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New-Jersey Provincial Congress to Continental Congress



[Read February 26, 1776. — Referred to Mr˙ McKean, Mr˙ J˙ Adams, and Mr˙ L˙ Morris.]

In Provincial Congress, New Jersey, Brunswick, February 24, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: This Congress having taken into their serious consideration the necessity of defending such parts of this Colony as are more immediately exposed to an invasion of the enemy, are of opinion, that the city of Perth-Amboy, in East-Jersey, from its open channel and safe harbour, and from its local situation, is a place deserving the utmost attention at this time. As the city of New York has, at present, a large body of troops, and fortifications are now erecting for its defence, it is more than probable that the enemy, sensible of these preparations, will attempt a lodgment at Perth-Amboy, from whence incursions might easily be made into the heart of the country, before a sufficient force can be collected to oppose them.

That part of West-Jersey, which is situate on the River Delaware, below Philadelphia, appears also to merit great attention at this time. Opposite to Reedy-Island, at a place called Elsenborough, in the County of Salem, a landing might easily be effected. This is within forty miles of Philadelphia, in a country abounding with provisions; and from whence an army might easily make its way to Cooper' s Ferry, in a very short space of time.

This Congress would be happy if they had it in their power to take into pay a sufficient body of troops for the defence of both these important posts; but as this will be an expense too great for this Colony to support on its own bottom, and as the being guarded at all points is a matter of the utmost importance to the common cause, more especially to the cities of Philadelphia and New York, this Congress beg leave to submit to the consideration of your honourable House the urgent necessity of making some immediate preparation to prevent any attempts of the enemy to land an army in those parts of this Province, which appear to be so situated as greatly to facilitate the success of such an attempt. One or two battalions, with two Artillery companies, may be sufficient for this important service; and we humbly submit to your consideration the necessity and propriety of such a step being immediately adopted.


We wish not to send this Continent to this expense for the sole defence of the inhabitants of this Colony; but the interest of this Colony in particular being so connected with that of the United Colonies in general, as to render an invasion in New Jersey a matter of the utmost importance to all, we humbly conceive that the necessity of the occasion will induce the wisdom of your honourable House to take into Continental pay two battalions and two companies of Artillery, or such a body of forces as may be thought sufficient to answer this desirable purpose.

The express, by which this is forwarded, will wait your commands; and I am to request the favour of an answer as soon as possible. I am, likewise, to request that commissions may be sent for the officers of the Third Battalion; some of the companies are already full, and others in a fair way.

I am, gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servant,

Signed by order of Congress:


To the Honourable Continental Congress.