Peter Simon to the Continental Congress, referred to Wythe & Committee, 1 May 1776

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Peter Simon tells the Continental Congress about an incident that occurred in January where he and Israel Ambrose had their Sloop Sally taken near Cape Hatteras by George Sibles, commander of the Sloop General Gage.[1] James McKnight, mate of Captain Raddan, was told to proceed to Cape Fear with the Sloop Sally, but bad weather forced the sloop to run ashore. Simon accounts that McKnight broke open the sloop's crewmembers' desks and trunks and stole money and clothing from them. Simon asks for the Continental Congress to restore what was lost and prevent the robbing of ships in the future.

"Peter Simon to Congress, 1 May 1776, pg 1." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

Letter text

Page 1

To the Honourable Continental Congress

Now sitting, the Humble Petition of Peter Simon & Israel Ambrose sheweth . . . that on the 10th of January Last they Sailed from the Island of Saltatuda on board of the Sloop Sally Leaded with Salt, Molasses, Rum, Paper, [?] &c., Bound for North Carolina, on the 14th of February was taken near Cape Hattoras, by the Armd Sloop General Gage. George Sibble Commander; who for want of a prise master, put James McKnight (the mate of Capt. Raddan, who was taken the Day before) on board the aforesaid Sloop Sally as prise master, as the 3d McKnight had agreed to Enter in their Service . . . the Sloop General Gage took your Petitioners on board and ordered the McKnight to Proceed to Cape Fear with the Sloop Sally but that night a hard gale came on which drove the Sloop Sally to the Northward, after which the Sd. McKnight Ran the vessel on shore in order to convert her to his own use to accomplish which he has misrepresented every circumstance to the Honourable Congress to obtain this order to dispose of the Sloop & Cargo, Contrary to the ordered instructions given to the P.McKnight & the Committee of Burlington, the P. McKnight has broke open our Desks, Trunks, and Secreted one hundred half Johannes wareing Apparel amrs &c, also has not given any Acct. of one half the goods that was send out of the P. Sloop Sally to the Prejudice of your Petitioners three thousand Punds therefore we pray you may take it in your great wisdom to restore our Sufferings and prevent our being Robd. By Such imposters on our Country. And your Petitioners will every pray.

Peter Simon
Philadelphia 1 May 1776

Page 2

"Peter Simon to Congress, 1 May 1776, pg 2." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

Capt. Simon’s Petition
Read May 3 1776
Referred to Mr. McKean
Mr. Wythe
Mr. J. Adams


  1. The Papers of the Continental Congress 1774-1789, ed. John P. Butler (Smithsonian Inst Pr, 1978), M247, r56, i42, v7, p3.