Bickernicks, Eric "Dacron". "The Story of Dogtown Gloucester", (www.thedacrons.com, last modified - August 20, 2006.)
Cohen, Sharron. "Find a Grave Memorial", entry for "Isaac Dade, Jr. (1792-1881)", (www.findagrave.com, record added: November 7, 2015.)
Garland, Joseph E. The Fish and the Falcon: Gloucester's Resolute Role in America's Fight for Freedom, (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2006.)
Lewis, James A. Neptune's Militia: The Frigate South Carolina during the American Revolution, (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1999.)
Mann, Charles E. In the Heart of Cape Ann: or The Story of Dogtown, (Gloucester, MA: The Proctor Bros. Co., Publishers, 1896.)
Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983.)
n. a. (private user) "Isaac Dade (1765-1819) Genealogy", (www.geni.com, last modified - March 2, 2015.)
n. a. Pensioners of Revolutionary War Struck Off the Roll: With an Added Index of States, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969.)
Pension Application - "Pension Application of Isaac Dade W19149"
Several posts prior to this post, the writer of this blog stated that he was determined to also post information on the NCOs and enlisted men of the crew and marines of the frigate South Carolina. This post will address another of those enlisted ratings that peopled and manned the patriot frigate. This specific enlisted man or "mariner" is Isaac Dade and a type of comprehensive biography will be presented in this post. But, in gathering information on Isaac Dade, two completely separate biographies appeared for him and it is very difficult to distinguish which is the factual one. So, both of these biographies will be presented with the writer of this blog offering his own observations at the conclusion of this post. Yet, whichever biography might be true, the life of Isaac Dade, "mariner" on board the frigate South Carolina, was extraordinary and colorful, indeed.
According to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, section entitled "Appendix: Crew and Marines of the South Carolina", page 143, the following citation appears:
Name - Position -
Isaac Dade --------- (no "position" given)
This indicates that Isaac Dade's rating (or function) on board the frigate South Carolina has not been recorded or preserved for posterity. This could also indicate that he was employed as a "mariner" on board the patriot frigate instead of a position like "marine" or some other more skilled position.
What little information that comes down to us today concerning the early life of Isaac Dade is his date of birth, yet even here there is some degree of discrepancy. A single source, "n. a."'s article, "Isaac Dade (1765-1819) Genealogy", indicates that Isaac Dade was born on May 10, 1765. All the other sources that address his early life indicate that he was born on May 10, 1756. These are only two in number, as opposed to a single source, but include the "Pension Application of Isaac Dade W19149" and the entry for Isaac Dade as found in Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots, page 229. This transposition of the final two numbers of an individual's birth date was not at all uncommon in the 18th century. But, the events of the life of Isaac Dade would seem to tend towards the earlier birth date because this would place him on board the frigate South Carolina when he was twenty-six years old instead of seventeen years old. In his pension application, "Pension Application of Isaac Dade W19149", Isaac Dade states that "...being now of the age of seventy years...". All the sources agree that he died on February 4, 1819. If he was born in 1756, he would have died at the age of sixty-three but, if he had been born in 1765, he would have been fifty-four years old. It is much more understandable for an elderly individual to mistake their age for being seventy years old if they are in their sixties than in their fifties. Many of the events mentioned by Isaac Dade in his pension application would be much more plausible if he was born at the later date rather than at the earlier date.
The most significant service during the American Revolution, at least in the opinion of Isaac Dade, was his service in the Virginia Continentals. Isaac Dade mentions this service with the Virginia Continentals at length while he limits himself to a brief reference of service on board the frigate South Carolina. According to his own testimony in his pension application, Isaac Dade stated that:
"...in the month of January in the year of Our Lord Seventeen hundred & seventy seven I entered and was engaged in the land service of the United States on the continental establishment, and served accordingly from that time to the month of September in the same year (when having received a severe wound at the Battle of Brandywine [11 Sep(tember)] I was obliged to retire from the army on furlough untill I should recover from my wound) as a private against the common enemy, without any interruption or absence: that I belonged to the Company of Captain Gardner in the Regiment of Colonel [Henry] Lee of Virginia, untill I recovered from the wound I received as afores'd [aforesaid] which was about one year after the Battle...".
