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Suffolk County, March 28, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The Committee of Safety have appointed an Adjutant in the Minute service in this County; and he being unwilling to act in that department, and as it is absolutely necessary that such an officer should be immediately appointed, I take the liberty of recommending Mr. Ephraim Marvin as an Adjutant, and should be exceeding glad to have his commission forwarded to me by the first opportunity.

I am, gentlemen, your humble servant,


Colonel of Minute Battalion, Suffolk County.

To the Committee of Safety now sitting at New-York.


Goshen, March 28, 1776.

DEAR SIR: Some days ago my son received a letter from you, desiring him to inform you of what quantity of powder we had then made, what quantity we could make per week, and what quantity of materials we had by us; but as we had at that time but just begun, we could only have given a partial answer, and therefore omitted giving an answer until we had made further trial. And to which I now have to inform you that we had made, before the 12th of this instant, only two hundred weight. The first week after that time we made eight hundred weight; the second week we made eleven hundred weight; and I believe this week we shall make twelve hundred weight; so that, I believe, by Saturday night we shall have some better than three thousand weight. We have tried the quality of it by shooting with a gun. Several of our gunners have tried it, and all say it is of the best quality.

As to materials, we have saltpetre enough to work about two weeks only. We have had a promise of ten tons to be sent from Philadelphia, which was sent as far as Borden-town several months ago, and was to have been sent forward to our works. I wrote twice to the Congress about it, though the last letter they cannot have received. I hope they will soon send it.

As to sulphur, I cannot say what quantity we have. It is part of it at New-Windsor. I wish more might be had. I believe we have not got much.

I have made application to the Committee of our County for liberty to build a mill in our County, on the encouragement given by your honourable Board. I believe I shall succeed. If so, I make no doubt but will build one to make a ton a week, and more if necessary. Shall be glad of your assistance in procuring materials.

I wish you would direct what we shall do with the powder, as fast as it is fit for being sent off. As powder is an article that will take a considerable time to dry, especially at this time of the year, so that we shall have in the drying house at least two thousand weight all the time—in that case, query: Whether there will not be danger of some Tory setting fire to it in the night, by firing the house? If so, query: Whether it would not be right to keep a guard? And if so, as the powder all belongs to the publick, query: Whether the expense ought not to be home by the publick? I should be glad of an answer by the first opportunity.

I am, with the greatest regard and esteem, your assured friend and humble servant,


To the President of the Provincial Congress, or Chairman of the Committee of Safety, at New-York.

P. S. If you should think proper to order a guard, I believe four men would be sufficient for that purpose. I hope you will excuse this scrawl. I should have copied it, but have only three half sheets more of paper, and do not know where to get the next.


Albany, March 28, 1776.

MY DEAR LORD: General Washington has favoured me with an account of General Howe’s precipitate retreat from Boston; but as he had not left Nantasket-Road on the 19th, I hope the troops at New-York will be considerably reinforced before he can get there, should that be the place of his destination. I am exceedingly happy that the fortifications are advancing with so much rapidity; and I trust, should Mr. Howe make an attempt to possess himself of the city, that he will meet with a repulse.

The cannon and shot arrived here last Friday, and left this on Monday morning. I am this moment going to mount my horse to forward them from Half-Moon, where they are detained for want of cattle to transport them to Fort George. The incredible scarcity of forage creates great distress in moving any military stores.

I am, my dear Lord, your Lordship’s most obedient, humble servant,


To the Right Honourable the Earl of Stirling.


Camp at Cambridge, March 28, 1776.

Instructions for Captain EBENEZER STEVENS, commanding two Companies of the Regiment of Artillery, on a march to QUEBECK.

You (with the Companies under your command) are to make the most expeditious marches into Canada; there to join the Army under Major-General Thomas, in order to conquer, and entirely subdue, the enemies of liberty and America in that Province.

Your route will be through Number Four, in the Province of New-Hampshire, to Crown-Point, where you will draw what provisions you will think necessary for your further progress.

It is a matter of great importance that the mortars, shells, &c, which you have in charge, should reach the Camp before Quebeck. If, therefore, any of the teams should fail, you must procure fresh ones from the country people, and give an order for the pay on the Quartermaster-General, or his assistant up that way, or to this Camp, whichever shall be most agreeable.

You are to take particular care that your men are well covered in the night, and likewise that they observe the strictest discipline.

HENRY KNOX, Col. Regiment of Artillery.


Thursday, four o’clock P. M., March 28, 1776.

SIR: Will you do me the favour to ask the Committee of Safety for a certificate for my drovers to go into Connecticut for fresh beef? If a number of troops come here, ] readily foresee a scarcity of that article, which is a very essential one indeed, and cannot be had without a certificate. If a permit were given me to procure provisions where they could be purchased, it would save a vast deal of trouble; and in that case I would get a number copied, and you and Mr. Benson can sign them at leisure. But as I have three drovers on the borders of Connecticut, and are returned this day for want of credentials, I must request it as a particular favour that you would facilitate my getting a certificate. I would apply in person, but am really ashamed, I have teased them so much lately.

Your humble servant,


To Mr. John McKesson.

P. S. You will oblige me by sending my contract with the bearer.


Elkridge, March 29, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Whereas Mr. John Marriott, who was First Lieutenant to Captain Elisha Riggs, is deceased; I am therefore desired by Captain Riggs and his Company to recommend to you Mr. Joseph Walker, Jun., their First Lieutenant; Mr. Aquila Randall, Jun., their Second; and Mr. Nathaniel Owings, their Ensign. I also beg leave, gentlemen, to inform you that I look on the above gentlemen to be very proper persons.

I am, gentlemen, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.

Captain Riggs wishes that the vacancy might be filled up with all convenient speed.

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