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unless such as may choose to inlist themselves for further service.

On occasions like the present, the Field-Officers of the Militia are sent to command their regiments, according to a former law of this Colony, in case of alarm; and I have ordered their proper Field-Officers to take command accordingly.

As we are obliged now to drain off our Militia, so as to leave our sea-coasts bare of men, and as an attack may very suddenly be made upon some posts thereof, even in the present movements from Boston, I cannot but request that, in the march of your troops to New-York, they may be directed to take their route on or near the sea-coast, which will be nearer than through Hartford, and a much drier road at this season, as thereby they will be a guard, and ready to oppose the enemy, if any such attempts should be made; at the same time making their approach to New-York as expeditiously as any other way, unless delayed by opposing the enemy, which I am in hopes there may be no occasion for.

I have ordered Captain Niles to keep a good look-out for the enemy, as far as Block-Island and Montauk Point; and if any intelligence from him of consequence, shall immediately acquaint you therewith.

And am, sir, with great esteem and regard, your most obedient humble servant,


To His Excellency General Washington.


On board the Alfred, March 18, 1776.

SIR: You being appointed Master of the Ship Endeavour, you are to keep company with the fleet until further orders; but if you should lose company, you are to use your best endeavours to get into Providence. If you cannot get in there, you are to go in on the east side of Rhode-Island, or Howland’s Ferry, under the Fort, or into New-London. And whenever you get into port, you are to land your guns and stores, and send to Governour Nicholas Cooke, at Providence, or Governour Trumbull, for further orders, until you hear from me.


To Elisha Hinman, Esq.


On board the Alfred, March 18, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: I understand, by Captain Jennings, that you are in want of guns; and I, have sent by him two nine-pound guns and some shot, which please to accept, and make such use of them as you think best; and if opportunity permits, send the shot he has on board, that are too big for your guns, to Providence, or Howland’s Ferry, and you will oblige your and your country’s friend,


To the Committee of the Town of Dartmouth.


Providence, March 18, 1776.

SIR: I am favoured with yours of the 8th and 14th instant, to which I have paid the greatest attention. The several regiments of Militia are ordered to hold themselves in readiness to march in case the enemy should land in this Colony, and the General Assembly is called to meet this day. As a part of the Army in Boston, supposing them to be destined to the southward, might, with but little loss of time, land upon and destroy Rhode-Island, and cut off the troops there, without some effectual measures are taken to oppose them, I thought these steps, which were all it was in my power to take, necessary. I also beg leave to suggest to your Excellency the propriety of ordering a part of the forces designed for New-York to march through this Colony. The route will not be much farther, and they will be at hand to repel any attack of the enemy.

I shall give your Excellency the earliest intelligence of every motion of the enemy that shall come to my knowledge.

I am, with great truth and esteem, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


To His Excellency General Washington.


Barmstable, March 18, 1776.

SIR: I think it my duty to write the honourable Board the reasons of my non-attendance on them; which are, because the small-pox has been in my neighbourhood for a month past, near my house, and I am afraid it will spread, as one person broke out on the last fast day, and I am afraid more have taken the distemper; which has confined me a good deal to my house, and should be loth to go abroad if I thought I had taken the infection, and am willing to be pretty certain first, so that I do not think it proper for me to venture abroad on a journey until next week; and if I remain in health, I will wait on the honourable Board some time that week, in case the weather and other circumstances permit. I want much to be at Court, to let them know what confusion some people have thrown this town and County into, on many accounts. This town had their March meeting the week before last, and would not choose tithing-men, wardens, and grand jurors, for the year, nor petit jurors for our next court; nor did they make any provision as to the last Militia act, for procuring axes, spades, shovels, &c, agreeable to said act; and I find the disorder is growing. Yarmouth copied after Barnstable in not choosing jurymen. The case is this: It is given out by our Tories that there is no law; the General Court is said to have no authority to appoint Courts; the General Congress is despised and contemned, and so is all authority in this Tory County; the paper currency depreciated, and some folks won‘t take it oil any account. And if I may be allowed, I would make a few queries, viz: Whether the General Court, and more especially the Council, as governours, have shown that firmness and resolution that is necessary in this time of difficulty as to our publick affairs in general. 2dly. Whether too much attention has not been paid to that part of the populace that incline to anarchy, which have prevented the Court and military establishments; which, in my opinion, leads to this confusion through this part of the Government. I have one request more, which is, that Our Court of General Sessions of the Peace, and Court of Common Pleas, to be held in this County (by law) on the first Tuesday of April, may be adjourned until the last Tuesday of June next, the time which our June Court sits. By that time some of our difficulties may possibly be got over, and others subside. I hope you will excuse my freedom; and such part of my scribbling you will communicate as you think proper.

I am your most obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable Benjamin Greenleaf, Esquire, or to the Honourable John Winthrop, Esq., in Watertown.


[No. 66.] Annapolis, March 19, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: In answer to your favour of the 15th, we have directed Colonel Beall to deliver to your order ten barrels of gunpowder. We shall do everything in our power to promote the general welfare; and for that purpose are now increasing our Marine.

We are, &c.

To George Mason and John Dalton, Esquires.


[No. 67.] Annapolis, March 19, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: We have your favour of the 9th of this month; and as we are convinced of the expediency of constructing the beacons in the manner you propose, on the points of the river Potomack, we shall readily join you in any expense that may attend the erection of them, and have appointed the Honourable George Plater, Esq., and Brigadier John Dent, to act with the gentlemen nominated by you for the carrying that measure into execution. We shall acquaint them of their appointment, and we are persuaded they will attend for that purpose, on any notice your Commissioners will be pleased to give them. We have heard little of the Otter and her tenders since their leaving this river, except that they pillaged a small island on. our Eastern

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