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Letter from Colonel De Hart to Governour Livingston



Tyconderoga, October 1, 1776.

SIR: I have taken the liberty to acquaint you of a matter so materially interesting to the Province of New-Jersey, respecting our regiment, that it might be construed a neglect of my duty was I to omit it, which I trust will serve as an apology for intruding on your time. When the Continental Congress gave the order for raising the New-Jersey Regiments, part of the contract was, that the men should find their own arms. The mode of inlisting men armed, was found impracticable, and the Province, as I apprehend, at their own risk, provided them with arms, to be repaid by stoppages arising from the men' s pay at two dollars a month. How far this mode will indemnify the publick, will at our return be best known; this, however, I very much suspect, that a great number of very good arms will be lost to the Province.

At the expiration of the soldiers' inlistment the arms are then their own property, and the distance of way, with many other reasons will, I fear, occasion the soldiers to dispose of them, and our Eastern friends seem very desirous of taking them off of the soldiers' hands at a very good price. Should this happen, and our Province be deprived of six or seven hundred good Jersey arms, (the very best guns on the Continent,) I fear that our small, though willing, services to our country will be more than counterbalanced by the loss. If the Province look upon this circumstance in the light I do, and are desirous of remedying it, I will contribute every thing in my power towards it.

If any person here should be authorized to give the men assurances that the stoppages that have been made on them for the arms, should be returned to them upon their being delivered in New-Jersey, I imagine it would be in my power to persuade or compel them to return them to New-Jersey again, a thing, I am of opinion, much to be desired by the people of that Province. Such intelligence ought to be sent soon, as I expect we shall march for New-Jersey the beginning


of November. I have by an application to General Gatesgot orders to secure the arms of the dead and deserted, which shall be my particular care. Had I received such orders when our regiment first marched for Canada, it would have been a happy circumstance. This I request you will please to communicate to such members of the State as it may be proper this application should be made to, and at the same time excuse any impropriety of application, as at present I am a stranger to your new Constitution.

I heartily congratulate you and our State on your late appointment, convinced it will produce the good effects intended, which shall be the constant wishes of, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To His Excellency William Livingston, Governour of New-Jersey.