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I did myself the honour to write you a hasty line this evening, giving it as my opinion that the city was no longer a place of safety for you. I write you again lest that letter should not get to hand. The enemy are on the road to Swedes Ford, the main body about four miles from it. They sent a party this evening to Daviser's ferry, which fired upon me and some others in crossing it, killed one man, wounded another, and disabled my horse.
They came on so suddenly, that one boat was left adrift on the other side, which will of course fall into their hands, and by the help of that, they will get possession of another, which was abandoned by those who had the direction of it, and left afloat, in spite of every thing that I could do to the contrary. These two boats will convey fifty men across at a time, so that in a few hours they may throw over a large party, perhaps sufficient to overmatch the militia who may be between them and the city. This renders the situation of congress extremely precarious, if they are not on their guard : my apprehensions for them are great, though it is not improbable they may not be realized.
The most cogent reasons oblige me to join the army this night, or I should have waited upon you myself. I am in hopes our army will be up with the enemy before they pass Schuylkill ; if they are, something serious will ensue. I have the honour to be, With much respect,
Sir, your most obedient,
- John Hancock
- The Life of Alexander Hamilton by His Son, JOHN C. HAMILTON, Vol. I., 1834