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lose not sight of the King and the Army, by looking at the Prime Minister, Parliament, and Commissioners. One bold stroke will effectually defeat the machinations of the lattery, and then the former will stand alone and unsupported; and a second vigorous exertion will crush their evil designs against your liberties. Remember, these Commissioners are the wooden horse which is to take those by stratagem whom twelve years’ hostility could not reduce. Act, then, like Laocoon; strike the dagger into his breast, and never permit your credulity or inactivity to give the perjured Sinon an opportunity of making a worn-out, deluded, or corrupted Whig the altar on which to offer up your dear-bought privileges.


P. S. I shall be told this would be treating the Commissioners too cavalierly. To this I answer, Men coming on such an errand, cannot be treated too much so. Let any one show the least mark of a design in Administration to relinquish their claims, and I will treat them with the utmost ceremony and respect. I will publish an ancient testimony in their own favour, if it can be but considered as doing them honour. For though I trust I shall never prostitute a pure and holy religion to pay my court to men, though they be Kings, yet I will do any right thing for those who come on so good an errand.


Philadelphia, March 2, 1776.

SIR: The Congress, from a sense of your merit and zeal in the American cause, have been induced to appoint you a Brigadier-General in the Continental Army. I do myself the honour of enclosing your commission; and shall only add, that I have it in charge from Congress to direct that you repair as soon as possible to South-Carolina, there to take the command of the Continental Troops till further orders.

I am, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

John Armstrong, Esq., Brigadier-General.

N. B. A letter of the same form was, at the same time, sent to General Thompson, directing him to repair to New-York to join the Continental Troops, under the command of General Lee.


Philadelphia, March 2, 1776.

SIR: Your favour of this day, covering the commission of a Brigadier-General of that venerable body where you preside, does me great honour. The importance of the station in which they are pleased to place me, as well as the trust and confidence implied in the appointment, fills me with concern. Conscious as I am of my small degree of military knowledge, and sensible, very sensible, of the decline of nature, I had no right to expect an appointment of this sort, and beg leave to assure the Congress that I accept the commission from a sense of duty to this much-injured country, and shall, by divine aid, endeavour to execute it to the best of my ability. Permit me, sir, to request you may please, to return my grateful thanks to that august body for this mark of their confidence, and to assure them of my readiness to comply with their future commands to the utmost of my power.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock.


Philadelphia, March 2, 1776.

SIR: I arrived here the 28th ultimo. The roads were 150 extremely bad it was impossible for me to get here sooner. The papers which Captain Long gave me, sealed up and directed to the President, I delivered on my arrival. They were yesterday read in Congress, and referred to a Committee.

My Colleague talks of leaving me in about a fortnight; by that time I hope I shall be able to forward the determination of Congress on the petition for a battalion. If your Delegates could have been furnished with an estimate of the Colonial expenses they might have improved them to advantage. But you may be assured we shall do the best we can without them. But I beg the account may be sent forward as soon as possible, or, if the accounts cannot be got ready, let me be furnished with an estimate both of the Continental and Provincial charges.

I was much surprised to find there was no instructions among the papers given me by Captain Long; not a word about purchasing the flour which was so much talked of, when I was last with the Committee. If anything of that sort is to be done, I should be glad to be advised of it as soon as possible, for no doubt the risk increases with the advancement of the season. The Congress have appointed six more Brigadier-Generals, four for the Southern, and two for the Middle Department. It is probable General Lee will have the command of the Southern Army. I have nothing new that I can communicate; when I have you may be assured I shall be very particular, and I hope I shall hear from you often. All the Delegates, except from New-Hampshire, are furnished weekly with all the transactions of their respective Colonies, and really wish to be on a footing with them in that respect. I shall write to you again shortly. In the mean time give me leave to assure you that I am, with great respect, your most obedient and faithful servant,


To the Honourable Colonel Weare.


Philadelphia, March 2, 1776.

SIR: Yours of the 8th ultimo, per Colonel Whipple, I received the 28th, and am glad to be informed of the spirited behaviour of our Colony in raising a regiment for Canada without waiting for the order of Congress.

The several matters relative to our Colony affairs are, according to order, laid before Congress. As soon as a determination is had, I hope to be the bearer of them myself to you.

I am very sorry for the unhappy difficulties in our Colonies, at a time when we have nothing to expect from our inveterate enemies but war and bloodshed, notwithstanding their hypocritical pretences of treating and reconciliation to amuse us. I pray God we may not be taken in the snare.

I am your most obedient servant,


To the Honourable Meshech Weare, Esq.

P. S. I should have wrote more largely but the post this minute is setting off.

J. B.


An affair has lately been discovered here which has given no small uneasiness to the Congress. Some manœuvres of Governour Tryon convinced that Assembly that he was perfectly acquainted with their proceedings, and they were at a loss to guess from what quarter he could get his intelligence. At length a doubt arose in the breast of Mr. Duane (a principal Member of the Congress) that his valet, who had formerly lived with Governour Tryon, had, at night, when he went to bed, taken his minutes out of his pocket, which he had copied, and sent to his late master. He informed the Congress of his suspicion, and it was agreed that he should put, as usual, some minutes in his pocket, but they should be fictitious ones, in order, if possible, to ascertain his servant’s dishonesty before he was apprehended. This was accordingly done; the servant, as it is supposed, copied and sent them to the Governour, who soon found that the servant either had imposed on him, or was himself imposed on, and therefore gave him notice to take care of himself: he fled immediately on this to Governour Tryon, who sent him over to England in the last ship that sailed from hence.*

*PHILADELPHIA, January 9th. —At breakfast I was visited by Paul Fooks’s housekeeper, who informed that their boy, Neal, had heard his sister Rosanna Thompson, who lived at Richard Bache’s, say that James Brattle, servant-man to James Duane, one of the New-York Delegates, was employed by Governour Tryon to collect and send him all the news he could find, on board the Asia, for which he should be

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