by the British but, it also contains, in the form of an appendix, a section entitled "List of American Ships Captured by the British During the Revolutionary War". This is a lengthy, detailed section of the work and contains the names of ships, captain's name, capturing British ship, date of capture, and various comments made concerning the ship or its crew. This information is presented in table form and extends from page 219-238. According to Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, page 225, the following information appears and is listed here in this blog instead of being presented in table form as it is in Kaminkow's work, Mariners:
Ship's Name - General Glover
Captain's Name - Nicholas Bartlett
By What Ship Captured - ------------ (not given)
Date of Capture - October 1779
Notes and Comments - Crew of 66
PRO Reference, HCA/28 - 2/126*
(Note: the abbreviations need to be explained for ease of reference and understanding. The "PRO" citation stands for Public Records Office, which indicates where these records can be found in England. The "HCA/28" citation indicates High Court of Admiralty Prize Court Records Class 28 which indicates in which set of records within the PROs collection these specific documents can be found. The final number citation given is "2/126*" which is the specific PRO Reference number for the captured American ship General Glover. Lastly, the asterisk indicates that the men of this American ship, General Glover, are indeed mentioned in the prisoner's lists given in Kaminkow's work, Mariners.)
The information cited immediately above would seem to definitely indicate that Nicholas Bartlett was indeed captured while on board of and in command of the privateer ship General Glover. The citation above for Kaminkow's work, Mariner's of the American Revolution, page 225, indicates that the capture of the General Glover took place in October 1779, which is corroborated in Taylor's article, "Bartlett Female Patriots of the American Revolution", page 2, which stated that "...while in command of the General Glover in October 1779, Bartlett was captured by the British..."
(Note: a brief explanation of the name of this specific ship and what it may indicate - Frequently, ships had their names changed during the American Revolution to honor a specific hero or martyr of the patriot Cause. Hence, the unusually large number of ships-of-war named Warren after Joseph Warren, the commanding officer of the patriot troops at Bunker Hill who fell in the final phases of the battle. The General Glover was named after George Washington's irascible commander of Glover's Marblehead Regiment or the 14th Continental Regiment of Foot. Both commander and regiment served with great distinction through out the course of the war. Usually, ships-of-war were named for regional heroes or prominent figures. Thus, the ship-of-war General Glover was more than likely a privateer ship-of-war out of Marblehead, MA.)
Nicholas Bartlett's capture and imprisonment by the British is thus proven with a high degree of certainty. But, the manner of the end of his incarceration is still unconfirmed. According to Lindsey's work, Old Marblehead Sea Captains, page 8, while Nicholas Bartlett was "...in the "General Glover" [he] was taken prisoner, carried to England and confined five months, when he escaped and went to France and Holland..." Taylor's article, "Bartlett Female Patriots of the American Revolution", page 2, cites his capture by the British but, only says of his imprisonment, "...after a long period of confinement, he was finally exchanged..." These are the two methods of patriot mariners receiving their liberation from British custody - prisoner exchange or escape. While there are exceptional examples of daring escapes from British prisons and successful flight to France, these were relatively rare and usually resulted in recapture, transportation back to the prison they escaped from, and imprisonment in the "black hole" or solitary confinement for a period of six weeks. So, we have no way of knowing whether or not Nicholas Bartlett actually escaped or whether he was exchanged in a prisoner cartel destined for France. There may be one, single clue, though. There is indication that Nicholas Bartlett's brother; Jonathan, a lieutenant of marines; also served on board the frigate South Carolina. Their names appear one after the other in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, the section entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", page 136. Interestingly enough, there is no citation for Nicholas Bartlett in the general text of Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution but, there is a citation for Jonathan Bartlett as having been captured by the British. The following information appears in Kaminkow's work, Mariners, page 13:
Jonathan Bartlett - he was native of Marblehead, MA. He served on board the Fancy. He was captured on August 7, 1777. He was committed to Old Mill Prison. He was pardoned for exchange on December 11, 1779.
(Note: In the posts dated, respectively, "11/10/2015" and "11/16/2015", gleaned from Kaminkow's work, Mariners of the American Revolution, there are cited the men whose last names begin with "A-M" and "N-Z". The intended purpose of these posts and others related directly to these two posts are to attempt to determine how many men of the subsequent crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina may have been previously incarcerated by the British prior to their service on board the frigate South Carolina. Of all the several ships cited towards the end of the post dated "11/16/2015", eight of the men cited in that set of posts served on board the Massachusetts privateer brigantine, Fancy, and then may have gone on to serve on board the frigate South Carolina. This is more than served on board any other single ship cited in Kaminkow's work, Mariners. One of these men was Jonathan Bartlett.)
