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Americana Antique Relic Chair used by Captain George Little on board his ship cabin.

Chair used by Captain George Little on board the ship Boston in his cabin. Now in the Colket family collection.

Captain George Little (1754-1809) American Naval Officer and a Mayflower descendant* began his career at sea as a merchant marine. At the start of the American Revolution he joined the Massachusetts navy and in 1775 he was made a first lieutenant on the a 26-gun ship Protector launched out of Newburyport, Massachusetts. The Protector was commanded by Captain John Foster Williams. On May 5, 1781, British ships Roebuck, and Medea, captured the Protector, which had more than one hundred and thirty men on board. She was added to the Royal Navy as the Hussar. Little was taken prisoner and brought to England to Forton Prison which he escaped and sailed to France. 

There are two letters from the Benjamin Franklin Papers (see my cited sources). Franklin helped Little return to America in late August 1781. Soon after Little received a promotion and was made captain of the Massachusetts sloop Winthrop, built in Maine. The ship mounted 13 guns. Under his command the Winthrop captured two British privateers, an armed brig Meriam and a number of other vessels. The Winthrop "cruised on the Eastern Coast, and captured and sent into Boston "nearly the whole of the armed force they possessed at Penobscot;" He retrieved the naval honor of his state and acting under orders of Governor Hancock, Little and the "Winthrop" crew made the last cruise of the Massachusetts navy.


George Little was the son of Lemuel Little (1724 - 1798) and Penelope Eames (1732 - 1803). Penelope was d. of Jedediah Eames and Mary Oakman. He married Rachel Rogers daughter of Amos Rogers and Rachel Wales. Lemuel s. of John Little (1683 - 1767) and Constant Fobes (1686 - 1771) d, of William Fobes and Martha Pabodie d. of William Pabodie and Elizabeth Alden. John s. of Ephraim Little (1650 - 1717) and Mary Sturtevant (1651 - 1717) d. of Samuel Sturtevant and Ann Lee. Ephraim was the seventh child of Thomas Little and Ann Warren, daughter of Richard Warren and Elizabeth Walker of the Mayflower.

From Colket family collection genealogy collection.

USS Little DD 803 named in memory of Captain George Little

Blood On The Sea: American Destroyers Lost In World War II Robert Sinclair Parkin, Robert Parkin

Ships' Data, U.S. Naval Vessels United States. Navy Dept

Revolutionary War Almanac John C. Fredriksen

Franklin Papers: “From Benjamin Franklin to George Little et al., 28 August 1781,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified December 28, 2016

Franklin Papers “To Benjamin Franklin from George Little et al., 25 August 1781,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified December 28, 2016

Millions for Defense: The Subscription Warships of 1798 Frederick Leiner

Photo of Franklin from the digital collection of The American Philosophical Society

A History of American Privateers Edgar Stanton Maclay

Portrait of Edward Preble by Orlando S. LagmanAccession Number: 65-033-F US Navy Art Collection

Photo of Grave in Marshfield Cemetery from Find A Grave

Photo of the Protector from The Founders and Patriots of America

Washington's Wolfpack: The Navy Before There Was A Navy Edgar Stanton Maclay

The American Revolution, Including Also The Beauties of American History John Lauris Blake

American Ancestors and NEHGS

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