Monday, April 2, 2012

SOS Message In A Bottle

John Banks, a sailor impressed by the British, sent a rescue message via a bottle.  After it was found, the message was published.  Hopefully, help was on the way!

Philadelphia June 27 - Extract of a letter from Bridgehampton, dated the 21st of June.  "A letter was found in a junk bottle on the Atlantic shore at Chatham, last Tuesday directed at the Collector in NYork.  The writer subscribes his name John Banks, if I mistake not; says he belongs at Hampton, Virginia, that he was impressed on board the Ramillies, as near as I can recollect, between 5 and 6 years ago; has an uncle and a brother in Hampton; and wishes the Collector to inform his friends that they may take measures to liberate him.  The letter was dated in April last."

July 12, 1813 - The enclosed paper will make you acquainted how the information was obtained of John Banks being on board the Ramillies, the person whose release I solicited you a few days to obtain ...I remain very respectfully your obedient servant.  Tho Newton   John Mason, Esq, C. S. P. War of 1812 Papers, 1789-1815 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: ‘War of 1812 Papers’ of the Department of State, 1789-1815; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M588, 7 rolls); General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59; National Archives, Washington. D.C.

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