Archive for March 14th, 2011

Maritime Monday: News from India 1796

March 14th, 2011

Columbian Museum & Savannah Advertiser, Savannah, Georgia, 7 June 1796. [original spelling preserved]

Salem [Massachusetts], May 10
By Captain Jacob Crowninshield, lately arrived at the port, from Calcutta, we are informed, that in December last, he saw there Mr. David Woodward, formerly mate of the ship America of Boston, Capt. Hubbuard who about two years since, sailed from Batavia for Manilla. In passing thro the streights of Macasser, Mr. Woodward, with six men, went in the long boar on board a country ship, to get some provisions–in returning they were separated from their ship by a squall, and given over as lost. They were captured by the Malays, and kept in a most cruel slavery for more than a year, being constantly at hard labour in cleaning rice, and th[e] natives often times whipping them for sport. They at last made their escape in a prow, to a Dutch settlement at Massacer, from whence they took passage to Batavia. Mr. Woodward now commands a county ship in Bengal and his friends may rest assured [he] is in good health and happy prospects. The boats crew (except for one man who was killed by the natives, are now dispersed in different European settlements in India–Their names are William Giddings of Salem, John Cole, Archibald Melish, and two others, whose names cannot be recalled, all Americans.

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