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Governour Cooke to General Washington



Providence, January 25, 1776.

SIR: I have consulted the General Committee upon the subject of your letter of the 16th instant. For many years past the inhabitants of this Colony, surrounded on the land side by Connecticut and the Massachusetts-Bay, thinking themselves in a perfect slate of security, entirely neglected military discipline, and disposed of their arms so generally, that, at the breaking out of the present war, the Colony was, in a manner, disarmed. We have taken every method in our power by purchasing, by employing manufacturers, and by importation, to procure a sufficient quantity, but are still so deficient that the same arms which have been rated at six and eight dollars, at Cambridge, are readily bought here at ten and twelve. Indeed, we shall scarcely be able to find arms for the troops we have ordered to be raised for our immediate defence. Besides which, the peculiar situation of the Colony requires that every man in it should be furnished; and the Assembly have, accordingly, ordered that every man should be furnished by the 15th day of April next, under severe penalties. In these circumstances I do not think your Excellency can depend upon any supplies of muskets from this Colony.

I am, with great respect, sir, your Excellency' s most obedient, humble servant,


To His Excellency General Washington.