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Letter from the Delegates in Congress


Die Jovis, 10 ho˙ A˙ M˙, January 11, 1776.

The Committee met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: Pierre Van Cortlandt, Esq˙, Chairman, Mr˙ Scott, Mr˙ McDougall, Mr˙ Sands, Mr˙ Tredwell, Mr˙ Clarke, Colonel Brasher, Mr˙ Brewster.

A Letter from the Delegates of this Colony at Congress, was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

Philadelphia, January 5, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The Congress has been so much encumbered with business, that it has not, till now, been in our power to write to you decisively on the subject of your several favours, indeed, the appointment of an officer to command in the Highlands still remains undetermined, though we doubt not the recommendation communicated in your letter of the 8th of December, will have its due weight.

We highly applaud the spirit, and, at the same time, respectful manner, in which you have supported the dignity and independence of our Colony, and demanded reparation on the subject of the Connecticut inroad. An interposition so rash; officious, and violent, gave us great anxiety


as it was not only a high insult to your authority, But had a direct tendency to confirm that fatal spirit of jealousy and distrust of our Eastern brethren, which has done so much injury to our cause, and which every wise and virtuous patriot should study to suppress. The Government of Connecticut, we are persuaded, will not only do you the justice which you have required, but adopt effectual means to restrain their inhabitants from similar attempts in future. In this expectation, we shall take the liberty to defer the application to Congress which you direct, until we are favoured with a copy of Governour Trumbull' s answer to your letter.

The enclosed resolution of Congress respecting the loan of forty-five thousand pounds on the credit of our Colony, will, we hope, be no disappointment. It is, in our opinion, founded on good reasons. The precedent would have justified every other Colony in soliciting the like indulgence, which could not, without gross partiality, have been refused. The faith of all must, in every instance, have been pledged to secure the payment, and, consequently, all exposed to the effects of mismanagement and want of economy in each separate Government. The quantity of paper money would not have been diminished. The sums thus borrowed must, in the course of the present content, have become enormous. Those objections, among others, operated so strongly against the measure, that if we had thought ourselves at liberty to exercise discretion in the case of a positive instruction, we should have declined an application to which, in our judgment, we could not wish success.

The deputation from your Convention, respecting the fortifications in the Highlands, was very proper and seasonable. They have conferred with a Committee of Congress, and been heard by the House, and will inform you of every thing which occurred, so that it is needless for us to be explicit.

A copy of the resolution of Congress will be delivered to you by your Deputies, to which we have nothing to add.

Mr˙ Secretary McKesson has furnished us with a copy of your resolutions respecting your Delegates. This arrangement, or something similar, we had much at heart, as the constant attendance of so large a quorum as five, would naturally be precarious, especially when only that number were in town.

The defection of Queen' s and Richmond is much to be lanmented. A Committee of Congress has this subject now under consideration, and it will not be long before their resolutions on that head will be communicated to you.

We have the honour to be, with great respect, gentlemen, your most obedient and humble servants,


P˙S˙ You have likewise enclosed a resolution of Congress respecting the inlistment of soldiers.