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was more central than any other in the County, that you might be within a days march of any part of it. But if the Committee of Observation should be of opinion that any other station is more convenient, we shall readily confirm and order you to it; or if they should be of opinion that your Company should be divided, and stationed at the mouth of the Patuxent and Point Look-Out, we shall concur with them, when we know their reasons for it, if we approve of them. But we presume that, let your station be where it may, you will nevertheless march to any other part of the County, whenever its defence requires it. And why you should want positive orders to do your duty, we cannot conceive; if you take care to walk within the line of it, you need not be under any great difficulty to excuse yourself to the people of St. Marys, or the publick in general, or to justify yourself to the whole world. Our care has and shall be as diffusive and extensive all over the Province as its funds and our abilities will allow, and, therefore, we are not under the least apprehension but that our endeavours will meet with the approbation of our constituents.
We sent you by Lieutenant Stewart one hundred and fifty pounds. If that sum is short of what ought to have been sent, you have only to make up your accounts to the 3d of this month, and every shilling that will be due to that day shall be paid. We are determined to have vouchers for whatever sums of money we may pay of the publick stock, and, therefore, you will excuse us in not advancing large sums in gross.
We are surprised that the contractor has not employed some persons before this to furnish your Company with its rations. Surely he will soon do it; in the mean time, you must do as well as you can towards supplying them.
We expect to receive hats and breeches every day. We ordered two and a half barrels of powder to you from Charles County, which we suppose you have received. Lieutenant Stewart had fifty muskets and bayonets delivered to him, with one hundred cartouch-boxes, &c., and as soon as we get more arms, you shall have your proportion. We are, &c.
To Captain John Allen Thomas.
MARYLAND DELEGATES TO COUNCIL OF SAFETY.
Philadelphia, April 2, 1776.
GENTLEMAN: Mr. Archibald Buchanan could not take the money as he expected, and promised. Mr. Ringgold collected and brought up here one hundred and sixty pounds seventeen shillings and six pence. It has been delivered into the Treasury. Besides the change for that sum, we have delivered four thousand dollars to Mr. Ringgold, who sets out in a few days. He will take with him the rest of the money, and we hope the plates and the paper may be sent off about the same time.
We have nothing that can be depended on as to the extent of the powers the Conventions are to be invested with Whilst we are in suspense on this head, we think no step of consequence could be prudently taken; and, therefore, do not expect our Convention will continue long, or go fully into business. We could wish, if agreeable to them, that there might be an adjournment till about the 20th of May, with a continuance of the present existing powers, if they think proper.
We shall be obliged to you if you will cause affidavits to be made, and transmitted to us, of the time of the capture and recapture of Hudsons ship, that we may get the salvage (the quantum of which depends on the time she was in possession of the tender) ascertained and paid. We were desired to let the claim which we made of salvage, rest till the event of another effort was known. We hope the ship is now out of the bay.
We are, gentlemen, your most obedient servants,
To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.
PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
Philadelphia, April 2, 1776.
SIR: It gives me the most sensible pleasure to convey to you, by order of Congress, the only tribute which a free people will ever consent to paythe tribute of thanks and gratitude to their friends and benefactors.
The disinterested and patriotick principles which led you to the field, have also led you to glory; and it affords no little consolation to your countrymen to reflect, that, as a peculiar greatness of mind induced you to decline any compensation for serving them, except the pleasure of promoting their happiness, they may, without your permission, bestow upon you the largest share of their affections and esteem.
Those pages in. the annals of America, will record your title to a conspicuous place in the temple of fame, which shall inform posterity that, under your directions, an undisciplined band of husbandmen, in the course of a few months, became soldiers; and that the desolation meditated against the country by a brave army of veterans, commanded by the most experienced Generals, but employed by bad men, in the worst of causes, was, by the fortitude of your troops, and the address of their officers, next to the kind interposition of Providence, confined for near a year within such narrow limits as scarcely to admit more room than was necessary for the encampments and fortifications they lately abandoned.
Accept, therefore, sir, the thanks of the United Colonies, unanimously declared by their Delegates to be due to you, and the brave officers and troops under your command; and be pleased to communicate to them this distinguished mark of the approbation of their country.
The Congress have ordered a golden medal, adapted to the occasion, to be struck, and, when finished, to be presented to you.
I have the honour to be, with every sentiment of esteem, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,
JOHN HANCOCK, President.
To His Excellency General Washington.
COMMITTEE OF PRIVATES OF THE ASSOCIATORS TO PHILADELPHIA COMMITTEE.
In Committee, April 2, 1776.
GENTLEMAN: Your constant and unwearied application to the duties of your very important station, and your earnest endeavours to serve your country, and prevent the cruel attempts of interested persons to distress us, while they call for our gratitude and approbation, and strongly solicit us to lay no unnecessary burden upon you, yet give us the pleasing assurance that you will omit no means in your power effectually to remove our present distresses.
The scarcity of materials, the difficulty of procuring manufacturers, and the prospect we have before us of being obliged to neglect matters of great importance, and principally to attend to warlike defence, all point out the necessity of making timely provision against our future demands. For what by monopolizing in some instances, and a real scarcity in others, the country begins already to suffer, and the poor are exceedingly distressed. And if the case is so now, in the very opening of the spring, what will it be a few months hence, when the season for importation is wholly over. It becomes us, while we are wielding the sword of self-defence against an inhuman invader, to take effectual care that we distress not ourselves by unnecessary difficulties. It is not in our power to provide effectually against the necessities of the people, without some foreign trade. The scarcity of almost every species of goods which we have been accustomed to look upon as necessary to clothing and support, the consequent high price of them, and, above all, the small remaining demand for the produce of this country, which is now entirely cut off by the Prohibitory bill, all conspire to distress and discourage the people; and while it is of advantage to none but a few adventurous merchants, who run great hazards to serve us, and certain monopolizers, (whose prosperity arises from the miseries of mankind.) it can only be effectually removed by opening a free trade.
It is unnecessary to point out any particular instances to this Committee. The universal complaints of both town and country are well known to every one whose ears are not stopped by the prospect of private emolument arising from our necessities. Foreseeing the many calamities which must follow a neglect of the measure, we earnestly request you, gentlemen, either directly to apply to the honourable Continental Congress, in the name of the inhabitants of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia, whom you represent, prayin