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[No. 85.] Annapolis, March 25, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Colonel Mercer has been with us this day, and is very desirous a time and place should be appointed for meeting to consult about setting up beacons on the river Potomack. We have agreed with him that Port-Tobacco should be the place, and Tuesday, the 2d of April, the time. You will be pleased to attend accordingly, agreeable to your former appointment.

We are, &c.

To George Plater, Esq., and Brigadier-General Dent.


[No. 86.] Annapolis, March 25, 1776.

SIR: The bearer will deliver you the Association papers subscribed in your County, which we request you will return to us by some safe conveyance as soon as you can conveniently, as the Convention may possibly want to see them.

We shall be obliged to you for particular accounts of the expenses incurred by the Minute Companies in your County, as well as their wages, that we may transmit the money to you to discharge them. If an opportunity should offer, we request you will send us all the bayonets belonging to the Provincial muskets.

We are, &c.

To John Hanson, Esq., Chairman of the Committee of Middle District of Frederick County.

N. B. The times of the attendance of the men must be proved by the oath of some one at least of the commissioned officers, agreeable to the resolves of the last Convention, and we return the enclosed for that purpose.


March 25, 1776.

SIR: I observe that, in the vote of Congress for raising five Battalions in Pennsylvania, there is no provision made for Surgeons’ Mates, Sergeant-Majors, or Quartermaster Sergeants. I beg leave to represent to you that each of these officers is very necessary to a battalion. Part of a battalion may frequently be detached to a distance, where it may be impossible for the Surgeon to attend them, without neglecting the rest of. the regiment. And as to Mates being readily found in Canada, I do assure you it is scarcely possible to find a person that has any knowledge, either as Physician or Surgeon, in that country, some few excepted, who have left the Army, and settled there. The duty of the Adjutant would be insupportable without the assistance of a Sergeant-Major, and the Quartermaster-Sergeant is also very necessary, as not only the quarters or encampment of the corps falls under the Quartermasters’ direction, but the receiving and issuing the provisions, and the care of all the regimental stores, which it is impossible one man can at all times execute; and these men ought to be acquainted with accounts.

I also beg leave to mention to you the necessity of providing tents for the troops in Canada. The season of the year is at hand when they must occupy other grounds than they have been confined to in the winter, or be exposed to have their posts insulted, and, perhaps, carried by a force much inferior to theirs, were they encamped in one body, or in such manner as to be capable of supporting each other. And tents will become still more necessary, if there should be a necessity to attack Quebeck in form, which may probably be the case.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq., President of the Continental Congress.


[Read March 29, and referred to the Committee on Prisoners.]

Philadelphia, March 25, 1776.

SIR: It is now several weeks since the Scotch inhabitants in and about Johnstown, Tryon County, have been required by General Schuyler to deliver up their arms; and that each and all of them should parade in the above place, that he might take from this small body six prisoners of his own nomination. The request was accordingly complied with, and five other gentlemen with myself made prisoners of. As we are not conscious of having acted upon any principle that merits such severe proceedings from Congress, we cannot help being a good deal surprised at such treatment; but are willing to attribute this rather to malicious, ill-designing people, than to gentlemen of so much humanity and known character as the Congress consists of. The many difficulties we met with since our landing on this Continent, (which is but very lately,) burdened with women and children, we hope merit a share in their feeling; and that they would obtain the surest conviction, before we were removed from our families; as, by a separation of the kind, they are rendered destitute, and without access to either money or credit. This is the reason why you will observe, in the article of capitulation respecting the Scotch, that they made such a struggle for having their respective families provided for in their absence. The General declared he had no discretionary power to grant such, but that he would represent it, as he hoped with success, to Congress; and in this opinon two other gentlemen present supported him. The request is so just in itself that it is but what you daily grant to the meanest of your prisoners. As we cannot, we do not claim it by any agreement. Though, by a little attention to that part of the capitulation, you will observe that we were put in the hope and expectation of having them supported in their different situations.

As to ourselves, we are put into a tavern, with the proper allowance of bed and board. This is all that is necessary so far. But what becomes of the external part of the body? This requires its necessaries, and without the decent part of such, a gentleman must be very intolerable to himself and others. I know I need not enter so minutely in representing those difficulties to Congress or you, as your established character and feelings will induce you to treat us as gentlemen and prisoners, removed from all means of relief for ourselves or families, but that of application to Congress. I arrived here last night in order to have the honour of laying those matters personally, or in writing, before you and them. Shall accordingly expect to be honoured with an answer.

I am, most respectfully, sir, your most obedient humble servant,



Philadelphia, March 25, 1776.

SIR: Captain James Young, of this city, having, by letter, represented to Congress, that his son John Young, in January last, eloped from him and got on board the Phenix man-of-war, at New-York, from whence he was proceeding to Boston, and on his passage was cast away on Long-Island, and that he is now fortunately a prisoner at New-York, and desiring that he may be permitted to be a prisoner on his parole at the estate of his late grandfather, (Doctor Greame;) in consequence of which, I have it in charge to direct that the said John Young be allowed to reside at the house of the late Doctor Greame. You will therefore please to order him to be delivered to his father, first taking his parole, which he must subscribe; and you will forward it to me.

Captain James Young is a gentleman exceedingly friendly to our cause; I therefore beg leave to recommend him to your notice.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To the Officer Commanding the Continental Troops at New-York.


Philadelphia, March 25, 1776.

SIR: I had the honour of receiving yesterday yours of the 19th, containing the agreeable information of the Ministerial Troops having abandoned Boston. The partial victory we have obtained over them in that quarter, I hope will turn out a happy presage of a more general one.

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