Jonathan Bartlett's date on signing on board the frigate South Carolina must have been some time in the spring/early summer of 1780. His exchange date from Old Mill Prison in England of "December 11, 1779" can attest to this fact. He could easily have arrived by prisoner cartel in France and been directed by none other than Benjamin Franklin, American delegate for prisoner exchanges, to head for Holland due to the "imminent departure" of the frigate South Carolina for America - in fact, the frigate did not depart for America until August 4, 1781. Nicholas Bartlett may well have been a part of this same prisoner cartel, though there is no record in Kaminkow's work, Mariners, for Nicholas Bartlett having ever been a prisoner of the British, except the reference to the capture of the General Glover on page 225 and her commanding officer as being Nicholas Bartlett. But, it is feasible that he did in fact escape from imprisonment in England and make his way to, first, France and, then, Holland. The former situation of a prisoner cartel sounds more plausible but, it could have happened through escaped and flight to France and Holland, as cited in the later scenario, also.
When the frigate South Carolina first set sail from the Texel, Holland on August 4, 1781, both Nicholas Bartlett and his brother, Jonathan Bartlett, were on board as members of the first crew and marines of the frigate. Nicholas Bartlett was the 2nd Lieutenant and Jonathan Bartlett was a Lieutenant of Marines. They both would have been present at the capture of the frigate South Carolina's first prize off Berwick, England on the northeastern coast of England. This vessel's name is neither known nor recorded anywhere as far as the writer of this blog is aware. The story of this ship, as far as it is recorded, is in the post entitled "A Vessel Unnamed In History - The Story of the Frigate South Carolina's First Prize" and is dated "05/04/2015". They would have also been present for the capture of the Alexander, a large privateer out of Liverpool, England. The story of this capture by the frigate South Carolina is recorded in the post entitled "The Alexander or Prize to the South Carolina": The Story of the Frigate South Carolina's Second Prize, Her Fate, and the Fate of Her Prize Crew - Information Introduced and New Findings - " and is dated "11/24/2015". We do know that Nicholas Bartlett was indeed on board the frigate South Carolina due to the text of John Mayrant's pension application, "Pension Application of John Mayrant S32390". This is a lengthy pension application with a great deal of information given regarding the crew and marines, actual course across the Atlantic Ocean, and references to some of the prize ships taken by the frigate South Carolina. Far down on page 2 of his pension application, John Mayrant states "..that the deponent having omitted to state above who were the officers on board the South Carolina when she left Amsterdam now adds that Commodore Gillon was commodore...Nicholas Bartlett 2nd Lieutenant..." So, Lieutenant John Mayrant's pension application confirms that 2nd Lieutenant Nicholas Bartlett was indeed on board the frigate South Carolina when she left Amsterdam, Holland. It can be ascertained from information presented later in this post that his brother, Jonathan Bartlett, Lieutenant of Marines, was also on board the frigate at the same time.
But, at some point on this first, or maiden, voyage, the situation for the Bartlett's began to change on board the frigate South Carolina. At some point in the passage from Holland to the next European port of call, Corunna, Spain, an incident took place which involved one of the Bartletts but, it is unclear as to which one was involved. According to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 185 n. 8, "..one of the Bartlett's had quarreled seriously enough with a passenger to have the incident noted in the ship's log..." Again, it is undetermined which Bartlett, Nicholas or Jonathan, was involved in this incident. But, the subsequent actions of both of the Bartletts have been at least somewhat attributed to this negative and hostile incident. After the arrival of the frigate South Carolina in Corunna, Spain, on September 24, 1781, several of the "passengers" chose, for one reason or another, to leave the frigate and seek their own way home. Evidently, the exodus of "passengers" was lead by Major William Jackson and James Searle. According to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 43, "they were joined by a few other passengers but not the majority". An associated footnote cited above states that "...those who left were Nicholas Bartlett, John Bartlett, James Hogan and John Buckley..." As stated above, a serious quarrel had taken place between one of the Bartlett's and an unidentified "passenger". The incident was duly recorded in the ship's log which may have precipitated the departure of both of the Bartlett's when the frigate South Carolina reached this northern Spanish port city. The factual nature of this action is confirmed by the pension application of John Mayrant when he describes the command structure of the frigate South Carolina has she lay in Philadelphia, PA after docking there on May 29, 1782. Mayrant's pension application states that "...2nd Lieut. Nathaniel Marston in place of Bartlett, who had resigned and left the ship in Corunna." Again, Mayrant's pension application confirms that Nicholas Bartlett had chosen to depart the frigate South Carolina in Corunna, Spain. But, Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 80, also confirms that both