On this day in 1776, a Monday, Landon Carter, on hearing that five of his runaway slaves were in a Middlesex County jail, entered the following into his diary:
Last night John Beale came up. I intend to agree with him, if I can, to take Norris’ plantation under his care. He says that two French, who deserted from Dunmore’s camp on [Gwynn’s] Island after our people had drove them off, declared we killed abundance of their men; and that no negroes were kept by Dunmore but were fine active fellows, but were all sent away to some of the West India Islands, and out of the strong and active scarce one in ten escaped death by distempers or ill usage except when a man was wanted in his vessels. These men, who are said to be great engineers and sensible, further told the officers of our camp our batteries had destroyed and injured abundance of their vessels both big and small, and others were taken.