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Samuel Chase to Captain Nicholson



Wednesday morning, Philadelphia, December 11th, 1776.

SIR: It has been reported that you was coming up to this city with a body of seamen and marines. One of the frigates is ready for the sea. The other three may be soon ready for a short voyage, if men could be procured. You would render essential service if you could immediately come up with a body of seamen; and an attempt might be made to bring round all the frigates here to Baltimore town. It cannot be doubted the Council of Safety would lend the hands belonging to the Defence for this very important service. You will send an express to the Council of Safety. Not one moment is to be lost. I write this by the order of Congress.

We were informed yesterday morning that the enemy were at Burlington, Monday evening. We have certain intelligence just now, that the enemy were not there last night. It is reported and believed that some of their Light-Horse were seven miles above that place on Monday. Not one of the enemy are on the west side of the Delaware. It is believed that the main body of General Howe' s Army is at Maidenhead, about six miles above, to the west of Trenton. General Lee, with between five and six thousand men, was at Morris-Town last Sunday evening; he will join General Washington, who is with his Army opposite Trenton.

The Congress will not quit this city but in the last extremity. To prevent false reports, publish the above.

Inform Mr˙ Purviance that Mrs˙ Hancock will set off this day.

Let it be known that arms furnished to our Militia, but the want of them be no excuse.

Your obedient servant,


Captain James Nicholson, Baltimore Town, Maryland.