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Letter from the President of Congress to the Convention of New-Hampshire



Philadelphia, January 20, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: In addition to the resolutions of Congress, passed the 8th instant, for the defence of Canada, I have now to add sundry others, which the advices lately received, and the repulse our troops met with, in an attempt on Quebeck, render absolutely necessary to be carried into execution, with all possible despatch.

There is every reason to hope that a timely reinforcement will not only secure our friends and retrieve our losses, but put us in possession of Quebeck before succours can reach our enemies. I am, therefore, directed most earnestly to press you with all possible expedition to levy and forward the battalion ordered to be raised in your Colony. And as you lie the most contiguous, I trust, from your wonted zeal, you will be the first to carry relief and succour.

You will easily conceive what life, spirit, and confidence, the arrival of but one company will give our friends there, especially when they understand it is quickly to be followed by more forces. You will, therefore, with the utmost despatch forward the first that can be got ready.

To prevent any delay, I send, enclosed, by order of Congress, blank commissions for the Field-Officers, Captains, and Subalterns, which you will please to fill up with the names of such gentlemen as you shall judge best qualified and proper for the service.

The money for defraying the expense of the battalion will be forwarded by your Delegate with all possible despatch. The encouragement given to the men will, I hope, facilitate your business, and I trust your zeal will not be wanting in the defence of our common liberties. Time will not permit me to enlarge. I must, therefore, beg leave, for other matters, to refer you to the enclosed extracts, only reminding you that the battalion is to consist of eight companies, and each company of one Captain, two Lieutenants, one Ensign, four Sergeants, four Corporals, a drum and fife, and seventy-six privates; the Staff Officers: a Surgeon, a Quartermaster, an Adjutant, and a Chaplain.

I have the honour to be, gentlemen, &c˙,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To the Convention of New-Hampshire.