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American Revolutionary War Poem by Dan Goodhue

Updated on October 1, 2012

I was recently looking for some short poems for kids that involved the American Revolutionary War and came across a very curious site that discussed a Revolutionary War Poem.
An investigation was made about this poem that was found Oregon, dated 1780. It appears that it was written by an American prisoner who was is prison in England. His name was Dan Goodhue and as a teenager he was facing his fate of being in prison. While there he writes a poem about the war and his own situation. The question is: who was this guy, how did he end up in prison, and did he survive?

There was a poem that was found in an old antique trunk in Salem, Oregon and the poem reads like this:

Revolutionary War Poem
Revolutionary War Poem | Source

"Come all you bold Americans wherever you be. Come pity the downfall of poor Daniel Goodhue, whose pleasures are gone and quite flown away for in prison he is cast and therefore to stay. For those ruffians of Britain’s by thousands did come to slay the boys of Boston in the western land. Now
the people of America did assemble and agree to drive them from the land that is called liberty."

and it ends:

fini. Mill prison, march 3, 1780.

The investigation reveals that this man did exist in history. He came from Ipswich, Massachusetts, being born there in 1759. He enlisted into the Revolutionary war at the age of 15 in 1775. He ended up working as a sailor aboard a ship called the 'Fancy'. This was not a naval ship but rather one of many merchant ships that was hired by George Washington to attack incoming British ships and seize their cargo. General George Washington was limited when it came to ships and so he used whatever he had at his disposal.

The ship called 'Fancy' made a large contribution to the war by capturing 4 British ships until it was attacked by heavily armed British ships. The crew, after a long attempt at getting away, abandoned ship and swam for shore off the coast of England. British marines captured 56 men, including Daniel Goodhue and took them to Mill Prison in Plymouth, England in 1777.

He wrote his poem 3 years later in 1780. Historical records reveal that later he was married in 1788 back in Ipswich, Massachusetts, which means he survived prison and came back home. He became a captain of his own boat, had children and died in 1803.

I thought the story was so cool that I decided to do a hub about it. I love history and anything having to do with the American Revolution or America's Declaration of Independence I read all about it and absorb it. What a great story this account tells and what a unique short poem that will now stand forever telling a bit of the story of America's Liberty and those who had a part in it. Thank you, Daniel Goodhue!


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