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ROBERT TREAT PAINE TO NEW-HAMPSHIRE ASSEMBLY.
Philadelphia, March 16, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: The Congress taking into consideration the urgent importance to the safety, freedom, and wealth of the United Colonies, that the manufacture of saltpetre and gunpowder should be established in all of them, in addition to their former resolves on that subject have passed those herewith enclosed, and appointed the Committee therein mentioned.
In pursuance of this trust, the Committee transmit you the resolves; and being deeply impressed with their importance to our common cause, think themselves in duty bound to urge upon you the immediate and vigorous execution of them.
The erecting publick works, as mentioned in the resolves, will be the first step to promote that useful business. If prosecuted with skill and diligence, it will answer the making saltpetre in large quantities, and will also afford the best method for suitable persons to learn the process, and from thence be sent abroad, to teach those who have not opportunity of learning from those publick works; for it is thought an object of the greatest concern that private families should be induced to make it. The inconsiderable expense attending the making it in families, where the method is once understood, and the quantity that each family may make, should remove all objections to their putting it in immediate practice.
When we consider the great consumption of saltpetreused as medicine, in preserving meat, and in gunpowder, even in times of peaceit should seem a sufficient inducement to private families to learn and practise this art; but most of all when so large quantities are wanted for our necessary defence, and when it will in a great measure supply the want of salt, which the rage of our enemies may render scarce, it should not be reasonably supposed that any true American will neglect it.
As there can be no doubt but that every Colony may produce saltpetre enough, at least, for their own consumption, it is necessary that powder-mills be erected, and skilful persons provided to manufacture gunpowder, and proper regulations established for preventing their explosion.
It is supposed that sulphur may be found in many Colonies; and as it is necessary that it should be collected, trials may be made, at places supposed to contain it, at no great expense.
It must afford great pleasure to find that some Colonies have already, in a measure, anticipated the design of these resolves; from the good effects of which it is clearly evinced that we can never want the most abundant supply of ammunition, from our own manufacture, but through inattention and neglect.
We doubt not you will consider these proceedings as designed to promote the best welfare of the Colonies, and that you will, as soon as may be, and from time to time, inform the Congress of the state of these manufactures in your Colony; of the quantity of saltpetre already made, the preparation for and prospects of encouraging it; what quantity of gunpowder is already made, and the state of your powder-mills; and, also, what discoveries are made of sulphur mines, and the progress in working them.
We suppose you already have the most approved methods of making saltpetre among you; but the laying together suitable composts, either in fences or beds, in order to collect nitrous matter, seems necessary to be immediately attended to, as the earth from under old buildings may soon be exhausted.
We hope this effort of the Congress will have the desired effect; without which we have reason to fear it will, ere long, be said of us, that we are become slaves because we are not industrious enough to be free.
By order of said Committee, I subscribe myself, with great respect, your most humble servant,
ROBERT TREAT PAINE.
To the Honourable the Council and House of Representatives of the Colony of New-Hampshire.
Philadelphia, March 16, 1776.
The following gentlemen are appointed Field-Officers in the three Battalions which are to be raised for the defence of this Province, viz:
Musket Battalion: John Cadwallader, Esq., Colonel; Caleb Perry, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel; James Potts, Esq., Major.
Samuel Miles, Esq., Colonel of the two Rifle Battalions; John Piper, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel of the First, and Ennion Williams, Esq., Major; Daniel Broadhead, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel of the Second, and John Paton, Esq., Major.
RECANTATION OF JOHN WEBB.
Philadelphia, March 16, 1776.
Whereas I, the subscriber, have unadvisedly been guilty of tearing out and trampling upon the names of the Field-Officers of the Fourth Battalion of this County, signed to the Association, in contempt of the resolves of the Assembly and of this Committee; and as such conduct may set a bad example to others, unless speedily retracted, I do therefore, in this publick manner, acknowledge my fault, beg pardon of the Officers of the said Battalion for the insult shewn them, and promise, for the future, to support the Association as far as is in my power.
Witness my hand:
Published by order of the Committee:
COLLINSON READ, Secretary.
MORRIS COUNTY (NEW-JERSEy) COMMITTEE TO LORD STIRLING.
Morristown, March 16, 1776.
MY LORD: When I left your Excellency last Friday, I did expect that the men you requested from the County of Morris would immediately be sent; but when I returned to Morris the men were ready, but the Colonels of the Regiments thought they had not authority to march the men out of the Province without orders from the General of the Militia. They had three hundred men ready to march, and do hold them in readiness to march, at an hours warning, for two weeks, if necessity requires it, and they have authority so to do; and when I found the men were not likely to go to assist New-York, I immediately called the Committee to consult them, and they do not approve of sending men, for several reasons, which arefirst, if men are wanted so much at New-York, why are so many of the soldiers strolling about the country (as they say) on furlough and, secondly, why is not the Third Battalion of Provincial soldiers of this Province called, or as many Companies as are full as all those are under pay, and ought to be in service, and the Militia left at home on their farms, where they are wanted; and, likewise, that, if the troops do come from Boston, they are more likely to come to Amboy than New-York. Be pleased to remember Courtlandt Skinners letter.
I am, sir, your Excellencys most humble servant,
To the Right Honourable William Earl of Stirling.
WILLIAM BURNET TO LORD STIRLING.
Newark, March 16, 1776.
MY LORD: I am not a little disappointed at the conduct of the Elizabeth Township Committee, as I understand they wrote you word they should not send any men to your assistance, when we had given you hopes we should send three hundred. The confusion is owing to your writing to the Township, and not the County Committee. The Township Committee of Newark received your letter, but were polite enough to ask my advice and assistance, as Chairman of the County Committee; and we unanimously agreed to send you one hundred and fifty men from this town, expecting the Elizabeth Township Committee would send at least one hundred and fifty men. We sent two of our members to Elizabethtown with this intelligence, and to agree upon the Field-Officers that should take the command. They agreed to raise one hundred and fifty men, and send them under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, of this town, and sent us word accordingly. In consequence of this, we proceeded to raise our portion of men, and gave orders that they should be ready to march yesterday, or today at farthest; but somehow, unaccountably, our Colonel