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The Congress have received your letter of the 19th instant, and highly commend your prudence and zeal in applying to the Governments of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, and Connecticut, to raise forces for the service of Canada at this exigency. They have fond hopes, by the zeal and alacrity of those Colonies, troops will be forwarded with such expedition as will not only succour our friends, but in some measure retrieve our loss, and put us in possession of Quebec, before our enemies can receive reinforcements.
The Congress have agreed to add the Massachusetts regiment to the forces they at first destined for Canada. This is the more necessary, as it is now uncertain whether two battalions, as was expected, can be raised out of the troops in that country. But they do not, by this, mean to weaken your army. They have, therefore, ordered that the three regiments you applied for from Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, shall be exclusive of the thirteen wanted for the army at Cambridge.
By the latest advices from England, it appears that Administration are determined to exert themselves, and to send a considerable force against us next spring, though at the same time they pretend to say, that they will offer terms of accommodation, and mean only by their armament to enforce their terms.
It behooves us, therefore, to be ready to receive them; for, should an accommodation take place, the terms will be severe or favorable in proportion to our ability to resist,
The Congress highly approve your sending General Lee to the assistance of New York, as a measure judicious and necessary, and have also appointed three of their body to repair to New York and confer with General Lee and the Committee of Safety of New York, on the subject of putting that Colony in a posture of defence.
General Prescott arrived here last Thursday, and is this day ordered into close confinement in the jail of this city.
I must beg leave to refer you to the inclosed resolutions. I send, by this express, commissions for the Massachusetts battalion, and the money ordered to the Assembly. I have the honor to be, with the greatest esteem, Sir,
Your most obedient, humble servant,
JOHN HANCOCK, President.
- John Hancock
- Correspondence of the American Revolution; Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Volume I., Jared Sparks, 1853