An act for restraining and punishing of Pirates and Privateers
"Be it therefore enacted by the Governour, Councell and Burgesses of this present Generall Assembly, and the authority thereof, and it is hereby enacted
, That if any pirates, privateers or sea robers, or any other persons suspected to be such shall land and put on shoar in any port or place in this his majestyes collony and dominion upon notice given or knowledge thereof, all officers civill and military are hereby required and impowered to raise and levy such a number of well armed men as he or they shall judge necessary for the seizing, apprehending and carrying to gaol of any and every such person or persons, and in case of any resistance or refusall to yield obedience to his majestyes authority it shall be lawfull to kill or destroy such person or persons and all and every person or persons that shall oppose or resist the said authority by strikeing or fireing upon any person in execution of this act, shall be deemed taken and adjudged as fellons without benefitt of clergy, and every such officer that shall omitt or neglect his duty therein and being lawfully convicted shall for every such offence forfeit fifty pounds sterling, one moyety to our sovereigne lord the king, his heirs and successors for and towards the better support of the government and the contingent charges thereof, and the other moyety to him that shall sue or informe for the same in any court of record in this his majestyes collony and dominion, in which no essoigne protection or wager of law shall be allowed. And for the better and more speedy execution of justice upon such who haveing committed treasons, piricyes, felloneyes or other offences upon the sea, and shall be apprehended or brought prisoners to this his majestyes collony and dominion."
And for Tomahawk:
"We are building the row-galleys, which are in considerable forwardness ; and have purchased three sloops for cruisers, two of them being only from forty to fifty tons burden, are to mount eight carriage-guns each, three and four pounders ; they are not yet fitted up, and we are exceedingly puzzled to get cannon for them. The other, the American Congress is a fine stout vessel, of about one hundred and ten tons burden, and has such an easy draft of water as will enable her to run into most of the creeks, or small harbors, if she meets with a vessel of superior force. She mounts fourteen carriage-guns, six and four-pounders, though we have thoughts of mounting two nine-pounders upon her main beam, if we find her able, as we think she is, to bear them ; her guns are mounted and to be tried to-morrow. We have twenty barrels of powder, and about a ton of shot ready—more is making ; swivels we have not yet been able to procure, but she may make a tolerable ship without, until they can be furnished. We have got some small-arms, and are taking every method to increase them, and hope to be fully supplied in about a week more. Her company of marines is raised and have been for some time exercised to the use of the great guns. Her complement of marines and seamen is to be ninety-six men. We are exerting ourselves to the utmost and hope to have her on her station in less than a fortnight, and that the other vessels will quickly follow her, and be able to protect the inhabitants of this river from the piratical attempts of all the enemy's cutters, tenders, and small craft."