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



[Read July 8, 1776.]

Trenton, July 6, 1776.

SIR: Your letter of the 5th was delivered me this moment, and shall lay the enclosed before our Convention this afternoon. The resolution respecting the officers and soldiers prisoners in this Colony has relieved me from any more anxious thoughts on account of these gentry.

The enclosed will inform you of particulars. I hope Congress will attend particularly to the Flying-Camp and establishing a magazine of powder, &c˙, in the eastern part of this Colony. Our Convention removed yesterday morning from Burlington to this place, in order to be more in the way of intelligence and out of the way of the officers prisoners, &c.

I have the honour to be, your most obedient humble servant, SAMUEL TUCKER,

To the Honourable John Hancock.

In Provincial Congress, New Jersey,
Trenton, July 6, 1776.

SIR: As the eastern part of our Colony is now unhappily exposed to the ravages of the enemy, a large army being in possession of Staten Island, which is divided from us by a narrow river only, we must beg the attention of the Continental Congress to our present situation.

Although in this Congress we repose the utmost confidence in your wisdom and care, and doubt not you will provide fully for the defence of every part of the Continent, yet we are sorry to find that the people are alarmed and uneasy. Their being sent to New York in such numbers, and the Flying-Camp being so slow in taking their place, is one cause of dissatisfaction; but, above all, the people wish to see a sufficient supply of ammunition. We hope that General Mercer' s camp will be fully provided; but some visible source from whence our Militia could depend upon being furnished on occasion, would give great pleasure. The two tons of powder lately received was distributed to the counties from Burlington eastward, on account of their vicinity to New York, and some of them were wholly destitute. It is said to be insufficient under the present circumstances, of which we hope you will take notice and take care for a sufficient quantity there. Of the western Counties, Salem and Cumberland are still unprovided with ammunition; and as, in the present season, it is absolutely necessary that all the Militia should have some small supply, we request that Congress would grant us half a ton of powder, on account of the Colony, for the use of those two counties.

We are, sir, your most humble servants.

By order of Congress:

To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.

P˙ S˙ Colonel Brearley is just now arrived from Allentown, which is in the neighbourhood of the Monmouth insurgents. He supposes that not more than one hundred have been over together; they had confederated under oath, at least part of them; about thirty are flying on board the enemy' s fleet, our Militia in pursuit, and numbers of the lesser offenders coming back to their duty, upon encouragement we have thought proper to give to such as shall appear to have been deluded. The leaders, if they can be apprehended,


will be punished; if they escape, some of them have left estates. The Colonel at Shrewsbury has offered, to resign, making great complaints of the backwardness, "to say no worse," as he expresses himself, of his people; "so few of whom," he tells us, "are ready to turn out (hiding themselves and deserting their homes) whenever he marches to defend the shores," that he is discouraged. As we hope the Rifle battalion will have little remaining to detain them in the upper end of the County, we have ventured to encourage him with the expectation of their assisting him at the lower end. The Freehold and Middletown people, who form one large battalion, are, we believe, very hearty, and will assist as much as possible, both at Shrewsbury and the neighbourhood of Sandy Hook.