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President of Congress to Colonel Maxwell



Philadelphia, January 25, 1776.

SIR: When the Congress, on the 8th instant, ordered your battalion to march to Canada, they appointed a Committee to inquire what was wanting to fit them for the march.

The Committee having taken time to make the necessary inquiry, made report on the 10th, "That, before your battalion could be fit to march, the following articles ought to be provided, viz: six hundred and eighty-eight haversacks; six hundred and eighty-eight cartouch-boxes and cross-belts; six hundred and eighty-eight tomahawks; sixty-four pitching-axes, and nine baggage-wagons."

No notice being taken of arms, blankets, or clothing, it was presumed your troops were properly supplied with these articles. In order, therefore, that the articles wanting might be provided, they immediately ordered a very considerable sum to be put into the hands of Mr˙ Lowrey, with orders to purchase the same, and to pay the men up to the 1st of February, deducting out of their pay the price of the articles furnished the men, more than what was allowed in lieu of bounty.

By these means, the Congress expected your battalion would have been properly equipped, and that the first company that could be got ready, would be immediately ordered to set out on their march.

The urgency of the service requires that your battalion should begin their march with all possible expedition. It will be vain to send men without arms; but, as the Committee of Trenton have informed Congress that arms can be purchased, I have, by this opportunity, transmitted to them, by order of Congress, four thousand dollars for the purchase of suitable arms, and have desired them to take measures for supplying you with blankets. I hope I need not use arguments to stimulate you in this matter.

I would only observe, and have you take notice, that it is the desire of Congress that you would send forward the first company that can be got ready, and that it be followed by the other companies, one at a time, as fast as they can be provided with necessaries, without waiting till the whole are equipped. I am, &c˙,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To Colonel Maxwell.