George Washington Papers

From George Washington to James Warren, 30 October 1775

To James Warren

Camp at Cambridge Octr 30th 1775.


At the Instance and Request of the Committee of Cape Ann, I dispatched Major Mason,1 to survey and make a Report of, such Works of Defence, as were already constructed there, and how far any new one might be necessary. From his Observations and account I find, that a Battery may be erected there, to the great Advantage, and Security of the Place. But the small Stock of Artillery, belonging to the Army, prevents me from supplying the Materials for this Purpose. I have therefore thought proper, to acquaint you with the Circumstances of the Case, that you may make the best Provision for this Necessity, & have also sent Major Mason down to you, that a particular Enquiry, if desired, may be made. Be pleased to communicate this Information to your honorable House.2 I am, Sir, with great Respect yr most obedient hbl. Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Edmund Randolph’s writing, M-Ar: Revolution Letters; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1David Mason (c.1726–1794) of Boston became major of Col. Richard Gridley’s Massachusetts regiment of artillery in April 1775. Subsequently promoted to lieutenant colonel, Mason served in the Continental artillery until December 1776 and was deputy commissary of military stores at Springfield, Mass., from February 1777 to July 1780.

2The Massachusetts house of representatives and council today appointed a joint committee to study the matter. See the excerpts from the minutes of the house and council signed by Warren, Perez Morton, and William Cooper, on the reverse of the LS. The committee reported on 1 Nov. and three days later the General Court resolved “that his Excellency the General be desired to direct Major Mason, to proceed to the Towns of Concord, Worcester, Lancaster and Leicester, there to view the Cannon now in those Towns, and such and so many of them, being the Property of this Colony, as he shall judge fit for Use and necessary, for the Defence of said Harbour, the Town of Gloucester have leave to remove to that Place; . . . And that Major Mason or the Select Men of the Town of Gloucester, have Liberty on the Credit of this Colony, to procure from any Town, or Person who may have it to spare, two Barrels of Powder” (Mass. House of Rep. Journal description begins A Journal of the Honorable House of Representatives of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England. Watertown, Mass., 1775. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , July–Nov. 1775 sess., 210, 217, 230–31; see also “Mass. Council Journal,” July 1775–Feb. 1776 sess. description begins In Journals, Minutes, and Proceedings, State of Massachusetts Bay, 1775–1780. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records.) description ends , 269.

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