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Letter from Charles Miller to Joseph Trumbull



[Read May 33, 1776, and referred to Mr˙ Whipple, Mr˙ Gerry, and Mr˙ F˙ Lee.]

Boston, May 8, 1776.

DEAR SIR: Your favour of the 29th ultimo was duly received, and observe the contents. It gives me pleasure to find that my appointment to this office is agreeable to you. You may depend on my utmost endeavours to serve the cause I am employed in. There is a considerable quantity of damaged butter, fat, hard bread, raisins, barrels old pork, &c˙, the latter of which article I am now selling from sixty-six shillings and eight pence to seventy-two shillings per barrel. In your letter you desired I would have them properly inspected. I am at a loss to know whether you intended there should be persons appointed to inspect it, or whether it should be left to me to determine which is good or bad. I would recommend to have all that is bad sold at publick vendue, if agreeable to you, as I think they will sell for as much or more that way than at private sale. As to the liquors, I should be glad to know the cost of them, which will be a guide to me in the sale. The prize flour will be baked into hard bread, and it is very likely the ships will want a considerable quantity, which, I suppose, may be supplied by an order from Mr˙ Cushing. I shall acquaint Major Frazer with what you wrote respecting the essence of spruce.

There is a great demand here for pork. I suppose I can sell a considerable quantity at about eighty shillings per barrel, provided it is agreeable. You will find by the receipt given Mr˙ Avery, that there are considerable quantities of provisions here more than will be wanted for the Army for twelve months to come — whether it would not be best to sell such quantity as will not be wanted. By Mr˙ Avery' s order, I have supplied this Colony with a considerable quantity of pork, beef, and fish. I should be glad to know whether I am to continue supplying the same if wanted, and whether I must get the cash for it, or let it remain charged to the Colony. We are every day expecting the Fleet and Army to return here with double force; if they should, they will take more provisions than would be agreeable to me.

This Colony has not as yet done anything worth mentioning towards the protecting of this town. Three or four ships, and about three thousand men, would take it again with great ease. Yesterday a privateer schooner from Marblehead took (in plain sight from this town) and carried into Lynn, two large brigs, loaded with beef, wine, and butter.

I am, sir, your most humble servant,


To Joseph Trumbull, Esq˙, Commissary-General, at NewYork.

P˙ S. There is a quantity of salt at Jamaica Plains, for which Mr˙ Blaney sent to me for a receipt; but not knowing the quantity there was, and having received no order to bring it into Boston, I desired him to let it remain in the care of the person in whose store it was, until I heard from you.