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camp is intended to contain four or five thousand men. Upon the whole, for the defence of Long-Island and New-York, eight thousand, at least, regular troops, will be necessary.

With respect to the fort on Hudson’s River, in the Highlands, I must refer the Congress to the report of Captain Smith, who was sent up to examine, and who is extremely capable to judge and advise.

I have now, in a military capacity, to the best of my recollection, mentioned every circumstance relative to the defence and security of New-York and Long-Island . But I think it my duty to observe that all these measures will be totally fruitless unless some precautions are taken with respect to the professed enemies of American liberty, nested in the very spots where they can do the greatest mischief—Queen’s County and Staten-Island . The bonds they have given are too ridiculous to be mentioned. The Association they have signed they consider as forced upon them; and, consequently, null. When our troops are obliged to remain inactive from want of arms; when, from this deficiency, the Canada expedition is at a stand, and New-York and Long-Island left open to the invasions of the enemy, is it not a most dangerous neglect and omission, or rather unaccountable infatuation, to suffer considerable bodies of avowed foes to be possessed of arms for your destruction? What possible advantage can result from such a false delicacy? I would therefore humbly propose that the inhabitants of Staten-Island should, without loss of time, be disarmed, and their arms delivered to some regiment already raised, but unfurnished with muskets.

I do not imagine that the disarming the Tories will incapacitate them from acting against us, as they can easily be supplied by the ships. I should, therefore, think it prudent to secure their children as hostages. If a measure of this kind (hard as it may appear) is not adopted, the children’s children of America may see the fatal omission.


Philadelphia, March 14, 1776.

SIR: The state of New-York requiring an immediate reinforcement, I have it in command from Congress to direct you immediately to march your battalion to New-York, and put yourself under the commanding officer of the Continental Troops there. For expediting your march, you are to send forward one or two companies at a time, and let the rest follow at the distance of one day’s march.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

JOHN HANOCK, President.

(To Colonel John Shea, of the Third Battalion of Pennsylvania Troops, Philadelphia; Colonel Robert Magaw, of the Fifth Battalion of Pennsylvania Troops, Philadelphia; Colonel William Irvine, of the Sixth Battalion of Pennsylvania Troops, Carlisle; Colonel Elias Dayton, of the Third Battalion of New-Jersey Troops, Elizabeth-towm .)


Newark, March 14, 1776.

MY LORD: On receipt of your letter last evening, the Committee of this town immediately gave orders for making a detachment of one hundred and fifty men from the Second Regiment of Militia, of this County, to be marched to New-York, for the service requested by you. We also sent a deputation from our Board to the Committee at Elizabethtown, to inform them what we had done, and request that they would furnish one hundred and fifty men; they have agreed to do it. Our men will be ready to march tomorrow, or next morning at the farthest. We have written by this conveyance, to the New-York Provincial Congress for information whether quarters, provisions, and pay, are provided; and as soon as we get their answer that such provision is ready, our men will march.

I am, my Lord, your Lordship’s most obedient servant.

By order of the Committee:

LEWIS OGDEN, Chairman.

To the Right Honourable William Earl of Stirling, Brigadier-General of the Continental Troops at New-York.


Elizabethtown, March 14, 1776.

MY LORD: Your Lordship’s letter of yesterday is be fore us; in answer to which, we beg leave to observe, that this Committee have no right to send a detachment of our Militia out of the Province. Besides, had we this right, your Lordship knows the defenceless state of this Colony. The arming the two battalions in the Continental service hath drained us of our best arms; and in case a descent should be made on New-York, we should be liable to continual incursions of the enemy.

I am, my Lord, your most obedient humble servant.

By order of the Committee:


To Lord Stirling.


Elizabethtown, March 14, 1776.

MY LORD: Your letter of the 10th instant I received yesterday, and shall continue to use my utmost endeavours to put my regiment into the best condition for marching as soon as possible. The companies of Captains Bloomfield, Dickison, and Potter, have passed muster; the other companies (at least some of them) I have, are nearly full. The scarcity of arms in this Province (a difficulty of which your Lordship is well aware) will much retard the equipping of this regiment. The Militia are now more than ever unwilling to part with their arms, and few of the soldiers, I fear, are supplied. Major Barber and myself, when at Philadelphia, informed the Congress, by a memorial, of this difficulty, and prayed for a small supply of arms, which at that time had arrived there; but did not succeed. I intend to make a second application, in which I hope to be successful.

I beg leave to assure your Lordship of every exertion in my power to equip the regiment in the most speedy manner, as also to congratulate your Lordship on your late promotion—a promotion which, I doubt not, gives universal satisfaction, but especially, my Lord, to your Lordship’s most obedient humble servant,


To the Right Honourable the Earl of Stirling, New-York.


New-York, March 14, 1776.

SIR: I enclose you a letter from Mr. Francis Dashwood, Secretary to the Post-Office, directed to me, requesting that I would procure a permit for him, John Antill, and Henry Bull, to go on board the Swallow packet. If the Congress think proper to grant such a permit, and will be pleased to send it to me, I will deliver it to Mr. Dashwood.

I am, sir, your most humble servant,


To Colonel Woodhull.

General Post-Office, New-York, March 14, 1776.

SIR: I received the enclosed from Mr. Foxcroft yesterday evening, and request you will be pleased to procure us some means of getting on board, that the inhabitants may have their letters, which they otherwise cannot.

I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


To David Matthews, Mayor of the City of New-York.

N. B. Clerks belonging to the office: John Antill, Esq., and Mr. Henry Bull.

F. D.

On board the Swallow Packet-Boat, March 13, 1776.

SIR: On receipt of this, I desire you will immediately come on board, with the Clerks of the Office, to assist in sorting and taking an account of the letters, in order for their immediate delivery.

I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


To Francis Dashwood, Esq

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