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Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in Philadelphia to his Friend in Williamsburg, Virginia, Dated May 22, 1775



We know the plan of Ministry is touring the Canadians and Indians down upon us; for this reason the Provincial Troops of Connecticut and Massachusetts have wisely taken, by a brave coup de main, possession of the forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. In the former they got two hundred pieces of large cannon, some field-pieces, swivels, powder, &c˙ &c. The Congress have directed New-York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, to remove these stores, &c˙, to the south end of Lake George, and take strong posts there, to intercept the communication and march of Canadian and Indian forces into these Colonies.


The taking of Ticonderoga last war cost Great Britain many thousand lives, and an immense expense; but now it has been taken from them, though strong and well garrisoned, by the bravery and enterprise of a few Provincials, and at a very small expense.

There never was a more total revolution at any place than at New-York. The Tories have been obliged to fly. The Province is arming; and the Governour dares not call his prostituted Assembly to receive Lord North' s foolish plan. Two of the Delanceys, Watts, Cooper, Rivington, Colonel Philips, and the rest of the Tory leaders, are fled; some to England, and some to private places in the country, where they are not known. The Congress have advised the Yorkers to make provision for carrying their women and children into the cpuntry, and to remove their warlike stores before the arrival of the Troops there, whom they are not to suffer to encamp, or commit with impunity any hostilities against the people.

The latest and best accounts from Boston make the loss of Regulars, in killed and wounded and missing, one thousand men. The Provincial loss was trifling. Ten thousand men are now encamped before the Town, between which and the country there is no intercourse. General Gage refuses to let the people out; in consequence of which their distress presently must be grievous indeed. The besieging army keep the one besieged in constant alarm; so that it is said that they rest neither night nor day. Every day is expected to bring two thousand men more from Ireland, and seven Regiments to New-York, where the Tories had informed Ministry they would be well received. But now, behold, they come to a Country universally hostile, and in arms, to receive them. Connecticut has twelve thousand men in arms; the Jerseys a good many; and this Province at least eight thousand. There are two thousand in this City, well-armed and disciplined. In short, every Colony this way is well prepared for war, and appear to be secure against any force likely to be sent against them. It would seem as if the Southern Colonies were alone vulnerable at present, and this should be remedied as soon as possible.

It seems the bill for restraining the Trade of the Colonies is not to have force until a certain time after its arrival in North America; so that in this instance the whole power of the Legislature is given to Ministry; for it will depend on them when the Act shall arrive here, since they may send it when, or never, as they please.

We find, by the late accounts, that Ministry will be more puzzled than they imagine, to accomplish their detestable purposes against us. A gentleman of the strictest veracity writes, that the embarkment from England has been delayed, by the impossibility of getting seamen for the ships; but, he adds, let not this delay your vigorous efforts for defence. From Ireland we learn that the people there have interposed to prevent the embarkment; and that a contest has happened, in which several lives were lost on both sides.

The other day, General Gage hearing that all the Provincial Troops, except fifteen hundred, were retired to sign an Association prepared for them at some distance from the encampment, marched with his whole force out of Boston; but seeing the fifteen hundred Provincials drawn up in order for battle, and disliking their countenance, he returned within his lines.

A man-of-war' s tender at Rhode-Island lately seized a vessel loaded with provisions for the Army at Boston; and the country people, in boats, attacked and took both the provisions, vessel, and tender, having wounded the Lieutenant of the man-of-war, and taken his men prisoners, whom they conveyed captives into the country. Thus you see our infant struggles on the water are not unsuccessful.