David Hawley of Stratford, Commander. Bonded for $20.000. 1 gun and 10 men each, and commissioned March 16, 1781, by Gov. Trumbull. His “Instructions” are also of the same date. Captain Hawley was prominent in naval service during the entire conflict. He was taken prisoner several times, and after being taken with the State sloop “Schuyler” in 1777, he was again exchanged, and continued his service as a privateersman in Long Island Sound, in command of the “Guilford”, until she fell prey to the British in New Haven harbor in July 1779, when he escaped capture and fitted out a flotilla of armed boats by warrant authority, before being commissioned as above.
In November, 1779, he commanded a voluntary force of 20 men from Stratford and vicinity, crossed the Sound and brought back from Long Island, Thomas Jones, Esq, of Suffolk County, one of the Judges of the Ministerial Supreme Court of the Crown, and delivered him up as a hostage.
The next spring (April 20, 1780) he went from Fairfield with 3 armed boats under his command to Blue Point, L.I. and captured 11 sail of British and Tory vessels, all of which he either destroyed or ransomed, except four which he brought back to Fairfield and libeled. One of the latter was richly laden with West India goods. On April 6, 1780, in company with Capt. Ebenezer Jones he took a Tory sloop, commanded by Jared Bell, and again, Oct 15, 1780, partook in the capture of the sloop “Dorset”. Under his last commission he was especially active in the Sound and performed important naval service in the prevention of illicit trade, seizing and libeling many boats and cargoes in the Fairfield Court.
During his several exploits, first and last Captain Hawley is credited with the capture of over 20 sail of enemy craft during the Revolutionary War.
“History of Maritime Connecticut During the American Revolution 1775 – 1783”, Louis F. Middlebrook, The Essex Institute, Salem, Mass, 1925