Lord Stirling to John Hancock, referred to Wythe & Committee, 2 February 1776
The Cargoe of the Ship Blue Mountain Valley is now Cheifly unladen and brought up to this Town, except the Coal which it will be best to take out as it is disposed of. I have as yet received no orders from Congress relating this Ship, nor no answer to the three Letters to you relating her, since her Capture and of which it was impossible for me keep Copies. Capt. Dempster is very desirous of returning to England, two of his Mates & the foremast Men would be glad of working their passage home or thro’ the West Indies. It will perhaps be best to send them to Philadelphia for that purpose, in preference to any of the ports to the Eastward. I am told that the Congress has established some Rules with regard to prizes, and also some Admiralty Jurisdiction, but as I have not seen them, I cannot tell whether this Ship is Comprehended within them, and shall be glad to be instructed with regard to that point. I now enclose a Copy of the orders I gave to Capt. Rogers, when I put the ship into his Charge. This Capt. Rogers was well recommended to me by the New York Committee of Safety, he is I believe as fit a Man as any to Command a Ship of force; or if it should be thought proper to keep three or four small Sloops to run in & out of Sandy Hook & the Inlets of Egg Harbour, Barnegat, &c, I believe he
John Hancock Esq.
would be a very proper person to Command them. Some Attempts have been made in this province, to break thro’ the prohibitions ordered by Congress, to the Shipping of Lumber & provisions. I have taken every step in my power to prevent it; and have laid the whole proceedings before the Convention of this province which is now Sitting at Brunswick; Inclosed is Copy of my letter to them on that Subject; as Also Copy of my letter to them on the Subject of Arms, and I hope they will Come into the Measure I have recommended to them. I now also enclose Copies of the Orders I sent to Colonel Maxwell with regard to preparing his Regiment for Marching to Albany and his Answer thereto, these would have been transmitted Soon to you but my Absence a few days from this place on the little Naval Excursion, and my Illness in Consequence of it for a day or two More, has thrown me behind Land in my Correspondence, which I find swells to such a Size that it will be impossible for me to get thro’ it with any regularity without the help of one or two good Clerks. I just now hear that you Men, from New England arrived in New York this Afternoon and that General Lee is at Kings Bridge with a like Number. I have the Honour to be with great Respect and Regard
Your Most Humble Servant
On the Public Service
The Honorable John Hancock Esqr.
President of the Congress
Letter from Lord of Sterling
2d Feby 1776.