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To the Kings most excellent Majesty The Peti Humb Petition of the Freeholders & Freemen of the Colonies of New Hampshire Massachuses Bay Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the Governm t of on Delaware, Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina & the Parish of S t . Johns in the Colony of Georgia, by their Representatives convened in general Congress at the City...
To the people of Ireland. From the Delegates appointed by the United Colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Lower Counties on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, in General Congress at Philadelphia, the 10th of May, 1775 . Friends and Fellow-subjects! As the...
I have rec d your Letter of the 28 th Ult. and take the earliest opportunity wh. has offered of answering it. The Principles on which you account for hav g delayed Notices of Tryal on the West Chester Causes merit my Acknowledgm ts You need be under no apprehension of Non Suits in case you sh d . prevail upon yourself to postpone the Tryal which I confess I cant forbear wishing may be the...
We are inform d . that a considerable Quantity of Drugs & Medicines are in y r . Possession belonging to a Gent. in England or Ireland. The Congress are desirous of purchasing such of them as may be of use to the Army, & I am desired to apply to you for that Purpose—Be so kind therefore as to inform me by the first opportunity whether you will dispose of them. Be assured that y r . Compliance...
I am much obliged to you for your friendly Letter by M r Fine—his Business will soon be determined— The Hint you give is by no Means pleasing—I wish your Apprehensions were without Foundation tho ’tho I have too good an opinion of your Discernment to entertain Hopes of your being mistaken. You will much oblige me by a few Lines now & then—I need ^ not ^ caution you to be careful by what Hands...
I have rec d . your Letter by M r . Clough and you may rely on my paying due Attention to your Recommendation M r . Fine has a Letter from us to your Convention inclosing a Resolve of Congress enabling them to ship on their Account Provisions &c. to the Foreign West Indies for the Purpose of purchasing Ammunition &c. Under this Resolve I apprehend you may avail yourself of M r . Fine’s...
Proposals. That two Battallions of Marines be raised consisting of one Collonell, two Lt. Collonells, two Majors &c. (officers as usual in other Regiments) that they consist of five hundred Privates each Battalion, exclusive of Officers. That particular Care be taken that no Persons be appointed to office or inlisted into Said Battalions but such as have actually Served in the Merchant Service...
I have the honour of transmitting to you the enclosed Resolutions of Congress relative to the Island of Bermuda. We have not yet had the Pleasure of hearing that you had made a House, and are not without some Anxiety on that head. In a few days we shall write you collectively, and should be glad frequently to be informed of the State of the Province. The New England Exploit is much talked of,...
Owner anonymous; transcript furnished by courtesy of Dr. Joseph E. Fields, Joliet, Ill. (1957) Less than a month after the creation of the secret committee Silas Deane, one of its members, wrote his friend Thomas Mumford to suggest that he come to Philadelphia to find out what profit could be made under the committee’s aegis. The letter seems to have crossed one from Mumford, who explained...
Copy: University of Virginia Library On November 29, 1775, Samuel Chase brought before Congress a proposal to send ambassadors to France. John Adams seconded the motion, and a vehement debate ensued. A number of alternatives were advanced, and one finally gained approval: to appoint a five-member committee of secret correspondence for the purpose of opening communication with friends of...
The Congress have at Length determined against the Tea holders— a Measure in my opinion neither just or politic. The objections offered to the Prayer of the Petition, were merely ostensible & consequently frivolous. I fancy you may easily discern the things on which this strange Decision turned. There is no Tea southward of this Place but what has paid Duty. &c. &c. I mentioned to the Congress...
Accept my Thanks for your Letter of the 6 th . Ins t . which I rec d . yesterday. It gave me great Satisfaction to find you had at length made a Convention, my apprehensions on that Head occasioned much Anxiety, and am still grieved that the People of our Province have so little Firmness as to be duped by the Artifices of Men whose Views are obvious, & of the Rectitude of whose Intentions...
It has long been the Art of the Enemies of America to sow ^ the Seeds of ^ Dissensions among us and thereby weaken that Union on which our Salvation from Tyranny depends. For this Purpose Jealousies have ^ been ^ endeavoured to be excited, and false Reports, wicked Slanders and insidious Misrepresentations been so industriously formed and propagated Well knowing that while the People reposed...