Isaac Dade concludes the first paragraph of his pension application with the statement that "...I left the land service on the expiration of s'd [said] term being honorably discharged to wit in or about the month of September A.D. 1778.". In the very next paragraph of his pension application, Isaac Dade states that he has "...no other evidence to offer than is here exhibited, my service being in the Virginia line of the army...".
Even his service in the Virginia Continentals was relatively brief, from January 1777 until his wounding in the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. The severity of this wound, sustained by a saber blow to the back of his neck, caused him to be out of service on furlough for exactly one year to September 1778 when he was discharged from the land services of the United States. His pension application makes no further reference to any subsequent military service, except brief reference to his service on board the frigate South Carolina.
Some of the other sources that refer to the land service of Isaac Dade state that he served in numerous significant land battles of the American Revolution. The "n. a.'s" article, "Isaac Dade (1765-1819) Genealogy" states that Isaac Dade served "...in many major battles..." and that "...he rowed across the Delaware River with George Washington...". Mann's work, The Story of Dogtown, pages 50-51, states that "...when he reached there [Virginia] he joined the Continental army, and was later in three memorable engagements. He was at Yorktown when Lord Cornwallis surrendered...". Another source, Bickernicks's article, "The Story of Dogtown Gloucester", pages 2-3, states that "...he fought in three battles and was critically wounded by a saber cut to the neck at the Battle of Yorktown. He survived to witness Cornwallis' surrender to Washington.". These are all events and occurrences of exactly the type that men would certainly mention in their pension applications in order to convince the reviewers of those applications that they indeed served during the American Revolution and thus deserve the pension offered by the country. But, Isaac Dade mentions none of these "many" or "three major" battles, the crossing of the Delaware River, or his wounding at Yorktown in his pension application. A few paragraphs above, he only refers to the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777 as the battle he participated in and at which he received the saber wound to his neck. If any of these other occurrences had happened to Isaac Dade, he would certainly have mentioned them in his pension application due to the increased likelihood of those making his application look more favorable in the eyes of the governmental investigators.
The full military experience of Isaac Dade during the American Revolution is only addressed in his entry in Moss's work, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, page 229, and his pension application, "Pension Application of Isaac Dade W19149". According to Moss's work, the military career of Isaac Dade is as follows:
"He served in Col. Lee's Virginia Regiment. Thereafter, he served six months aboard the frigate South Carolina."
(Note: The reference to "...Col. Lee's Virginia Regiment..." was a designation for a combined unit of infantry and cavalry that was usually referred to as "Lee's Legion". The commander of the unit, Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, was a distinguished patriot field commander during the American Revolution and the father of Robert E. Lee, future commander-in-chief of Confederate troops during the American Civil War. No reference to a "Captain Gardner" as being a company commander in the regiment of Colonel Henry Lee has been located in any resources.)
According to his pension application, Isaac Dade performed all the services mentioned in the excerpts from his pension application above as well as the following entry, which completes his military service. This final military service of Isaac Dade is as follows:
"I then entered the Continental frigate South Carolina commanded by captain Gillane [sic: Commodore Alexander Gillon] & served in the same for six months."
(Note: The writer of this blog finds it interesting that none of the three sources cited above which exaggerate the military experience of Isaac Dade even refer to Isaac Dade's known and factual service on board the frigate South Carolina. These sources all falsify his military service yet, fail to mention the sea service of Isaac Dade, which would have served to further enhance him in the eyes of whoever the false reports were supposed to impress.)
