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should be taken, and not any one part. My political principles are known by some of this Committee, and I defy even envy itself to say that I ever said or did anything disapproving of the measures now pursuing by the Continent to free America from the oppression designed her by Great Britain; but always thought, and often said, that the American opposition was just, and I heartily wished it success. I will cheerfully attend the honourable Committee whenever they shall see fit, and give any satisfaction to them in my power concerning these matters; and rest their most obedient and most humble servant,


To the Honourable Committee of Safety, now sitting in the City of New-York.


Fort Constitution, May 7, 1776.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: I received your two letters of April 25th and May 4th, the 5th of this instant. Your Excellency may rest assured that I shall do everything in my power to forward the works. It would be of great service if the Congress would order a few hogsheads of rum here, so that the fatigue party might have a gill a-piece per clay, as the fatigue is hard. My orders are that every man, except the sick, lame, those on guard, and those last relieved, work every day.

There are a number of Tories sent to Fort Montgomery from Dutchess County, by order of the County Convention, to be put to hard labour till the further order of the Convention. I have ordered the commanding officer there, if any more of these disaffected people should be sent there, not to receive them, or send them to Fort Constitution; as I think it wrong to send so many of these people to a garrison that is so weak. And it remains a doubt with me, as they are our prisoners, whether we should oblige them to do hard labour or not. I hope your Excellency will be pleased to give me some directions about them. One of those disaffected people told me yesterday that the report about Captain Menos’s going away was false, and that he lived near him.

I am your Excellency’s most obedient, and very humble servant,

ISAAC NICOLL, Commanding Officer.

To His Excellency George Washington, Esq., Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.


Charlestown, No. 4, Sunday morning, May, 1776.

DEAR SIR: I received by the post Sunday evening your letter and the five hundred dollars. I have received accounts of three of the teams being cast away, and all are gone from this town, and I am going off myself. The post from Ticonderoga informs me the wagons that went first had arrived at Otter Creek, and got over all the worst of the way. I propose to go from Otter Creek to Skenesborough, which is a trifle farther, but the roads much better, and the remainder must be by water, if possible. As for the tent-poles all getting into the camp, it is impossible, and I wish I had burnt them in this town. Pray inform Mr. Harris all the cannon will be on the road, as I come back. Three teams are just arrived, that could not get more than fifteen miles; but I hope for a blessing to attend the remainder of this journey.

I subscribe myself, your humble servant, friend, and well-wisher,


To the New-Hampshire Committee of Safety.

P. S. Excuse my not being more pithy, and particularly on news, for I am in haste.


As I did not in my last, of the 25th of April, particularly acknowledge the receipt of despatches by the Milford frigate, I have now the honour to specify the following from the Earl of Dartmouth, viz; of the 27th of October, 8th of November; circular of the same date; copies of letters to Lord William Campbell and Governour Martin, of the 7th of November; duplicates of the 22d, 27th, and 28th of October, 8th of November, and a triplicate of the 22d of October.

Your Lordship’s despatches were, circular of the 10th of November, and duplicate; 18th of November, and duplicate; copy of instructions to Major-General Clinton, 6th of December; letter of the 23d of December, and 5th of January.

In your Lordship’s despatch of the 5th of January, mention is made of a separate letter, wherein I may expect the honour of his Majesty’s commands for the operations of the ensuing campaign, which is not yet received. I hope my design of removing with the Army from hence to New-York, as soon as I am enabled by a supply of provisions, may not meet with the King’s disapprobation, although it should take place before I receive the letter in question, for every instant we remain here must increase our embarrassments. The fogs sitting in upon the coasts may delay the fleet upon its passage, occasion a separation, and thereby prevent the Army from acting in full force upon its arrival; the enemy will be better prepared for our reception, and the reinforcements from Europe may arrive before us. From these considerations, I shall, at all events, get away from hence without a moment’s unnecessary delay; but I tremble when I think of our present state of provisions, having now meat for no more than thirteen days in store, with the possibility of supplies not arriving before the fogs take place; after which time the ships may be a month upon the coast, without being able to get into port. The frost being now out of the ground, the works for a temporary security to the dock-yard were begun this day.

By the addition of vessels taken into the service, and of arrivals at this port since leaving Boston, we shall have a sufficient quantity of tonnage for the removal of the Army from hence, without the inconvenience of the officers and soldiers being crowded, which was experienced on our way to this port. The greatest part of the women and children will be left, and subsisted at the usual allowance, of half a ration for each woman, and one quarter for a child; in which a supply of rice (lately arrived from Georgia ) will be a principal article.

By this opportunity I have sent to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury an estimate of the forage expected from the Bay of Fundy; and if we have not a sufficient quantity of hay for the Seventeenth Dragoons, that regiment will be left, to follow the Army as soon as it can be procured; it is now in cantonments, in the neighbourhood of Windsor, for the convenience of getting hay.

I have also sent to their Lordships a return of seamen engaged in the West-Indies, who are put into transports, and are a very seasonable assistance. It is at the same time humbly submitted to their Lordships’ consideration, if it would not be an expedient measure to send out a naval store-ship, for furnishing the transports with the several articles of rigging and stores, which they greatly need at present, particularly pitch and tar; likewise, a victualling ship for their seamen, who have no other supply than from the Army stores.

Lieutenant-Governour Oliver, five of the Council of Massachusetts-Bay, and some of the inhabitants from thence, go to Britain at this time. The Honourable Peter Oliver, Esquire, Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature, whose steady zeal and attachment to Government is well known to General Gage, and to whose counsel and judgment I have been indebted on many occasions, accompanies Governour Legge, in the Harriet packet; and that your Lordship may know the number of persons who removed from Boston, I enclose a list of them, taken at this place, as well as a list of those embarking.

The stores destroyed, and left by the different departments, on the late removal of the Army, will appear from the enclosed returns. I must own, in the ordnance branch they have exceeded my expectations; but in that of the forage, it was inevitable from the want of shipping.

In obedience to your Lordship’s commands, for a more explicit account of the expedition to Falmouth, which was intrusted to Lieutenant Mowat, of the Navy, assisted by a detachment of marines and artillery, I have re-examined the officer who commanded this detachment, and find that his orders from General Gage were, to embark on board several armed vessels the 6th of October, 1775, and to aid and assist Lieutenant Mowat in annoying and destroying all

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