Skip to Content
Special Home > Exhibits > The Capture of Fort William & Mary > Report of John Cochran, Captain of Fort William & Mary, to Governor Wentworth

Report of John Cochran, Captain of Fort William & Mary, to Governor Wentworth

The report of Captain Cochran to Governor Wentworth referred to
above, dated the 14th Of December, 1774, reads:

May it please your Excellency:
     I received your Excellency's favour of yesterday, and in
obedience thereto kept a strict watch all night, and added two
men to my usual number, being all I could get. Nothing material
occurred till this day, one o'clock, when I was informed there
were a number of people coming to take possession of the Fort,
upon which, having only five effective men with me, I prepared to
make the best defence I could, and pointed some guns to those
places where I expected they would enter. About three o'clock,
the fort was beset on all sides by upwards of four hundred men.
I told them on their peril not to enter.  They replied they
would.  I immediately ordered three four pounders to be fired on
them, and then the small arms; and, before we could be ready to
fire again, we were stormed on all quarters, and they immediately
secured both me and my men, and kept us prisoners about one hour
and a half, during which time they broke open the powder-house,
and took all the powder away, except one barrel ; and having put
it into boats and sent it off, they released me from confinement.
To which I can only add, that I did all in my power to defend the
fort, but all my efforts could not avail against so great a
number.                  I am your Excellencv's, etc.,
(Signed)                        John Cochran.

From: American Archives, Vol. 1, p. 1042; Appendix to Belknap’s History of New Hampshire, Vol. III, p. 330; N.H. Provincial Papers, Vol. VII, p. 420.