Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Samuel Bliss - Run Runner

Samuel Bliss was ordered to pay a fine of 20 shillings
to the New London County Treasury. It was March 26 1718 and he was found guilty of selling "strong drink" to the Indians. He was not alone as he stood before the Justice of the Peace. He was accompanied by a host of citizens, men and women all standing for the same crime. 

I would like to proclaim his innocence, I mean he was my Great Grandfather 7 generations ago (1657 - 1729). We are family, but to be honest he was probably guilty. 

You see Samuel owned a Brigantine named Success. Brigantines were built in the colonies in North America in the early 1700s. Smaller than a brig but larger than a sloop, they were swift and easy to maneuver thus making them the  favored ships among pirates. They were often employed as landing vessels for larger fleets of ship because of their maneuverability. 

                      Brigantine 'Centaur' by Joseph Heard (1799–1859)

What has his ship the Success have to do with selling "strong drink?"  She sailed regularly to Barbados, and what was a popular product that came out of Barbados? Associated with piracy? Rum.  

Grandfather Bliss was in partnership with a "wine" merchant in Boston. They imported rum and exported leather, skins, pottery and pork. 

Apeanuchsuck, the Indian in question must have been having a big time because he was arrested first and at his trial ratted out Grandfather Bliss and the others. The original charge says "strong drink" and Apeanuchsuck is to pay 10 shillings or receive 10 lashes on his naked body. In the end Apeanuchsuck pays the 10 shillings and walks away having been served only 2 pots of cider.  

My question is who actually paid the 10 shillings and how did 2 pots of cider change from "strong drink".  

Samuel Bliss trouble making Run Runner.... my people!