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This opinion is corroborated by a deserter from one of the transports, who says they have yards, booms, and bowsprits yet to fix. Others again think that they have a mind to pass over the equinoctial gale before they put out, not being in the best condition to stand one; others, that they are waiting a reinforcement, which I believe has arrived, as I have had an account of the sailing of fifteen vessels from the West-Indies. But my opinion of the matter is, that they want to retrieve their disgrace before they go off, and I think a favourable opportunity presents itself to them. They have now got their whole force into one collected body, and no posts to guard. We have detached six regiments to New-York, and have many points to look to, and, on Monday next, ten regiments of Militia, which were brought in to serve till the first of April, will be disengaged. From former experience, we have found it as practicable to stop a torrent as these people when their time is up. If this should be the case now, what more favourable opening can the enemy wish for to make a push upon our lines, nay, upon the back of our lines at Roxbury, as they can land two miles from them and pass behind? I am under more apprehension from them now than ever, and am taking every precaution I can to guard against the evil; but we have a kind of people to deal with who will not fear danger till the bayonet is at their breast; and then they are susceptible enough of it. I am fortifying Fort-Hill, in Boston, and demolishing the lines on the Neck there, as they are a defence against the country only, and making such other dispositions as appear necessary for a general defence. I can spare no more men till I see the enemys back fairly turned, and then I shall hasten towardsNew-York.
You mention Mr. Webb, in one of your letters, for an assistant. He will be agreeable enough to me, if you think him qualified for the business. What kind of a hand he writes, I know notI believe but a cramped one; latterly none at all, as he has either the gout or rheumatism, or both. He is a man fond of company and gayety, and is of a tender constitution. Whether, therefore, such a person would answer your purpose so well as a plodding, methodical person, whose sole business should be to arrange his papers in such order as to produce any one at any instant it is called for, and capable at the same time of composing a letter, is what you have to consider. I can only add, that I have no one in view myself, and wish you success in your choice; being, with great truth and sincerity, dear sir, your affectionate servant,
To Joseph Reed, Esq.
P. S. I have taken occasion to hint to a certain gentleman in this camp, without introducing names, my apprehensions of his being concerned in trade. He protests most solemnly that he is not, directly nor indirectly.
ROBERT H. HARRISON TO COLONEL WENTWORTH.
Cambridge, March 25, 1776,
SIR: Captain Frazier delivered me your favour of the 21st instant. I have laid it and the Captains petition before his Excellency, who has no objection to the gentlemen belonging to the Susanna seeking an opportunity to return home, which he will give them liberty to do, upon their giving their parole not to act inimical to America during the present contest.
The Captain sets forth, that he has been plundered of his private property to the amount of sixty-three pounds thirteen shillings and three pence sterling.
This is a circumstance which gives great dissatisfaction to the General. It has been his positive orders to the commanders of those armed vessels to guard against this so ignominious behaviour of the people on board their vessels. The only remedy at present that I can think of is, to get the sufferers attestation of their loss. Let them be paid. The Captains must find out who the plunderers were; and, besides such punishment as is due for their crimes, the sum paid must be deducted from their share of the prize. If they cannot fix upon the defaulters, it must become a charge against the one-third given to the captors by the Continent.
I am, sir, yours, &c.,
ROBERT H. HARRISON.
To Colonel Joshua Wentworth, Portsmouth.
DAVID WOODWARD TO NEW-HAMPSHIRE COMMITTEE OF SAFETY.
Hanover, March 25, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: Enclosed is a copy of our proceedings, which, we hope, will be approved. We have seen a resolve of the Congress relative to such cases, but imagined the necessity that immediate measures should be taken to suppress such a disorder justified our proceeding as we have done. We could wish to have our duty in that and other cases more particularly stated, that we may not be exposed to exceed our bounds. As there is a prospect of further discoveries of the like kind in these parts, and as persons not disposed to good order, taking advantage of our broken state, have already begun to commit outrages on the property of others, which, if passed unnoticed, and no measures are directed for redress, will be made use of as precedents for other high-handed iniquity, and the person and property of no one be secure.
We are, gentlemen, with much respect, your most obedient and humble servants.
By order of the Committee:
DAVID WOODWARD, Chairman.
To the Committee of Safety of New-Hampshire.
Colony of NEW-HAMPSHIRE, GRAFTON County, ss.
At a meeting of the Committee of Safety for the Town of Hanover, in said County, at the house of John Paine, Innholder in said Hanover, March 23, 1776
Present: Lieutenant David Woodward, Chairman; Captain Aaron Storrs, Bezaleel Woodward, Esq., Clerk.
Bezaleel Phelps, of Norwich, in the Colony of New-York, Yeoman, was brought before this Committee by virtue of a warrant issued by Bezaleel Woodward and Aaron Storrs, (two of the Committee,) predicated on his having in his custody, and detaining, a certain Note of this Colony, bearing the face of a six-shilling Bill, which is supposed to have been fraudulently altered and increased as to the value or sum therein expressed by said Phelps, as by said warrant more fully may appear.
Respondent pleads Not guilty.
After a full hearing of evidences in said case, said Phelps confessed that he had burnt said bill, being conscious that it was altered; and that, in case he may be excused from penalty for detaining said bill when he knew it was counterfeit, he will disclose to this Committee the author of that and sundry other bills, and discover where some of said bills are.
Whereupon, said proposal is agreed to, only that he pay costs hitherto made in the affair till they can be regularly recovered of some other person. Costs taxed at forty shillings.
Said Phelps then desired Lemuel Paine, of said Hanover, to produce a certain forty-shilling Bill which he received on the evening of the 15th instant of Andrew Wheatly, of Lebanon; which said Paine, on request, accordingly did; which Bill is adjudged by this Committee to have been altered from a three-shilling Bill, and which said Lemuel, on his oath, declares he received of said Wheatly, as aforesaid.
Committee adjourned to to-morrow morning, at nine oclock.
March 24.Met according to adjournment.
Present: Lieutenant David Woodward, Chairman; Captain Aaron Storrs, Bezaleel Woodward, Esq., Clerk, Committee of Hanover. John Wheatley, Esq., Major John Slapp, Major John Griswold, Mr. Azariah Bliss, Committee of Lebanon.
First. Charles Hill, of Lebanon, Innholder, is brought before these Committees, for putting off and passing counterfeit money; at which time, Solomon Cushman, of Norwich, produced a forty-shilling Bill of the Colony of New-Hampshire, No. 3260, emitted July 25, 1775, and payable December 20, 1779; which is adjudged by these Committees to have been altered; which Bill said Cushman, on his oath, declared he received of said Charles Hill, in payment for a silk handkerchief; and said Hill is not able to inform us of whom he received it.
Whereupon, it is considered.
And Ordered, That said Hill pay to said Cushman the value of said Bill, viz: forty shillings, and costs. Judgment satisfied.