Massachusetts Privateer Brigantine Eagle


Commander Elijah Luce

Armed Brig

10 March 1778-16 May 1778

Massachusetts Privateer Brigantine

Commissioned/First Date:

10 March 1778

Out of Service/Cause:

16 May 1778/captured by HMS Portland's tender


John Hinkley, Dimond Morton et al of Boston, Massachusetts




Date Reported: 10 March 1778

Number/Caliber  Weight        Broadside


Total: 8 cannon/

Broadside: 4 cannon/

Swivels: six

Date Reported: 16 May 1778

Number/Caliber  Weight        Broadside


Total: 8 cannon/

Broadside: 4 cannon/

Swivels: six


(1) 10 March 1778: 46 [total]
(2) 16 May 1778: 39 [total]



(1) First Lieutenant Josiah Arnold, 10 March 1778-16 may 1778





Massachusetts Privateer Brigantine Eagle was commissioned on 10 March 1778 under Commander Elijah Luce of Boston, Massachusetts. She was listed as having a battery of eight guns and six swivel guns and a crew of forty-five men. Her $5000 Continental and £4000 Massachusetts bonds were signed by Luce and by John Hinkley and Dimond Morton, both of Boston.1 Josiah Arnold served aboard as First Lieutenant.2

Eagle was captured by HMS Portland’s tender (Captain Thomas Dumaresq) in the West Indies on 16 May 1778. She was listed by Vice Admiral Young as a 60-ton brig, with eight guns and a crew of thirty-nine men at her capture. Admiral Young notes she was sailing out of Boston and was owned there. She had a cargo of provisions and war material and was sent in to Antigua, in the British West Indies.3 Luce was committed to Forton Prison at Gosport, England on 20 October 1778. He was pardoned for exchange on 11 December 1779.4

1 Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, 120

2 MASSRW, 1:301

3 Jamieson, Alan G., “American Privateers in the Leeward Islands, 1776-1778,” in The American Neptune, [volume unknown], reprinting a list of Admiral Young’s in ADM 1/310; “Admiralty Office, September 15, 1778.” [Young’s Prize List 9/15/78], in The London Gazette, Friday, September 12, to Monday, September 15, 1778; “Admiralty Office, August 22, 1778,” in The London Gazette, Tuesday, August 18 to Saturday, August 22, 1778

4 Claghorn, Naval Officers of the American Revolution, 190

Posted 21 September 2014 ©