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Committee of Correspondence of Falmouth to the Committee of Safety



Falmouth, May 15, 1775.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HOUNOURS: We, the Committee of Correspondence in Falmouth, would beg leave to represent to your Honours the situation and circumstances of this Town and County, and if there is any impropriety in our doing it, your candour will excuse it.

The alarming attempt of Colonel Thompson to take the Ship Canceaux, Captain Henry Mowat commander, now in this harbour, has occasioned great uneasiness in this Town, as it has a tendency to bring on us certain ruin, by the Admiral resenting it in such a manner as to block up our harbour before the time; and we have no force to oppose or prevent it; no fortifications, no ammunition, no cannon; and if provisions are stopped from coming in here; the Town is ruined, as well as the country, which depends upon the Town for supplies, of which at present there is a great scarcity. We think Colonel Thompson' s attempt was rash and injurious, if not unjustifiable, as we cannot learn he had any authority from you or the Congress. We are sure it was contrary to the will and without any orders from his superiour officers in the militia, though solicited for by him; and the people here seemed to be laid under contribution by them to subsist his men.

We hope care will be taken that every attack upon our enemies through the Province shall be conducted by proper officers, orderly, regularly, and with proper authority, lest it should occasion a civil war among ourselves. ' Tis true, in defending ourselves, which may be sudden, immediate and resolute opposition, in the best manner that can be suddenly thought of, should be adopted; but we are afraid


that if any number of men at any time, and in any manner, may collect together, and attack any thing, or any person they please, every body may be in danger. Sat verbum sapienti.

We are also concerned lest a good deal of confusion should arise from a number of our young men in the country possessing themselves of the enlisting papers lately printed, some calling themselves Colonels, some Majors, appointing their own officers, Adjutants, Chaplains, Chirurgeons, &c˙, &c˙, without having, as we can learn, any written orders for so doing; for they seem to contend already who shall be chief officers, and they are uncertain whether the men they enlist are to be stationed here for defence, or to march to Cambridge to make up the Standing Army.

Enlisting papers, we understand, were sent to General Preble, but he not having any written orders did not act in the affair. If the Army can be completed without drawing men from hence, as we have all along been made to understand was the case, we cannot help thinking it would be most prudent; however, we shall not be backward if there is real occasion for men; and in that case we humbly submit whether it would not be best some person or persons should be appointed to conduct the affair according to orders. We hope we shall be excused for thus troubling your Honours, as we were solicited to do it by a number of gentlemen. We are, with great veneration, your Honours' most obedient humble servant,

ENOCH FREEMAN, per order.

To the Honourable the Committee of Safety for the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, Cambridge.