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Whatever place may be the object of their destination, it must certainly give a sincere pleasure to every friend of this country to see the most diligent preparations everywhere making to receive them. What may be their views it is indeed impossible to tell with any degree of exactness. We have all the reason, however, from the rage of disappointment and revenge, to expect the worst. Nor have I any doubt that, as far as their power extends, they will inflict every species of calamity upon us. The same Providence that has baffled their attempt against the Province of Massachusetts-Bay will, I trust, defeat the deep-laid scheme they are now meditating against some other part of our country.
The intelligence that our Army had got possession of Boston, you will readily suppose gave me heartfelt pleasure. I beg, sir, you will be pleased to accept my warmest thanks for the attention you have shown to my property in that town. I have only to request that Captain Cazeneau will continue to look after and take care that it be no ways destroyed or damaged.
This success of our arms naturally calls upon me to congratulate you, sir, to whose wisdom and conduct it has been owing. Permit me to add, that if a constant discharge of the most important duties, and the fame attending thereon, can afford genuine satisfaction, the pleasure you feel must be the most rational and exalted.
I have it in charge from Congress, to direct that you send an account of the troops in your camp who are deficient in arms, to the several Assemblies or Conventions of the Colonies to which those men belong, and request them to send a sufficient number of arms for the men coming from the respective Colonies; and that if arms cannot be procured, that such as have not arms be dismissed the service.
The Congress being of opinion that the reduction of Quebeck and the general security of the Province of Canada, are objects of great concern, I am commanded to direct that you detach four battalions into Canada from the Army under your command, as soon as you shall be of opinion that the safety of New-York and the eastern service Will permit.
Your several letters are at this time under the consideration of a Committee. As soon as any determination is made thereon, I will immediately forward it to you.
I have the honour to be, with the greatest esteem, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,
JOHN HANCOCK, President.
To His Excellency General Washington.
To the Honourable Provincial Congress or Committee of Safety for the Province of NEW-YORK.
I, John McDonald, Miner, who was appointed by your Honours, with the most punctual instructions relative to lead-mines, accordingly have proceeded, in compliance with the request contained in said instructions, with all convenient despatch, to the Little Nine Partners; and repaired myself, with all sincerity, in working and examining for lead and copper, in order to bring the true information of the state and quality of the same, which is at large reported as specified, in the following manner: Jonathan London, Esq., to whom I was recommended for directions, conducted me to a limestone hill, where, at random, took the dimensions from the northeast to the southwest, being one mile in length, included from both fallings, in the ground in each end of said hill. The breadth is half a mile, and about forty rods height. There I found said mines, the veins of ore in which appear inclining or lying west and east, in ledges of limestone, mixed with white flint. Some years ago a company of adventurers had sunk several pits, or shafts, in pursuit of lead and copper; and that amongst the trials are two pits, one of which is fifteen feet deep, the other is fifty feet deep; and in the bottom of said pits left a promising discovery of about seven inches diameter solid ore, and that of a continued vein. Unfortunately the company were under the necessity of giving up their proceedings on account of the under-water rising, anent which we are fully informed of all the particulars by Mr. Harris. The principal method of preventing the damage done by the water is, to drive a level from its advantageous situation to the discoveries made, which will clear away the water. The timber which supported the pits from the beginning of sinking, broke by the age and want of repairing, thereby is filled to the top with rubbish, &c. Mr. Harris undertook cheerfully to make discovery of lead; therefore the said Jonathan Landon, Esq., applied to one Mr. Fish (on whose property Mr. Harris has made a prosperous discovery of lead) for leave to open and search the ground; but he refused the freedom of breaking the ground, so that Mr. Harriss best discovery was not explored. I made trials in several places, and discovered a small quantity of lead ore in each vein. The bounds wherein the mines lie are extraordinarily well situated for pursuing the necessary trials according to minery. The above-mentioned length, breadth, and height, will be a sufficient declaration to any person that professes to have a particular skill and knowledge in conducting lead-mines regularly in all its branches. My sincere advice to your Honours is, to employ some hands, and provide them with tools, in order to clear and draw the rubbish, &c., out from the said two pits, and support them well with timber; and by accomplishing the clearings of rubbish from these shafts, will make your Honours to have the satisfaction to know the truth of Mr. Harriss description. If it appears to be depended on, the workmen must prepare to prosecute the discovery of the said leadmines according to the directions of the inspector appointed; and if it be carried on properly, they will follow my aforesaid directions. I surveyed some mines near Martown, which is not worthy to report. I am fully informed by several, that there is a good mine explored in Rochester Patent, in Ulster County, which a company of adventurers wrought at about fifty years ago, and that they raised some hundred tons of lead ore. The full truth of which mine, Colonel Pawling, Chairman to the Committee Board of Marbletown, was to acquaint your Honours. The common report of the neighbouring inhabitants was declaring their seeing two feet diameter of solid ore, and great many trials made. Your Honours may or may not carry on these trials to execution. All that can be said is, that such promising discoveries for the publick good ought not to remain dead and useless in the bowels of the earth, without trials to be properly executed.
All which is humbly submitted, by your Honours most obedient and humble servant,
JOHN MCDONALD, Miner.
JOSIAH QUINCY TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
Braintree, March 25, 1776.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: Your obliging letter of yesterday was handed to me this morning by General Wards son. The fleet still continues in Nantasket-Road; and I cannot discern any diminution of their numbers. Five or six transports, and a man-of-war, arrived last Friday afternoon. As the man-of-war saluted the Admiral, I suppose they came from England.
The signal at the Light-House was thrown out again on Saturday; but the wind has hitherto prevented the arrival of any more vessels. The Admiral has a signal now flying at his maintop-mast head. I wish it was in my power to construe it.
Agreeable to your Excellencys desire, as fast as I can find trustworthy persons, I shall give them directions to make diligent search after such characters as you have described, and, upon good ground of suspicion, to apprehend and carry them to Head-Quarters, or bring them to me for further examination, as may be most convenient.
Eleven oclock.This moment an explanation of the above signal occurs. Part of the fleet are come to sail. I shall proceed journalwise to inform your Excellency of their movements, till the bearer, who is gone to see Colonel Tupper, returns.
One oclock.They are still coming to sail; near, or quite fifty sail, are got out to seaabout half of them brigs, schooners, and sloops, one or two frigates, and the remainder transport-ships. Their course shaped for Cape-Cod. May not this division be bound for Marthas Vineyard, and the Islands in that Sound, to procure fresh provision for the fleet, which is to rendezvous at Halifax, and from thence to proceed to Quebeck ?
Three oclock.My servant, who was directed to take an