These two very brief references are all that is found in the sources concerning the life of Isaac Dade and his service on board of the frigate South Carolina. Yet, two issues can be discerned from the pension application statement of Isaac Dade as it concerns service on board the patriot frigate. First, according to the pension applications details concerning the wounding of Isaac Dade in the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, he would have been fully recovered after Commodore Alexander Gillon would have left for Europe in the attempt to secure ships-of-war for the state of South Carolina. Thus, Isaac Dade most certainly was not on board the frigate for her first, maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean towards the North American continent. His time on board the frigate South Carolina would be confined to the second brief voyage ending in the capture of the patriot frigate off the Capes of the Delaware on December 21, 1782. This leads directly to the second issue of the sea service of Isaac Dade. His time was most probably even shorter than the cruise itself. All that is said in the pension application of Isaac Dade is that he entered the frigate and spent six months on board. He makes no reference to the second brief cruise itself nor does he describe the imprisonment of the crew and marines of the frigate by the British captors on board the various prison "hulks" moored along the shores of Wallabout Bay, NY. Other pension applications of individuals who did experience these events referred to them in their pension applications, especially the deplorable conditions on board the prison "hulks" that claimed the lives of so many of their shipmates. Thus, there is the distinct possibility that Isaac Dade's "...six months..." expired prior to the departure of the frigate South Carolina from Philadelphia, PA harbor and that he left the service of the patriot frigate, thus missing the final cruise of the patriot frigate and her capture by the British. This might possibly be a reason for several of the other sources not mentioning the sea service of Isaac Dade due to his not having encountered combat "...against the common enemy..." while on board the patriot ship-of-war.
Isaac Dade composed his pension application much later in the course of his life. Indications do exist that he actually composed his pension application within a shortly prior to his decease. According to his application, he was obviously in an impoverished condition when he filed for a pension from the United States of America. Isaac Dade's concluding paragraph of his pension application is as follows:
"...by reason of my reduced circumstances in life and poverty, I stand in need of assistance from my country for support, being now of the age of seventy years I have no other evidence to offer than is here exhibited, my service being in the Virginia line of the army, & having been afflicted for fifteen years past with the palsy, it is out of my power to produce any evidence on my service, other than nature & circumstances of my case & the examination of my person may afford together with the Depositions of the Overseers of the poor of Gloucester which are hereunto annexed.".
The final phrase of the concluding paragraph of Isaac Dade's pension application refers to the "....the Depositions of the Overseers of the poor of Gloucester which are hereunto annexed.". Immediately below the text of Isaac Dade's pension application is a relatively brief paragraph written by "...the Overseer of the poor of Gloucester...", William Wetmore, and dated June 29, 1819. It reads as follows:
"June 29, 1819 I [William Wetmore] now further certify, that the said Dade, the declarant hath been afflicted in such a manner, & to so great a degree with the palsy, that his understanding, memory & speech, have been for some time nearly obliterated lost & gone but the wound in his neck, from the scar, vary apparent & must have been severe...".
The paragraph concludes with a plea of William Wetmore to "...the consideration of the Secretary [the Secretary of the State of Virginia] with the hope that they may be satisfactory no further evidence, being to be had or procured...". It would appear that William Wetmore is encouraging the Secretary of the State of Virginia to decide in favor of Isaac Dade, one of the "...poor of Gloucester...", to receive a pension from the state of Virginia in his old age and currently indigent condition. The writer of this blog finds it interesting and sad that the statement of William Wetmore is dated June 29, 1819. The sources that address the death of Isaac Dade all agree that he died on February 4, 1819, approximately four months prior to William Wetmore drafting his letter in support of the pension application of Isaac Dade. William Wetmore was more than likely drafting the affidavit in support of Isaac Dade's wife, Fanny Blundel Dade, receiving the pension of Isaac Dade as a widow of a veteran of the American Revolution. According to n.a.'s work, Pensioners of Revolutionary War Struck Off the Roll, page 35, Isaac Dade had been struck off the pension roll which meant that he was no longer receiving a federal pension for his military services during the American Revolution. There is no entry next to his name indicating that he was restored to the pension rolls. But, the fact that his pension application, "Pension Application of Isaac Dade W19149", is suffixed with the entry "W19149" demonstrates that his widow, Fanny Blundel Dade, did indeed succeed in petitioning the United States to extend the pension earned by Isaac Dade for his military service during the American Revolution to her. The "W" indicates that an individual identified as the widow of the veteran was the recipient of the pension. At the end of the "Pension Application of Isaac Dade W19149", there is a note attached that states that "...on August 3, 1838 Fanny Dade, 72, applied for a pension stating that she married Isaac Dade on December 22, 1787, and that he died February 4, 1819.". A short "family tree" genealogy is attached which begins with:
"Isaac Dade born May 10, 1756 at Boston
married December 22, 1787
Fanny Blundel born March 27, 1766 at Virginia"
This initial statement is followed by a list of the children born to their union beginning with 1788 and concluding 1802. There are seven of them overall - two girls named Nancy and Fanny and five sons named Isaac, William, Thomas, Rheuben, and Daniel. All of the children seem to have survived to adulthood except, Nancy, the oldest child of Isaac and Fanny Dade, who is described as "Nancy Hayes Dade born November 22, 1788 Died".
