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March 18


At a meeting of the Governour and Council of Safety, March 18, 1776, Present:

His Honour the Governour, Eliphalet Dyer, Jabez Huntington, William Williams, Nathaniel Wales, Jedediah Elderkin, Joshua West, and Benjamin Huntington Esquires.

Called by special order of the Governour, on receiving advice from General Washington, that the Troops were withdrawing from Boston, and bound, as he supposes, to New-York, and entreating that two thousand men from the frontiers of this Colony may be forthwith thrown into New-York, till he can march his Army there.

Samuel Bryant and Zebulon White were present, who had been sent for near Middleborough, &c˙, as Cannon Founder and Moulder, &c˙ The first demands two Dollars, and the other one and one-third Dollar per day, and to be supported. And having great necessity of them, and they affirming that they have had, and are offered the same near home, it is, therefore, and on that ground, agreed to allow them that pay and support. But it is agreed and understood, that if said Bryant does not succeed, he is to have no other allowance than his support. And they are desired and sent forward to Salisbury for the purpose of pursuing the business of making Cannon, &c.

It is Voted, That Colonel Joshua Porter be, and he is hereby, appointed chief Provider and Overseer of the works at the Furnace in Salisbury, and to do whatever shall be needful and proper to promote the publick service at that place, observing such orders as shall be given to him from time to time by his Honour the Governour and this Council, or the General Assembly of this Colony, and keep proper accounts, to be rendered when required. (And this sent in a Letter to said Porter by said workmen.)

In consequence of a Letter from General Washington to his Honour, of the 14th instant, informing that the enemy have embarked their Troops, and are now making a shameful retreat from Boston, and destined, in all probability, to New-York, a place, as he says, of infinite importance, both to them and us, and that much depends upon the priority of possession; and therefore entreating us immediately to throw two thousand men into that City, from the


frontiers of this Colony, to maintain the place till he can arrive there with the Army under his command.

It is, on consideration, Voted and Resolved, as the unanimous opinion of this Board, That the emergency of the present case is fully within the meaning and provision of the law of this Colony providing for the relief and succour of any towns or places attacked by the enemy, or in danger thereof. And that the present is a very important case, and may in its consequences determine the fate of America. And that therefore his Honour the Governour be advised, and he is advised, to give immediate orders to the Colonels or present commanding Officers of the Fourth, Ninth, Sixteenth, Second, Seventh, Tenth, and Twenty-Third Regiments of Militia, forthwith to assemble their respective Regiments in whole or in parts, as they shall judge most proper, and unless a suitable proportion, as hereafter mentioned, shall freely and forthwith voluntarily, (as is hoped they will,) offer themselves, that they immediately detach the following numbers of able-bodied men from their respective Regiments, viz: From the Fourth Regiment, three hundred and sixty; from the Ninth, three hundred and sixty, and from the Sixteenth, one hundred and eighty men, inclusive of Officers, or very nearly, and not exceeding those numbers, to be formed into one Regiment or Battalion, to consist of ten Companies of ninety men each, including Officers, and to be under the command of Colonel G˙ Sellick Silliman, Lieutenant-Colonel John Mead, and Major John Chandler, and under such Captains and other Officers in the present Militia, or that have been lately in service, as the Field-Officers in the several Regiments from which they may be taken or drafted shall appoint or agree to. And that from the Second Regiment, two hundred and seventy; from the Seventh, three hundred and sixty; from the Tenth, one hundred and eighty, and from the Twenty-Third, ninety men, including Officers, or very nearly, but not exceeding that number, to be formed into one Regiment or Battalion, to consist of ten Companies of,ninety men each, including Officers, and to be under the command of Colonel Matthew Talcott, Lieutenant-Colonel Jabez Thompson, and Major Silvanus Graves, and such Captains and other Officers as aforesaid, as the Field-Officers in the several Regiments from which they may be taken or drafted, shall appoint or agree to: and that said Regiments forthwith march, or repair by land or water to New-York, to be under the command of the Commander-in-Chief there, to assist in securing and maintaining that place until General Washington can arrive there with the Army under his command, and they be properly dismissed, which may be soon expected. And while in service they to be entitled to the same wages, &c˙, as the other Troops in the New-England Colonies are entitled to.

Jonathan Fitch, Esq˙, and Captain Samuel Squire, are appointed to make proper provision for the march and transportation of the Troops now ordered to New-York, by land or water, as shall be found best, and for their subsistence on their march or passage, if need be, keeping clear accounts to be laid before Congress.

Tuesday/March 19, 1776.