Perhaps someone can help me with your interpretation of what is happening in the record below?
In Book 2, page 133 of the Records: Town of East-Hampton (1887), there is a deposition from September 25, 1665 that confounds me. There may be a more meaningful story here, if only I was able to more fully understand what is actually happening.
As best as I can grasp, Samuel Dayton and two other men are testifying that there was a debate involving the master of the ketch “Triall” and the merchant & freighters of the ketch. It appears to me that the vessel is already carrying some cargo and is about to be loaded with more freight but the merchant is hesitant to put his product on the vessel because he thinks it is not seaworthy. Am I correct?
The record says,
The Deposition of mr John Blackleech Mr John Osburne & Samuell Dayton Taken before me Testifieth as ffollowest That on the twenty third Day of this Instant Moneth there was a debate betwixt the Master of the Catch “Triall” Of Boston and the Merchant & ffraiters of the sd Catch she then Ridinge in the Roade of Easthampton at Ancor and she then not beinge very well fitted with masts sailes provisions and water whether she should goe to sea in the condition that then she was in or that she should land her goods at the port without Confiscation of goods or vessell [Book 2, page 132.] and in order there unto Answer was made by the Cunstable of the sd place by name Thomas Chatfield, that they might if they would willingly come a shore without being forced ashore she might as well come a shore at the sd place and Land her goods wth as much freedome as the whalemen might strike a whale, and bringe her ashore at the sd place and this to our best Remembrance he spoke at the prsent Instant., And afterwards we doe attest that on the twenty ffowerth of this prsent Moneth he did affirme the same in our hearinge whereupon this beinge an encoragement to the Merchant & ffraiters they under their hands gave the Master of the sd Catch an order to acte as they have Donne: Taken before me John Mulford.
What does the phrase “the said Ketch she then Riding in the Road of East Hampton at anchor” mean?
Does this mean that the vessel is docked at the port used by East Hampton, while its cargo is either coming or going on the road to East Hampton?
It appears that Justice John Mulford has sided with the East Hampton merchants and freighters, but why should the master be worried about confiscation of goods?
What is Samuel’s role in the exchange? Is he one of the “ffraiters?”
I appreciate your thoughts. -Steve