This brings the readership to the second biography of Isaac Dade - the one that is almost completely different from the story of the life of Isaac Dade that has just been related in this current post. This second biography differs radically from the first one already cited in this post and is found in Mann's work, In the Heart of Cape Ann: or The Story of Dogtown, pages 50-52. This work was published in 1896 by The Proctor Bros. Co., Publishers of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Thus, this is definitely local history and contains a great deal of local lore and legend. In this narrative, fact and fiction may only be discernible through the employment of corroboration of other texts with this source. This narrative is so radically different from that cited above that the writer of this blog feels it appropriate the cite it in full here. The narrative opens as the abandoned site of the community of Dogtown, MA is being described:
"Not far beyond the Foster cellar, on the same side of the road, is one which has been for years filled with rocks. It would be unwise to disturb them, for the cellar is the tomb of several horses, which have been shot as a matter of mercy, after having been turned out in the pasture to die. This is all, excepting the well, filled with rocks, nearby, that remains of the home of Capt. Issac Dade. He, too, has descendants both in Gloucester and Rockport.
Mrs. H. G. Wetherbee, his granddaughter, furnished me the following particulars of the life of Isaac Dade:
'Isaac Dade, while a school boy in or near London, England, was impressed on board an English man-of-war. During the Revolution his vessel was anchored off Gloucester, and it became his duty to row one of the officers ashore. While doing so he noticed a fishing vessel ready to sail. As soon as the officer was landed he lost no time getting aboard this vessel. She was bound to Virginia with a cargo of fish. When he reached there he joined the Continental army, and was later in three memorable engagements. He was at Yorktown when Lord Cornwallis surrendered. He was wounded in battle, receiving a sabre cut across the back of his neck, which crippled him for life.
'After the war he married a Southern lady by the name of Fanny Brundle. Her father's plantation adjoined that of the mother of Washington. She was on intimate terms with the Washingtons, one of memories being of horseback rides with Lawrence Washington. Two children were born to the Dades in Virginia. His health began to fail, and Isaac Dade remembered Gloucester, and went there hoping that the change of life would be beneficial -- intending to return to Virginia the following autumn. He did not, however, and spent the rest of his life here. He kept a fish market in Gloucester under great disadvantages, as the women preferred to get the fish from the boats as they came in. During his life he received no pension, but after his death one was paid to his widow.'
This story points to the visit of the Falcon, mentioned in connection with Peter Lurvey's bravery, as the probable time when Isaac Dade decided to make America his home. I have already indicated the probable site of his Dogtown domicile. The theory that he came in the Falcon is strengthened by the fact that in 1775 -- the very year of Capt. Linzee's attack -- two vessels were dispatched to Virginia for supplies, owing to the poverty of the people of Cape Ann.
