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I had the honor of receiving, yesterday, yours of the 19th, containing the agreeable information of the Ministerial troops having abandoned Boston. The partial victory we have obtained over them, in that quarter, I hope will turn out a happy presage of a more general one. Whatever place may be the object of their destination, it must certainly give a sincere pleasure to every friend of this country, to see the most diligent preparations everywhere making to receive them. What may be their views, it is in deed impossible to tell with any degree of exactness. We have all the reason, however, from the rage of disappointment and revenge, to expect the worst. Nor have I any doubt that, as far as their power extends, they will inflict every species of calamity upon us. The same Providence that has baffled their attempt against the Province of Massachusetts Bay will, I trust, defeat the deep-laid scheme they are now meditating against some other part of our country.
The intelligence that our army had got possession of Boston, you will readily suppose gave me heart felt pleasure. I beg/ Sir, you will he pleased to accept my warmest thanks for the attention you have showed to my property in that town. I have only to request that Captain Cazneau will continue to look after it, and take care that it be no ways destroyed or damaged.
This success of our arms naturally calls on me to congratulate you, Sir, to whose wisdom and conduct it has been owing. Permit me to add, that, if a constant discharge of the most important duties, and the fame attending thereon, can afford genuine satis faction, the pleasure you feel must be the most rational and exalted.
I have it in charge from Congress to direct, that you send an account of the troops in your camp, who are deficient in arms, to the several Assemblies or Conventions of the Colonies to which those men belong, and request them to send a sufficient number of arms for the men coining from the respective Colonies ; and that, if arms cannot be procured, such as have not arms be dismissed the service.
The Congress being of opinion, that the reduction of Quebec and the general security of the Province of Canada, are objects of great concern, I am commanded to direct that you detach four battalions into Canada from the army under your command, as soon as you shall be of opinion, that the safety of New York and the Eastern service will permit.
Your several letters are at this time under the consideration of a Committee. As soon as any determination is made thereon, I will immediately for ward it to you. I have the honor to be, with the greatest esteem, Sir, your most obedient and very 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