Shadow of Philadelphia
6th April 1813 by HMS Helicon and Reindeer
By John Arthur Esq.
Mayor of the Borough of Plymouth in the
County of Devon .
These are to certify unto all whom it may concern.
That there came and personally appeared before me the said Mayor Cornelius Height late commander, Caldwell Tweed [Listed amongst prisoners at Plymouth] late first officer and John Bettyman Price [probably the John Price listed as prisoner at Plymouth] late second officer onboard and belonging to the American schooner letter of marque Shadow who did all of them make oath on the Holy Evangelists.
That the said schooner letter of marque was taken and seized in Latitude about 9.30 West from the meridian of Greenwich a little before midnight of the sixth day of April last by His Britannic Majesty’s sloops of war Helicon, Harry Hopkins Esq. Commander and Reindeer, William Manners Esq., Commander.
And that the said schooner letter of marque and them the said deponents had since been brought into the port of Plymouth aforesaid being the first and only port they had been brought into since the said capture.
And further that they the said deponents were the three chief officers or persons onboard of and belonging to the said schooner letter of marque at the time of her being so taken.
And lastly that there were actually onboard of and belonging to the said schooner letter of marque at the time of her being captured as aforesaid eighteen men including the said deponents…
Niles Weekly Register Vol. 3 No. 1
Page 29 & 30.
Extract from the Log-book of the privateer schooner Shadow, of Philadelphia.
On the 3rd August , at half-past meridian, discovered a sail, called all hands to quarters and made all necessary sail in chase.
At half-past 5p.m. came up with the chase and perceived she was a British man of war, in the square sail and stay-sail, and hauled by the wind; at the same time she tacked for us, commencing a brisk fire.
At 8p.m. lost sight of her.
On the 4 th August, at half-past meridian, saw a sail to eastward standing westward, made all necessary sail in chase. –
At half-past 5p.m. carried away the square-sail boom – cut the wreck adrift, rigged out the lower steering sail boom, and set the square-sail – again coming up with the chased.
At 6p.m. being within gun-shot, she commenced a firing from her stern guns.
At 7p.m. came up with her, and commenced an action- half-past 7, the ship hoisted a light in her mizzen rigging, which was answered by a light from us, at the same time hailed her.
She hailed from Liverpool; when Captain Taylor [of the Shadow] ordered him to send his boat onboard with his papers, which in part complied with, by sending his boat with an officer and two men, whom we detained, and issued orders to man the boat with our crew, board the ship and demand his papers; which orders were delivered by Mr. Thomas Yorke, who received for answer, that such orders should not be complied with, at the same time handing him a note addressed to Captain Taylor, purporting that his ship was a British letter of marque, called the May from Liverpool, bound to St.Lucia, commanded by Captain [William] Affleck mounting 14 guns [18 pounders] and 50 men, [ the May was 300 tons, carried a letter of marque against France from which the extra information comes]
-he also stated that the Orders in Council had been rescinded, and a change of ministry taken place in England; which note was handed Captain Taylor – when the boat was again sent on board, with a note from Captain Taylor, demanding his papers- which were refused.
At half-past 8o’clock, a brisk fire commenced on both sides; during which time, William Craft, sail-maker, was wounded.
At 10p.m. dropped a-stern, with intention of lying by all night within gun-shot; at several intervals kept up a brisk fire; weather squally and dark.
At day-light, ranged under her stern and commenced a sever action, when we received a shot in our starboard bow, which shattered the wooden ends, started the plank shear and broke several timbers –
At half-past 7a.m. another in our larboard bow, struck the larboard after gun carriage, killed Daniel Coleman, James Mahaffy, William Sharp, John North, George Cantler, Shepherd Bulsford, and wounded Timothy Cale, Francis martin, William Pomroy.-
At half-past 8a.m. our commander received a ball in his left temple, which instantly terminated his existence, to the inexpressible regret of all hands-
About the same time a shot struck under the larboard fore chains between wind and water, which caused the vessel to make much water, having found three feet of water in the hold on sounding.
[Ed. The Shadow has arrived at Philadelphia, been refitted and is at sea again]
After the refit she went out under command of Cornelius Height see the bond pictured opposite.
Niles Weekly Register Vol. 3 No. 4
The privateer Shadow of Philadelphia, has been lost. All her crew perished. Particulars are not known, but it is supposed she run under while chased by a British vessel of war.
Niles Weekly Register Vol. 3 No. 6
The privateer Shadow, said to have been lost, was spoken a short time since, all well.