Holograph narrative (69 pp.) by Ebenezer Erskine entitled "Continuation of Transactions since I left Scotland. Brought from No. A. No. B. Ebenezer Erskine, Ringwood." The narrative recounts his adventures on a British privateer bound for Florida: an aborted chase of two sloops at Ocracoke, North Carolina, and the capture of a French ship off of South Carolina. In Florida, Erskine describes a failed colonial offensive near St. John's River and present-day Jacksonville. Erskine describes his escape from New York to New Jersey via Staten Island, his reunion with his uncle, and an attack upon his uncle's estate by loyalist robbers. The narrative is accompanied by 4 ALS dated July 1780, written by Ebenezer Erskine from Ringwood, his uncle's estate, and his neighbor John Suffern, concerning a disagreement over a hired man.
Ebenezer Erskine was the nephew of Robert Erskine, surveyor-general of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He traveled from Scotland to British occupied New York City in early 1778, and became a crew member of a British privateer bound for East Florida. Off of South Carolina, the ship captured a French vessel. After a brief stop in Florida, Erskine joined another privateer bound for New York, then defected to the colonial side, escaping from New York to join his uncle in New Jersey, where he met George Washington. Erskine then took up residence at his uncle's estate, Ringwood, where in November 1778 the house was raided by Loyalists. Erskine was still at the estate in July, 1780, feuding with a neighbor.
Ebenezer Erskine Narrative and Letters. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.