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own spirit avert,) the horrible slavery which must be the lot of you and your children, will be represented in history as scarcely adequate to the blackness and magnitude of your crimes. If anything in human affairs is certain, it may be affirmed that success or miscarriage are at your own option. Decision insures the former; hesitation incurs the latter.

You have an Army, the soldiers and officers of which have displayed more valour, order, and discipline, and the Generals more ability, than the enemy or yourselves could possibly have expected. They have been crowned with most wonderful success. And are they now to be stopped in the career of their good fortune? And are your liberties to be risked on the chance of a die, merely through complaisance to the fears, if not the treachery, of the most despicable and worthless part of the community? I speak not from passion or prejudice: I appeal to your own sense and experience. Look about you. Who, what are these men, thus sobbing and whining after their darling dependance, which they can neither understand themselves, nor do attempt to explain to others? Are they not the very men who, from the beginning, have either openly opposed, or thrown obstacles in the way of, every spirited measure of resistance? In short, are they not men of suspected principles, muddy, perplexed understandings, or of a timidity ridiculous to a proverb?

I shall now conclude, fellow-citizens, with urging and insisting upon these incontrovertible truths: that although you have a numerous and gallant Army, although your Generals and officers are zealous and capable, although it has pleased Heaven to bless them hitherto with almost one continued series of success—I say, that although these things are, they are all in vain, unless you likewise exert, at this important crisis, that manly decision which has long been expected from you. The gallantry of your troops, the zeal and capacity of your officers, will only serve to make their defeat and destruction more humiliating and lamentable; and that they must ultimately be defeated, ruined, or dissolved, is most infallible, unless they are furnished with the requisite means of carrying on the war. They have not these means; they have neither arms, tents, blankets, nor a sufficient stock of ammunition. They can only be supplied with these requisites by a more certain, and less precarious intercourse with other States, than the little, dirty, disgraceful, smuggling method now pursued. This intercourse cannot be established without a declaration, on your parts, that you are a free and independent people. Whilst you remain in the predicament of Rebels, they are, in decency, obliged to keep aloof; but when you can be considered as an independent State, the eternal rules of policy will point out to them the advantages and honour which must result from a close alliance with you. For Heaven’s sake, why, wherefore do you hesitate? The pusillanimous mortals who labour to raise spectres in your imaginations similar to those which haunt their own, know very well that reconciliation and reunion with your butchers are impossible. You may, indeed, be their slaves, but to be their brethren and fellow-subjects is out of the nature of things. Procrastination only prolongs the calamities of war. Every day’s delay swells up the expense of America’s blood and treasure. Will you, then, I repeatedly demand, throw away the lives of so many thousands of your most valuable citizens, plunge yourselves into an enormous debt, from which you can never be extricated; will you stake the liberties of yourselves and posterity on hazard and fortune, merely in complacency to the fears of a few timid, or perhaps to the designs of a few disaffected men? Or will you, by a brave, spirited, and manly injunction on your servants in Congress to declare you a free and independent people, bring the calamities of war to a shorter issue, and fix your liberties on a firm and durable foundation?


[No. 116.]Annapolis, April 13, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Mr. Risteau, the bearer, has the misfor-tune of having a brother in captivity, taken by Lord Dun-more, and entertains some hopes of obtaining his release if he can gain access to him. He is a native of this Province, and well known to some of us to be a warm friend to American liberty; we should therefore be obliged to you if you would afford him any opportunity for that purpose that would not be injurious to the cause in which we are embarked. We are, &c.

To the Committee of Safety of Virginia.


[No. 117.]Annapolis, April 13, 1776.

SIR: We are sorry any uneasiness should prevail among the independent Captains on the Eastern-Shore, from a supposition they have not equally the attention of the Council of Safety with those on this side the bay. We aim at doing what is right, and wish to avoid every appearance of partiality. The companies here are as unhappily circumstanced, both as to arms and clothing, as they are with you. We were disappointed in having as many guns at Balti-more as we expected; and as there are a good many on hand in Annapolis, and we had a probability of receiving sixty or eighty more from Frederick within a few days, we thought it most advisable to wait a little while for them, that you might be furnished at once with at least as many as we had in view to send when you were with us. The hats, blankets, and lead, did not get down until three or four days ago, and we were obliged to send a second messenger to Baltimore before we could learn the quantity of musket powder they had there. These matters prevented our supplying you so early as we were anxious to do.

We have sent you from hence, by Mr. Waters’s boat, ninety-four muskets, twenty-one rifles, with bullet moulds, pouches, and horns, five hundred and ten hats, three pieces osnaburgh, fifteen hundred gun flints, twenty musket bullet-moulds, forty blankets, two and a half reams of cartridge paper, fifty pieces of check, fifteen pieces of Russia linen, and forty-five pieces of cruger; and have ordered Major Gist to send from Baltimore one ton of musket gunpowder, four ton of lead, four hundred and fifty-four cartridge-boxes and belts, four hundred and fifty-four bayonet-belts, three hundred gun-slings, and also sixty of the muskets and accoutrements now in the possession of Captain Nathaniel Smith’s Company. The osnaburghs are for Captain Veazey’s Company; the blankets for the others; and the arms, &c., with forty muskets and accoutrements, and twenty rifles, which we have purchased from Mr. Thomas Ringgold, with those you have bought, and also the linen, are to be equally distributed, to avoid all complaints. If you have leisure, we request you will parcel out the arms for each company. Cecil County is already sufficiently supplied with powder and lead. The gentlemen from below say the addition-of one barrel will not be enough; we therefore would have you send them each another; and to keep up an equality, which may prevent uneasiness, we desire you will also add one to each of the other Counties, except Caroline.

We desire you will contract for the other rifles, but think the shoes too dear. If Mr. Hands can come over with you the last of next week it will be a great relief to us. Mr. Carroll is fearful of a fit of the gout. Mr. Tilghman is anxious to get to the Eastern-Shore, and the rest of us are much fatigued. We are, &c.

To Thomas Smyth, Esq.


Philadelphia, April 13, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: There is not an ell of light duck in this city, or we should have bought some, agreeable to your request. We advised with persons here who understand what articles are fit for tents, and they inform us that the cruger sent by Mr. Bowly from hence, is very proper for that purpose. We wish to know if you have received the cruger and other linens imported in the Wild Duck. We directed them to be lodged at Baltimore for your order, and expect they are arrived before this. Enclosed you have a memorandum of the several prices. Be pleased to inform us if you have heard from Vanbibber. No important occurrence since we last wrote you.

We are your most obedient servants,


To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.

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