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Letter from the President of Congress to the Maryland Convention: Most ardently beseeches. In the name of the Congress, that they will strain every nerve to send forward their Militia; General Howe has possession of Staten-Island, and the Jerseys are drained of their Militia for the defence of New-York



Philadelphia, July 4, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: The Congress have this day received intelligence which renders it absolutely necessary that the greatest exertions should be made to save our country from being desolated by the hand of tyranny. General Howe having taken possession of Staten-Island, and the Jerseys being drained of their Militia for the defence of New-York, I am directed by Congress to request you will proceed immediately to imbody your Militia for the establishment of the flying-camp, and march them with all possible expedition, either by battalions, detachments of battalions, or by companies, to the City of Philadelphia.

The present campaign, I have no doubt, if we exert ourselves properly, will secure the enjoyment of our liberties forever.

All accounts agree that Great Britain will make her greatest effort this summer. Should we, therefore, be able to keep our ground, we shall afterwards have little to apprehend from her. I do, therefore, most ardently beseech and request you, in the name and by the authority of Congress, as you regard your own freedom, and as you stand engaged by the most solemn ties of honour to support the common cause, to strain every nerve to send forward your Militia. This is a step of such infinite moment, that, in all human probability, your speedy compliance will prove the salvation of your country. It is impossible we can have any higher motives to induce us to act. We should reflect, too, that the loss of this campaign will inevitably protract the war; and that in order to gain it, we have only to exert ourselves, and to make use of the means which God and nature have given us to defend ourselves. I must, therefore, again repeat to you that the Congress most anxiously expect and request that you will not lose a moment in carrying into effect this requisition with all the zeal, spirit, and despatch which are so indispensably required by the critical situation of our affairs.

I have the honour to be, gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To the Honourable Convention of Maryland.

(Same to the Assembly of Delaware Government.)