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[Philadelphia], 12 August, 1776.

MR. A. sets off to-day, if the rain should not prevent him, with Colonel Whipple of Portsmouth, a brother of the celebrated Miss Hannah Whipple, a sensible and worthy man. By him, I have sent you two bundles of letters, which I hope you will be careful of. I thought I should not be likely to find a safer opportunity. By them, you will sec, that my private cor respondence alone is business enough for a lazy man. I think I have answered all but a few of those large bundles.

A French vessel, n pretty large brigantine, deeply laden, arrived here yesterday, from Martinique. She had fifty barrels of limes, which are all sold, already, at such prices, that the amount of them will be sufficient to load the brig with flour. A trade, we sec, even now, in the midst of summer, is not totally interrupted by all the efforts of our enemies. Prizes are taken, in no small numbers. A gentleman told me a few days ago, that he had summed up the sugar, which has been taken, and it amounted to three thousand hogsheads, since which, two other ships have been taken, and carried into Maryland. Thousands of schemes for privateering are afloat in American imaginations.

Some are for taking the Hull ships, with woollens, for Amsterdam and Rotterdam ; some are for the tin ships ; some for the Irish linen ships ; some, for outward bound, and others, for inward bound India- men; some for the Hudson's bay ships, and many, for West India sugar ships. Out of these speculations, many fruitless and some profitable projects will grow.

We have no news from New York. All is quiet as yet Our expectations are raised. The eyes of the world are upon Washington and Howe, and their armies. The wishes and prayers of the virtuous part of it, I hope, will be answered. If not, yet virtues grow out of affliction. I repeat my request that you would ask some of the members of the general court, if they can send me horses ; and if they cannot, that you would send them. I can live no longer without a servant and a horse.

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