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Portsmouth (New-Hampshire) Committee to Committee of Safety



Committee-Hall, October 7, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: On the 2d day of this month, the Ship Prince George, of which Richard Emmes is master, put into this harbour from Bristol, bound to Boston, loaded with one thousand eight hundred and ninety-two barrels of flour. Upon notice of her arrival, Lieutenant Thomas Pickering, with a boat and hands, by order of Captain Titus Salter, went on board, and finding the said provisions were intended for the use of Gage' s Army, he took her into possession, and brought her up to this Town, and unbent the sails, and applied to this Committee, on the 3d day of this month. Messrs˙ T˙ Sherburne, P˙ Long, and G˙ Wentworth, all of this Committee, were appointed to unload her; and as the Town is in great want of flour, they were desired to make sale of fifty barrels for cash, and to supply the fort therewith; but before they had accomplished it, the vote was reconsidered, and ordered that no part of the cargo should be taken out till the advice of the Committee of Safety for the Province was taken thereupon. And we wrote, at the same time, to General Washington, advising him of the capture; to which we have received the enclosed answer, by which he requests the whole may be sent up to him, as the Army is in want of it, and he will be accountable for it. We also represent to you, that this Town is destitute of flour; that not a barrel is to be bought, at any rate, for the supply of the forts and inhabitants; and at least six hundred barrels should be reserved for their use, and to be sold for the cash only. Your advice is requested by us in respect to the disposal of this cargo, and we would wish it as speedily as possible, for our government. You will perceive, by General Washington' s letter, that an armament is fitting out at Boston, upon some expedition, and, as he suspects, to bombard some Towns on the coast; we are not without great suspicion that the enemy have an intention upon this Town. With the advice of Captain Worthen, we have thought proper to order Captain Robert Parker to enlist forty-four men immediately, to be stationed at the fort on Seavy' s Island, for the present defence of that fort, for one month; which we hope will meet with your approbation, as we have been induced thereto wholly for the publick safety. We have appointed John Penhallen, John Wendal, and George King, Esqs˙, to wait upon you, and to confer fully with you on such matters as may regard the general safety.

I am, in behalf of the Committee, Gentlemen, your most obedient servant,

H˙ WENTWORTH, Chairman.

To the Honourable Committee of Safety for the Colony of New-Hampshire.