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Committee at Morristown and others to General McDougall


Morris-Town, December 19, 1776.

SIR: The distressed situation of this State, and the imminent danger of this country, filled at present with most of the persons and property of the well-affected people of this part of the Province, induces us most earnestly to request you to detain the troops now in this neighbourhood on their march from Ticonderoga. We had General Lee' s express promise that this detachment should be detained here for the protection of this State. And although his letter to the commanding officer does not contain so explicit an order for that purpose as we would wish, yet there is sufficient evidence that this was his intention, from a full view of the necessity and importance of such a measure. You are also sensible that this is the desire of General Heath. And from what you, sir, see and hear, we cannot doubt but it appears in the same light to yourself.

We are truly sensible of the necessity of a large force with General Washington. But while the enemy are so dispersed, it cannot be expected the whole body of our troops can be all at one place. Part of our Militia have been called out of our Province; and if we had the whole, what could they do against the enemy, the main body of which is in this State? Yet with the support of these troops we hope to collect a larger body of the Militia than we have at present, and by defending important passes secure a great part of this State, and it may be in time regain the whole.

But, sir, we must speak the painful truth. If these troops are not detained, the Militia collected will grow dispirited, soon dwindle away, and this State be lost. We beseech you, consider these things, and grant us such relief as is in your power. We honestly declare, that so far as we know our hearts, we speak not from a partial regard to one part of the Continent, but as if the whole was our own.

We are, sir, with all due respect, your most obedient and very humble servants,

JACOB FORD, one of the Judges.
SILAS CONDIT, one of the Council.
CALEB CAMP, one of the Assembly.
ALEX' R CARMICHAIL, Chairman of the Committee,.
TIMO˙ JOHNES, Minister.
BEN˙ HAIT, Minister.
A˙ MAINHORTE, Minister.
JACOB FORD, Jun˙, Col˙ Commandant of the Militia.

To General MacDougall.