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Robert R. Livingston to New-York Congress



Manor of Livingston, October 9, 1775.

SIR: I have received yours by Mr˙ Watkins, who was here this morning. As I was not sure there was any powder ready at my mill, it was not thought proper to send him back six miles at an uncertainty. I have also received your order to send two hundred pounds to the Committee at Albany; this, my powder-maker has promised should be ready to-morrow, when I shall have an opportunity to send it up by Captain Dow.

I am sorry to inform you that my mill does not turn off half so much as I expected; it is partly owing to my carpenter committing some faults in the formation, though I had sent him, at my expense, to see those in Pennsylvania. I am building a stove-room to dry the powder in, which I was not told was wanted till lately, and am promised it shall go better for the future. Out of the powder mixed with water, sent me from Albany, I have made one thousand and twenty pounds very good, the last part of which was sent up some, days ago. When I get the last receipt I shall send it down to you. My powder-maker thinks it hard you should order him to send up two hundred weight to the Committee, at twenty Pounds, when he can retail as much as he can make, at six Shillings the pound, and sell by it the hundred pounds, at twenty-five Pounds. However, what you have ordered shall be sent, and the price left to the Congress.

I remain, Sir, your most humble servant,


To Nathaniel Woodhull, Esq˙, President of the Congress of New-York.


P˙ S. I have above nine hundred pounds of saltpetre, sent from Connecticut by one Mr˙ Jabez Hamlin. How must the powder, when made, be disposed of? I should also be glad to know upon what terms the Philadelphia powder-men work, and shall not ask any more than they have, whatever it be. I have also about four hundred pounds of saltpetre, sent me from Albany, belonging, I suppose, to the publick. This, when worked up, must be disposed according to the directions of the Congress, which I should be glad to have.