Yesterday the CONTINENTAL CONGRESS declared the UNITED COLONIES FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES.Last year the Deseret News called this “America’s 238-year-old tweet.” We might also think of it as a leak since the Congress was still working on its Declaration. The only tweet out of Carpenters’ Hall should have been “#amwriting”.
After that scoop, the Gazette immediately turned to more ominous shipping news:
Yesterday Captain [William] Meston, late of the snow Dickenson, of this port, arrived here from Bristol, but last from the West-Indies.—He sailed from this place last February, bound for Nantz, but the Mate, assisted by the crew, seized and confined the Captain on the coast of Portugal, and then altered their course for London.The Congress had commissioned Meston to carry flour to France and trade it for gunpowder, weapons, and cloth. Needless to say, he couldn’t carry out that mission. So this wasn’t an auspicious start for the free and independent states.
The southerly winds driving them into Bristol Channel, they arrived at Bristol, the 8th of April, when the mate proposed to set off immediately for London, with all the letters and papers on board, for the inspection of Government. The vessel was detained at Bristol, till the determination of Government concerning her should be known.