ALS : Maine Historical Society By this Conveyance we have the Pleasure of transmitting to you sundry printed Papers, that such of them as you think proper may be immediately published in England. We have written on the Subject of American Affairs to Monsieur C. G. F. Dumas, who resides at the Hague. We recommend it to you to correspond with him, and to send through his Hands any Letters to us...
Your Letter of the 8 th . Inst. is now before me. did you know how much Satisfaction a Line from you gives me, you would not think of apologizing for the frequency of your Letters. I am much obliged to you for your Hints respecting the Command of a certain Post. They are useful and will determine my Conduct, tho some folks here may not coincide with me in opinion. I must confess that I think...
How it came to pass I know not, but so the Fact is, that neither of your Letters to me came to Hand till the Day before Yesterday, when they were delivered to the President by Gen. Schuylers last Express. Mr. Duane just now accidentally told me that your Brother was about to leave this Town, and I am now retired to the Lobby, in a Hurry to say a Word or two to you. I confess I was a little...
Few Things have for some time past given me more Pleasure than the address with which you managed the Gov rs . Letter on the Subject of Lord Norths motion. It occasions however both Surprize and Concern that the Sin of Fear (as Lewis Morris calls it) should operate so powerfully on some of your Patriots, as it seems to do. The Provision for the Delegates I imagined Would be similar to that of...
I have now the Pleasure of informing you that the New York Convention has at Length made some Provision for their Delegates viz t . 4 Dollars p r . Day for their Attendance on the last, and this Congress, so that I shall not be so great a Sufferer as I once apprehended. The Allowance indeed does by no Means equal the Loss I have sustained by the appointment, but the Convention I suppose...
Since writing my last to You, I find the Congress will not adjourn even for the Holy days, They have not indeed so determined but that seems to be the opinion of the majority of the members Where does M r . Alsop stay—should any Thing happen to one of us the Colony would be unrepresented. For my Part I wish some of the absent Gent. would return, we but just make a Quorum—Did not this...
AD : American Philosophical Society On December 26, 1775, the secret committee contracted with Bayard & Jackson of Philadelphia to spend $15,000 on flour and other produce to be exchanged at Nantes for gunpowder, arms, and cloth. The firm had had earlier dealings with Montaudoüins frère of Nantes, to whom it entrusted the new transaction. The ship selected was the Dickinson or Dickenson ,...
Copy with DS by Nicholas Brown: John Carter Brown Library <[Before Jan. 20, 1776]: Agreed between John Brown on the one part and members of the committee on the other that a voyage or voyages will be undertaken to procure thirty-six tons of gunpowder (or, failing that, sufficient saltpetre and sulphur to make up the same amount), 1,000 stand of good arms, 1,000 gun locks, twenty tons of lead,...
As to Politick’s I can say little, nor do I desire that Your Letters should say anything on that Subject. Thus much I can say in general that Everything with us is in a good Way, and, tho’ We desire Reconciliation, are well prepared for contrary Measures. This is an unnatural Quarrel, & God only knows why the British Empire should be torn to Pieces by unjust Attempts to subjugate us. Some say...
As I intend to leave this City Tomorrow I take the Liberty of sending you the inclosed. I have just rec d a Letter from H.B. Livingston & his Brother John. Harry informs me that his Major has quitted the Service & that his Coll. has also resigned. These Places being vacant I think Harry sh d be made a Lieu t . Coll immediately, for as the Lieut. Coll. continues in the Service he certainly...
DS : University of Pennsylvania Library <Philadelphia, January 9, 1776, to the New Hampshire committee of inspection: The secret committee, as empowered by the Congress, authorizes John Langdon of New Hampshire to export to the amount of $10,000 the produce of the colonies, in their service and according to the Continental Association; horned cattle, sheep, hogs, and poultry are excepted....
Text printed in Samuel Hazard, et al. , eds., Pennsylvania Archives (1st series; 12 vols., Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–56), IV , 696. <January 11, 1776: It is agreed between the undersigned members of the committee and Oswell Eve and George Losch, of Philadelphia County, that Eve and Losch will manufacture all the saltpetre delivered to them by the committee during the next year into...
