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Instructions to Aaron Willard and Moses Child, 24 November 1775

Instructions to Aaron Willard and Moses Child

[Cambridge, 24 November 1775]

The Honourable, the Continental Congress, having lately passed a Resolve, contained in the following words, to wit.

“That two persons be sent at the Expence of these Colonies to novascotia, to inquire into the state of that Colony, the disposition of the Inhabitants towards the American cause, & the Condition of the Fortifications, Docks, Yards, the Quantity of Artillery & Warlike stores, & the number of Soldiers, Sailors & Ships of War there, & Transmit the earliest Intelligence to General Washington.[”]1

I do hereby Constitute & appoint you the said Aaron Willard, Esqr.—to be one of the persons to Undertake this business; And as the season is late, & this a work of Great Importance, I intreat & request that you will use the utmost dispatch, attention & fidelity in the Executi⟨on⟩ of it—The necessity of acting with a proper degree of caution & secrecy is too apparent to need recommendatio⟨n.⟩

You will keep an Account of your Expences & upon your return will be rewarded in a suitable ma⟨nner⟩ for the fatigue of your Journey & the services you render your Country by Conducting & discharging this Business with expedition & fidelity.2 Given under my Hand this 24 day of Nov. 1775.

Copy in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Congress passed this resolution on 10 Nov. (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 3:348). See also Hancock to GW, 10 Nov., and GW to Hancock, 19 Nov. 1775.

2GW paid Willard and Child $60 46/72 on 14 Feb. 1776 (Warrant Book, 10 Sept. 1775–12 Aug. 1776, DLC:GW). For the results of their journey, see GW to Hancock and Willard and Child to GW, both 14 Feb. 1776.

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