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Letter from the Provincial Congress of New Jersey to the President of Congress



[Read July 12, 1776. Referred to the Board of War.]

In Provincial Congress of New Jersey,
Trenton, July 10, 1776.

SIR: By order of the Provincial Congress, I am to inform you that, on the sudden call of the Commander-in-Chief at New York, the Militia of several of the eastern Counties have marched to the General' s assistance; and also a number from the western part of the Colony there, together with the new levies for the requested brigade, have greatly drained us of men, at a time when the grain (the support of the Colony) is in imminent danger of being neglected and lost. The condition of this Colony, from the present situation of the enemy, has been such that the Militia have been necessarily detained hitherto. In such circumstances, we have with pleasure received information that the Militia of Pennsylvania is about to march to our assistance. While we thus enjoy the pleasing prospect of more effectually opposing our common enemy, we hope the Congress will give such directions as may afford an opportunity for immediately dismissing our Militia for the present, in order that they may save and secure their grain, already suffering.

At Trenton, where we understand the camp is to be formed, the Pennsylvania Militia cannot effect the purpose, which we have greatly at heart, of relieving our people from their attendance, that their harvests may not perish. We submit to Congress, therefore, the propriety of sending forward our friends from Pennsylvania to the eastern part of this Colony; if not all, at least such part of them as may be thought more immediately necessary.

Besides the danger of our harvest suffering, a more pressing one, if possible, urges us to this application, which is that of our people from the interior Counties deserting the service in order to preserve their crops; the rather as some of our Counties have in a great measure withheld their force, whilst others have turned out almost to a man.

We are, sir, your most humble servants.

By order of Congress:

To the Hon˙ John Hancock, Esq.