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Captain Jeremiah Obrien, a Committee to prepare, and, in all respects, equip and man, with fifty men each, including officers, the Sloop Machias Liberty and Schooner Diligent, now lying at Newburyport, &c. The Committee, with pleasure, will undertake and perform all in their power, and can engage to purchase the necessary articles wanted, except gunpowder. Of that essential article they, with reluctance, say, not a cask can be procured here at any rate.
The pressing demands of this town have called for every exertion in their power to raise moneys, notwithstanding the town is greatly in debt, not being able to furnish enough to pay the necessary current services. Therefore, to make it possible to comply with the aforesaid resolve, the Committee humbly hope the honourable Council will furnish them, by the bearer, (Captain Michael Hodge, one of their members,) with as much money as the present occasion calls for, which, by a moderate calculation, for two months cruise only, with the fixing the vessels, will amount to five hundred pounds, lawful money, exclusive of the cost of gunpowder, (which is not to be had here,) and of which Captain Obrien thinks there ought to be five hundred pounds weight, besides one hundred and twenty pounds now on board. The Committee apprehend that the fifty men for each vessel, or any considerable number of them, cannot be found in this town, owing to a large number being in the Continental Army, and to several privateers out on cruises. Captain Obrien says he can make up the deficiency in the eastward harbour, if your Honours think it proper to let him depart hence without his full complement. As Captain Obrien must probably collect his men from thence, and his present officers, whom he approves of, may be most agreeable to such men, the Committee hope the honourable Council will excuse them from recommending said officers, for this reason only, that they are entire strangers to them.
Per order of the Committee:
TRISTRAM DALTON, Chairman pro tempore.
To the Honourable the Council of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay.
Newburyport, March 18, 1776.
Immediately after the date of the before-mentioned letter, Captain Hodge, who was the bearer of it, set out to deliver it, but met with some of the Council, who informed him that the honourable Board were adjourned; upon which he returned home. The Committee, after some delay, procured an agent to supply Captain Obrien, and he is now nearly fitted for sea. They would still beg your Honours direction whether Captain Obrien should depart hence without his full complement of men, which it does not appear probable he can procure in this place.
Per order of the Committee:
To the Honourable Council of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay,
Proceedings of a Court of Inquiry, held at HAMPTON, MARCH 24, 1776, by order of Major JAMES HENDRICKS, Commandant, to inquire into the conduct of Lieutenant DANIEL TRIGG, respecting his behaviour on the 22d instant, when the enemy set on fire Captain EARLS Sloop.
Members. present: Captain West, President; Captain Towles, Lieutenant J. Peyton, Lieutenant Tyler, Lieutenant Arrill, Lieutenant V. Peyton, Lieutenant Tutt, Lieutenant Gummins, Lieutenant Cooper, Ensign Tibbs, Ensign Linn, Ensign Holliday.
The Court having examined a number of creditable witnesses, on oath, who were present during the whole time the enemy were engaged in destroying the above sloop, and having an opportunity of observing Lieutenant Triggs conduct throughput the whole of that affair, are of opinion that Mr. Trigg behaved with spirit, coolness, and as a good officer ought.
COLONEL BEALL TO MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY.
Bladensburgh, March 24, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: I received yours of the 19th instant, with the commissions for the Majors and other officers in the Twenty-Fifth Battalion, requesting me to recommend proper persons as a Second Lieutenant and Ensign in Captain Warrings Company, and an Ensign in Captain Richardsons Company.
As to the first, Mr. Baruck Duckett was commissioned by the Convention, and has acted as Ensign in that company. I am, therefore, at a loss about recommending a second person, till I know whether you intend to remove, or leave him out of that company.
Mr. Joseph Carlton, who has acted as First Sergeant to that company ever since it was formed, and is very capable of acting in either of those offices, would be very agreeable both to the officers and men of that company. I am not yet well enough acquainted with Captain Richardsons Company to fix on any particular person in that; but will, in a few days, inform myself, and send up his name.
Enclosed you have some accounts for wood and candles furnished the guard at this place, as also for, the hire of an express to Annapolis to acquaint you with the arrival of the powder. I have received your order for the delivery of ten barrels to the gentlemen in Virginia, which will be delivered this day; and I sincerely wish there may be a speedy distribution of the remainder.
The Militia in this neighbourhood have attended on guard pretty well, as yet; but I find they begin to grumble much since, the delivery of twenty-two barrels to the wagons for Annapolis. I have got it all in one house, and keep only a sergeant and twelve men as a guard over it, in order to make the duty easier to the people and cheaper to the Province.
At the time of calling my Battalion together, by your order, I furnished one company with powder, lead, and flints, (in proportion to the arms they had fit for service,) out of the ammunition purchased at Bladensburgh; and have given orders to the Captains of the distant companies to receive thirty pounds of powder, lead and flints in proportion, that they may have it ready, on any sudden alarm, to furnish such of their men as may have arms fit for use. As no one, but those who have experienced it, can tell the time it takes to furnish a company, on any sudden emergency, I think (if we have a sufficient stock of ammunition) it would be highly necessary, in our present situation, to furnish every Captain of a Militia Company in the Province in the same manner. However, I shall submit this to your determination, and give no further orders without your approbation therein.
Pray send me the money for the enclosed accounts, and likewise some money for the further support of the guard, or let me know in what manner those expenses are to be paid; otherwise, I am afraid I shall not be able to keep up a guard much longer.
I am, gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servant,
To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.
MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY TO CHARLES COUNTY COMMITTEE.
GENTLEMEN: We received a letter yesterday from Mr. Mackall, one of the Committee of Observation for Calvert County, advising us that they had not been supplied with powder and lead from your County, agreeable to an order of the Council, which was made and transmitted to you the 23d of January. Delay, upon such occasions, may be attended with dangerous consequences; and it will be impossible for us to direct the military operations with any probability of success, unless our requisitions are complied with. Calvert is greatly exposed, and ought not to be without a proper supply of ammunition. You may be assured it is our wish to provide equally for the defence of every part of the Province, and that we will not reduce your stock below your proportion. It appears, by a report of the Committees appointed by the last Convention to inquire into the state of the arms and ammunition, that there were twelve hundred and five and a half pounds of powder in your County; and since then there have been but two hundred and fifty sent to St. Marys; so that you have now nine hundred and fifty-five and a half pounds remaining. We desire you will, therefore, immediately despatch the barrel