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Samuel Mott to Governour Trumbull



Norwich, February 14, 1776.

HONOURED SIR: As your Honour, with your Council of Safety, have been pleased to direct me, to view the works, &c˙, for the defence of the harbour of New-London, Stonington, &c˙, and report my opinion in the premises; and, since, by order, have attended with Colonel Dyer and Mr˙ Wales, when it seemed to be their prevailing opinion, to raise three Companies of men for New-London and Groton, it was then my opinion, that such a small number of men to be raised, was not acting with such spirit and taking such effectual measures as the nature of the case, the importance of the object, the necessity of expedition, and the danger of the times required. I have, since, conversed with people of all ranks among us and find it the universal opinion and expectation of the people, that at least one regiment of men be raised to guard the coast, and perform the work necessary to be done at New-London and Groton, including the detachments that might be necessary at Stonington, Lyme, and so from the mouth of Connecticut to that of Pawcatuck Rivers.


The forming them into one entire regiment would bring the returns and accounts, &c˙, into a smaller compass, and be more easy and ready for settlement. Less than that number will, by all that I can learn, not give content, as they might be able on any sudden attack to defend against the enemy; and this country would, in that case, come nearer towards having an equal share of employment in this defensive war.

The Judges of our Court, last evening, called me in on the subject, and as they had no other ready opportunity, that they might, through me, make known their opinion, and were all anxiously of opinion, that no less number than a regiment would, by any means, be adequate — as it is an adopted custom in all the Colonies, to keep up a considerable body of troops for defence; they think, that, in case any disaster should happen, or the enemy get any considerable advantage of us, by reason of our neglect, either in expedition, or not having a considerable body of troops ready raised and disciplined on the spot, we should have reason to blame ourselves for it. To have an alarm In the country, and the people taken from their business at every time, on the approach of two or three ships, would be in danger of frustrating the raising a sufficiency of provisions, and leave our lands in a great measure unoccupied, which might be fatal to our success. Such a regiment might be raised during their pleasure, and under the direction of your Honour and Council, or the General Assembly, and might be under such regulations that any number of them might march elsewhere on any emergency.

These, may it please your Honour, among many others to the same purpose, are the arguments among the people generally, as far as I have been able to find their sentiments, and I thought it my duty to make them known to your Honour, as matter of information.

I am, sir, your Honour' s most humble, and obedient servant,


Governour Trumbull.