Front Matter A Name to be Proud of Ready for Sea The King's Gift Why I am an Adventurer The Signal for Departure A Lad's Portion The Allotment of Land An Unexpected Delay Our Arrival at Cowes We Put to Sea The Dove Disappears A Second Tempest An Unseemly Christmas The Port of Barbadoes The Arrival of the Dove Under Sail Again The Land of America The Land Given by the King Fear of the Brown Men Where to Build the City Taking the Island A Voyage of Discovery Visiting the Indians An Unexpected Meeting Captain Fleet's Story An Indian Werowance Indian vs. English Claims Seeking a Place for the City The Bargain The Village of Yaocomico What the Indians Look Like Indian Weapons and Tools Landing the Goods Counting Our Blessings The Susquehanoughs A Land of Abundance Buying Cattle Storehouse and Fort A Visitor from Virginia A Talk with the Indians Running up the Colors Settling Down Master William Claiborne Lord Baltimore's Claims Stirring up the Indians Winning Back the Indians Busy Times Indian Women as Servants Making a Canoe A Boat of Bark Indian Money A Generous Harvest Trouble at Plymouth Strange Religious Service The Dance Begins An Odd Ceremony William Claiborne's War Settlement on Kent Island We Prepare for War The Army leaves St. Mary's In Command of the Guard A Flag of Truce Captain Fleet Repents The First Prize of War A Battle is Fought The Return of the Fleet William Claiborne's Flight The City of Saint Mary's A Cruel Murder Mystery Remains Unsolved Master George Evelin A Fatal Accident Preparing for Action Ready for a Man's Duty I Wear the Uniform My New Name On Board the Pinnance Indians in War Paint The Arrival at Kent Island The Capture of the Fort Butler and Smith Captives Back to Claiborne's Fort I am Assigned New Duties A Narrow Escape Words of Praise

Calvert of Maryland - James Otis

The First Prize of War

The first step against William Claiborne was taken, singularly enough, by Captain Fleet himself, who, having left our harbor, sailed directly to the Patuxent River, and it seemed certain he had some information which guided him to that point, for there he found one of Claiborne's traders in the pinnace Longtail. Thomas Smith was in command of the vessel, and must have been somewhat surprised when Captain Fleet, coming alongside, demanded to know by what right he was there making ready for trade.

Smith claimed, as did his master, that he had license from the Virginia Company, as well as from the king himself; but Captain Fleet would not listen, and, with great show of severity, forced all the crew of the trading pinnace to go on shore, refusing to allow them a single weapon with which they might defend themselves against the Indians or wild beasts.

[Illustration] from Calvert of Maryland by James Otis

He kept the trader Smith with him, however, and, taking the vessel in tow, made sail for St. Mary's, arriving at our town the next morning after having had the meeting with Governor Calvert.

This was the first prize of the war, and many of our people in St. Mary's gave themselves over to rejoicing because of what had been done.

It appears, as I afterward heard, that the trader Smith insisted that a boat should be sent into the Patuxent River to find his men, and, this done, that they and he be sent to Kent Island.

To such request, however, Governor Calvert turned a deaf ear; but offered to send them either to Virginia or to England, whichever pleased them, providing they went as prisoners who had offended against the laws of the king as well as of our Province of Maryland.

The pinnace Longtail  was anchored close under the guns of the fort, where she might be held as a prize of war, and there were many among us who believed that this would so dishearten the people of Kent Island as to put an end to their trading with the brown men contrary to the commands of Governor Calvert.