It must have been a great deal of a change to his high-spirited wife to spend her married life in a region so barren, so lonely, as Dogtown; but love for her husband must have sweetened the bitterness, for she was never heard to complain.".
There are numerous aspects of this narrative that are indeed factual. Isaac Dade did indeed have descendants in Gloucester and Rockport. According to Cohen's article, "Find a Grave Memorial" entry for "Isaac Dade, Jr. (1792-1881)", the son of Isaac Dade, Isaac Dade, Jr., was buried in Locust Grove Cemetery in Gloucester, MA. His tombstone indicates that he was a member of the 2nd Regiment of Massachusetts Militia during the War of 1812. His birth date is given on the tombstone as February 25, 1792. This same date is corroborated in the pension application of Isaac Dade, "Pension Application of Isaac Dade W19149", page 2. One of the photos of the cemetery that is attached to the article seems to indicate that Locust Grove Cemetery is actually located in Rockport, MA rather than Gloucester, MA as stated in the article.
Other sources indicate that when Isaac Dade initially reached Virginia he did enlist in the Continental Army, as is cited above. The pension application of Isaac Dade states clearly that he did marry Fanny Blundel on December 22, 1787 which would indeed be "..after the war..." in that the war was officially concluded on September 3, 1783 due to the representatives of the United States signing the Treaty of Paris of 1783. But, the pension application of Isaac Dade as well as a few other sources cite her proper name as being "Fanny Blundel" whereas Mann's work, In the Heart of Cape Ann, page 51, cites her name as being "Fanny Brundle". This single source is the only one that cites her surname as such - Brundle instead of Blundel. Other sources do indicate that Isaac Dade's reason for removing from Virginia to Gloucester, MA was due to a decline in his health and he hoped that a change of environment might do him good. The closing comments of Isaac Dade's pension application do indeed indicate that it was his widow, Fanny Blundel Dade, who benefited from his pension instead of Isaac Dade himself. Isaac Dade's pension application is labelled "W19149". The initial "W" means it was issued to his widow rather than himself. If the pension application number had been preceded by a "S" this would indicate that it was issued to an actual survivor of the American Revolution. Also, sources indicate that his occupation after his arrival in Gloucester, MA was the running of a fish market.
(Note: These "other sources" could have been citing information presented in Mann's work, In the Heart of Cape Ann: or The Story of Dogtown which was composed much prior to the publications of these other sources. This work seems to be full of local legend and lore and may be more fictional rather than factual. Also, there appears to be no corroboration between this work and any other sources of which the writer of this blog is aware. This fact alone calls the information shared in this work into question and makes the entire source suspect. The information gleaned from Mann's work might be incorrect and thus inaccuracy is perpetuated by the same information being shared by later sources.)
Finally, the Mann work refers to the "...visit of the Falcon..." as the possible time period for the story of Isaac Dade to have occurred. According to this story, Isaac Dade was supposedly on board the HMS Falcon as an impressed sailor in the British Royal Navy. The HMS Falcon was a 14-gun sloop-of-war that was sent to Gloucester, MA harbor in early 1775. This is all proven to be factual in the historical record. According to Garland's work, The Fish and the Falcon, page 113, the HMS Falcon actually shelled the fishing port of Gloucester, MA in what became known as the Battle of Gloucester. But, the above referred to "...visit of the Falcon...", will be addressed in an end note at the conclusion of this post.
