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now sending out will arrive in time to prevent their forming any regular siege of that important post.
If the Rebels should attempt to keep possession of Montreal, or any other place in Canada on your side the lakes, the Army under your command will be sufficient to drive them from that pact of the Province; and there is no doubt, if you succeed in these first operations, but that you will endeavour to pass the lakes as early as possible, and, in your future progress, contribute to the success of the Army under General Howe. If, contrary to all our expectations, Quebeck should have fallen into the hands of the Rebels, a battering train of artillery is sent out, with Engineers, and a strong detachment of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, to enable you to regain that place, either by immediately attacking it, or first seizing Montreal, and by that means cutting off all communication between Quebeck and the rebellious Provinces; but these operations must be left to your judgment and discretion, as it would be highly improper, at such a distance, to give any positive orders, especially as so much confidence is placed in your knowledge and military experience. I am, &c.,
To Sir Guy Carleton, Quebeck.
LETTER FROM ARTHUR LEE.
[London, ] April 15, 1776.
DEAR SIR: On the 7th ultimo the Snow Dickinson, Captain Meston, consigned to Messrs. Montandouine & Frere, at Nantes, was brought into Bristol by her crew, and delivered up with all her papers. From these the Ministry are apprised of all the ships which have been sent to the different ports of France, and cruisers are despatched into the Bay of Biscay to watch them. John Sands, mate of the Dickinson, had made memorandums, long before he left Philadelphia, of every material transaction, which shows a premeditated plan of treachery. The proceedings of the Ministry, relative to this proof of the French interposition, have not yet transpired; but France does not seem to be settled or spirited enough to enter into a war, should England resent this business.
On the 5th of this month a fleet sailed with two thousand Brunswick Troops and General Burgoyne; it is therefore understood that they are gone to succour Queleck. Six regiments, (about four thousand effective men,) made up with German recruits, are now ready for sailing orders at Cork. It is probable that they, too, are destined to Quebeck. The first divisions of the Hessians are not yet arrived, so that it is not likely the whole of them will sail till the latter end of May. They are, by stipulation, to serve altogether, and therefore will go to Boston or Long-Island. It is supposed the Provincials will possess the strong posts on Elizabeth River, which, if in the enemys hands, will give them the command of Jersey, Staten-Island, &c. If the Provincials always have redoubts in the front and flanks of their Army, it is the opinion of the ablest in the profession, that they will be better than intrenchments or lines, and will foil the Regulars by breaking their line, or forcing them to sacrifice a number of men, which they cannot afford.
People here begin to feel the matter as very serious, since the publications of Dr. Price and Lord Stair have convinced them that new taxes must be imposed for supporting this armament, which, it is certain, will cost upwards of twelve millions. This, therefore, is universally believed to be the last effort of Administration; and if they do not succeed this campaign, it will be utterly impossible for them to find men or money for such another. The ships sent out are exceedingly ill-manned, and there is such a disposition to desertion among the German Troops, that if proper offers are made to them the Ministerial people are much afraid they will desert in great numbers. They have hopes, however, that divisions will take place among the Provinces and in the Congress, as they are satisfied that firmness and unanimity will force their own terms.
The City of London has addressed the Throne for an avowal of the conditions on which peace is to be restored. The answer was, in effect, unconditional submission. You may reckon, that in July the troops will be arrived, so as to enable General Howe to take the field. Lord Howe, though he has accepted of the command, is not yet sailed; he goes in the Eagle, of sixty-four guns. He is a brave man, but has a very confused head, and is therefore very unfit for an extensive command. As there will not be above two line-of-battle ships, if the Congress could procure five line-of-battle ships from the French and Spaniards, they might destroy or drive the whole British fleet from their coasts. Adicu.
JOHN HANSON, JUN., TO MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY.
Fredericktown, Middle District, April 15, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: The Committee have received the rolls of Captain Youngs and Captain Goods Minute Companies, and the times of the mens attendance, agreeable to the resolves of the Convention. Their pay amounts to eighty-six pounds four shillings and six pence; which sum the Committee request may be immediately put into their hands, that the men may be paid off.
I am desired to acquaint your Honours that the quantity of powder now in the magazine in this town is only about six hundred weight; that though the powder belongs properly to the whole Province, yet they hope they may have the liberty (on any occasion where they conceive the good of the Province to be concerned) of making use of any part of it which they may think necessary, and they request your Honours permission to do so.
I am, gentlemen, your most humble servant,
JOHN HANSON, JUN.
To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM JOHN ADAMS, DATED PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 15, 1776.
I send you every newspaper that comes out, and I send you, now and then, a few sheets of paper; but this article is as scarce here as with you. I would send a quire if I could get a conveyance. I write you now and then a line, as often as I can, but I can tell you no news but what I send in the publick papers.
We are waiting, it is said, for Commissionersa Messiah that will never come. This story of Commissioners is as arrant an illusion as ever was hatched in the brain of an enthusiast, a politician, or a maniack. I have laughed at it, scolded at it, grieved at it, and I do not know but I may, at an unguarded moment, have ripped at it. But it is in vain to reason against such delusions. I was very sorry to see, in a letter from the General, that he had been bubbled with it; and still more, to see, in a letter from my sagacious friend W., * at Plymouth, that he was taken in too.
My opinion is, that the Commissioners and the commission have been here (I mean in America) these two months. The Governours, Mandamus Councillors, Collectors, and Comptrollers, and Commanders of the Army and Navy, I conjecture, compose the list, and their power is to receive submissions. But we are not in a very submissive mood. They will get no advantage of us. We shall go on to perfection I believe.
I have been very busy for some time; have written about ten sheets of paper, with my own hand, about some trifling affaire, which I may mention some time or othernot now, for fear of accidents. What will come of this labour time will discover. I shall get nothing by it, I believe, because I never get anything by any thing that I do. I am sure the publick or posterity ought to get something. I believe my children will think I might as well have thought and laboured a little, night and day, for their benefit. But I will not bear the reproaches of my children. I will tell them, that I studied and laboured to procure a free Constitution of Government for them to solace themselves under, and if they do not prefer this to ample fortune, to ease, and elegance, they are not my children, and I care not what becomes of them. They shall live upon thin diet, wear mean clothes, and work hard, with cheerful hearts and free spirits, or they may be the children of the earth, or of no one, for me.
John has genius, and so has Charles. Take care that they do not go astray. Cultivate their minds, inspire their little hearts, raise their wishes. Fix their attention upon great and glorious objects. Root out every little thing. Weed out every meanness. Make them great and manly. Teach them to scorn injustice, ingratitude, cowardice, and falsehood. Let them revere nothing but religion, morality, and liberty.