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Marine Committee to Stephen Hopkins



Philadelphia, October 9, 1776.

SIR: We have received from John Langdon, Esq˙, of Portsmouth, New-Hampshire, such an extraordinary account of the conduct of the Committee you appointed to superintend the building of two frigates in Providence, that we cannot forbear transmitting you a copy of his letter. The respect we all entertain for you, and the justice due to them, induces us to do this; at the same time we impart to you that common fame says many things respecting them which Mr˙ Langdon does not touch upon. We do not, however, pretend to condemn them either on his or her report, but when they exhibit an account of their proceedings, we shall expect these things to be cleared up to the satisfaction of this Committee or of Congress. We have ordered them to supply Mr˙ Langdon with a set of those cannon that have been paid for; and as we find the demands of the owners of your furnace are so extravagant, we now request that you will desire them to give in the terms on which they will cast another set in lieu thereof, to be ready in time for the frigates at Providence.

If they persist in these extravagant demands, we shall supply them either from Hughes' s works, in Maryland, or from this State, as we shall soon be able to spare sufficient from either place, and no consideration shall induce us to submit to such extortion as was attempted with Mr˙ Langdon. We hope, sir, that your attachment to the general interests of America, your regard to the character of your State and your friend employed therein, and your influence in that State, will all combine to have those abuses rectified that have given rise to reflections and complaints, if any such abuses have really taken place in the management of marine affairs.

We hope for an immediate answer respecting the terms of casting more cannon, and are, sir, your very humble servants.

To Stephen Hopkins, Esq.