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Letter from Josiah Bartlett to the New-Hampshire Committee of Safety



Philadelphia, January 20, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The Congress on the 8th instant, voted to raise one regiment in the western parts of our Province for the service in Canada. The news of the misfortune at Quebeck arriving here last Thursday, they voted yesterday to give the men a bounty of forty shillings, and one month' s pay advance, to encourage the speedy inlisting and sending forward said legiment, and I hope you will do everything in your power to hasten it, as the taking and securing Canada this Winter, or early in the Spring, before the arrival of British troops, will be of almost infinite advantage to the Continent, more especially to New-England, and to our Colony in particular. One regiment will begin to march from this place for Canada in a few days, and one regiment from New-Jersey in eight or ten days; orders are, also, given to raise men as soon as possible for the same service, besides those in New-Hampshire, one more regiment in Pennsylvania, one ditto, in New-Jersey, one ditto, on the western parts of New-York, and one ditto, in Connecticut, and this day I expect one will be ordered to be raised in Massachusetts for the same purpose. No cost or pains must be spared to secure the important Province of Canada.

I beg leave to renew my request, that Delegates may be appointed and sent here, as soon as possible, as in my opinion the representation of a Colony, at this important crisis, is too weighty and important to be intrusted to any one person. That you may see the necessity of a larger representation of our Colony, I would inform you, that beside Committees for special purposes, that are frequently chosen, there are four or five standing Committees appointed, some for secrecy, some for despatch; some of which Committees are intrusted with large powers; and that there may be no cause of complaint, those Committees consist of one Delegate from each Colony; sometimes two, sometimes three, of those Committees sit at the same time, so that, though I attend some one of the Committees almost every night and morning, before and after Congress, yet sometimes business of consequence is transacted by them without our Colony being represented, and sometimes the Committees sit while the Congress is sitting, so that our Colony must be unrepresented in one of them, while every other Colony may be represented in both.

I have been here almost five months, great part of the time without a colleague. I really find that I never knew what confinment, with business, was before, and that I want more exercise of body, and loss of mind, at least for some time. I please myself with hopes I shall soon see Delegates here from our Colony, and that I may return to my family, and with my domestick affairs relax and unbend my fatigued mind.

The sum of twelve thousand five hundred dollars, which the Congress ordered to be sent to you, to be used in raising our regiment for Canada, I shall fend forward, as soon as I can. Please to acquaint me with the publick affairs of our Colony, as often as convenient, and, in particular, with your success, from time to time, in raising the regiment. As the Congress have intrusted you with appointing the officers, I know you will do the best you can to appoint proper persons, and hope you will be so fortunate as to give general satisfaction.

I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,


To the Provincial Committee of Safety of New-Hampshire