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To the Honourable Provincial Congress or Committee of Safety, now sitting in the City of NEWYORK.
I, John McDonald, Miner, who was appointed by your Honours, with the most punctual instructions relative to lead-mines, obeyed, in compliance with the request contained in said instructions, and proceeded, with all convenient despatch, to the Little Nine Partners, where I carefully applied myself in working and examining for lead and copper, in order to bring the just account of the state and quality of the same, which is as specified in the following manner: Jonathan Landon, Esq., conducted me to a limestone hill, where, at random, I took the dimensions from the northeast and southwest fallings of the ground, being one mile in length, in breadth half a mile, and in height about forty rods. There I found said mines, the veins of ore in which appear running the breadth of the mountain, (lying west and east,) in ledges of limestone mixed with white flint, where, some years ago, a company of adventurers had sunk several shafts or pits in pursuit of lead and copper, as I am acquainted of; and that amongst their trials are two principal pits, one of which is thirty feet deep, and the other fifty feet deep, where they found the best discoveries, of about seven inches diameter lead ore, of a continued vein; but the aforesaid company was under the necessity of dropping their proceedings of working the pits deeper on account of the water rising, anent which I am fully informed by Mr. Harris. The disappointments of the water might easily be prevented, by driving levels from its proper advantageous situation to these discoveries; which would undermine and carry off the water by a level. Both pits are now full of stones, water, rubbish, and timber; which timber, being the support from the beginning, got damaged by the overload, which occasioned it to fall over. Mr. Harris engaged to make discovery of lead ore: therefore the said Mr. Landon and I made applications to one Mr. Fish, (in whose property Mr. Harris had made a promising discovery of lead,) for leave to break and search the ground, which he would not grant, for reasons best known to himself. So that Mr. Harriss chief discovery was not explored by me. My sincere advice, from the skill and knowledge found in mining concerning what is necessary to be done first, is, to clear and repair the two shafts or pits, on purpose to find out the certainty or truth of Mr. Harriss information, in conjunction with the rest of the proprietors; and if the discoveries be found agreeable to information, the undertaking company must advise their miners to prosecute the same in all its proper branches of working it regularly, according to the directions of the sufficient inspector appointed to see each trial properly and well executed conformable to the mining regulations, so as not to be affronted in his undertaking. I am certain that the bounds wherein the veins do frequently lie of continuation are well situated, and likely to yield lead ore; therefore the schemes to work it properly may be put in execution without the least mistakes by any person who was qualified or bred in mining. I made discovery of both lead and copper in several places, but found small veins, which were very good of its quantity. I inspected other mines in Marbletown, of Ulster County, but found nothing worthy of reporting; but received intelligence of good mines which were wrought about forty years ago, being of large bodies of ore, as I am informed by gentlemen of distinction. They are to write to your Honours of all the particulars concerning several mines. Mr. Smith Lawer had not proper informations to conduct me any where, but was to write to his Committee. It would be proper to open and repair several shafts or pits formerly sunk at the Little Nine Partners.
All which is concluded, after this is most humbly submitted by your Honours most obedient humble servant,
JOHN MCDONALD, Miner.
To the Committee of Safety for the Province of New-York.
GARRET ABEEL TO NEW-YORK CONGRESS,
About two years ago I went up the Lakes, at the head of the Susquehannah, where my father has land. At the house of one Smith, who lives on one of the lots, I was informed by him that on one of the other lots near the Lake were two hills of native sulphur; that a creek ran through the hills, whose bottom was sulphur; that he had brought some of it to his house and run it in a cake in a shovel; that by the flame and smell, he knew it to be sulphur. When I got to Albany I asked John R. Bleecker about it, as he had surveyed and laid out the lots. He confirmed it, and said that the creek was distinguished in the map by the Sulphur Creek. It is about fourteen miles from the Mohawk River, and it may with little trouble be also carried down the Susquehannah by water as far as Harriss Ferry, and, after a little land carriage, to Philadelphia.
Serious Questions, addressed to the Congress, and all other Legislative bodies in AMERICA.
1. Do not the tyrants of Europe think they have a right to dispose of their subjects in the same manner that a farmer in this country disposes of his live-stock?.
2. Have not the inhabitants of Poland been divided between Austria, Prussia, and Russia, without their consent?
3. Did not the Court of Spain lately exchange St. Domingo for Louisiana; and were not many of the French subjects in the latter country imprisoned and put to death for refusing to submit to the Spanish Government?
4. Did not the Genoese sell Corsica to the Court of France; and has not France (after many unsuccessful attempts to conquer that Island) since disposed of it to the King of Sardinia?
5. Do not all parties agree that the Court of Britain will soon find that it is impossible to subdue or govern America by force?
6. Will not mistaken notions of dignity, revenge, and a despotism rendered furious by disappointment, lead the said Court to adopt the partition spirit of the times, and to divide the American Colonies with the other Powers of Europe?
7. Is it not probable that Russia, in refusing the twenty thousand men she had promised the King of Britain, is waiting only for an offer of a share of the dominion of the Colonies after they are subdued?
8. Has not Mr. Rigby (one of the abandoned junto of St. Jamess) declared in the House of Commons that Canada was a dead weight upon the Empire?
9. Have not the Ministry (despairing of the reduction of the Colonies) employed Dean Tucker to prove that the independence of the Colonies would be an immense advantage to Great Britain?
10. Suppose France should grow weary in listening to our whining cries after our mother country, and, instead of striking a blow to draw off the British Armies and Fleets from our coasts, should accept of Canada as a condition of neutrality, and upon condition of her conquering it?
11. Suppose the Southern Colonies should be offered to Spain, on condition of her neutrality, or assistance in the reduction of them?
12. Suppose the campaign of 1777 should open with Russian, French, British, and Spanish Armies, on our coasts, what would be our situation?
13. Is there any time in which a nation or people can form alliances, or declare themselves free, to greater advantage than when their affairs are in a prosperous condition?
14. Should the American Colonies neglect the present critical moment of asserting and securing their freedom, is it not probable that a few months will put it out of their power of doing it forever?
15. What must we think of those men who use their influence in Assemblies, and in the Congress, to obtain Colony instructions to prevent the Delegates from assenting to the only possible measure that can save the Colonies from ruin?
16. Will not all the blood that shall be shed in America, after the next six months, lie at their door?
17. Are not all instructions to oppose measures leading to Independence big with as much folly as mischief?
18. Does not every measure of the Congress, except submission, lead directly or indirectly to Independence?
19. Considering that we are now totally independent of Great Britain in every act of Government, will not the instructions of our Assemblies convey to the Court of Britain and the other European Courts, ideas of the basest hypocrisy in the Colonies?