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Virginia, on board; he saw him put into Halifax Jail; and we have an account to day that the Roebuck is on shore, on a shoal called the Hen-and-Chickens, just to the southward of Cape Henlopen, and that the Province ship, and another, with all the gondolas, were gone down to take her.

We are, most respectfully, gentlemen, your obliged obedient servant,


To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.

P. S. Please to return Captain Vanbibber’s letters.


Philadelphia, April 30, 1776.

SIR: The Congress having accepted the resignation of the Honourable James Warren as Paymaster-General, have been pleased to appoint William Palfrey, Esquire, to succeed him in that Department. I have written to Mr. Warren to acquaint him that there are Superintendents of the Treasury appointed, to whom he is to render his accounts and vouchers. I have also directed Mr. Winthrop to deliver to Mr. Palfrey the cash and papers in his possession belonging to the office.

Your several letters have been duly received, and, as soon as Congress shall have come to a determination thereon, I will do myself the pleasure of forwarding the same, at which time I will write more fully. In the interim, I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To His Excellency General Washington, New-York.


Philadelphia, April 30, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: In order to give success to the expedition into Canada, nothing is so much wanted at this juncture as a supply of specie. General Schuyler says it is absolutely necessary; and the Congress have received from him the most pressing letters on that head.

Should the Army be compelled to evacuate Canada, it is impossible to say what will be the consequences, or where the mischief may end. It becomes us, therefore, as we regard our country and its best interests, to exert every nerve to guard against so fatal an event. For this purpose, and as a step of the utmost importance, I am commanded by Congress earnestly to request you to take the most speedy and effectual measures to collect as much hard money as possible, and to send the same to General Schuyler. Whatever sum you may collect for this use, you will please to draw on me for the amount, and the bills shall be honoured.

The unprepared state of the Colonies on the commencement of the war, and the almost total want of ’every thing necessary to carry it on, are the true sources from whence all our difficulties have proceeded. The fact, however, furnishes a most striking proof of the weakness or wickedness of those who charge them with an original intention of withdrawing from the Government of Great Britain, and erecting an independent Empire. Had such a scheme been formed, the most warlike preparations would have been necessary to effect it.

From the distinguished ardour and zeal of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay in the American cause, I am persuaded you will pay all the attention to this request of Congress which the importance of it demands.

I have the honour to be, gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JQHN HANCOCK, president

[Council of Massachusetts-Bay; New-Hampshire; Governour Trumbull, of Connecticut; Governour Cooke, of Rhode-Island. ]


Philadelphia, April 30, 1776.

SIR: The Honourable James Warren having resigned his commission as Paymaster-General, the Congress have been pleased to appoint William Palfrey. Esquire, to succeed him in that Department, I am, therefore, to request you will immediately deliver to him all the cash and papers in your possession belonging to the office; and am, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To William Winthrop, Esquire.


In Marine Committee, Philadelphia, April, 1776.

SIR: As it is essentially necessary for promoting the service that full and speedy information of the state and condition of the enemy’s fleet in the different parts of America should be communicated to you, from whence you may be the better enabled to act with vigour and success in your naval department, we therefore write to acquaint you that, from the best information, the force in Virginia at this time consists of the Liverpool frigate, Captain Bellew, of twenty-eight guns; the Otter sloop, Captain Squires, of sixteen guns; the William, an armed ship of ten guns, with Lord Dunmore; the Erlbeck, a large store-ship, with some small guns. It is said and believed that both the Liverpool and Otter are exceedingly weak from the want of hands, their men being chiefly employed on board a number of small tenders fitted out by Lord Dunmore to distress the trade on the coast of Virginia and Bay of Chesapeake. His Lordship has now between one hundred and one hundred and fifty sail of vessels, great and small, the most of which arc prizes, and many of them valuable; these, so far from being any addition in point of strength, will rather weaken the men-of-war, whose hands are employed in the small vessels. The force at Wilmington, in North-Carolina, you will observe by the enclosed extracts of letters.

Whether you have formed any expedition or not, the execution of which will interfere with an attempt upon either or both of the above fleets, we cannot determine; but if that should not be the case, there is no service, from the present appearance of things, in which you could better promote the interest of you country, than by the destruction of the enemy’s fleet in North- Carolina or Virginia; for as the seat of war will most probably be transferred in the ensuing campaign to the Southern Colonies, such a manæuvre, attended with success, will disconcert, or at least retard, their military operations for a length of time, give spirit to our friends, and afford them an opportunity of improving their preparations for resistance. These reasons, sir, added to your known spirit and inclination to serve America, will, we make no doubt, sufficiently weigh with you to undertake that service.

The Roebuck, Captain Hammond, of forty guns, is now in Lewistown Road. You will observe by the papers that Captain Barry, in the Brigantine Lexington, has taken an armed tender with twenty-five picked men, commanded by a Lieutenant of the Liverpool; which is a loss they cannot easily provide for—the want of men. Should you come to the southward and determine to go into the Chesapeake, advise us of the time of your sailing, that orders may be given to the different armed vessels on the coast, as also to those in the Chesapeake, and the Commander-in-Chief in Virginia, to co-operate with you in the attack. As you were directed by a former instruction, in case you determine to proceed into Chesapeake Bay, “that you should despatch a swift-sailing vessel to reconnoitre the coast, and gain intelligence of the strength of the enemy,” we now remind you of that instruction, and desire you would send a vessel for that purpose from the fleet.

Wishing you success, we are, sir, with esteem, your most obedient servants,


To Commodore Hopkins.


MY FELLOW-CITIZENS: I did expect that those innovators who, for a few weeks past, have been attempting to bring about a revolution in the happy Constitution of this Province, would have been satisfied with declamation, and relied upon the artful performances they have published, to convince the judgment of the respectable freeholders and

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