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Massachusetts Assembly to Continental Congress



[Read November 16, 1775.]

Watertown, October 25, 1775.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOURS: You have here enclosed nearly the amount of our disbursements, which have been paid by our Treasurer , before the 5th instant, for the support of the Army stationed in this Colony, and for providing necessaries to enable them to make a proper stand against the Ministerial forces.

The hurry with which we have been driven, the perplexities which have attended the sudden collection of an army, and the multiplicity of business which naturally arises, by attending to their various wants, together with a due attention to the distresses of our suffering friends in and about Boston, have prevented our perfecting such an account as your Honours might expect. But as soon as a settlement can be made with our several Committees, and our accounts adjusted, which are daily coming before us, we hope to be able to transmit to your Honours such an account as will appear satisfactory and reasonable. In the mean time, as the sum on the paper enclosed arises only from the purchasing articles absolutely necessary for support of the Continental cause, about ten thousand Pounds whereof is for provisions and other articles in store, before the arrangement of the American Army, which have been and are daily delivering to the Continental Commissary and Quartermaster-General, we trust you will be induced to grant us the same or such other sum, to supply our


pressing necessities, as to your Honours may appear fit and reasonable. It is proposed that we should pay up the troops raised by this Colony to the 1st of August, (as will appear by a copy of General Washington' s letter, herewith transmitted ;) which business we shall attend to, as soon as the pay-rolls are laid before us. We have paid the noncommissioned officers and soldiers of this Colony only forty shillings each, which is included in the within account; and, as most of them have been in camp since the 19th of April last, we imagine that the balance of the said pay-rolls will amount to the sum of sixty-five thousand six hundred and eighty Pounds. Agreeable to the terms of enlistment, each non-commissioned officer and private soldier raised in this Colony was to have one coat given him; many of these coats have already been delivered, and the expense of the whole will, we presume, amount to the sum of sixteen thousand two hundred and twenty Pounds, at the least. We have also already before us accounts from several Towns, of powder supplied to the Army, to the amount of one hundred and seventy-four and a quarter barrels. We would further inform your Honours that we have raised in this Colony two thousand and eighty men, officers included, and stationed them on those parts of our sea-coasts which were most exposed to the depredations of the enemy. We judged this step absolutely necessary, in order to prevent our enemies from supplying themselves with provisions and other necessaries. Their vessels of war made several attempts on the most naked and defenceless places, on the sea-coasts of this Colony, whose situation exposed them beyond that of our neighbours; but although their attempts were bravely opposed, we know the inhabitants of those places had not sufficient force within themselves to repel all such invaders. It was, therefore, of the utmost importance to send them such additional forces as might enable them effectually to cut off all supplies of provisions, wood, &c˙, from the Ministerial Army in Boston, as well as to secure themselves against the vengeance that might be expected from the rage of a disappointed enemy, and under which those unfortunate people are now suffering in a shocking degree. To these forces we have paid the sum of four thousand eighty-three Pounds eight Shillings. A measure so necessary and so essential to the service of the common cause, we are persuaded, will meet with the approbation and support of the Congress; and we trust your Honours will consider the above expenses, in connection with the within account, and make such grants as you may judge fit and reasonable. We have exhibited no account of moneys advanced in removing and supporting the inhabitants of the Town of Boston. The distresses of those persons who have virtuously sacrificed not only their conveniences, but necessaries of life, to save their Country, so much deserves the compassion of this Continent, that we shall, as soon as may be, beg leave, in pursuance of a resolution of the late honourable Continental Congress respecting them, to lay an account of our disbursements thereon before you, for consideration.

In the name and by order of the Great and General Court of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay:

PEREZ MORTON, Deputy Sec' y.