George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Peter Olcott, 11 December 1780

New Hampshire Grants contiguous to Connecticut river

Decr 11th 1780


We have a frontier on this River of about one hundred miles extent, and lie exposed to incursions from Canada whenever the enemy please—In this situation we have repeatedly made application to Congress—Your Excellency and adjacent States, for assistance not withstanding which, we are now with out any force for defence... We are in a State of Anarchy and must continue so till Congress ascertain which of the United States have right of jurisdiction over us, or whether a New State be admitted on these Grants; which we think is unreasonably postponed; and till that is determined it cannot be expected that we defend ourselves—We are about eighteen or twenty thousand in number, who are in this deplorable situation, and are the only object now remaining on the northern frontier worthy the attention of the Enemy—and without supply of arms, ammunition or military command. They have already begun their devastations among us and we are in continual expectation of total destruction—which will unavoidably take place unless we have speedy relief... The damage they have done in destruction of grain, forage and cattle at Royalton & towns adjacent in october last is more than would have been sufficient to have supported such party one year, as would be necessary for our defence—We have plenty of grain, and imagine there would be no difficulty in procuring a sufficient supply for an Army into Canada, could it be secured before the season admits its transportation—and unless we have assistance soon we have reason to expect the Inhabitants will take the earliest opportunity to transport not only their spare provisions but all their effects to places of better security and we fear will totally abandon the Country, thereby enlarge the frontier so that nearly the whole New England force will be necessary to defend it, and instead of our supporting with provisions a number of inhabitants, in the N. England States equal to our own, they will be obliged to support among themselves the large number of Inhabitants now in this Country.

We therefore entreat your Excellency’s immediate attention, and that you will not delay proper measures for our better security; without which we are undone, and a most fatal injury will unavoidably accrue to the American Cause. We are with highest sentiments of duty and esteem Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servants


Peter Olcott Select Man

Abel Curtiss T. Clerk

Elisha Burton Capt.

Joseph Hatch Capt.


Solomon Cushman Capt.

John House Committee Man

Select Men of Dresden

Beza: Woodward

Eber Brewster

Aaron Storrs

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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