Click the images below for bigger versions:
Manuscript Ballad “Bold Dighton” “Being the Account of an action fought of Gouadalope in 1805 where ninety five Americans and near three hundred Britons made their escape from the prison at that place”

small folio, 4 pages, portion of sheet clipped at bottom not affecting text, some scattered staining, foxing, and toning to paper, else legibly inscribed in ink, very good.

$ 300.00 | Contact Us >

    Manuscript ballad, entitled: Bold Dighton, with text of lyrics nearly – but not exactly – identical to the printed song sheet held by the Library of Congress, undated but probably printed by Deming in Boston circa 1829-1831. Bold Dighton begins: “Come all ye bold seamen who plough the rough main Give ear to my ditty the truth I will  explain Tis of our misfortune in time of great war And how we escapt from the French at Bassatere…” And it goes on to relate the battle between the French forces and the American and British prisoners, their escape from Guadeloupe and eventual freedom. The text of the manuscript offered here, also differs, more significantly, from the lyrics that appear in a 1919 Princeton scholarly study, The Quest of the Ballad.

          This manuscript copy is undated but its paper, ink and handwriting clearly suggest it was executed in the period of 1805-1830. Bold Dighton became a popular sea chanty of American sailors.