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happy if it should turn out to be a mistake or misrepresentation.
I was mistaken in my last with respect to Woosters coming home. I understand he is to remain at Montreal, and Arnold to have command before Quebeck.
We have accounts from Virginia that Clinton was arrived at Hampton, but seemed to be waiting for his reinforcements. Nothing further new, therefore, from that quarter. We have not heard a syllable from our fleet for a considerable time, but expect intelligence every hour.
Upon the arrival of the Act of Parliament authorizing the ships-of-war to seize all American vessels, and condemn them as lawful prize, application was made to Congress by several persons for letters of marque and reprisal; but they could not feel bold enough; though many of the most timid, and those who have hankered so much after reconciliation, seeing so little of a spirit of that kind in Great Britain, have come off very much from these sentiments, the result of old prejudices and new fears.
I have taken a house in the country, to which I propose soon to send my family, and am preparing what is necessary for the summer; but an affair of great importance in the Assembly will detain me some time, though I hope not long. We wait impatiently to hear from you, in consequence of the last accounts, as if there was a probability of a movement from Boston. I expect your tents to be finished this week. The other matters will also be got ready with all possible expedition.
Adieu, my dear General. Should there be any action or enterprise, God grant it may be a glorious one to you, and a happy one for our country.
Yours, most obediently and affectionately,
ESSEX COUNTY (NEW-JERSEY) COMMITTEE TO PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
[Read March 13, 1776.]
Newark, March 7, 1776.
SIR: I am desired by the Committee of the County of Essex, to inform you that we are in great want of powder, and to beg that the honourable the Continental Congress would direct that we may be supplied. We look upon this County now to be the frontier of this Province; and in case of an invasion at New-York, we would gladly hold ourselves in readiness to march at a minutes warning to their relief; but at present it is impossible, some companies of our Militia not having any powder at all, and none anything like a sufficiency. There is a great and general uneasiness among the people on this account. They have cheerfully given their money agreeable to the ten thousand pound ordinance of our Provincial Congress, in hopes of getting powder for their defence, and now are much chagrined at the disappointment. We pray, therefore, the Congress would immediately take this matter into serious consideration, and grant such relief as they in their wisdom shall think best.
I am, sir, with due respect, your most obedient and humble servant,
WILLIAM BURNET, Chairman.
To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.
PROVINCIAL CONGRESS TO NEW-YORK DELEGATES IN CONTINENTAL CONGRESS.
[Read March 11, 1776.]
In Provincial Congress, March 7, 1776.
GENTLEMAN: The late Provincial Congress having received information, on the 3d of August last, that Captain Patrick Sinclair was appointed Lieutenant-Governour and Superintendent at Michilimackinack, being a person of great influence with the Indians, and that he was then in this city on his way to that post, and thinking that it was imprudent to permit any gentleman under the influence of the British Ministry to go into the interior part of the country to exercise those offices, who might prejudice the Indians against the United Colonies, ordered him to be taken into custody, and sent him on his parole to Suffolk County, on Nassau Island, where he has since continued to demean himself unexceptionably. He has lately applied by letter (a copy of which you have enclosed) to this Congress for leave to return to Europe. As we do not choose to take a step of this kind without the advice of your honourable body, we beg you will lay the state of this gentleman before Congress, and let us have their directions thereon. We beg leave to suggest that Mr. Sinclair was not laid under restraint as an enemy to the country-no information was received of his entertaining sentiments unfriendly to the United Colonies, but to the contraiy; and that he had invariably treated our Indian traders with the greatest humanity and politeness. For these reasons, and from the consideration that he was not looked upon as a prisoner of war, we wish the favour he asks may be granted.
We are, with esteem, gentlemen, your very humble servants. By order:
To the New-York Delegates in Continental Congress.
Huntington, February 29, 1776.
SIR: It being the practice of all nations to allow the subjects of the respective States at variance to retire, I trouble the Congress with this application, for being permitted to go to Europe, in the first vessel from New-York.
I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
To the President of the Congress, New-York.
The aforegoing is a true copy of the original, examined and compared by me,
Secretary to New-York Provincial Congress.
RICHMOND COUNTY COMMITTEE TO NEW-YORK CONGRESS.
Richmond County, March 7, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: Agreeably to your request of February 21st, we here send you the proceedings of the trials of Richard Conner, Esq., Isaac Decker, Minah Burger, and Abraham Harris, being returned from their confinement at Elizabethtown. The Committee being this day assembled, proceeded ed to the trial of Isaac Decker, relative to a complaint against him for having carried provision on board the transport, and opposing choosing of Delegates; speaking against the Continental and Provincial Congresses, and their proceedings; and for having carried Cortlandt Skinner on board the man-of-war.
Samuel Dehart, one of the evidence mentioned in the accusation against said Isaac Decker, being examined on oath to each particular complaint, declared that the said Isaac Decker was not guilty of either of the above complaints, to his knowledge.
Joshua Mercereau, being the other evidence mentioned in the charge against Isaac Decker, did appear, but would not give his evidence when called for.
The Committee has, therefore, referred the matter till Friday the 15th March, for further examination.
N. B. Mr. Isaac Decker owns that he sent Mr. Cortlandt Skinner on board the ship Duchess of Gordon with his barge. And at the last election for Delegates, it appears, by the list of votes, that he voted for Deputies to be sent to represent this County in Provincial Congress, and has signed the General Association.
The Committee then proceeded to the trial of Minah Burger; and after having examined the evidence against said Minah Burger, the Committee took into consideration the charge and complaint alleged against him. On examination, it appeared to the Committee to be groundless and without foundation; and, therefore, discharged said Minah Burger from said complaint.
The Committee then proceeded to the trial of Abraham Harris, relative to a complaint against him for drinking damnation to Independency, and for having said he inlisted thirty men in Egg-Harbour for King and country.
Seth Johnson, one of the evidence to the above charge, being examined on oath, declared, that he was at the house of Isaac Decker, when Abraham Harris told him that he had inlisted thirty men at the forks of Egg-Harbour for King and country, by order of a gentleman in New-York; further the deponent says, the next day said Harris told him he was not in earnest; and further says not.
David Crane, the other evidence to the above charge, being examined on oath, declared, that he was at the house of Isaac Decker, and the deponent saw said Abraham Harris with a bowl in his hand, and drink damnation to all Independency; and heard said Harris say that he had inlisted