Under Governments which have just and equal Liberty for their Foundation, every Subject has a Right to give his Sentiments on all Matters of public Concern; provided it be done with Modesty & Decency. I shall therefore take the Liberty of calling the Attention of my Countrymen to a Subject, which however important seems to have passed without due Notice; I mean the Practice of impressing...
AD : National Archives The invasion of Canada, authorized by Congress in June, 1775, had begun in August under Major General Philip Schuyler. Because of his ill health the command almost immediately devolved upon his subordinate, Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, who by November had captured the forts at Chambly and St. Johns and the city of Montreal. Governor Carleton escaped to Quebec...
DS : The Rosenbach Foundation <February 1, 1776: The agreement is between members of the committee and James King and Joseph Harper, Philadelphia merchants and owners of the brigantine Cornelia of approximately 100 tons, Thomas Genn master, to hire her for a voyage to France. She is to sail to a port in South Carolina to be subsequently designated, there to be loaded with rice, indigo, or...
Copy: John Carter Brown Library <Philadelphia, February 6, 1776: The Browns will procure in Europe 10,000 good blankets at approximately 4 s. 6 d. to 5 s. sterling apiece; 9,200 yards of blue and brown broadcloth for uniforms and 800 yards of different colors for facings, most of the cloth, being for privates, at about 4 s. sterling per yard and the rest, for officers, at 6 s. ; ten tons of...
Copy (microfilm): University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill <February 14, 1776: The agreement is between members of the committee and Joseph Hewes of North Carolina, merchant, one of the owners of the brigantine Fanny of approximately 150 tons, now in the York River, to hire her for a voyage to Europe. She will be in good condition and well provisioned and manned. The owners will pay...
Your Letter M r Averys Certificate & M r Troup’s Information gave me much Satisfaction. You always shared my good Wishes, & I have often lamented, y r . putting it out of my power to be useful to you. If you are not dec d . in y r . Opinion of the Stability & Permanence of y r . present Resolutions, you yet may be a respectable & usefull Member of Society. But remember that old Habits are not...
Copy: South Carolina Historical Society; copy: Connecticut Historical Society We normally summarize contracts of the secret committee signed by Franklin, but this one is important enough to be printed in full because it was the initial reason for Deane’s going to France. Soon after he lost his seat in Congress in October, 1775, and thereby his membership in the secret committee, he began to...
Your Letter of the 15 th : Inst. informs me that you continue indisposed and that you are nursing yourself at Home—I am sorry for both—The first alarms me, & second on acc t of your Health & the second forebodes your being long sick. Amusement & Exercise are ought to be your Objects—At Home you can have little of either, Domestic Concerns, Variety of Business & twenty things going wrong for...
Your Letter of the 17 Inst. made me very happy by informing me of your Health and our Son’s Recovery, which I hope is by this time perfect. Tho your Tenderness in concealing his Indisposition merits my Thanks, yet be assured that I shall never hesitate more in sharing your Anxieties, than in partaking of your Pleasures. I am glad to hear M rs . Lawrence was in such good spirits as to entertain...
DS : Connecticut Historical Society; DS : Library of Congress; copy: South Carolina Historical Society; copy: Yale University Library We the underwritten, being the Committee of Congress for secret Correspondence, do hereby certify whom it may concern, that the Bearer, the Honourable Silas Deane Esquire, one of the Delegates from the Colony of Connecticut, is appointed by us to go into France,...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society; copy: Yale University Library; copy: South Carolina Historical Society These instructions, which were probably drafted by Franklin, are the first to an American agent in a foreign country. They mark an important step toward the assumption of sovereignty, and the committee of secret correspondence seems to have taken that step on its own initiative. The...
Had your Letter been sent by the Post it would ere this have come to my Hands. I am now retired to the Lobby to answer it without Delay. I have many things to say to you and upon many Subjects. The enclosed Articles will furnish Answers to the Questions you ask relative to Seamans Wages &. A Model of a Pike shall be sent you— The Resolution of Congress restraining military officers from...
