Jonathan Trumbull to John Hancock, referred to Wythe & Committee, 6 January 1776

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Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull tells John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, that he has intelligence from the Committee of Inspection of Greenwich, Connecticut that might be of importance to Congress. Thus, Trumbull has enclosed a copy of the letter sent by the committee to enable Congress to look it over. Trumbull mentions that Oliver Wolcott and Samuel Huntington, Connecticut's delegates for the Continental Congress, will be able to provide any necessary information about the acts and resolves of the Connecticut General Assembly. Trumbull also talks about Connecticut making gun powder, smelting lead, and passing a resolve to fit two armed vessels with guns. In a previous letter, Connecticut had requested to loan 50 cannons and Trumbull now asks if Congress would be able to quickly answer and provide the cannons. In the final paragraph of the letter, Trumbull tells Hancock that he has enclosed a report of a committee from the Connecticut General Assembly consigning a lead mine to a town in New York. Trumbull refers to Robert Treat Paine, Eliphalet Dyer, Philip Livingston, Thomas Lynch, and George Wythe because they were likely all members of a committee that dealt with obtaining gunpowder to supply the Continental Army [1] when the colonists were running low on ammunition during the Revolution [2].

"Jonathan Trumbull to John Hancock, 25 March 1776, pg 1." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

Letter text

Page 1

Lebanon 6th January 1776


Enclosed is Copy of a Letter from the Com.tee of Inspection in the Town of Greenwich, bordering on the County of West Chester in the Province of New York. This intelligence appears to me worthy the Attention of your Body. When the United Colonies are driven to necessity of taking up Arms for the defense of their Rights. At the same time to feed their Enemies; and to give them intelligence and Aid appears incongruous, and requires attention and some vigorous exertions to prevent it.

Oliver Woolcot and Samuel Huntingtons Esquires, the new Members from this Colony will inform what is needful of the Acts and Resolves of our General Assembly. Great Harmony and Unanimity subsisted therein. An Act passed, for retraining and punishing people who are inimical to the Liberties of this and the rest of the United Colonies &c. Another for encouraging the Manufactures of Salt Peter and Gun Powder. Hope to produce a considerable quantity of Gun Powder by the Spring, from materials collected amongst ourselves.

The Furnace at Middletown is smelting Lead, and will soon turn out 20 or 30 Tons. The Vein of Ore seems to promise a plenty.

A Resolve passed Our Assembly, directing the Governor and his Council of Safety to fit two Armed Vessels, One is purchased, will carry 16 Guns, the other to be bought or built. It to be built will be larger. Also to build four Row Galleys.

A Request was made in a former Letter for the Loan of 50 Cannon from the Northern Posts. Enclosed is minutes of the Ordnance in the possession of the United Colonies in that quarter, exclusive of what is at Crown Point, at which place there is not less than 40. I hope for

The Honorable President Hancock

Page 2

"Jonathan Trumbull to John Hancock, 25 March 1776, pg 2." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

for a speedy Answer and Grant of that Favour. The Season is advancing wherein they may be drawn down.

Enclosed is Copy of the Report of a Committee from Our Assembly consigning a Lead mine to New Canaan in the Colony of New York. Is it not needful to engage the Congress of that Colony to pursue this discovery? The Lead extracts from this one appears to be of the best kind, and the appearance of a plenty is very great.

I am, with great Truth and Regard

Sir, Your most Obedient honorable Servant
Jon Trumbull

Page 3

"Jonathan Trumbull to John Hancock, 25 March 1776, pg 3." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

Letter from Gov. Trumbull
Dated 6 Jany. 1776
Read 15

Referred to
Mr. Paine
Mr. Dyer
Mr. Lynch
Mr. Wythe
Mr. Livingston

See also


  2. The Gunpowder Shortage [1]