George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Eliezer Rosbrook, 25 February 1781

c.25 February 1781

To his Excellency George Washington Esquire General and Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America.

The Memorial of the subscribers Humbly sheweth

That your Excellencies memorialists have at different past periods, voluntarrily inlisted themselves as Soldiers into the Independant Companies of Rangers, raised for the particular defence of the Northern frontiers and hitherto commanded by Major Benjamin Whitcomb.

That your memorialists in general being Inhabitants of aforsaid frontier, was the principle reason next to the cause of Liberty and Freedom wherein we are all so obstinately contending which induced them freely & out of Choice to engage in said Campaign.

That altho’ your Excellencys memorialists at all times heretofore have been and still are ready and willing cheerfully to [sacrifise] life and fortune—Domestic Ease and happiness, for the support and defence of the Independant Liberties of the United States of America in any part or place thereof and under any Circumstances however difficult and perplexing agreeable to your Excellencys Orders and Directions—Yet they hope that your Excellency will be pleased to suffer your humble memorialists to declare that it was with great grief and anxiety of heart that they [heard] the heavy tidings of their Companies being reduced and orders for them to join the New Hampshire Line in the Southern Army—and that your Excellency upon hearing of the further reasons of your memorialists will be pleased to direct that they are still to be continued an Independant Corps of Rangers for the defence of the frontier aforsaid.

And First. That they have received only a part of their Cloathing, and that the Commanding Officer has stopped a considerable part of their Wages as pay for some [Cloathing] that they have [received].

That many of them have families in the district of Country commonly known by the names of New Hampshire Grants, where the jurisdiction is Claimed by different States, but soldiers families provided for by none; and there is no Law but that of Nature or something worse, so that their families would undoubtedly have perished were it not for some small attention and assistance, which they have been able to afford them—which upon their removal they must be deprived of.

That the Duty of your Excellencys memorialists has been exceeding hard and difficult—they have been constantly employed in long and dangerous Scouts into Canada and elsewhere, not only destructive to their bodily health, but also very prejudicial to their Cloathing more then doing Camp Duty. They have likewise been active in almost every engagement in the Northern department whereby their Corps have been much reduced. Neither have they had the advantage of any States Store where they might purchase necessaries at the stipulated prices, but have been obliged to purchase every necessary at a very extravagant price. Thus circumstanced they think it impracticable if not impossible to march-- and Duty dictated, that they should lay their particular Circumstances before your Excellency in hopes that your Excellency will be pleased to grant them redress.

Adding further the distressing situation of the inhabitants of this frontier, being alarmed this day with the approach of a large body of the Enemy and of Canada destined against this frontier their Scouts or [slotes] of scouting parties have been discovered within about 25 miles of this place.line illegible The Inhabitants now mustering [and laying upon their] Arms-- upon the removal of your Excellencys memorialists will be left intirely without any defence against the Enemy—Except [   ] scattered Inhabitants of this Frontier. Your Excellencys memorialists now embodied and upon active [Duty]—beg that your Excellency will not be pleased to view any thing in this memorial, or in the behaviour of your Excellencys Memorialists in a disagreeable light as tending in the least [to any] disrespect to your Excellencys person or Government by neglecting [to march] untill the foregoing memorial may be [laid before] your Excellency—but that they hold themselves ready punctually, to obey every of your Excellencys Orders.

Therefore humbly pray your Excellency to take the present situation in your wise and Judicious consideration and grant them such relief as to your Excellency in great wisdom and prudence may appear most convenient and your Excellencys memorialists as in duty bound shall ever pray

Eliezer Rosbrook Serjt David Ladd
John Hodgdon Serjt [Jones Winton]
Abel Rice Serjt [Noah Livesy]
Manrysch Manasah Sawyer Serjt William [Montain]
Moses Tompson Enoch [Boan]
Joseph How Abial Chandler
Moses Haint James Sincler
William Briant Joseph Sincler
Josiah Burbank James Lacy
John [Martin] John Boyton
Jedathen Roubels Russel Joshua Danford
Henry Tebets Francies [Akley]
David Dustin Edward Mardeen
Asa Prat [Darley] Rogers
Nathaniel Whetcomb Bajaman Jonson

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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