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Letter to the President of Congress


A draft of a Letter to the Honourable John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, was read and approved of, and is in the words following, viz:

"In Committee of Safety, Fishkills, 23d November, 1776.

"SIR: The Convention received the honour of your favour of the 9th of October, enclosing the resolutions of the honourable Continental Congress for raising four battalions in this State. A Committee of Convention immediately repaired to the armies to the northward and at King' s Bridge, to inquire into the characters of the officers of the New-York battalions in the service of the United States, that an arrangement might be formed according to the rank and military abilities of the respective officers. The loss at that juncture of the fleet on Lake Champlain, the apprehension of an invasion both of our northern and western frontiers, and the necessity of vigorous efforts to suppress domestick insurrection, urges forward the Militia of this State; and to supply both them and the garrison at Ticonderoga with provisions, obliges us to detain at Albany that part of the Committee which was appointed to transact the business to the northward. It was with great reluctance we consented to this measure, which was necessarily productive


of delaying the arrangement; but the safety of the Army and the good of the service in our opinion demanded it. Recruiting officers were, however, immediately appointed and money advanced for the bounty, and a considerable number of men are raised.

"The Committee have now completed the arrangement, which we have the honour to transmit. They assure us that it is formed agreeable to the directions of the honourable Congress; that they have consulted the General Officers in the respective departments where the troops of this State were stationed, and have appointed only such as were well recommended for their honour and abilities, and we flatter ourselves that they will do credit to this State, and be of service to the glorious cause in which we are engaged.

"Colonel Nicholson' s regiment, which was formed in Canada by General Wooster, consists of about one hundred and fifty privates, whose period of service expires next spring. They have been stationed since their return from Canada at the German Flats, where they still remain. The Committee inform us that they have promoted only two officers of that battalion in the present arrangement, none else having been recommended. The circumstances of Colonel Du Bois' s battalion are particularly mentioned in the report of the Committee of Arrangement, which we need not repeat. Another battalion we think may be raised, as too many of our inhabitants, reduced to want by the invasion of this State, the progress of the enemy, and their cruel devastations, will look up to the Army as a provision for their distressed families. Add to this, that military ardour and a spirit of resentment increasing in proportion to the injuries we have suffered, several young gentlemen of fortune, who have hitherto remained inactive, are disposed to enter into the service of their country, and to contribute to its preservation and independence.

"From these considerations we earnestly request the honourable Congress to grant us permission to raise a fifth battalion, to be commanded by Colonel Du Bois, of whose courage and military talents we have a high opinion. The Committee of Arrangement, sensible how much the American Army have suffered for want of discipline, have strongly recommended the necessity of appointing an Aid-Major for each of the New-York battalions, to be paid by this State. The reason by them for this measure appears to us so cogent that we shall cheerfully consent to the expense, if it meets with the approbation of Congress."

Ordered, That a copy thereof be engrossed, and signed by the Vice President, and transmitted.