This specific source, Mann's work, In the Heart of Cape Ann: of The Story of Dogtown, is the sole source that states or implies that Isaac Dade was born in England. The first sentence of "...Mrs. H. G. Wetherbee, his granddaughter..." reminiscences states "Isaac Dade, while a school boy in or near London, England, was impressed on board an English man-of-war.". Again, the implication here is that Isaac Dade was a native of England. The fact that no other source corroborates this point makes this information highly suspect, even as glamorous it makes out the life of Isaac Dade to be. The only other source that cites any of this information in its text is n. a. (private user)'s www.geni.com posting of "Isaac Dade (1765-1819) - Genealogy" and seems to be rather confused in its references to Isaac Dade. At the beginning of the piece on Dade, it states that "...after serving aboard an English man-of-war during the Revolutionary War, Dade became impressed with the area and deserted the British Army.". This source indicates that even though he was on board a Royal Navy man-of-war as an impressed sailor, he deserted from the British Army instead of the Royal Navy. This short piece on Isaac Dade goes on to cite information not referenced in any other source, such as crossing the Delaware River with George Washington and being well acquainted with Washington's family. None of this is even referenced in Isaac Dade's pension application, which would have been advantageous for proving Isaac Dade's claims for a pension if these had actually happened as stated. Thus, this source, In the Heart of Cape Ann: or The Story of Dogtown, must be held as suspect, even though some specific pieces of the information is certainly corroborated by other sources.
The source goes on to state that Isaac Dade served "...in three memorable engagements..." and was at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Again, none of this is mentioned in the "Pension Application of Isaac Dade W19149" which is exactly where it should have been referenced. Isaac Dade only refers to the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777 and implies that this was the action where he received his wound to the neck that severely scarred him and impaired him for the remainder of his life. Isaac Dade would have referenced all of the actions in which he could remember having served in order to further support the claims of his pension. By the fact that he refers to no other actions or engagements seems to indicate that he did not actively serve again after his wounding.
Fanny Blundel Dade, the wife of Isaac Dade, was referred to in Mann's work, In the Heart of Cape Ann, as being "...on intimate terms with the Washingtons...". Again, nothing is said of this in the pension application filed by Isaac Dade. It would have proved very advantageous to Issac Dade's claim for a pension if he had stated this as fact and then been able to verify his claim with a supporting affidavit from an individual of note. This, too, serves to make the information introduced in Mann's work, In the Heart of Cape Ann: or The Story of Dogtown, very suspect in nature.
So, the life of Isaac Dade was quite full and interesting. More than likely, he was born in and grew up in Boston or Gloucester, MA. At some point and by an unknown or unrecorded set of circumstances during the American Revolution, he ended up in Virginia and enlisted in Lee's Legion of the Virginia Continental Line. He served for about nine months until he was severely wounded at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. Evidently, he never fully recovered from that wound and never served again in an official military capacity among the land forces. He did serve for an unspecified six months during 1782 on board the frigate South Carolina but, there is no evidence that he saw action on the second cruise of the patriot frigate. He possibly served out his time and was discharged before the frigate set sail from the harbor of Philadelphia, PA. After the cessation of hostilities with Great Britain, Isaac Dade married a woman from Virginia named Fanny Blundel. At some point afterwards, they removed to Gloucester, MA and settled permanently in the small community of Dogtown, which disappeared before the turn of the last century. The home they lived in is gone but, according to n. a. (private user)'s post, "Isaac Dade (1765-1819) Genealogy", is still "...known by its cellar hole, Cellar Hole 18.". Their descendants settled and remained for at least some time in the area of Gloucester and Rockport, MA as evidenced by the burial of Isaac Dade, Jr. in Locust Grove Cemetery in Gloucester/Rockport, MA. Most probably, their descendants are still there today. Even without the fantastic desertions from impressed conditions, the multiple "memorable" battles, friendships with the Washingtons, and dramatic permanent relocation late in life, the life of Isaac Dade was full as have been all the other lives addressed in the course of this post.
(In the Way of an End Note: The writer of this blog normally does not include foot notes, or in this case end notes, in this blog but, this is a situation in which the writer feels it would help in proving a point previously made. The information used in this end not is taken from the following source:
Garland, Joseph E. The Fish and the Falcon: Gloucester's Resolute Role in America's Fight for Freedom, (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2006.)
This source is minimally included in the bibliography cited at the beginning of this post. This is due to all the above cited sources being significantly utilized and cited in the post that precedes this end note. This source is cited here because no information is found in this specific source that actually refers directly to the incident related here. But, through the omission of any information related to this incident, this further strengthens the writer of this blog's argument that this incident is apocryphal and never occurred.