Bartlett's left the frigate together in Corunna, Spain. The text here states that Commodore Gillon had "...all of his officers (including the Bartlett's, who had left the frigate in Corunna at the same time as [James] Searle) respond in a collective newspaper article of their own [in refutation of accusations of criminal conduct by James Searle against Commodore Alexander Gillon]." Finally, we have the testimony of Nicholas Bartlett's own pension application, "Pension Application of Nicholas Bartlett S33986", in confirming that he, at least, left the frigate South Carolina in Corunna, Spain. His pension application begins its third paragraph with "...I further testify and declare -- That being in Holland, I entered June 6th 1780, a Lieutenant under Commodore Gillon [Alexander Gillon] in the Frigate South Carolina -- in the Naval Service, United Satets and was employed cruising against the Enemy until September 27 A.D. 1781 -- was then honorably discharged." Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, map on page 38, indicates that the frigate South Carolina docked in Corunna, Spain on September 24, 1781 and departed that port city on October 17, 1781. Thus, Nicholas Bartlett, and evidently his brother Jonathan also, left the service of the frigate South Carolina while she lay in Corunna harbor. The 18th century was a time when officers were considered "gentlemen" and had their own designs, plans and honor to keep in mind when making decisions concerning their continued service to one employer or another. They could formally resign their position without censor or shame, if they could show reason for the resignation. Thus, for one reason or another, both the Bartlett's chose to leave the frigate South Carolina in Corunna, Spain and seek their own way back to America. According to the quoted passage above from Nicholas Bartlett's pension application, this departure took place on September 27, 1781, three days after the frigate South Carolina had docked in Corunna, Spain. No reason for this departure is given nor can be speculated upon. Also, the pension application makes no mention of the planned means of getting home to America after having left the frigate South Carolina. We know that Major William Jackson and James Searle chose the Massachusetts privateer ship Cicero to travel back to America. What we do not know was whether or not Nicholas and Jonathan Bartlett chose the same ship-of-war to convey them back to America also.
(Note: the Massachusetts privateer ship Cicero and her role in this overall story of the frigate South Carolina is covered in the post entitled "Another Ship?' - The Massachusetts Privateer Ship Cicero and her Part in the Story of the Frigate South Carolina - Clarifying Details" and dated "04/24/2015".)
At this point in this specific post, the writer of this blog has reached the appropriate place to record the topic that, more or less, launched this post to begin with - the issue of Nicholas Bartlett's "unnamed" servant on board the frigate South Carolina. This section of the post will almost certainly be overshadowed by the much longer and more detailed information cited above. But, again, it was this subject that initially caught the attention of the blog writer and intrigued him. Who was this "servant", and, more properly, was he a slave belonging to Nicholas Bartlett?
This individual is rather problematic in the history of the frigate South Carolina. In none of Nicholas Bartlett's writings, such as his pension application, nor in any of the references made concerning him is there even a mention of a "servant" or, possibly, a slave. His pension application, "Pension Application of Nicholas Bartlett S33986", makes no reference to a "servant" or slave on board the frigate at any time. In fact, Nicholas Bartlett's pension application is very brief, not even mentioning all the various ships he commanded prior to signing on board the frigate South Carolina. Other than a reference to serving under Commodore Gillon on board the frigate South Carolina, Bartlett only mentions the schooner-of war Hancock and the brig Penet. Yet, according to Lindsey's work, Old Marblehead Sea Captains, page 7, there are seven vessels named as having Nicholas Bartlett as their commander at one point in time. Why would an accomplished and gallant officer not mention his other previous commands to further enhance his image and memory in the country he helped found by his warlike efforts?
According to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, map on page 38, the frigate South Carolina left Dutch waters on August 4, 1781 and entered Corunna harbor on September 24, 1781, a cruise of almost seven weeks. Deaths did indeed take place on board the frigate South Carolina during this time period as pointed out in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 43, where it states that "...the South Carolina had already lost some personnel between Texel and Corunna. Several crew members had died, mainly from hazards associated with sailing, particularly falling from the rigging. They had been buried at sea." These are the accidental deaths of mariners in the daily performance of their assigned duties but, these are hazards that would have been spared a "servant". If a "servant" of an officer; in fact, the 1st Lieutenant on board the frigate South Carolina; had died due to an accident like those the average mariner was exposed to, it would have been recorded somewhere and more than likely made it into records that have survived until today. Yet, there are no records of any "servant" dying by a mariner's accident.
