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Report of Committee of Massachusetts Assembly

v4:486

The Committee of both Houses, "appointed to wait on, and represent to, his Excellency General Washington, the circumstances of four companies, now doing duty in the towns of Braintree, Weymouth, and Hingham, setting forth by whose order they were raised; that they were then considered

v4:487

as part of the thirteen thousand six hundred men, agreed to be inlisted by this Colony, where they have done duty, &c˙; and to request that his Excellency would order them to be paid by the United Colonies," beg leave to represent: That as the propriety of such an order depends on various circumstances, and as many important matters are constantly soliciting his Excellency' s attention, the Committee report the following state of facts, to be laid before him, so that he may be the better enabled to answer the request of this Court:

Upon application from the towns aforesaid, as also from those of Chelsea and Malden, on or about the 1st of May last, to the Committee of Safety of this Colony, who then had the direction of raising and stationing the forces within the same, praying that they would (from a consideration of the situation of said towns, and that the enemy could land in any of them, from Boston harbour, within an hour after they enter their boats, and in some parts in less than half an hour; and, also, that they could, from thence, easily penetrate into the country,) order a detachment from the camps as a guard, to be stationed in these towns: The said Committee of Safety, with the Council of War, after full inquiry and deliberation, determined that it was necessary that a party should be constantly stationed on the sea-coasts of those towns, to watch the motions of the enemy, and prevent their landing. But as no troops could well be spared, at that time, from either of the camps of Cambridge of Roxbury, they directed that there should immediately be raised, one company in Hingham, one in Weymouth, and two in Braintree, (also, two at Chelsea and Malden,) and that these companies should be joined to such regiments, in future, as should be directed.

The men were raised as ordered, and were then, and ever have been, considered as part of the thirteen thousand six hundred men to be raised by this Colony. They were so considered by the General Officers, and have been employed in such services, place and places, as the commanding officer at Roxbury hath, from time to time, directed, as will appear by his orders to the several Captains of said companies, some copies of which accompany this representation,

A company from Roxbury was, as soon as the state of that camp would admit of it, detached to the assistance of these (our companies; and upon their being ordered back in August last, two other companies, also part of the Continental Army, were sent to supply their place, and the place of a company drawn from Cohasset, a town adjoining to Hingham. When these four companies were raised, this Colony had it not in contemplation to raise men for the general defence of the sea-coasts, and they never have been considered by us in any other point of view than as part of our quota for the common defence; and being stationed far within the narrow limits of the harbour of Boston, his Excellency will, undoubtedly, from all these considerations, grant the reasonable request of this Court, and order these forces to be paid by the United Colonies.

In Council, December 26, 1775.

Read and accepted; and, thereupon,

Resolved, That the Committee who were appointed to wait upon his Excellency General Washington, with a representation of the state of the said four Companies, be excused that part of their service; and that the Committee appointed to wait upon his Excellency, to request his informing this Court how far he will extend his guards, &c˙, present, him with the foregoing Report and Representation, with the papers accompanying them, and request his ordering payment to said companies.

Sent down for concurrence.

PEREZ MORTON, Deputy Secretary.

In the House of Representatives, December 26, 1775.

Read and concurred. Sent up.

JAMES WARBEN, Speaker.

A true copy. Attest:

PEREZ MORTON, Deputy Secretary.

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