DescriptionRevolutionary War: Massachusetts Bay War Board Order to Appraise a Privateer Brig, Signed by John Avery. One page, approximately 7.5" x 9.5", n.p., December 13, 1776. Signed by Deputy Secretary John Avery, this handsome order is directed to the "Agents for the Middle district... under whose care the Brig Charming Sally now is, he and they are hereby directed to deliver the said Brig, with her appurtenances to the Board of War. After she shall be apprised by Indifferent Men, and that the said Agents cause the Cargo on Board said Brig to be landed and Stored in some Safe & Convenient place or places - And it is further Resolved that if on the Tryal [sic] of the Justice of the Capture of s'd Brig, she should not be Condemned the Claimant or Claimants of said Brig on supporting said Claim shall Receive s'd Brig or be Entitled to, or Receive out of the Treasury of their State the Sum at which said Brig shall be apprized [sic] as afore directed." Rhode Island Privateer Sloop Charming Sally was commissioned in 1776 under Commander Francis Brown of New Haven, Connecticut. She ran 116 tons with a crew of fifty men and was armed with six four-pounders and captured several British ships before finally being taken by the HMS Nonsuch.
Avery served as Deputy Secretary of the Province of Massachusetts Bay under Samuel Adams. Avery later defeated Adams to be named the first Secretary of the Massachusetts Commonwealth, serving from 1780 to 1806. Document bears chips at two corners. Moderately but evenly toned with a large, bold signature by Avery.
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