The one other pension application that mentions Nicholas Bartlett is that of John Mayrant, "Pension Application of John Mayrant S32390". Unlike Nicholas Bartlett's pension application, the pension application of John Mayrant is detailed and lengthy. He details the different cruises of the frigate South Carolina as she made her way from Holland to America from late 1781 to mid-1782. He references many individuals who also sailed on board the frigate. He speaks of prizes taken, both on the European side of the Atlantic as well as on the New World side of the Atlantic Ocean. Twice he refers to Nicholas Bartlett - the first time among a list of officers serving on board the frigate South Carolina. The second instance is again a recitation of the officers serving on board the frigate after it had moored in Philadelphia, PA in May 1782. This second instance in which he mentions Nicholas Bartlett, he briefly states that "...2 [nd] Lieut. Marston [serving in] place of Bartlett, who had resigned and left the ship in Corunna..." It would appear that if an officer left the frigate South Carolina, that John Mayrant would have mentioned that a "servant" of that officer also left with him, if the 'servant" did indeed leave at that point. John Mayrant makes no mention, either way, of a "servant" accompanying Nicholas Bartlett or leaving the frigate when Nicholas Bartlett left the ship.
So, what evidence is there for the existence of this elusive "servant"? There is only a single document but, a "stub entry to indent" at that. According to Wates's work, Stub Entries to Indents, page 131, there appears the following entry:
"No. 726, Book C - Issued 9th November 1790 to Mr. Nicholas Bartlett for Ninety seven Pounds 19/2 Sterling for balance of Pay due him as a Lieut. on board the South Carolina, Also for Wages due his Servant.
Principal - 97p..19s..2d
Interest - 6p..17s..1d"
There are a few brief observations that can be made at this point in the post concerning the above information. First, Nicholas Bartlett does not even mention the "servant's" name. Regardless of whether or not the man was a free individual or a slave, he would have had a name, even if only the name assigned to him by his owner. Yet, Nicholas Bartlett does not mention it at all. It is completely possible that this individual is named in the lengthy roster of Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, section entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", pages 135-170. It may be that he is not indicated as the "servant" of Nicholas Bartlett in his "position" cited in Lewis's work. Second, the "stub entry" does not discern between the amount earned by Nicholas Bartlett "...for balance of Pay due him as a Lieut. on board the South Carolina..." or for the amount "...Also for Wages due his Servant." The implication from the Wates's work and the Revill's work is that Nicholas Bartlett was paid a single lump sum and received it all. There is again no indication what he did with it after receiving it.
It is possible that this individual was indeed a slave owned by Nicholas Bartlett. Judging from his previous voyages, Nicholas Bartlett touched on many places in the Atlantic world that practiced slavery and had operating slave markets, Charleston, SC for one. It is known that historically sea captains, even those of Puritan extraction, frequently acquired slaves for themselves or their families while they were on sea voyages, conducting their business. Even though Massachusetts did not actively sanction the sale of individuals within their communities, they also did not prohibit the purchase of slaves outside of Massachusetts and bringing them back into the state as property of the purchaser. It may well be that this "servant" was indeed a slave but, referred to as a "servant" by Nicholas Bartlett. As a slave, he would not have had the opportunity to file for a "stub entry" for service he had rendered during the American Revolution but, would have had to rely on his "master", Nicholas Bartlett, to secure this money from the state of South Carolina for services he had rendered on board the frigate South Carolina.
According to Revill's work, Copy of the Original Index Book, page 386, Nicholas Bartleet is confirmed as receiving the exact amount indicated in Wate's' work, Stub Entries to Indents - 97p/19s/2d. But, there is no mention at all of at least some of this pay going to a "servant" or being as the result of services of a "servant". This is only referenced in Wates's work. So, far, this blog writer has located noting more on the "Servant" of Lieutenant Nicholas Bartlett. Further research may indeed uncover more information concerning this individual and his historical identity. But, it may be that this "servant" or slave on 1st Lieutenant Nicholas Bartlett may remain exactly as he is now - an "unnamed" individual who served on board the frigate South Carolina during our own American Revolution.