[Note:Precisely the same instructions, with the necessary alteration in file third article, were given to Capt. John Selman this same date. These papers are in the Washington Papers. ]
Sir: The Honble Continental Congress having received Intelligence, that two North Country Brigantines of no Force, sailed from England some Time ago for Quebec, laden with 6000 Stands of Arms, a large Quantity of Powder and other Stores; you are hereby directed to make all possible Dispatch for the River St. Lawrence, and there to take such a Station as will best enable you to intercept the above Vessels.
2nd. You are also to seize and take any other Transports laden with Men, Ammunition, Clothing, or other Stores for the Use of the Ministerial Army or Navy, in America and secure them in such Places as may be most safe and convenient.
3rd. The other armed Schooner named the Lynch and commanded by Captain Sellman, is to be under your general Command but you are to advise and concert with him the proper Stations and the proper Time to continue this Service.
4th. You are to endeavour, if possible, to discover whether the above Vessels have passed by. If they have, you are not to return; but keep the Station as long as the Season will admit. As there is a great Probability that Quebec will fall into our Hands in a very short Time, it may be expected that not only
5th. As there may be Men of War at Newfoundland, you are so to conduct as to prevent being discovered by them; or any Intelligence given of your Station.
6th. Whatever Vessels you may meet, bound in or out of the River St. Lawrence, which you have Reason to believe are in the Service of the ministerial Army or convoying any Stores to them of Provision, or of any other Nature, you are to endeavour to seize, though they should not be Transports regularly engaged by Government.
7th. For your Encouragement and that of the Officers and Men under your Command, you will receive one third Part of the Value of any Prizes you may take as well military Stores as the Hulls of such Vessels, nothing being excepted but the wearing Apparel and private Stock of the Captains, other Officers and Passengers of such Prizes.
8th. Should you meet with any Vessel, the Property of the Inhabitants of Canada, not employed in any Respect in the Service of the ministerial army, you are to treat such Vessel with all Kindness and by no Means suffer them to be injured or molested. I am, Sir, etc.