III. Form Letter Requesting Information on British Depredations
Philadelphia, 19 Oct. 1775
The continental congress having been pleased to appoint us a committe1 for collecting an account of the hostilities committed by the ministerial troops and navy in America, since last March, with proper evidence of the truth of the facts related, the number and value of the buildings destroyed, and of the vessels inward and outward bound seised, by them as nearly as can be ascertained, and also the stock taken by them from different parts of the continent, as you may see by the resolve inclosed; we entreat the assistance of the convention of your colony in this business, that we may be enabled to perform what is required of us, in the manner and with the expedition congress expects; and, to that end you will be pleased to furnish us with the necessary materials sending to us clear distinct full and circumstantial details of the hostile and destructive acts, and the captures or seizures and depredations in your colony, and accurate estimates of the loss and damage with the solemn examinations of witnesses, and other papers and documents officially authenticated. We are, Sir, Your obedient humble servants,
MS (PHi:Sprague CoIl.).
1. This letter was the work of the committee formed on 18 Oct. to obtain “a just and well authenticated account of the hostilities committed by the ministerial troops and navy in America since last March” (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 3:298–299). For JA’s comments on the committee and its purpose, see his letters to James Warren of 12, 18, and 19 (1st) Oct. (below). No indication of when or whether this committee reported to congress has been found.