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General Orders before QUEBECK, MARCH 15, 1776.

As the spreading the Small-Pox at this juncture will probably prove the entire ruin of the Army, the officers are desired to take all possible care to prevent it, by keeping the men from strolling from their quarters.

The Surgeons of the Army are forbid, under the severest penalty, to inoculate any person. And as many officers and men are preparing for the small-pox, it is said with an intention of taking it by inoculation; to prevent the fatal consequences attending such conduct, those who are found guilty, if officers, will be immmediately cashiered; if private soldiers, punished at the discretion of a Court-Martial.


[Read April 18. Referred to Mr. Read, Mr. Clinton, Mr. Braxton.]

Watertown, March 30, 1776.

SIR: I beg the favour of you to make my grateful acknowledgments to the Congress for the honour they did me in appointing me Paymaster-General of the Army. I have endeavoured to answer their expectation, by executing that office with assiduity and fidelity, and should think it an honour still to continue in that station. But, sir, as the operations of war may, and probably will, change their seat, and some other of the Colonies be the principal scene of action, and it may be expected that I should attend the Army with the General and Commander-in-Chief, you will oblige me by desiring the Congress, under these circumstances, to accept my resignation of that office. The inconveniency to my private affairs is the smallest inducement to this step. The provision made for the support of the Paymaster’s office is ample. But, as I have ever made the publick good my ruling principle, I flatter myself, from the connection and interest I have here, it may be more in my power to render some small services to the publick here than in another part of the Continent. I hope, therefore, this resignation will not be considered as proceeding from any discontent, or want of respect for the General or for the Congress, whose dignity and influence I make it my business on all occasions to support.

I shall be ready to render my accounts of the disposition of the money I have received, in such manner as the Congress shall direct, and to serve them in any station they may think proper to appoint me to.

I am, sir, with the greatest respect, your most obedient, humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq., President of the Congress.


Great-Barrington, March 30, 1776.

SIR: Upon the receipt of the Militia Bill, and the order of the honourable Council conformable thereto, the Field-Officers of the Regiment which I have the honour to command, met, and divided the same into companies; and, amongst the rest, divided this town of Barrington into two companies, by a line running east and west through the middle of the same, having first taken off some of the out corners of the town, and placed them to other companies for their convenience. After which division, the companies were brought to a choice of their officers, and chose those named in the list now sent to the Secretary. The Captains of each company were chosen by a bare majority of votes, and the Lieutenants but by a few more. Since the choice, a large number of the soldiers appear to be very uneasy with the officers elected. Those of the South Company say that Captain Peter Ingersoll was broke last fall by the sentence of a Court-Martial in the Continental Army, and was then declared incapable of sustaining any office in the Continental service. The First Lieutenant, Timothy Younglove, they say is a Tory, and during the whole of our troubles has manifested himself unfriendly to the common cause, and openly opposed all the measures that have been recommended by the Congress; therefore that he ought not to have any command in the Militia. Those in the North Company say that the Captain, Hewit Root, is advanced in years, and by frequent fits of the gout, or rheumatism, is rendered incapable of doing the duties of his office. They also object against the moral character and general conduct of the First Lieutenant; and the uneasiness in both companies has risen to that height, that they say they never will bear arms under these officers, so long as they are able to earn enough to pay their fines.

It must be observed that the town consists of members of the Church of England and Dissenters; the former of which (a few excepted) have been very backward in all our late publick matters, and amongst us are denominated Tories. It is said that by their interest principally, the aforementioned officers were elected. They have never turned any men out for the publick service, which the other party have; and thus, being all present, are able to outvote the Whigs.

A petition has been presented to me, signed by fifty-four persons, requesting an alteration in the division of said companies into East and West Companies. By the proposed new division, the main of those called Tories will be in the West Company. The petitioners imagine that, upon a choice according to this division, such officers would be chosen as would give general satisfaction. The other party say that this proposed division will give as great uneasiness as the present, and they, to the number of eighty-seven, have petitioned against the proposed new division. The Field-Officers, upon the present appearance, are of opinion that, if the now proposed division had been made at first, it might have been for the best; but after we had proceeded to make a division, and a choice of officers has been made accordingly, thought ourselves hardly warranted to make a new division without the direction of the honourable Council; and the rest of the Field-Officers directed me to write to your Honours upon the matter. William Whiting, Esq., the Representative from the town, can fully inform your Honours of the difficulties and circumstances attending the whole matter, to whom we refer for that purpose.

I beg leave further to mention, that a part of this town, called the Hoplands, containing about thirty-eight men, is separated from the rest of this town by mountains, in such a manner that the people there cannot get to the place of parade here without travelling eight or ten miles. They lie contiguous to a part of Tyringham; we therefore determined that they should join that part of Tyringham, and so make a company; but upon notice, the said Hoplanders refused to join with. Tyringham. They are so few that, by the act, they cannot be formed into a company by themselves; so that, as matters now stand, they must be obliged to join the North Company in this town; and yet they have had no voice in the choice of the officers, it not being known but that they would be willing to join with Tyringham till after the choice here.

We look to your Honours for direction in these matters, not doubting but the people will acquiesce in what your Honours shall direct in the premises.

I am your Honours’ most humble servant,


To the President of the Honourable Council of Massachusetts-Bay.


[No. 99.] Annapolis, March 31, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The enclosed is a copy of a letter we have just received from Mr. Hughes. And as mounting the eighteen-pounders immediately will be a capital thing for your town, and, eventually, the Province in general, we request you will exert your utmost diligence in getting the carriages ready for them.

We are, &c.

To the Committee of Observation for Baltimore County.


Philadelphia, March 31, 1776.

GENTLEMEN:* Though it might be deemed absolutely necessary to suppress all publications which tend to disunite the Colonies in their present spirited opposition to a cruel

* Cassandra will please to excuse the appellation of “Gentlemen,” for as Phæbus decreed that the Prophetess should never be credited, I am under the necessity of disbelieving that the modern Cassandra is a lady

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