Primary tabs

Capt. John Langdon to New-Hampsire Congress



Philadelphia, July 3, 1775.

SIR: No doubt before this comes to hand, General Sullivan, who set out for home last Tuesday, will have waited on you, or the Committee of the Province, to whom I beg leave to refer for particulars.

Since his departure, we hear that several companies of expert riflemen have marched from Virginia and Maryland. Six companies from this Province will march this week to join the Army before Boston. I have also the pleasure to inform you that the powder mills are going on fast, having been supplied with several tons of saltpetre; the manufacturing of which article is likely to meet with


great success here, as also in Virginia, and without doubt, in two or three months, will be able to furnish large quantities. We hear from South-Carolina that a considerable quantity of powder was arrived there, some of which will immediately be forwarded to Boston; this may be depended on. There has been, within a few days, a considerable quantity sent from this place to our Armies before Boston and Ticonderoga. Every method has been taken, and will continue to be taken, for the importation of large supplies of that necessary article, powder; some of which hope will arrive soon. It is not likely that I shall be able to get powder to send to our Province, as the whole will be in the hands of the Committee, to be sent from time to time to our Army; therefore, if any should be wanting for the common cause, no doubt it may be had from them.

I would here beg leave to suggest, that we should not, by any means, at present make use of cannon, if it is possible to avoid it, until we are better supplied. The Assembly of this Province have voted to raise four thousand five hundred Minute-men. Every measure seems to be taking to defend our just rights to the last extremity. The general voice of the people here is, that our cause is just and righteous, and that God is on our side, as has most evidently appeared. The low, base, and wanton cruelty of the ministerial sons of tyranny, in burning the once pleasant and populous Town of Charlestown, beggars all description. This does not look like the fight of those who have so long been friends, and would hope to be friends again, but rather of a most cruel enemy. But we shall not wonder, when we reflect, that it is the infernal hand of tyranny, which always has and ever will deluge that part of the world which it lays hold of in blood.

I am in some hopes that the Congress will rise in about a fortnight, but this is mere conjecture, as it will depend on what news we receive from our Army, and some other matters. I am very sorry to be alone in so great and important a business as that of representing a whole Colony, which no one man is equal to; but how to avoid it, I know not. Whether it will be thought worth while, at this uncertainty, to send me any assistance, our honourable Convention will be judges. I shall endeavour, as far as my poor abilities will admit of, to render every service to my Country in my power. I am, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


To Matthew Thornton, Esquire.