Jacob French, "Berkley committee petition"
This document and the one following (MSN/COL 2717-88) pertain to a case involving several residents of Freetown, Massachusetts, whose activities appear to have aroused the suspicions of the Freetown and Berkley committees of inspection. This first document, dated 18 April 1777 and written by Jacob French, Berkley committee chairman, is a petition addressed to Elijah Dean, jailer for Bristol County. French reports that the committee has examined Simeon and Ezra Chase, both of Berkley, along with George Chase, Job Paine (Pain), and "three negroes," on suspicion that they were attempting to cross into Rhode Island with Levi Chase, who had "Lately Come of said Island in order to Recrute." French petitions Dean to take the men implicated into custody pending trial.