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Colonel Knox to General Washington



New-York, November 27, 1775.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: I arrived here last Saturday morning, and immediately made inquiry whether Colonel Reed had done any thing in the business with which he was charged. I found his stay had been short, during which time the Committee that sit during the recess of Congress could not be gotten together, so that he went away without being able to forward the matter. The Committee met yesterday, and, after having considered of your Excellency' s letter to them, Colonel McDougall waited upon me, and gave such reasons for not complying with the requisition for the heavy cannon as would not be prudent to put on paper. He has promised me that he will use his utmost influence in the Congress, which meets to-morrow, and has no doubt of success; that twelve exceeding good iron four-pounders, with a quantity of shells and shot, shall be directly sent to camp; and, also, he has promised the loan of two fine brass six-pounders, cast in a foundry in this City. They have finished six. I very sincerely wish your Excellency had been acquainted with this circumstance, and charged me with a commission to have had a number cast for the camp. They turn out cheaper than the ones imported from England: these cost three shillings and nine pence, New-York currency, per pound; the English, two shillings and six pence, sterling, per pound. They weigh about six hundred pounds apiece. If, Sir, you should think proper to have some done, and will give orders to Colonel McDougall, or some other gentleman of this City, the founder will execute one in two days after he shall receive the orders, and so any number in proportion. He also can cast brass mortars. Colonel McDougall has promised me that these articles shall be forwarded to the camp with the utmost expedition. You will please, Sir, to give orders to Colonel Burbeck to get light field carriages and appurtenances made for these guns.

I shall set out, by land, to-morrow morning, for Ticonderoga, and proceed with the utmost despatch, as knowing our whole dependence for heavy cannon will be from that post. Perhaps, by my return to camp, the reasons which now operate against my getting them here may then cease to exist.

I am, most respectfully, your Excellency' s most obedient and most humble servant,


His Excellency General Washington.