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There are a sufficient number of cannon on the Island for that purpose, and to arm a number of cruisers besides; and the inhabitants, I am confident, would receive you as their best friends; and my confidence of this is founded on their situation. As the Continent is driven into a naval war, it must be a principal question in what manner the trade of Great Britain can bo most advantageously attacked; and as the Parliament have, in effect, closed with the Congress, in the stopping all commerce between the Continent and Great Britain, or other British dominions, it must be the policy of America to intercept, as far as possible, their intercourse between each other, as well to supply ourselves as to distress them. To effect which, some harbour or harbours must be pitched upon, convenient for the purpose, and secured; and the question will be, are those of-this Island the best? I think they are, for the reasons hinted at above, and for the probability that the enemy, unsuspecting of such a manoeuvre, and intent on blocking up the ports on the Continent, may receive a heavy blow in their West-India commerce, before they are aware of or guarded against it; and if they attempt to defeat such a design, it must be by drawing off their forces from our coast, for a while at least.

These hints I submit to maturer consideration, and to the present turn of political measures; but a minute inquiry into the practicability and expense of such a scheme will cost neither time nor money worth mentioning; and I wish it may be made by some person of better judgment than I conceive myself, or, perhaps, my informers here, to be.


Annapolis, April 26, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Agreeable to your instructions, I am now to make application to you to appoint a General Court-Martial, for the trial of Christian Castler, a soldier in Captain Ramsay’s Company, who is charged with attempting to shoot a non-commissioned officer, who commanded a party on duty, of which Castler was one; the particular circumstances being regularly inquired into by a Court appointed for that purpose, who found him guilty of the charge, and are of opinion that a General, Court-Martial, appointed by the commanding officer, is not competent to pass sentence on the prisoner for so capital a crime, and beg leave to refer him to a superior court, to be tried for his life.

I am, with much respect, gentlemen, your most humble servant


To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.


[No.132] Annapolis, April 26, 1776

SIR: We consider the Schooner Resolution to be fitted out only as a tender for the Ship Defence; and therefore have given you directions to put officers, &c, on board, out of your own ship, as you may think best for the publick service. We are, &c.

To Captain James Nicholson.


Philadelphia, April 26, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The late disturbances in Canada, owing to an insurrection of a number of the inhabitants, have, for some time, occupied the most serious attention of Congress; in pursuance of which, they have come into sundry resolves, calculated both to increase our military force in that country, and to allay the fears and apprehensions of the people. Of this latter kind is the resolve I herewith transmit, by order of Congress, to you.

In addition to the four battalions now on their march to Canada, the Congress have, since the receipt of General Schuyler’s last letter, ordered six more to be sent there as soon as possible.

With sincere wishes for your health, and success in your important engagements, I have the honour to be, with every sentiment of esteem and regard, gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble servant,


To the Honourable Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll, Esquires, Commissioners in Canada.


Philadelphia, April 26, 1776.

SIR: The intelligence contained in your last letter, and the papers transmitted therewith, being of the utmost importance, the Congress have paid them the attention which they deserved. It is, indeed, to be lamented, that the misconduct of our troops should have given occasion to the Canadians to proceed such lengths as to commence hostilities. New-raised recruits (such as those of the United Colonies) cannot immediately be brought to submit to exact discipline and subordination, without having recourse to that love of liberty, and aversion to military restraint, which are natural to freemen. To account for this, it is sufficient to observe, that to make men soldiers is the work of time and labour, even in countries where the genius of the Government has prepared men for that kind of despotism which is indispensably necessary in an Army.

Though it is much to be wished that the subaltern officers in Canada had exerted themselves more in keeping the troops in order, yet I am apt to think the utmost vigilance could not have totally prevented all irregularities. But we were compelled, unprepared, hastily to take up the weapons of self-preservation, and have, consequently, had numberless difficulties to struggle with; of which the expedition into, Canada has been a continued scene. This is the true source of all our misfortunes, with which you are too well acquainted to make it necessary for me to repeat them.

I cannot help suspecting that the defection of the Canadians is more the result of policy than inclination; not that I believe they have any more inclination for one side than the other; but finding the force of the United Colonies in Canada fell much short of expectation, they naturally throw themselves into the scale which they believe begins to preponderate. It is not, however, material at present, what are the causes of the late insurrection, any further than to provide a remedy against the evil. Congress have accordingly passed sundry resolves, adapted both to conciliate the affections of the Canadians, and to operate on their apprehensions as to the strength of the Colonies, having ordered ten battalions into that country, and given directions to Mr. Trumbull and Mr. Lowrey to forward to you four thousand barrels of pork; they have also directed ten thousand pair of shoes, and ten thousand pair of stockings, to be sent to you for the use of the Continental Army in Canada.

I have it in charge from Congress to desire you to pursue the best means for furnishing such other necessary articles as may be wanted for the Army in Canada, having regard to such of them as the Commissary in that Province can supply; and, also, that you inform them what quantity of gunpowder you have received for Canada since the 1st of January last; and that you go on to give the earliest notice to Congress, of the occasion for the supplies of such necessaries as it may not be in your power to procure.

I transmit, herewith, sundry resolves of Congress, under the hand of the Secretary, for your future directions and conduct; and have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To Major-General Schuyler, at Albany.


Philadelphia, April 26, 1776.

SIR: I have it in charge from Congress to acquaint you that they have been pleased to accept your resignation as Paymaster-General of the Army, and that there are Superintendents of the Treasury appointed, to whom you are to render your accounts and vouchers, which I will do myself the pleasure of putting into their hands, if you think proper to forward them to me for that purpose.

1 have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To James Warren, Esq.


Philadelphia, April 26, 1776.

SIR: I have it in charge from Congress to direct your immediate attention to the enclosed resolve, for the purchase of two thousand barrels of pork, which, when purchased,

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