Jersey Prison Ship
JERSEY PRISON SHIP
JERSEY PRISON SHIP, a dismantled sixty-four-gun British man-of-war moored in Wallabout Bay, in the New York harbor, during the American Revolution. It confined American naval prisoners taken by the British. Although it was only one of several prison ships in the harbor, it became notorious for the ill treatment of prisoners. They received inadequate, often spoiled, and poorly cooked rations. Although the ship housed as many as twelve hundred captives at one time, all prisoners, whether able-bodied or sick and dying, spent each night below deck, where the heat, vermin, and stench were intolerable. Dysentery, smallpox, and yellow fever were prevalent, and the death rate was appalling.
Bowman, Larry G. Captive Americans: Prisoners during the American Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1976.
See alsoAtrocities in War ; Prison Ships .