The Prince of Orange 1737

The Prince of Orange
Captain: Japher Bird
April 7, 1737

As our Arrival here, I thought all our Troubles of this Voyage was over; but on the contrary I might say that Dangers rest on the Borders of Security. On the 14th of March we found a great deal of Discontent among the Slaves, particularly the Men, which continued till the 16th about Five o’Clock in the Evening, when to our great Amazement above an hundred Men Slaves
jump’d over board, and it was with great Difficulty we sav’d so many as we did; out of the whole we lost 33 of as good Men slaves as we had on board, who would not endeavour to save themselves, but resolv’d to die, and sunk directly down. Many more of them were taken up almost drown’d, some of them died since, but not the Owners Loss, they being sold before any Discovery was made of the Injury the Salt Water had done them. The Reason I have learn’d since of this Misfortune was owing to one of their Countrymen, who came on board and in a joking manner told the Slaves that they were first to have their Eyes put out, and then to be eaten, with a great many other nonsensical falsities. I can’t be certain when we shall said from hence, there being a great Scarcity of Sugar, and the Slaves not all Sold; we are in hopes of selling 240; the Captain has lost two of his own Slaves. This Misfortune has disconcerted the Captain’s Design of proceeding to Virginia with part of them.

Extract of a Letter from on board Prince of Orange of Bristol, Capt. Japhet Bird. Boston Weekly
New Letter, Sept. 15, 1737