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this place will probably be the scene of a good deal of action, it; would be prudent to add something to their present stock of ammunition. I find by their returns, that there is in the whole Colony, (that sent up to Fort Constitution included,) five tons and a half.
The numerous body of professed Tories in Long and Staten Islands, with not a few within the walls of the city, is a most alarming consideration. The measure adopted by the Provincial Congress, of obliging them to give bonds as a security for their good behaviour, can answer no purpose but that of rendering them more bitter and virulent. The first regiments of our gracious Sovereigns cut-throats which arrive here will indubitably cancel these bonds. I am well assured, indeed, that these bonds are made a publick joke of already by the worthy gentlemen who gave them. In short, the friends to liberty are, to a man, convinced that the Tories will take arms when encouraged by the appearance of any Royal troops. The delicacy of our situation, and the dangerous crisis of affairs, have therefore determined me to take a decisive step, which alone, according to my judgment, can secure us. I have offered a test, drawn up in such terms that, refusal or consent to take it, must be a criterion by which we may be able to distinguish those whose swords are whetted to plunge into the vitals of their country, and whose (if not drawn in defence of the common rights) may be expected to remain quietly in their scabbards. The first I have directed to be seized without further ceremony; and I should think myself highly criminal in omitting so salutary a step, before it is too late. Perhaps I judge wrong; if I do, I must myself take the shame of being reputed weak, rash, and precipitate. The intelligence I have received from General Washington will, at all events, justify in some measure my dispensing with forms.
I am, sir; with the greatest respect, your most obedient, humble servant,
To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq., President of the Continental Congress.
GENERAL LEE TO COLONEL ISAAC SEARS.
New-York, March 5, 1776.
SIR: As I have received intelligence from the Commander-in-Chief that there is the greatest reason to expect very soon at this place a considerable army of the enemy, it appears to me that I should be in the highest degree culpable, that I should be responsible to God, my own conscience, and to the Continent of America, in sufferings at so dangerous a crisis, a knot of professed foes to liberty and their country to remain any longer within our own bosom, either to turn openly against us in arms, (in conjunction with the enemy,) or covertly to furnish them with intelligence, and carry on a correspondence, to the ruin of their country. I must desire that you will offer the enclosed Test to the people of whom I send you a list. Their refusal might be considered an avowal of their hostile intentions. You are therefore to secure their persons, and, without loss of time, to send them up, as irreclaimable enemies to their country, to close custody in Connecticut . Richard Hunt is to have no conditions offered to him, but to be secured without ceremony. I am, sir, yours,
CHARLES LEE, Major-General.
To Lieutenant-Colonel Sears, Deputy Adjutant-General.
COLONEL NICOLL TO NEW-YORK CONGRESS.
Fort Constitution, March 5, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: This garrison is greatly in want of many articles at present, especially sauce, beef, soap, candles, drink, and fuel; neither have we had any fresh provisions for two months past, the want of which is a great discouragement to the men, as they work daily. We are also in want of pots, tramels, bowls, and dishes, for the barracks, as there are none here but what the Commissioners claim, and say they must have, to carry to Pooploops Kill . There must be a sufficient quantity of those necessaries provided and sent here shortly, or the garrison will be in a bad situation when the Commissioners call for theirs. I should not have troubled you with these matters, but have wrote to Mr. Livingston, according to your directions, formally on that head, and received for answer, that Mr. Phelps, who was appointed to provide for this garrison, would be here in a short time, and make the necessary provision; but he has not attended yet, neither do I know when he will.
Enclosed you have an account delivered to me by the Commissioners, for powder, ball, and cartridge-paper, by them delivered to Captain Raymond, previous to my taking the command here; none of which he returned. You can deal with him, for them, as you think proper. Several of the Minute-men now in garrison are destitute of guns; neither are they able to procure them, by reason of their scarcity, and there is a number of good arms in store, but the Commissioners are not willing to let them go without orders, as they were directed to keep them safe in their custody. I think it would be prudent to let the men have arms and accoutrements, so as to be properly equipped, in order that they may be disciplined to the use of them, provided the commanding officer of any such deficient company will give his receipt for them, and engage to return them, when he is discharged from this garrison, as good as he received them.
I shall be able in a few days to make a return of the state of my regiment, having despatched the necessary orders for that purpose. It is absolutely necessary that a baker should be fixed here upon some certain principle, there having been no provision made by the Commissary for that purpose. While Captain Raymond commanded, he gave flour to a baker, who returned an equal weight of bread, and allowed him soldiers pay, with all necessary attendance; which I think is too much wages, amounting to ten or twelve pounds per month. I have partly agreed with the same man, who is a good baker, and now out of the service, for four pounds per month, but he requires to have his wood, and people to attend upon him, and I do not know what to do about closing the bargain. Would be glad of some instructions in the premises, or that a baker may be otherwise appointed.
I am, gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble servant,
To the Honourable Provincial Congress for the Colony of New-York.
CONNECTICUT COUNCIL OF SAFETY.
At a meeting of the Governour and Council of Safety, March 5, 1776, Present:
His Honour the Governour, Jabez Huntington, Jedediah Elderkin, Joshua West, Nathaniel Wales, Jun., and B. Huntington, Esquires.
Voted, An order of one hundred and fifty Pounds, on the Pay-Table, in favour of Captain Uriah Haydon . (Order given of this date.)
An order was given to Colonel Sears to forward three tons of Iron to Captain Benjamin Williams, or Captain Hayden, at Saybrook.
An order was this day given to Jonathan Fitch, Esq., to furnish Provisions for the Brig Defence for a cruise of nine weeks.
At a meeting of the Governour and Council of Safety, March 14, 1776, Present:
His Honour the Governour, Eliphalet Dyer, Jabez Huntington, William Williams, Jedediah Elderkin, Joshua West, Nathaniel Wales, Jun., and Benjamin Huntington, Esquires.
Voted, That Mr. John McCleave, of New-Haven, be and he is hereby, appointed Second Lieutenant of the Brig Defence, instead of Lieutenant Hopkins, resigned.
Voted, That Captain Joseph Thompson be, arid he is hereby, appointed as a Lieutenant, to inlist thirty Men to carry on and finish the Works begun at Black-Rock, in New-Haven, and to serve as troops under command of said Thompson at said Works, or where they shall be ordered in defence of this Colony, until further orders. Said Lieutenant Thompson to appoint two Sergeants to assist him in said service.
Whereas, the Treasurer of this Colony is doubtful concerning his duty to receive the Continental Bills into the Treasury in discharge of publick Taxes, laid by Act of the General Assembly, to be paid in Bills of Credit of this Colony, or silver or gold; and thereon he hath made application to the Governour and his Committee, appointed to