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company, to be raised by Captain Cornelius Hardenburgh, I was also informed, had their complement of men; but as he was gone to New-York at the time I received your let ter, I expect he will receive his orders there; but will also, on his return, give him notice of General Putnam’s demand.

I also gave notice to Mr. Wynkoop, one of our Delegates, of the necessity of some of our Delegates attending at New York, when be told me he was preparing to go there with the first opportunity that should offer.

Gentlemen, whereas several of our militiamen are with out arms or ammunition, and we know not how soon their assistance may be required; I therefore think it reasonable that those who have agreed with the Congress last year to make arms for the use of the Colony, should deliver them as soon as possible, that those who are in want of arms may be supplied.

I remain, gentlemen, with esteem, your humble servant,

Chairman of the County Committee.

To the Committee of Safety for the Colony of New- York, now at the City of New- York.


Saratoga, April 15, 1776.

DEAR SIR: I am here on my way to Canada, detained by the present state of the lakes, in which the unthawed ice obstructs navigation. I begin to apprehend that I have undertaken a fatigue that, at my time of life, may prove too much for me, so 1 sit down to write to a few friends, by way of farewell.

I congratulate you on the departure of your late trouble some neighbours. I hope your country will now for some time have rest; and that care will be taken so to fortify Boston as that no force shall be able again to got footing there.

Your very kind letter of November 13th, enclosing Lord Chatham’s and Lord Camden’s speeches, I duly received. I think no one can be more sensible than I am of the favours of corresponding friends, but I find it impossible to answer as I ought. At present I think you will deem me inexcusable, and therefore I will not attempt an apology. But if you should ever happen to be at the same time op pressed with years and business, you may then extenuate a little for your old friend.

The notes of the speeches taken by your son (whose loss I shall ever deplore with you) arc exceedingly valuable, as being by much the best account preserved of that day’s debate.

You ask, “When is the Continental Congress, by general consent, to be formed into a supreme Legislature; alliances, defensive and offenisve, formed; our ports opened; and a formidable naval force established at the publick charge?” I can only answer, at present, that nothing seems wanting but that “general consent.” The novelty of the thing deters some; the doubts of success, others; the vain hope of reconciliation, many. But our enemies take continually every proper measure to remove these obstacles, and their endeavours are attended with success, since every day furnishes us with new causes of increasing enmity, and new reasons for wishing an eternal separation; so that there is a rapid increase of the formerly small party who were for an Independent Government.

Your epigram on Lord Chatham’s remark has amply paid me for the song. Accept my thanks for it, and for the charming extract of a’ lady’s letter, contained in your favour of January 22d.

I thought, when I sat down, to have written, by this opportunity to Doctor Cooper, Mr. Bowdoin, and Doctor Winthrop, but I am interrupted. Be so good as to present my affectionate respects to them, and to your family.

Adieu, my dear friend, and believe mo ever yours, most affectionately,


To Josiah Quincy, Esq., Braintrec.


Newbury, April 15, 1776.

SIR: Colonel Bedel, on his march, sent to me to provide some trusty persons to pilot soldiers, by way of Massasisque, to St. John’s, who were to make return of that route to your Excellency. They were to wait for Colonel Bedel’s arrival at St. John’s or Montrea l, but they found the lake so broken, that they must stay too long for him. Two of the five I sent, returned the fifteenth day; the other three went forward with the soldiers to Quebeck. As I had no actual survey of the country from Massasisque to St. John’s, I sent to Mr. Metcal f for a plan of that part, who has sent the plan enclosed, which he informs is done from actual survey, which agrees nearly with my representation. I also send the journal of Captain Thomas Johnson, as also the true distance of sundry places to St. John’s by Massasisque, and from the same place by Charlestown and Crown Point, and by Albany, which may be examined by the post roads and maps; and, if found true, it will appear that the cost of making the road will be saved in the soldiers’ marching home from Canada, at the close of the present campaign, as it will save six days’ pay and provision for all that live east ward of Connecticut River.

We have here provisions to supply all that may pass this way. I also inform that there is good water carriage from this place to St. John’s, except forty-three miles. Mr. John son informs me that the lakes are so broken that the soldiers are detained at Crown Point, and that the French are fearful, as troops do not arrive as expected.

If I can be of any service to the American cause, in cutting the proposed road, or any other way, I am ready. I should think one hundred picked men from the Army, or elsewhere, will be enough to be employed in that business; no officer higher than a Sergeant. I will provide a surveyor, pilot, and overseer. None of my providing shall have more wages than they merit by their behaviour; and if I am employed to see the road completed, I shall expect no more than the Congress, or any of the Congresses or Courts in the Colonies, may think I deserve, after the whole is completed. I say this, because I will never receive anything for anything I do in the Continental service, unless it is thought to be really serviceable to the common cause.

Nothing new from Canada to be depended on. They had reports of considerable advantages our Army had got at Quebeck over the Ministerial Troops, killing and taking about three hundred; hope it is true.

These you will receive from a hearty friend of the American cause, and your very humble servant,


To General Washington.

P. S. Good men for the business purposed deserve good wages; but bad ones deserve none. Colonel Little is a good judge what men will do for the road.


Newbury, March 26, 1776.

Set out with a number of soldiers for St. John’s, in order to make return of the way from Newbury to St. John’s, by way of Massasisque, to your Excellency, which is as follows:

Tuesday, 26th, set out from Newbury; lodged at the last inhabitant’s; waited half a day for the rear of the soldiers.

Wednesday, 27th, marched six miles; good land for road.

Thursday, 28th, marched twelve miles; good.

Friday, 29th, marched twelve miles; good, except two miles.

Saturday, 30th, marched fifteen miles; good, except three miles.

Sunday, 31st, marched ten miles to Mr. Metcalf’s; good; waited half a day for the rear.

Monday, April 1st, marched twenty-five miles to St, John’s.

Tuesday, 2d April, tarried at St. John’s.

Wednesday, 3d, returned to Mr. Metcalf’s.

Thursday, 4th, tarried for the plan.

The 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th, travelled home; cut myself badly the second day, which made my journey longer. I find it the best country for a road I ever saw, for such a length of way.

This is from your very humble servant,


To His Excellency General Washington.

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