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Lord Stirling to President of Congress



[Read December 23, 1775.]

Elizabethtown, December 19,1775.

SIR: In consequence of the new orders published by Captain Parker, of the Phoenix, since his arrival at New-York, all vessels coming from foreign countries to that port receive, on the coast, orders to come into this Province, and if possible to this place; several are already arrived in Prince' s Bay, and in the Sound between this and Amboy. Some of the owners of them being apprehensive that the men-of-war at New-York may send their cutters and boats to seize and carry them off, have applied to me for protection. The saving a vast useful property from falling


into the hands of our enemies must be right. And, although I have no orders for it, I shall give them every protection in my power, until I receive orders to the contrary from the Congress.

His Honour will most probably draw some of the tenders and smallest ships of war to the avenues of New-Jersey, on this side. It will therefore be highly necessary to have an immediate supply of ammunition at this place, and, if possible, half a dozen field-pieces, with some round, grape, and canister shot; we might then hope to make them quit any station in harbour, and the season of the year will soon make them quit every other station.

This new order of Captain Parker' s is in direct violation of act of Parliament, alarms and rouses the moderate, and sorely vexes the Tories of New-York; their being obliged to seek protection here, and in proportion as their property will be lodged among us, their pulses will beat, and their conduct will be regulated. If this circumstance be properly managed, I am in hopes it will turn out a very fortunate one.

It just occurs to me that it may be very proper that there be an order of Congress to receive, for the Continental use, all the ammunition imported in the vessels that may arrive in this Province, on paying a moderate price for it; some small quantity may be in each, and every little helps.

This moment the party I sent out at the request of the Committee of this County, are, after a march of above fifty miles, returned with their prisoners, whom I shall keep for the examination of the Committee.

With the highest regard and esteem, I have the honour to be your very humble servant,

To the Hon˙ John Hancock.