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from St. Thomas, bound to the Mississippi, belonging to the subjects of his Danish Majesty, was obliged to put into this port in a leaky condition, and praying leave to sell his cargo, to enable him to repair his said vessel: and whereas it is the intention of the United Colonies of North America that all good offices should be done to the subjects of foreign States, I do, by virtue of the authority in me vested by the Delegates of the said United Colonies in Congress assembled, give leave, and empower him, the said Joseph Hinson, to sell all the said cargo, in order to defray his expenses in this port.

Given under my hand, at the Fort of Nassau, March 7, 1776.

ESECK HOPKINS, Commander-in-Chief.

SIR: You are hereby directed, upon receipt of this, to deliver to Captain Hinson all the goods in the. King’s Stores which belong to him, or his owners, and for so doing this shall be your sufficient authority.

Given under my hand at Fort Nassau, March 7, 1776.

ESECK HOPKINS, Commander-in-Chief.

To Mr. Gardner, Keeper of the King’s Stores.


SIR: You are to keep company with the ship I am in, if possible; but, should you separate by accident, you are then to make the best of your way to Block-Island Channel, and there to cruize in thirty fathom water (south from Block-Island) six days, in order to join the Fleet.

If they do not join you in that time, you may cruize in such places as you think will most annoy the enemy, or go into port, as you think fit; and acquaint me by the first opportunity, so that you may receive further orders.

ESECK HOPKINS, Commander-in-Chief.

Ship Alfred, March 18, 1776


As the following Resolutions will, I am persuaded, give you the greatest satisfaction I have sent you a copy of them, that, rather than our enemies should possess our merchant shipping and our capital town, we unanimously resolved that all shall perish in a noble conflagration, lighted by ourselves.

“Savannah, in Georgia, March 2, 1776,
“In the Council of Safety.

For the safety of this Province, and the good of the United Colonies, it is,

Unanimously Resolved, That the houses in the Town of Savannah, and the hamlets thereto belonging, together with the shipping now in our port, the property of, or appertaining to, the friends of America, who have associated and appeared, or who shall appear in the present alarm to defend the same, and also the houses of widows and orphans, and none others, be forthwith appraised.

“Resolved, That it shall be considered as a defection from the cause of America, and a desertion of property, in such persons who have, and shall leave the Town of Savannah, or the hamlets thereunto belonging, during the present alarm; and such persons shall be precluded from any support or countenance towards obtaining an indemnification.

“Resolved, That it be incumbent upon the friends of America in this Province, to defend the Metropolis, as long as the same shall be tenable.

Resolved, That, rather than the same shall be held and occupied by our enemies, or the shipping in the port of Savannah taken and employed by them, that the same shall be burnt and destroyed.

“Resolved, That orders shall be issued to the commanding officer, directing him to have the foregoing Resolutions put into execution.

“Extract from the Minutes:



Fredericktown, March 3, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Yours of the 2 d February came to hand a few days ago, enclosing a, resolve of the Congress, respecting the collection of gold and silver in this Province, together with your appointment of myself and others to collect the same in this County. Am sorry to acquaint you that it is not in my power to render the publick any service in that way, on the terms proposed; no one being willing to part with their gold and silver without receiving the paper immediately in exchange. Any orders your Honours may at any time think proper to intrust me with, shall always be complied with, as far as may be in the power of, gentlemen, your most humble servant,


To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.


Philadelphia, March 3, 1776.

On your arrival in France, you will for some time be engaged in the business of providing goods for the Indian trade. This will give good countenance to your appearing in the character of a merchant, which we wish you continually to retain among the French, in general, it being probable that the Court of France may not like it should be known publickly that any agent from the Colonies is in that country. When you come to Paris, by delivering Dr. Franklin’s letters to Monsieur Le Roy, at the Louvre, and Mons. Dubourg, you will be introduced to a set of acquaintance, all friends to the Americans. By conversing with them, you will have a good opportunity of acquiring Parisian French, and you will find in Mons. Dubourg a man prudent, faithful, secret, intelligent in affairs, and capable of giving you very sage advice.

It is scarce necessary to pretend any other business at Paris than the gratifying of that curiosity, which draws numbers thither yearly, merely to see so famous a city. With the assistance of Mons. Dubourg, who understands English, you will be able to make immediate application to Mons. De Vergennes, Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres, either personally or by letter, if Mons. Dubourg adopts that method, acquainting him that you are in France upon business of the American Congress, in the character of a merchant, having something to communicate to him that may be mutually beneficial to France and the North American Colonies; that you request an audience of him, and that he would be pleased to appoint the time and place. At this audience, if agreed to, it may be well to show him, first, your letter of credence, and then acquaint him that the Congress, finding that in the common course of commerce it was not practicable to furnish the Continent of America with the quantity of arms and ammunition necessary for its defence, (the Ministry of Great Britain having been extremely industrious to prevent it,) you had been despatched by their authority, to apply to some European Power for a supply. That France had been pitched on for the first application, from an opinion that if we should, as there is a great appearance we shall, come to a total separation from Great Britain, France would be looked upon as the power whose friendship it would be fittest for us to obtain and cultivate. That the commercial advantages Britain had enjoyed with the Colonies, had contributed greatly to her late wealth and importance. That it is likely great part of our commerce will naturally fall to the share of Frame, especially if she favours us in this application, as that will be a means of gaining and securing the friendship of the Colonies; and that as our trade was rapidly increasing with our increase of people, and in a greater proportion, her part of it will be extremely valuable. That the supply we at present want is clothing and arms for twenty-five thousand men, with a suitable quantity of ammunition, and one hundred field-pieces. That we mean to pay for the same by remittances to France, or through Spain, Portugal, or the French Islands, as soon as our navigation can be protected by ourselves or friends; and that we, besides, want great quantities of linens and woollens, with other articles for the Indian trade, which you are now actually purchasing, and for which you ask no credit; and that the whole, if France should grant the other supplies, would make a cargo which it might be well to secure by a convoy of two or three ships-of-war.

If you should find Mons. De Vergennes reserved, and not inclined to enter into free conversation with you, it may

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