According to Mann's work, In the Heart of Cape Ann, referred to above, the author indicated that one passage "..points to the visit of the Falcon, mentioned in connection with Peter Lurvey's bravery, as the probable time when Isaac Dade decided to make America his home.". The passage goes on to state that "...the theory that he [Isaac Dade] came in the Falcon is strengthened by the fact that in 1775 -- the very year of Capt. Linzee's attack [on Gloucester, MA] -- two vessels were dispatched from Gloucester to Virginia for supplies, owing to the poverty of the people on Cape Ann.".
This is, of course, in reference to the apocryphal story of Isaac Dade being of English extraction and having been impressed into the British Royal Navy. While his ship was in Gloucester, MA harbor, he supposedly took an unexpected yet still excellent opportunity to desert from the Royal Navy to a convenient fishing vessel in the same harbor. He had been ordered to row an officer ashore and was returning to the man-of-war when he spied a fishing vessel about to set sail. He redirected his ship's boat to the fishing vessel, boarded it instead, and fled Gloucester, MA harbor before the authorities could realize what had occurred. This daring and bold move on the part of Isaac Dade obviously would have cost the British Royal Navy man-of-war not only an able seaman but, also a good ship's boat in the bargain.
According to Garland's work, The Fish and the Falcon, page 92, the HMS Falcon - Lieutenant John Linzee, commanding - is described as follows:
"[HMS] Falcon was designated a sloop, or sloop of war and sometimes a corvette; the term as used in the Royal Navy meant not a small vessel with a single spar, but a three-master, usually ship-rigged, as Falcon was, carrying one deck of guns. She had been built at the navy yards in Portsmouth, England, in 1762, ninety-five feet long overall, twenty-seven feet in beam, 302 tons burthern, and she drew thirteen feet of water. She carried twelve swivel half-pounders and fourteen six-pounder carriage guns that weighed a ton apiece.".
By any standards of the day, HMS Falcon was a small warship but, one capable of delivering firepower to recalcitrant rebels and of running down fleeing vessels carrying contraband of war on board. It is indeed fact that the HMS Falcon did arrive in Gloucester, MA harbor and intercept shipping vessels carrying goods intended for use by the rebels. She did indeed shell the town of Gloucester, MA on the morning of August 8, 1775. These are all known facts, along with many others as well. But, there also exist some glaring omissions in the record if one is to prove that Isaac Dade was an impressed seaman actually on board the sloop-of-war, as Mann's work, In the Heart of Cape Ann, asserts.
The first of these omissions is that these series of events are not even mentioned in the journals of the HMS Falcon which would have been kept by Capt. Linzee himself. A commanding officer of any vessel of the Royal Navy was duty bound to report any occurrences that effected the ability of the ship to operate and perform its duties in foreign waters. Capt. Linzee would have reported the desertion of a sailor but, most certainly would have reported the loss of one of the ship's boats. These incidents mean a loss of personnel and material useful to the operations of the HMS Falcon. Yet, neither of these two incidents are reported in Garland's work, The Fish and the Falcon. These would have constituted serious events and demanded a necessary report concerning the ability of the HMS Falcon to operate offensively in American waters as she strove to combat the rebellious spirit that was even then sweeping across the British colonies of North America. As such, it is most probable that neither of these events took place at all, neither the desertion of Isaac Dade nor the loss of the ship's boat.
The second of these serious omissions is the reference to the two vessels being dispatched to Virginia for supplies due to the poverty of the residents of Gloucester, MA and Cape Ann, in general. Again, this would have been an unusual circumstance that would have been recorded in journals, diaries, and local newspapers, especially since this was an act of patriotic support between "rebels" in support of each other and in defiance of the British Crown. Again, there is no reference to this event in Garland's work, The Fish and the Falcon. This event would have been broadcast as an act of unity and sacrifice on the part of one colony towards another one. Yet, again, it is most probable that this event never occurred at all.)