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Letter from Colonel Robert Livingston


Die Sabbati, 10 ho˙ A˙ M˙, February 10, 1776.

The Committee met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: Pierre Van Cortlandt, Esquire, Chairman, Mr˙ Scott, Mr˙ Tredwell, Mr˙ Sands, Mr˙ Oothoudt, Mr˙ M˙ Graham, Colonel Brasher. Colonel McDougall a part of the morning.

Present, also, several Members of Congress, viz: General Woodhull, Colonel G˙ Drake, Colonel Rensselaer, Gilbert Livingston, Captain Rutgers.

A Letter from Colonel Robert Livingston, of Manor of Livingston, dated the 5th instant, was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

Manor Livingston, February 5, 1776.

SIR: Your letter, of the 25th ultimo, did not come to hand before this morning, and I am now set down to answer it.

I intend, please God, my furnace shall begin her blast early in April, (sooner it will be inconvenient for want of pasture, as I have but a month' s stock now on the spot to work upon,) and cannot cart ore or coal before the middle of May, for want of grass, so that, should I begin sooner, it would be almost impossible to continue the blast, consequently very detrimental to my interest. We have cast great quantities of shot for the Army, last war, but no great guns; this we can do. But whether we can cast great guns, I dare not take upon myself to determine. The hearth of my furnace lies low; fear there is not sufficient depth of earth between the surface and the bottom of the creek, if the guns are to be cast on one end. As I am entirely a stranger to the casting of ordnance, and desirous of assisting my country in any thing in my power, wish the gentlemen of the Committee of Safety, if they think it the interest of the community, to send up proper and skilful men, who are acquainted and had experience in casting and moulding of guns, for I have none such to examine my conveniences. If approved of, my furnace and stock shall be at their service on reasonable terms, for I know not how to fix a price. My metal is good, perhaps the best in America.

I cannot be more particular at present, and am, rerespectfully, sir, your and the Committee' s most humble servant,


"To Mr˙ Joseph Hallett."