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General Washington to Massachusetts Assembly



Cambridge, February 10, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Notwithstanding I have taken every method my judgment could suggest, to procure a sufficient number of firelocks for the soldiers of this Army, by applications to the Assemblies and Conventions of these Governments, as well as by sending officers out with money to purchase, I am constrained, by necessity, to inform you that the deficiency is amazingly great, and that there are not nigh enough to arm the troops already here. It is true, that all the officers gone upon the business are not yet returned, but, from the small success of those who have made report, I cannot promise myself many more. I must, therefore, beg leave to solicit your kind attention to this interesting and important concern, and would submit it to your consideration whether if your honourable Court were to depute some of their members to make applications to the different towns, they might not procure a considerable quantity. I will most cheerfully furnish them with money for the purpose, or pay for them on their delivery here, as you shall think most advisable.

I shall only add, that I hope the exigency of our affairs, at this critical crisis, will excuse this request, and my confidence of your readiness and zeal to do every thing in your power for promoting the publick good, and am, gentlemen, with great regard and esteem, your most humble servant,


To the Honourable General Court, &c.

P˙ S. I have heard that there are several King' s muskets in the country; for every good one, with a bayonet, that has not been abused, I will give twelve dollars, and in proportion for other guns fit for service.