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many salutary and valuable consequences would be derived from five or six hundred men being sent there, as it would not only quiet the minds of the people from the anxiety and uneasiness they are now filled with, and enable them to take a part in behalf of the Colonies, but be the means of preventing the Indians (of which there are a good many) from taking the side of Government, and the Ministerial Troops from getting such supplies of provisions from thence as they have done. How far these good purposes would be answered if such a force was sent as they ask for, is impossible to determine in the present uncertain state of things. For if the Army from Boston is going to Halifax, as reported by them before their departure, that, or a much more considerable force, would be of no avail. If not, and they possess the friendly disposition to our cause suggested in the petition and declared by Mr. Eddy, it might be of great service, unless another body of troops should be sent thither by the Administration, too powerful for them to oppose. It being a matter of some importance, I judged it prudent to lay it before Congress for their consideration; and requesting their direction upon the subject, shall only add, if they determine to adopt it, that they will prescribe the number to be sent, and whether it is to be from the regiments which will be left here. I shall wait their decision, and whatever it is, will endeavour to have it carried into execution.
I have the honour to be, with sentiments of the greatest regard, sir, your most obedient servant,
To the Honourable John Hancock.
Return of Ordnance Stores left by the Enemy in BOSTON, MARCH 17, 1776.
Cambridge, March 22, 1776.
To His Excellency GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esquire, Generalissimo of the Army of the twelve United Colonies of AMERICA.
May it please your Excellency:
The liberty we take in addressing a person of so exalted a rank will, we presume, be fully pardoned, when you perceive the occasion of it. The inhabitants of ova-Scotia, and, in particular, those of the County of Cumberland, have been under the greatest anxiety and apprehensions, ever since the great contest subsisting between Great Britain and the American Colonies. Our situation has been such, that we have not had it in our power to do anything in conjunction with the other Colonies. The form of Government we are under, and the manner of executing its authority, has been such, that we are rather to be looked upon as slaves than freemen.
With anxious desires have we been waiting for the success of your righteous cause, and that you would cast an eye of pity towards this forlorn part. We have, indeed, nothing to recommend us but misery and impending destruction and devastation. We trust our manner of pro ceedings will have the desired effect on you, as well as the others who are the instruments of supporting the liberty of mankind.
We have been harassed much, occasioned by different proceedings of Government; threatened are we, because we have such sentiments concerning the cause contended for by our brethren on the Continent. News have been received that Troops will soon be sent among us. This, in a manner, has roused many who were invisioned in lethargy; and Committees have been appointed from the different towns (including the Acadians) to fall upon some method for safety.
There are a number among us (vainly called Government men) who are continually prying into our proceedings, and, with accumulated tales, give information to the Government at Halifax. Liable, therefore, are we to be cut in pieces, having no expectation of succour but what comes through your Excellency.
We agreed in our Committees that nothing should be done publickly, as it might aggravate the others to fall upon us sooner than they intended; further, as we could not tell the intention of the honourable Continental Congress concerning us.
Therefore, as individuals who belong to the aforesaid Committee, we recommend Jonathan Eddy, Esq., to your Excellency, who will acquaint you with our situation; and we pray with ardency that your Excellency will please to relieve us, so that we may be able to give our sentiments publickly, and join with our little strength, in conjunction with the other Colonies, in preventing the ensigns of slavery from being set up in any part of this great empire. We further pray your Excellency will keep this our request as a secret at present.
We do separately and jointly pray for the success of your arms, and that you may be victorious, and vanquish all your enemies.
We are, with the greatest respect, your Excellencys most devoted and very humble servants,
Detail of the Guards in the Cambridge Department, MARCH 21, 1776.
HORATIO Gates, Adjutant-General.