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Letter to General Lee


A draft of an Answer to Major-General Lee was read and approved of, and is in the words following, to wit:

In Provincial Congress, New-York, February 20, 1776.

SIR: Your favour of this morning has been considered by Congress, and they are of opinion that it is totally impossible to prevent the Asia and Phenix from supplying themselves with provisions. They have received information that the seizing of the vessels from the Jerseys is occasioned by the supplies from the Agents in town being stopped, and are apprehensive, if it be continued, that the town will be reduced to the utmost distress.

While the navigation of Hudson' s River is obstructed by the ice, our principal dependance for corn, provision, fuel, and hay, is from Connecticut and the Jerseys. An embargo prevents the supplies from the one, and if we provoke the Captains of the ships-of-war, by way of retaliation, to prevent them from the other, the inhabitants will not only be destitute, but our Commissary will be incapacitated from procuring the necessary supplies for the Army now in town. You will please to consider that the ships-of-war have it in their power to seize all the provisions that they may find afloat, by which means they will have an opportunity of supplying the enemy at Boston.

By order:

To Major-General Lee.

Ordered, That a copy thereof be engrossed, and signed by the President, and transmitted.