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a settlement of my regimental accounts of five captains still in the service at Canada, and getting the stores and vessels taken by the regiment appraised, the court of inquiry to be holden there in regard to Major Brown and myself, and many other important matters, all urge it: in short, I am in pain to see the event of Quebeck.

I have, with my one hundred and fifty men at the Sorel, taken more for the Continent, on board Prescott’s savage fleet, than three times over to pay all my debts, viz: one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five barrels of provisions, including three hundred and sixty-five firkins of butter, at sixty shillings per barrel, amounting to five thousand five hundred and five pounds. The eleven sail of vessels were of no small advantage to the Continent in transporting General Montgomery’s Army to Quebeck; not to mention smaller matters, but not to forget Ticonderoga. May not my honour be taken till I can go to New-York, and try to settle my affairs, and if I cannot do it to return to jail again? I understand Savage Prescott is gone off on a parole. His Excellency General Washington was pleased to observe, in a letter I laid before the honourable Committee on my affairs, at the City Tavern, that I had merited from the publick, though I am accused by General Arnold. I live in the faith that it is in the power of the honourable Congress to relieve me, consistent with their true dignity; and believe they will at any rate, as I think they cannot be losers by me.

Honoured sir, please to use (if it is not inconsistent) your influence to liberate the unhappy man, when it can be of no advantage to any creditor to keep me here. I humbly beg your counsel in the matter.

I am, sir, with great esteem, your Honour’s most obedient, humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.

Philadelphia, May 8, 1776.

Made his escape from the Jail of this city, yesterday, in the evening, a certain Moses Kirkland,* called Colonel Kirkland, belonging to South-Carolina, confined in the said Jail by order of the honourable Congress, for practices inimical to this country. He is a stout corpulent man, between fifty and sixty years of age, about five feet ten inches high, of a swarthy complexion, fresh coloured, and wears his own grey hair tied behind. He had on a green coat faced with blue velvet, a blue velvet waistcoat, and brown velvet breeches. Had also a brown coat and waistcoat, and may possibly have taken other clothes with him. It is said he crossed over Delaware at Cooper’s Ferry last night, and it is supposed will cither endeavour to get on board one of the men-of-war in the river, or at Sandy-Hook. The publick are earnestly desired to endeavour to apprehend this dangerous enemy to the American cause; and a reward of one hundred dollars is hereby offered to any person or per- sons that shall take and bring him back to the Jail of this city, and all reasonable charges paid.

N. B. The printers of the several newspapers in the Colonies are desired to insert this advertisement.


[Read May 9, 1776, and referred to Mr McKean, Mr. Samuel Adams, and Mr. Wythe.]

New-York, May 8, 1776.

SIR: Having been informed that the contract I made with the Provincial Convention of this Colony in behalf of the Continent, is thought by the honourable Continental Congress disadvantageous to the publick, I beg leave to explain the motives on which I founded my proposals: Having seen an advertisement in the publick prints, requesting all those who were willing to contract for victualling the Army of the United Colonies to be stationed in this Province, to send their proposals sealed to the Provincial Convention, who were then sitting; what particularly induced me to make tender was, that I thought few persons in this city would be concerned in so great an undertaking; and as I had always an earnest desire to serve my country, and being brought up to business, was confident that the Representatives of this Colony would not be displeased should the contract fall in my hands. These considerations, with the prospect that the emolument arising therefrom would be adequate to the trouble and expense that such a contract would naturally create, induced me to offer proposals, which were esteemed the most advantageous to the Continent of any delivered, and finally I contracted to victual the Army. Cut as I am informed the honourable Continental Congress are of opinion that my contract is very injurious to the publick, and although I earnestly wish to be in the service of the Continent, having met with considerable losses, and altogether thrown out of business by the present unhappy disputes, yet I esteem it my duty, and shall always prefer the good of the American cause to my private interest; I will, therefore, with the utmost cheerfulness, resign my contract, should the Congress in their wisdom think it expedient.

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


To the President of the Honourable Continental Congress.


New-York, May 8, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Being informed that my son David Provoost, a passenger on board the brig Amazon, lately taken by the men-of-war at the Hook, is detained a prisoner on board the Asia man-of-war, I beg leave to ask the favour of the gentlemen of the Committee of Safety to use their influence with his Excellency General Washington, to permit some person to go on board the Asia, in order to treat about my son’s releasement; as it is peculiarly hard upon him, who had nothing to do with the vessel or cargo, to be detained a prisoner almost at my own door.

Your kind offices, therefore, to effect, if possible, my son’s discharge, will much oblige, gentlemen, your most humble servant,



William, Malcolm, Colonel; Isaac Stoutenburgh, Lieutenant- Colonel; James Alner, Major.

Jonathan Blake, Captain; Joseph Cheesman, First Lieutenant; Prentice Bowen, Second Lieutenant; James Black, Ensign—Brown Buffs.

William Dewitt, Captain; George Fisher, First Lieutenant; John M. Foght, Second Lieutenant—Rifle Company.


To the Honourable HENHY LEARANCE, Esqr, and presedent of the Counsel of Safety at Charles Town in South Carolina

May it plese your Honour

To permit me Leave To make my Excuse to you and the other Gentlemen for my not Coming out of the Tamar manawar to your House the night that you was so good as to send Mr William Tucker aboard in your boat with a promis from you and Mr Cannon and Locock That I should be protected in your House and that my Proposials to the Congress should be conuaid By you Gentle to them which you did not Dout would Be agreed to: now those proposials ware so good: I Cant Butt with Shame ness of face make my Excuse for not Excepting of Them: the Reason wase this which I Hope Mr Tucker acquainted you with it wase Late In the night when he Came a board Captain Thornsbery and Ennis Boath ware in the Cabin with me and new of my Goyn upon Deck and as I Told Mr Tucker it wase not posable for us to Go of the Ship with out Been fired at and Brought to and If I went Down and acquanted them fore: I Humbly Beg the fuivor of you to move to the Counsel of Safety to Haue me Remove from Hear Before them as I may haue the pleshor To haue a hearing Before them as I Cant Butt haue hopes that when thay Com to Be made acquantd With al my Conduct thay will have pitty on me and Grant me such Releafe as thay in thire Wisdom shall se Best I am willing to giue al the Security in my power for my Good Behauiour I have Rote to Colonal Thomson and to Mr Cannon to Be my Security for my Traviling from here on my perrole of Honour to your house at Charles town on my Receiveing a surtifficate from you for that porpose I shall send my Little Son to Mr Cannon in the first uessel that sails which will be in a fue Day Time and you may depend on my Trauiling through the Cuntry of Being al the Seruis to the Cause I Can as I am now Conuince of the Stranth of America So pray Sir fail not In Grantting my Portion and I shal Be in Duty Bound to Euer pray for you:

And am with Dew Respect may it plese your Honnor your Honour mosst obedient And Verry Humble Ser t,


17th Janury, 1776 at the Gael of phi Ladelphia

CHARLES-TOWN, March 30, 1776.

The above is a true Copy, taken from the ORIGINAL LETTER written by Moses Kirkland’s own hand, and sent to the Honourable Colonel Laurens, and by him laid before the Congress.

Certified by

PETER TIMOTHY, Secretary to the Congress.

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