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James Easton to the Provincial Congress, Committee of Safety, and Council of War, In Cambridge and Watertown, Mass.



Pittsfield, May 30, 1775.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOURS: When I arrived express from Ticonderoga to the honourable Provincial Congress and Committee of Safety at Watertown and Cambridge, I represented to those two honourable Boards that the reduction of that important fortress had took its rise in the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut, as it was also mentioned in the letter from Captain Mott to those two honourable Boards aforesaid; upon which the Congress passed a resolve, and the President of the Congress was ordered to write to the said General Assembly, desiring them to garrison and fortify those late acquisitions, and also to bring down some of the cannon to our head quarters at Cambridge. When I arrived at the Assembly and delivered the letter to the Governour, his Honour told me that the Assembly had not, as an Assembly, taken the matter up, but that it had its origin in private persons belonging to the Assembly. However, it was immediately attended to, and a Committee of both Houses was appointed to take the matter under consideration, and did so, but did not report till Captain Mott came from the Continental Congress with the approbation of that honourable body in the taking and maintaining the fortress aforesaid. The Council have detained me till farther intelligence can be had from the Congress at New-York, and Mr˙ Shephard is sent in my stead. I am, however, sent on my way with all haste for Ticonderoga, without receiving said intelligence, on account of the great danger that fortress is in of being besieged in a short time. By order of the aforesaid Assembly, I have sent forward five hundred pounds of powder under a proper guard, and shall this day hasten after it with all expedition.

I expect no provision from Connecticut will be made for me and the men that were with me from this Province at the taking of said fort, which were about fifty, and about one hundred who have gone as a re-enforcement, except the paying them till about this time. Though Connecticut will raise men, and assist in the defence of that fortress, yet they expect that our Congress will properly officer and organize the men they send, and also pay them.

It is agreed on all hands the fortress must be maintained, as it is of infinite importance to the general cause. I have no doubt but very violent attempts will soon be made to wrest it out of our hands. As I have about one hundred and fifty men now at that fort, and shall be able to fill up a Regiment in a few days' time, I would just hint to your Honours, that I should be willing to serve my Country in the capacity I stand in at home, as head of a Regiment on this northern expedition. Should you see fit to gratify me with the command of a Regiment for the fortifying and garrisoning said fortress, you may depend on my most faithful exertions to defend it to the last extremity, against the whole weight of Canada, and most punctual observance of all your orders. And I shall be ready to make such farther acquisitions as shall be in my power, consistent with wisdom and prudence, for the safety of what are already made, that you in your wisdom shall direct.

As to other regimental officers, Capt˙ Israel Dickenson and John Brown, Esq˙, have distinguished themselves very highly, both in council and action, and in my humble opinion are well qualified to command in the field. In a word, gentlemen, what is now wanted is, that you put that fortress into the best posture of defence, in conjunction with Connecticut; that you properly officer one or more Regiments, as there must be order and command in all armies; that you nominate a Commander-in-Chief, and forward pay with all expedition. I hope to receive an answer to this without any unnecessary delay. Should you see fit to appoint a Chaplain to attend us, I recommend to you the Reverend


Thomas Allen, of this place, as a suitable person, who is well known to General Pomeroy. I am, gentlemen, your humble servant,

James Easton.

To the honourable Provincial Congress at Watertown, and the honourable Committee of Safety at Cambridge.

N˙B˙ It is necessary that provisions for the Troops be provided immediately, and also a number of military laws lately made by the Congress.

J˙ E.