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Encouragement for the Making of Saltpetre in the Colony


This Committee being fully convinced that it is their indispensable duty to endeavour to encourage and procure the making of Saltpetre in this Colony, in order to supply the means of its defence, and that the manufacture of that article will ultimately tend to the great advantage of the Colony, conceive they cannot better discharge their duty on that matter, at present, than by having a small collection of the most plain and easy experiments for the manufacture of Saltpetre published; and Mr˙ Tredwell, one of the members, having collected copies of the said experiments, a draft of an Introduction or Preface to the same was read and approved of, and is in the words following, to wit:

In Committee of Safety during the recess of Congress, January 17, 1776.

The wicked practices of a corrupt Administration, and their hostile attempts to compel an obedience to several Acts of the British Parliament, evidently subversive of all the rights and privileges which as God' s rational creatures we are entitled to, and have, as Englishmen, inherited by the laws of our country, have constrained the inhabitants of those Colonies to take up arms for the defence of their lives, liberties, and property. The Ministry, flattering themselves that so young a country, unused to manufactures of every kind, will not be able to procure the means of defence within itself, have made, and will undoubtedly continue to make it a principal object of their attention, to preclude us from foreign supplies of military stores. This Committee would, therefore, conceive themselves most culpably deficient in discharge of their important trust as guardians of the publick security, should they not do all in their power to promote the manufacture of those articles. Without these, the greatest unanimity, virtue, and fortitude, can afford us little prospect of success in the present; interesting struggle. To that end, this Committee have thought it necessary to publish the following Essays upon the Manufacture of Saltpetre and Gunpowder, not doubting that a due consideration of the danger of resting the liberties and future happiness of this large and growing country upon foreign supplies, which will be extremely precarious, and at all events very expensive, will induce the inhabitants of this Colony to do every thing in their power to supply the Continent with those necessary articles;


and the more effectually to urge individuals to attempt those manufactures, this Committee have thought it proper to preface those Essays with the following Resolution of the Continental Congress.

By order of the Committee.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Tredwell call on one of the Printers in this city, and engage him to print three thousand copies thereof on the account of this Colony, and to send that number of copies to this Committee.