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Ward for liberty to bring back the cannon, viz: two thirty-two-pounders, and two six-pounders, double fortified, lent the Continental Army in July last, as we conceive they are not wanted there now, and as our lines at Portsmouth have not guns any ways sufficient for the defence thereof; and to see if any balls can be procured for the cannon there. Also, to inquire of General Ward, or the Commissary-General, whether there is any flour in store belonging to the Continent, to be sold, and at what price.

And also, to endeavour to procure some skilful Engineer, to come to Portsmouth, as soon as may be, to lay out the lines of some fortifications there as soon as possible; and on your return to notify Colonel Weare of the time the Engineer will be at Portsmouth; and make return of your doings to the Committee.

By order of the Committee.

In Committee of Safety, Portsmouth, }
April 11, 1776.

SIR: The bearer, Captain Salter, is instructed to apply to you for the release of cannon lent by this Colony to the Continental Army. And as our situation is such as makes it necessary to have a considerable number of cannon mounted at several places, to make any considerable opposition against an enemy attempting to destroy our capital, and near a hundred heavy pieces of cannon were carried by the King’s ships from our Castle to Boston, many of which it is probable are left there; and if it is consistent with your instructions from the Continental Congress to lend as many as you can conveniently spare, to be accounted for by the Colony, it will at this time be esteemed a great favour done us.

By order of the Committee:

I am, sir, your most humble servant,


To the Honourable Artemas Ward, Esq.


Whitehall, April 25, 1776.

SIR: Captain Emmerick, who will have the honour to deliver this letter to you, served several years in the corps of Hanoverian Rangers, and was employed last war in many situations in which confidence and ability were requisite, and acquitted himself with great credit and honour.

He is now under the protection of Government here, and being desirous of employment in North-America I am commanded to recommend him to your attention; and as he certainly may be very useful in many situations, I am persuaded you will soon discover his merit, and employ him to his own and the publick advantage.

I am, &c.,



Head-Quarters, Blunt’s Warehouse, }
April 25, 1776.

SIR: Mr. Wright and myself, with fifty-two men, including drummer and fifer, reached this place yesterday. We came down by water from Newtown, as far as the upper part of the Island, to avoid the expense of a march.

We have found here good store of provisions, but no person to give out fit proportions of it, and we are at a loss how to do it ourselves, as it is not possible to get either wet or dry measures. There are certain necessary articles for the soldiers wanting, which are not to be had here, a list of which Mr. Wright has. Captain Veazey desired me to write you that he is distressed for money. He was so much wanting it when I left town that he could not supply me with what was absolutely necessary to defray the expenses of the corps. He desired me to let you know likewise that he had five hundred pounds, Province money, in hand, sent him by his father, which he would be glad to apply by order of the Council.

I shall be much obliged to you to furnish Mr. Wright with the resolves of the last Convention. We could not obtain a copy of them in Newtown, and it is very fit we should have them.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient servant,


To the Honourable Thomas Smyth, Esq.

P. S. We find many of the gun-locks, which we have, defective, but hope we shall be able to get them put in good order in the neighbourhood, as we learn there is a person who understands such business.


[Read April 29, 1776, and referred to Mr. Harrison, Mr. Rutledge, Mr. Goldsborough, Mr. Paine, and Mr. Rodney.]

[No. 129.] In Council of Safety, Annapolis, }
April 25, 1776.

SIR: We send you under guard the person and papers of Alexander Ross. We have examined him, and send also a copy of his examination. Among his papers we find several that relate to a scheme of carrying on the lumber trade from West-Florida to the Islands in the West-Indies, and two letters of recommendation, from Governour Eden and Lord Dunmore, to the Governour of that Department. These papers we consider as the most material of any we could find, and have put them up in a separate bundle.

The persons he is supposed to be a confederate with, you have already in your custody, we mean Smith and Connolly, and we presume also their papers.

We are, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,


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


[No. 130.] Annapolis, April 25, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: We send the person of Alexander Ross, together with his papers, and a copy of his examination, under guard, to the honourable Congress. Have written to the President to that purpose. We find several papers that relate to a scheme of trade in West-Florida, and two letters of recommendation, one from Governour Eden and the other from Lord Dunmore. These, we think, are material; his other papers, which we likewise send, we have searched, and find nothing of consequence.

Since our last, nothing new has occurred, except the examination of Mr. Purviance before our Board. He at first denied the anonymous letter; afterwards, on recollection, acknowledged it contained some of his sentiments, but could not remember when he wrote them. He prevaricated most abominably.

We hope the time of calling the Convention will meet with your approbation. We apprehended bad consequences from delay. No messenger as yet returned from Philadelphia. You may judge that we wish to hear some favourable news from you. Be it as it may, we have the satisfaction of thinking that we have done our duty by endeavouring to keep peace in the Province. We are, &c.

To the Deputies for Maryland, in Congress.

P. S. We send you a copy of General Lee’s letter to Samuel Purviance.

In Council of Safety, Annapolis, April 24, 1776.

Examination of Mr. SAMUEL PURVIANCE, Jun., Chairman of the Committee of Observation for BALTIMORE County.

1. Question. You have a letter from General Lee, addressed to you as Chairman of the Committee of Observation for Baltimore County. Will you produce it?

Answer. It is a doubt with me whether I can produce it in publick with honour. I will show it to you in private.

2. Question. Do you refuse to produce that letter to us in Council?

Answer. If I do, I expect a copy will not be taken.

3. Question. Will you produce it to the Council; yea or nay?

Answer. Delivers it. The letter was read.

4. Question. Who made up the packet to the Congress from your Committee?

Answer. Mr. Lux, I believe; I was not present when it was done.

5. Question. What letters were in it?

Answer. I do not know—there were very few.

6. Question. Was there any other packet sent to Congress?

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