I have at Length procured a Pike for you which will be sent by the Stage. Your fitting out an armed Vessel on the Colony—account does you Honor. I am at Liberty to inform you that the Congress have passed a Vote for privateering, by which I hope the Losses of some of our Friends will be repaired. It is expected that vigorous measures will be taken in preventing such as may be inimical to the...
When the Clerk of the Congress gave me the printed Papers which I enclosed you, he told me they contained the Navy Establishment. Whatever Deficiencies there may be in them as to that Matter will I hope be supplied by the Extract now enclosed. As to continental Colors, the Congress have made no order as yet respecting them, and I believe the Captains of their armed Vessels have in that...
As M r . Willet leaves this Place in the Morning, I shall commit these few Lines to his Care, and tho they contain nothing important will nevertheless tend to manifest my constant Attention to the Province as well as to the Person for whom they are designed. I am sorry no Provision has been made for M r Willet, from every thing I can learn, he has Merit, and I hope when we shall be informed of...
It gives me the most sensible Pleasure to convey to you, by Order of Congress, the only Tribute, which a free People will ever consent to Pay; the Tribute of Thanks and Gratitude to their Friends and Benefactors. The disinterested and patriotic Principles which led you to the Field, have also led you to Glory: and it affords no little Consolation to your Countrymen to reflect, that, as a...
It gives me the most sensible Pleasure to convey to you by order of Congress the only Tribute which a free People will ever consent to pay, the Tribute of Thanks & Gratitude to their Friends & Benefactors. The disinterested and patriotic Principles which led you to the Field, have also led you to Glory, and it affords no little Consolation to your Countrymen to reflect, that as a peculiar...
Whether my last letter has reached you or not is uncertain. From your Silence I sometimes suspect it has not. However as I know you must be perpetually engaged in matters of more Consequence, I cannot expect to hear from you so often as when you enjoyed more Leizure. I could wish to be informed of the Number of Troops now employed in New York, how your Levies go on, & whether there is a...
Whereas it is both unjust as well as impolitic that any Nat Americans should ^ afford ^ aid to the Enemies of their Country, eith and particularly in the Seizure of Vessels ^ or other Property ^ belonging to Inhabitants of these Colonies or by purchasing ^ of the Enemy ^ any of their Property so seized Resolved that all Americans who shall
We received your Favour of the 8th Ins t .— The Office of Commissary is extreamly embarrassed—The Commissary Gen al . (who it was expected woud have continued in the Eastern Department) is now (by the Removal of the Army from Bo[s]ton) in NewYork— tho it was originally intended (as we understood) that you as Deputy Commissary General shoud have the sole Managem t . of that Office in the...
Accept my Thanks for your friendly Letter of the 16 th Ins t . and its Inclosures, which contain useful as well as agreable Information. I am glad to see New York doing something in the naval Way, & think the Encouragement given by the Convention to the Manufacture of arms, Powder, Salt Petre and Sea Salt, does them Honor. Many of the Reasons you alledge for delaying Taxation are weighty, & I...
It is much to be regretted that ^ all ^ human Affairs are liable for liable to Errors & Imperfections, and that real as well as imaginary Evils are so widely spread thro the World. The Subject of your Letter merits ^ deserves ^ attention, it is however unnecessary for me to repeat what I have already said relative to it, and ^ except ^ again to assure you that my Endeavours shall not be...
The Congress having been informed of a very extraordinary oath ordered by Gov r . Tryon to be administered to Passengers in the late packet, whereby they bound themselves not to disclose any thing relative to American affairs except to the Ministry, have appointed a committee (of which I am one) to ascertain this Fact. I must therefore request of you gentlemen to appoint proper Persons to...
Since my last I have had the Pleasure of recieving your Letter of the 25 th : Inst. and am obliged to you for the Intelligence contained in it. So great are the Inconveniences resulting from the present Mode of Government, that I believe our Convention will almost unanimously agree to institute a better, to continue till a Peace with Great Britain shall render it unnecessary. The Proceedings...
The Pleasure I expected from meeting ^ a Junction of ^ our little Families at Bristol has vanished. Doct r Bard tells me the Waters there are not adapted would be injurious to Mrs. Jays Complaints, so that I shall again take a solitary Ride to Philadelphia whenever the Convention who have directed me to abide here till their further Order, shall think proper to dismiss me. I wish I could have...