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Letter from John Sullivan to Mr. Fowle



Durham, New-Hampshire, March 4, 1775.

MR˙ FOWLE: Whereas, some evil-minded and malicious persons have asserted that a number of people in the Town of Durham are about forming themselves into a Company, in order to throw off all obedience to the Militia Officers, and set at defiance the Laws of Government: I desire you to publish the Articles of Inlistment in your next paper, that the publick may judge how little foundation there is for so scandalous a report. The Articles are as follows:

Articles of Inlistment

"We, the Subscribers, do hereby agree to form ourselves into a Company, and meet at Durham Falls, on every Monday afternoon, for six months next coming, to acquaint ourselves with the Military Art, and instruct each other in the various manoeuvres and evolutions which are necessary for Infantry in time of battle. We also agree to appear each time well furnished with Arms and Ammunition: And at our first meeting, to nominate and appoint the several Officers, who are to preside over us for the first month, and then proceed to appoint others for the next month, always avoiding to re-elect any that have served, until all the others have gone through their tour of duty, as Officers: And at any muster or field-day, we shall hold ourselves obliged to incorporate with the respective Companies to which we belong, and yield all due obedience to the proper Officers of the Militia, appointed by the Captain General; and endeavour to instruct those who are undisciplined in the best manner we are able."

Signed by eighty-two reputable inhabitants.


This is an exact copy of the Articles, which any person that yet remains in doubt may be satisfied of by applying to me and viewing the original, a sight of which may, at any time, be had; and was there nothing more illegal and injurious in a late paper, signed by several persons in this Province, I believe the signers would not take so much pains in keeping it from the publick view. But whatever may be the purport of that, I rejoice in laying the contents of this before the people, that they may judge whether it has the least appearance of an illegal combination, or whether, on the contrary, it does not appear to be a well concerted plan to promote and encourage the Military Art. I flatter myself that even malice itself could not adjudge this to be an unjustifiable measure, or suggest that any part of it looks like treason or rebellion; and I can account for the scandalous report concerning it, in no other way, but by supposing that these defamers expected (according to the custom of this day) to be rewarded for their slander by some posts of honuor profit.

Sir, I am your very humble servant,