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Winter-Hill, March 14, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: I enclose you a list of the regiment under Colonel Waldron, with the arrangement of the officers, and desire you to forward the commissions as soon as possible. I have the satisfaction to inform you that Colonel Waldron’s was the first complete regiment on the spot; and is by far the largest and best that came from either Colony. His Excellency consented to keep the nine companies, rather than break them. They are allowed, by all who do duty with them, to be excellent officers and soldiers-always willing to do their duty with the utmost cheerfulness. They are quiet, peaceable, and obedient; and though much fault was found with my proceedings in selecting the officers, I must now take the liberty of boasting of my judgment in the choice, and can call the whole brigade to witness in my favour.

I hope, gentlemen, the cruel and ungenerous reflections upon my conduct, thrown out by some persons among you, did not proceed from that envious disposition, which too often proves the destruction of an infant State struggling for freedom. I sincerely wish that those zealots, who thought I had taken too much upon myself, had exerted themselves to fill up the Canada Regiment with as many good men as I have got in this, and not have left us to lament the want of assistance to our distressed friends in Canada, and to view with concern a regiment not half completed, which ought to have marched three weeks ago. I am now ordered to march for New-York in a few days: those persons will then have no more fear of the destruction of their liberties from a person who has spent more money, undergone more fatigue, and oftener risked his life, than any other person in your Province; and all this to secure that freedom which those gentlemen would persuade the world I am endeavouring to destroy. Gentlemen, I wish your. Colony all possible happiness, and would do everything in the power of man to secure its freedom, and even feel a disposition to serve those few inveterate foes of mine that yet remain among you, and convince them that no person would do more in the cause of freedom than your most obedient servant,


To the Honourable Committee of Safety.


Fort Washington, March 14, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Agreeably to your instructions, I have posted a guard on Fort-Point, at New-Castle, with orders frequently to go up to the top of the Light-house, and diligently to observe if any ships appear sailing towards this port; and, on discovery of the same, to make me acquainted, that I may transmit the information, without loss of time, to your Honours or the General.

I had, previous to your instructions, consulted with Captain Eliphalet Daniels, and agreed with each other the proper signals in case of the approach of the enemy; and on the same account each fort has erected a flag-staff, and proper signals to be given, which will alarm both town and country in case of any surprise; but shall, gentlemen, send you up the speediest despatch, should any enemy appear. Our signals for an alarm will first be by firing a four-pounder from Captain Daniels’s fort towards the town, and then to be answered by me.

I am, with every degree of respect, gentlemen, your most humble servant,



Much has been said concerning the independence of the Colonies; and some people have been made to believe that such a state is not desirable, and that we should wish for no more liberty than we enjoyed in 1763. But let any man consider that, at that time, we were restrained from making nails and hats, and might, with equal justice, have been hindered from building houses, or making stockings; that we were cruelly and wantonly restricted in our trade—in some instances, as it were, merely to show that we were the slayes of Britain. Although the English cannot make wine, raise silk, grow olives, citrons, oranges, or lemons, yet we were forced to buy these articles of them only, and were not suffered to purchase them of the French, the Spaniards, or Italians; and although all Europe, to the northward of Cape Finisterre, had been starving for want of grain, and we had it in our power to supply their wants, yet we were not permitted to do it. Our tobacco trade was wholly engrossed by English merchants; they alone had the privilege of selling this invaluable article of our commerce to the Dutch, French, Spaniards, Portuguese, and to the different States up the Mediterranean. The King nominated all officers, civil and military; had the power of repealing all our laws, however necessary to our security and happiness; and the present King has wantonly and cruelly exerted that power in repealing an act of our Assembly, for obliging ships to perform quarantine; and another for preventing the further importation of slaves, by laying heavy duties on such as should be imported, The King, by his instructions to his Governours, could dissolve our assemblies at pleasure, without assigning any reason for so doing, as he has frequently done. He had a right to keep any number of troops or ships in our Colonies; which right he will never give up. He could build forts on our frontiers, and garrison them as he pleased. This was our situation in 1763; and yet some people are weak enough to wish to be left as we were then, as they express it. But, good God! were we not abject slaves? We wanted but the name. Indeed, we were treated with some small respect; and it was not till 1763 that we were openly insulted and treated as slaves. The English have certainly looked upon us as slaves, or they would have carried on the war in a manner more becoming the character of their nation. They seem to think—as the masters of slaves in the West-Indies do—that no method is unjustifiable by which they can suppress an insurrection; nor any punishment too severe to be inflicted on revolted slaves. Our masters in Britain, though they made us labour and toil for their emolument, yet did not attempt to take from us the little we had been permitted to earn for ourselves. In this respect, they were as indulgent to us as we are to our poor slaves; but this they evidently looked upon as an instance of their indulgence, moderation, and forbearance; for they have declared in both Houses of Parliament (and the Royal sanction has been given to the declaration) that they had, have, and of right ought to have, a power to make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever; that is, that they are our Kings, Lords, and Masters, Well, then, may Lord North and General Burgoyne say, that they ask no more than that America should, be in the situation she was in 1763. The truth is, the Ministry do not wish that we were more enslaved now than we were then; but they earnestly wish we would be as passive. Since this is the case, and we have not only been long oppressed, and, of late, grievously so, but have also been attacked by sea and land; our towns and private houses plundered and burnt; our property snatched from us; our countrymen dragged from their very beds to piratical boats, and hurried on board men-of-war; our negroes taken from our plantations, and many encouraged to leave, their masters, and take up arms against them–several hundreds of whom are now in arms against us—and when we know that all of these have been invited to do so; when we know that an act of Parliament was passed to encourage the Canadians to attack us, and that a skilful and artful General was sent amongst them to lead them on upon us; and when we know what pains have been taken to prevail on the Indians to ravage our frontiers, (for no one is a stranger to General Carleton’s, Dunmore’s, and Connolly’s plots,) I say, since we know these things, who that is not a slave indeed who that has any feelings, or the least spirit, is there amongst us that would hesitate a moment to declare he will no longer submit to such hard restrictions on his trade; that he will not suffer himself and his posterity to be so cruelly insulted and oppressed; and that he will be revenged of his inhuman plunderers and butchers? Who, when he finds it necessary to carry on the war we have entered into—a most just and holy war, and in which Heaven has peculiarly favoured us—who, I say, can hesitate a moment to make use of all the assistance he can procure to prosecute it with vigour? And can the war be carried on with any prospect of success without a trade, by which not only specie may be procured for the payment of the troops, and defraying all other expenses,

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