Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 4
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To RICHARD HENRY LEE Camp at Cambridge, November 27, 1775.

    Dear Sir: Your favor of the 13th, with the enclosures, for which I thank you, came to this place on Wednesday evening; part of which, that is, the night, I was engaged with a party of men throwing up a work upon a hill, called Cobble Hill, which, in case we should ever be supplied with such things as we want, may prove useful to us, and could not be delayed, as the earth here is getting as hard as a rock. 19 This, and the early departure of the post, prevented my giving your letter an answer the next morning.

[Note:These breastworks, forming one of the strongest points in the American lines, were thrown up on the night of November 22 by Putnam and Knox, with the support of the regiments of Cols. William Bond and Ebenezer Bridge. ]

    In answer to your inquiries respecting armed vessels, there are none of any tolerable force belonging to this government. I know of but two of any kind; those very small. At the Continental expense, I have fitted out six, as by the enclosed list, two of which are upon the cruise directed by Congress; the rest ply about Cape Cod and Cape Ann, as yet to very little purpose.


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These vessels are all manned by officers and soldiers, except perhaps haps a master and pilots; but how far, as they are upon the old establishment, which has not more than a month to exist, they can be ordered off this station, I will not undertake to say, but suppose they might be engaged anew. Belonging to Providence there are two armed vessels; and I am told Connecticut has one, which, with one of those from Providence, is, I believe, upon the cruise you have directed.

    I have no idea that the troops can remove from Boston this winter to a place, where no provision is made for them; however ever, we shall keep the best lookout we can; and upon that, and every occasion where practicable, give them the best we have. But their situation in Boston gives them but little to apprehend from a parting blow, whilst their ships can move, and floating batteries surround the town.

    Nothing of importance has happened since my last. For God's sake hurry the signers of money, that our wants may be supplied. It is a very singular case, that their signing cannot keep pace with our demands. I heartily congratulate you and the Congress on the reduction of St. John's. I hope all Canada is in our possession before this. No accounts from Arnold since those mentioned in my last letter to the Congress. Would it not be politic to invite them to send members to Congress? Would it not be also politic to raise a regiment or two of Canadians, and bring them out of the country? They are good troops, and this would be entering them heartily in the cause. 20 My best regards to the good families you are with. I am, very affectionately, your obedient servant. 21

[Note:Congress had already provided for these measures in the instructions given to a committee (Robert Treat Paine and John Langdon) appointed to proceed to the northern army for the purpose of conferring with General Schuyler on the affairs of his department. There were two regiments raised later -- the First Canadian, commanded by Col. James Livingston, and the Second by Col. Moses Hazen. ]
[Note:The text is from Ford. ]

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