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that no one ought to rank before me who had not filled his company, and made report to you before that date, except the companies of last year; upon which, I had the promise of your honourable House that no one should, and that you were determined to make that a rule. I humbly conceive that, in your hurry of business, it has happened by mistake. I therefore beg and insist that it may be altered, and I placed in my proper rank; which I make not the least doubt at present will be done. But should that not be the case, I cannot accept a commission in rank behind Captain Jackson; but, notwithstanding, will serve my country in the rank I now stand placed, by virtue of my warrant.
I am, gentlemen, with due respect, your most humble servant,
JOHN BELKNAP, Captain.
To the New-York Committee of Safety.
CORNELIUS STEENROD TO NEW-YORK CONGRESS.
Cortlandt Manor, April 30, 1776.
To the Honourable Provincial Congress of the Colony of NEW-YORK:
Whereas, I have received a permission to inlist a Company for the service of this Colony, and to be ready with my Company by the 11th of May next; I desire to know whether I am expected to march from home that day, or to be at York that day; and likewise, where my men are to be reviewed, as I want to go by water from Horse Neck; and, as some of my men are not well able to fix with clothing so soon, whether I may come with about fifty men, and leave an officer to bring the others afterwards.
Your answer will much oblige your Honours humble servant,
To the Honourable Chairman of the Provincial Congress of New-York, or Committee of Safety.
GENERAL ARNOLD TO GENERAL SCHUYLER.
Montreal, April 30, 1776.
DEAR GENERAL: I have the pleasure to acquaint you of the safe arrival of the gentlemen from Congress, in good health and spirits. At a council of war held this morning, it was agreed to fortify at Richelieu and Jacques Cartier, two important posts, the last eleven, and the former fifteen leagues above Quebeck; also, to set on foot and build immediately four row-galleys, or gondolas, at Chambly, under my direction; and that Colonel Hazen have the overseeing the workmen, procuring materials, &c.; of which, I make no doubt, the Committee of Congress will advise you, as also our prospects and resources in this country, which are very slender. I hope no time will be lost in hurrying on provisions, &c.
On my arrival here, I sent Colonel Hazen to command at St. Johns, Chambly, &c. I have this minute received a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Buell, acquainting me of his being appointed to command at those places, and having orders to build a store-house; for which purpose, there are no materials to be procured at present. I fancy you have not been apprized of the store-rooms at St. Johns and Chambly, which are capable of holding two thousand barrels of provisions, and want little repairing.
We have engaged a number of French carpenters and batteaumen, to be employed at Chambly, under the direction of Colonel Hazen, who is so well acquainted, both with the falls and inhabitants of the country, that a more useful man could not be employed at these posts. Perhaps you will think best that Colonel Buell should remain at this place, or go down to Richelieu, where I apprehend he will be of the greatest service; his want of the French tongue is a great hindrance to business here.
I should be glad that the small hausers and anchors at Ticonderoga might be sent to St. Johns for the gondolas, and if fifty or a hundred good seamen could be engaged out of the troops coming up, to man them, with proper officers to command them, it will forward the matter much.
We have received no material advice from Quebeck lately; our last was the 24th ultimo, when our batteries were playing on the town. Expect soon to hear their effect.
I am, very respectfully, dear General, your obedient and humble servant,
To General Philip Schuyler.
CAPTAIN WHIPPLE TO COMMODORE HOPKINS.
Providence, April 30, 1776.
HONOURED SIR: I have had the honour to serve under you in the last French war, and I believe to your satisfaction; and since my arrival at Philadelphia, where I was appointed by the honourable Continental Congress to the command of the ship Columbus, I have strictly obeyed your commands, and done all in my power for the honour of the fleet, to the best of my knowledge.
The night we fell in with the Glasgow man-of-war, two of my Lieutenants were on board the two prizes we had taken, and fourteen of my best seamen. When we were running down on the ship, getting in order to engage, and quartering the men in the places of those that were absent, the Glasgow suddenly hauling to the northward, brought me to the southward of her, and brought her directly into your and Captain Hopkinss wake. I hauled up for her, and made all sail with my three topgallant sails. Captain Hopkins then beginning the fire, the Glasgow returning the same, and my being in her wake, and as far to the leeward as she, it instantly deadened all the wind, which put it entirely out of my power to get up with her. I used my utmost endeavour, but in vain. Before I had got near enough for a close engagement, the Glasgow had made all sail for the harbour of Newport. I continued chase under all sail that I had, except studding sails, and the wind being before the beam, she firing her two sternchasers into me, as fast as possible, and my keeping up a fire with my bow guns, and now and then a broadside, put it out of my power to get near enough to have a close engagement. I continued this chase till you thought proper to hoist a signal for my return into the fleet. I accordingly obeyed the signal; and, on our arrival at New-London, I found that a report was spread, (from the Alfred and Cabot,) that I was a coward, and many other ill-natured and false aspersions. If I did not do my duty, it proceeded not from cowardice, but from want of judgment. The inhabitants of New-London, and others, by means of those cruel aspersions, look on me with contempt, as a man not serving the country in my station. The circumstance of having a family of children to be upbraided with my supposed cowardice, and my own character rendered infamous through the Thirteen United Colonies, is an indignity I cannot bear. If I am a coward, I have no business in the service of this Continent. I therefore request that there may be a Court-Martial called, that I may be tried by my brother officers of the fleet, and either acquitted with honour, or broken with disgrace. I ask no favour of them. If I should be broken, the publick will then have a right to despise me. If I can obtain no satisfaction in this way, I should be under a necessity to return you my commission. I will then thank the Congress for the honour they intended me, and curse those who first spread the infamous report. I have never yet mentioned the matter to any one. If your Honour had let me come to Newport when the Scarborough man-of-war lay there, as was my request, I might perhaps have convinced the world that I am not a coward; but this is now out of my power.
I am, &c.,
To Eseck Hopkins, Esq., Commander-in-Chief of the American Fleet.
P. S. Your Honour will observe that it was in the night when we bore down upon the Glasgow, which rendered it difficult to see when she altered her course.
TO THE FREEMEN OF MASSACHUSETTS.
Salem, April 30, 1776.
MY BRETHREN AND FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN: The general voice of the People now seems to be, to break off all commerce with the button-makers of Great Britain. Indeed, we have not the least need to keep it up. Very good buttons are manufactured in Concord in this Colony; and the trade will soon spread through all the United Colonies. The voice of the People is the voice of God always. If this voice should be unanimous with respect to the prohibition of the forementioned commerce, (dropping metaphor,) the question is, What must next be done in regard of our own Colony? As a member of it, my advice is, that, after the approaching election, the Council and House of Representatives of the people unite in one congregation, consult,