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MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,
Your letter of the 8th instant, I received on a journey to Brunswick, on Friday last, where I had an opportunity of conferring with our Convention, and urging your Excellency's requisition relating to the militia, the propriety of which is so obvious. I returned on Saturday evening, and delayed answering your favor, in hopes of receiving the resolution of the Convention thereon. I have just been favored with a rough draught of their ordinance, which I shall send you as soon as I get a correct copy.
The outlines are, that the one half of the whole militia, without exception, be immediately called out, and join the Flying Camp ; that every person refusing his attendance be fined three pounds ; that they be formed into thirteen battalions, and to remain on service one month, and then to be relieved by the other half.
There being no mention made of any number to be forwarded to New York, I take it for granted the whole are to be under your Excellency's direction as to their station, &c.
The two thousand men for the Flying Camp, under General Dickinson, are in great forwardness, and (although very little acquainted with their duty) might answer a valuable purpose in New York, on the present emergency, especially as their places will be so soon filled by the half of the militia now to be raised. A considerable body of the militia must be kept here to supply the place of the Pennsylvania Associators, who are deserting their post in consider able numbers, notwithstanding the most spirited exertion. of their officers, and particularly their Colonel, whose behaviour does honor to his Province in particular, and America in general.
We have taken such measures as I hope will put a stop to any further behaviour of this kind. This corps, since our militia were dismissed, have not carried on any of the works at the Point, which, as soon as they are relieved by any men under my command, I shall order to be prosecuted with all possible vigor ; as, it is more than probable, the enemy will attempt an incursion into this Province, to which its present defenceless state, in this part, seems strongly to invite them. I am, with much truth and regard, your Excellency's
Most obedient and humble servant,
- 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