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forwarded to you by express. Where these troops will endeavour to begin their ravages is uncertain; but as the British arms were brought into disgrace by General Howe’s being compelled to abandon this Colony, it is reasonable to suppose that they will endeavour to regain their honour in the place where they lost it. And we should be guilty of injustice, as well to the other United Colonies as to this, if we should not inform your Honours, that this Colony is by no means in a good state of defence, a great number of our arms being carried away in the Continental Army, and to Canada; and our powder, which we supplied the Army with, being eight tons at least, not being replaced, wherefore we cannot have that dependance on our Militia which we otherwise should have; and the detachment of Continental forces under General Ward’s command being, as we apprehend, insufficient to repel a heavy attack, there being but five regiments, and they not half full.

We are by no means solicitous about the particular interest of this Colony; nor do we wish ourselves to be excused from being the more immediate object of their relentless rage; but, for the sake of the publick cause, we wish ourselves in a situation fit to receive them with that spirit which they have been taught to expect in men fighting for the freedom of America. The attention which the Congress has shown to the safety of this Colony, as well as the whole of the United Colonies, gives us reason to hope that they will neglect nothing that can tend to our relief and protection.

I am, sir, with great respect to the Congress, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock.

Salem, Thursday Evening, 9 o’clock, May 2, 1776.

The Committee of Salem have this moment received the following intelligence by Richard Derby, Jun., from Newburyport, who says that he this day, about one o’clock, talked with Captain John Lee, then just arrived, in twenty-nine days from Bilboa, who says that on the 15th of April, he fell in with and was on board a brig from Plymouth, in England, bound to Newfoundland, the master of which informed him that, three days before, he parted with a fleet of sixty sail of transports, under the command of Lord Howe, having on board twelve thousand Hessians, bound to Boston, together with twenty-seven Commissioners. That General Burgoyne, with four thousand Hanoverians, sailed, or was to sail, about the same time with the fleet above-mentioned, to go to Quebeck. That he (said Lee) read the English papers on board the brig, by which it appeared that the Parliament had voted pay for the foreign troops; that the King of Prussia’s demands on Great Britain had been paid; that the people in England were greatly desirous of a settlement, and that the Commissioners were to use their utmost efforts to that end, which failing, the troops were to lay waste the country, if in their power.

Isaac Smith, Esq., showed us a letter from Mr. Guardoqui, (brought by Lee,) in which is the following paragraph:

“No other news from England, but that seventeen thousand three hundred German troops were going to Boston and Canada, some of which were embarking about three weeks ago. May God preserve you, is the hearty wish of


Dated Bilboa, March 27, 1776.—Directed to Isaac Smith, Esq.

The foregoing intelligence the Committee of Safety thought it their duty to communicate by express to the honourable Court.

By order of the Committee:


To the Honourable the General Court of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay.


Watertown, May 3, 1776.

SIRS: By order of a Committee of the General Court of this Colony, whereof I have the honour to be Chairman, I enclose you a copy of a piece of intelligence which may be depended upon. As the British troops were driven in a hasty manner from this Colony, we think we have reason to expect that they will endeavour to retrieve their character in the same place; we therefore ardently wish that you would hold a number of Militia Regiments in readiness to reinforce us, or to give us the same assistance you may depend upon from us, should the attack be made on your’ Colony.

I remain, with great respect, your most humble servant,



Whitehall, May 3, 1776.

SIR: Mr. Brown, to whom you intrusted your important despatch to Lord Dartmouth, of the 21st of March, arrived here this afternoon, and I immediately laid it before the King.

The enclosed duplicates of the letters which have been written to you since that from Lord Dartmouth, of the 22d October, which you say was the last you had received, and the copies which I also send you of Mr. Robinson’s letters, will show that every possible attention has been given to your situation, as well in explaining to you the measures which had been taken for an early reinforcement of your Army, as in sending out ample supplies of provisions and stores of every sort.

The miscarriage of the despatches has been very unfortunate, and your not having received supplies would have been fatal, but for the step you very prudently took of withdrawing from the town of Boston, which, under the circumstances you have slated, is a measure very much approved by the King, and in the execution of which you have given the fullest proof of his Majesty’s wisdom and discernment, in the choice of so able and brave an officer to command his troops in America.

You will see by my despatch to you of the 18th of November, * 6th and 27th of December, † 5th of January, ‡ 1st and 7th of February, || 28th of March, § and 27th of April, ¶ that every possible effort has been used to give you such a force and to send you such supplies, as would enable you to act with effect in the course of this summer, and at the same time to secure the possession of Canada, and reduce the Southern Colonies to obedience.

With respect to that part of the force destined to those different objects, which is to reinforce the Army under your immediate command, you will see that the Army sent to the southward has orders to join you as early as possible, and to hazard nothing that may defeat that junction. You will also see that the Highland Corps, amounting to eight thousand two hundred men, is actually arrived at Spithead, and will probably sail to-morrow or next day, in company with a detachment of guards, amounting to one thousand and ninety-eight men, and there is great hope that it will not be long before the remainder of the Hessians, computed at about four thousand, will be ready to proceed.

The transports for the reception of General Burgoyne’s regiment of Light Cavalry, and for about eight hundred draft horses, are also fitting in the river; and those articles of military stores demanded in the returns transmitted, with the different letters I have received from you, have been either already sent, or are now preparing to be sent, as far as we have been able to procure them.

With regard to that part of the force which is destined for the service in Canada, consisting, exclusive of the early relief sent out with the Isis, of seven regiments from Ireland, one from England, and a body of near five thousand foreign troops: those regiments sailed from Cork the 8th of April, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Frazer; and the first division of Brunswickers, amounting to about two thousand men, together with the Hanau Regiment, and the Twenty-First Regiment from Plymouth, also sailed under the cornmand of Lieutenant-General Burgoyne, on the 7th of April; and from the time at which they sailed, and the fair wind they have had since, they are by this time in the River St. Lawrence; and you will, I trust, have been early enough apprized of this arrangement to have prevented you in your design of sending any part of your force to Quebeck, for it is of consequence, in every light, that it should be kept entire.

* By the Triton.  † By the Milford Frigate.   ‡ By the Greyhound:   || By the Milford Frigate.   § By a Packet express from Boston.   ¶ By another Packet.

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