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knows to what vicissitudes of fortune we may yet be subjected?

We have already declared ourselves independent, as to all useful purposes, by resisting our oppressors upon our own foundation. And while we keep upon this ground, without connecting ourselves with any foreign nations, to involve us in fresh difficulties, and endanger our liberties still further, we are able, in our own element, (upon the shore,) to continue this resistance; and it is our duty to continue it, till Great Britain is convinced (as she must soon be) of her fatal policy, and open her arms to reconciliation, upon the permanent and sure footing of mutual interest and safety.

Upon such a footing, we may again be happy. Our trade will be revived. Our husbandmen, our mechanicks, our artificers, will flourish. Our language, our laws, and manners, being the same with those of the nation with which we are again to be connected, that connection will be natural; and we shall the more easily guard against future innovations. Pennsylvania has much to lose in this contest, and much to hope from a proper settlement of it. We have long flourished under our Charter Government. What may be the consequences of another form we cannot pronounce with certainty; but this we know, that it is a road we have not travelled, and may be worse than it is described.



[Read March 28, 1776.]

Trenton, March 27, 1776.

SIR: Agreeable to the resolution of Congress of the 15th instant, and in pursuance of the requisitions of Generals Thompson and Lord Stirling, of the 23d, the Committee of Safety have ordered three Battalions of the Militia of this Province to march to New-York, for the defence of that city and parts adjacent, as you will see by their letter sent herewith; which troops, it is expected, are to be paid by the Continent. I have prevailed with the Committee to send by express, and must beg that your answer may be sent immediately, that we may have it in our power either to stop the march of the Militia or expedite it, as may be most agreeable to Congress. It is certainly best to save all the expense in our power, but not to retard a necessary service.

We have ordered the removal of the prisoners to Mount Holly; and this day received an answer from the Committee of that place, advising they are preparing for the reception of the officers, but cannot prepare places for the soldiers in less than a fortnight.

I cannot help mentioning some expressions in Lord Stirling’s letter of the 23d: “But, for God’s sake, dou’t suffer any delay in. your directions for the march of the Militia from the interior Counties.” Pray despatch your answer, as our Committee proposes to adjourn for a week.

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


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.

In Committee of Safety, Trenton, New-Jersey,
March 27, 1776.

SIR: The Committee of Safety of this Province, being sincerely desirous to give every aid in their power for the protection and defence of the United Colonies, have, in pursuance of your recommendation of the 15th instant, and the application of Brigadier-Generals Thompson and Lord Stirling, resolved and ordered that three Battalions of Militia, to consist of six hundred and sixty men each, to be drafted out of the Counties of Essex, Morris, Sussex, Monmouth, Somerset, Bergen, Middlesex, Hunterdon, and Burlington, and immediately marched to New-York, under the command of the Brigadier-Generals Dickerson and Livingston, there to continue for one month, unless sooner discharged by the commanding officer of the Continental Troops at that station. General Dickerson has issued his orders to the respective officers, and the Militia are on their march for New-York. To facilitate this service, the Committee have appointed a Commissary and Quartermaster, and directed the Treasurers of the Provincial Congress to pay the sum of fifteen hundred pounds on the orders of the Generals and Commissary, for the subsistence of the troops on their march; in confidence that whatever sum is advanced on this occasion, will be reimbursed from the Continental Treasury.

As we have reason to believe the enemy will take every opportunity of distressing the inhabitants, by parties from their cutters and armed vessels, the Committee have ordered four companies, to consist of seventy-five men each, to be raised at the expense of the Province, and stationed in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties.

The Committee hope their proceedings, on this occasion, will meet with the approbation of the honourable Continental Congress.

By order of the Committee:


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.


Brunswick, March 27, 1776.

MY DEAR LORD: I received your obliging letter some days since at Philadelphia; but our departure from thence being uncertain, I could not till now acquaint your Lordship when we expected to be at New-York. We move but slowly, and think we shall scarce reach farther than Newark to-morrow, so that we cannot have the pleasure of seeing you before Friday. Being myself, from long absence, as much a stranger in New-York as the other gentlemen, we join in requesting you would be so good as to cause lodgings to be provided for us, and a sloop engaged to carry us to Albany. There are five of us, and we purpose staying at New-York two nights at least.

With great and sincere esteem and respect, I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship’s most obedient and most humble servant,


To the Honourable the Earl of Stirling.


New-York, March 27, 1776.

MY DEAR GENERAL: When your letter of the 19th arrived at this place, I was viewing some grounds on Staten-Island, and the most exposed parts in New-Jersey. It of course went into the hands of Brigadier-General Thompson, who writes to your Excellency by this conveyance. I sincerely congratulate you on the sudden change of the scene at your late station. The evacuation of Boston is an event that must surprise all the world; and yet I believe your late manoeuvres had put General Howe under a necessity of taking this very extraordinary step. The hurry and precipitation in which they have embarked, will prevent their making any immediate attempt to land where they can meet with opposition. However, every measure has been taken here, as if we had been sure of their immediate approach; and I have the satisfaction to think that, for the time and numbers, a very great deal has been done; and as the troops are now coming in from the east and west, I hope we shall soon be able to put things in such a state as will prevent the enemy from getting any foothold in this part of the world.

Be pleased to present my best respects to Mrs. Washington, and Mr. and Mrs. Custis; and am, with the highest regard and esteem, your most obedient humble servant,


To General Washington.


In Committee for the District of Cow-Neck and Great-Neck, in Queen’s County, held at Cow-Neck, the 27th of March, 1776:

Whereas Israel Rogers, one of the disarmed in this District, being since charged with counteracting the measures carrying on for the preservation of American liberty: On examination, the complaint appeared well founded; it was, therefore, the opinion of this Committee, that the said Israel Rogers be held in bond for his good behaviour. But on resistance of this order, it became the part of expediency to reprobate this vile man as an enemy to his country, and unworthy of the least protection; and do hereby strictly enjoin all manner of persons in this District, immediately to break off every kind of civil, mechanical, and commercial intercourse


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