Front Page Titles (by Subject) JAY'S REPORT ON THE PURCHASE OF CANNON. 1 - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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JAY’S REPORT ON THE PURCHASE OF CANNON. 1 - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 1 (1763-1781).
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JAY’S REPORT ON THE PURCHASE OF CANNON.1
In pursuance of your Instructions given me at this place on the 22d July last I immediately repaired to Salisbury Furnace and applied to Messrs. Fitch & Norton, two of the superintendants of the Furnace, Col. Porter the other superintendent being absent, for the cannon and other articles mentioned in the said Instructions. They informed me that there were several cannon and a considerable quantity of shot ready but they were not authorized to dispose of or part with any of the said articles without a licence from Govr. Trumbull, that they had no trux [trucks] made and could not order any to be made without his direction. They furnished me with a state of the ordnance and stores they had prepared, and I forthwith proceeded to Govr. Trumbull’s at Lebanon.
I gave the Gov. a copy of my instructions and requested the favor of him to furnish the Convention of New York with as many cannon for the defence of Hudson’s River as the State of Connecticut could conveniently spare, not exceeding the number mentioned in my Instructions together with a proportionable quantity of shot. I also desired him to give directions for the casting trux for said cannon, and intimated to him that Messrs. Fitch & Norton had informed me it might be done without delaying the making of cannon.
Govr. Trumbull expressed his readiness to contribute all in his power toward the good of the American cause and the safety of this State, but thought it most prudent to summon his Council and submit my request to their consideration.
When the Council convened they concurred with the Govr. in an order for ten twelve pounders and six pounders then at the Furnace at Salisbury to the State of New York, also a suitable proportion of shot for said cannon—said cannon to be replaced and said shot to be returned or accounted for by said State when requested; and the overseers of said Furnace were required to cast a sufficient number or as many as could be of iron trux or carriage wheels for said cannon to be loaned to said State and returned or accounted for with the cannon aforesaid—all to be delivered to me or my order by said overseers taking proper Receipts for the same. Of this order they gave me the certified copy which is annexed to this Report.
On my return to Salisbury I found Col. Porter there, and the overseers of the Furnace agreed to prepare the cannon mentioned in the above order with the greatest expedition—several of them not being yet bored or drilled. As to the trux, Col. Porter was averse to their entering on that branch of business, objecting that it would impede the casting of cannon, and gave me very satisfactory reasons for his being of that opinion; and on the same account expressing a desire that Salisbury Furnace might be confined to the making of cannon and Col. Livingston’s employed for casting shot and other ordnance stores, adding that he would furnish the Col. with some sand moulders and give him every other assistance in his power. For these reasons I did not think it either reasonable or prudent to insist on a compliance with the Govr’s order respecting the trux.
I then hired teams to carry four twelve pounders which were soon made ready, together with 50 rounds of shot for each of them, to Col. Hoffman’s Landing [on Hudson River] at 35 s lawful money of Connecticut per ton, and requested Hezh: Fitch, Esq. to forward the remainder as they became ready, with 50 rounds of shot for each cannon to the same place, and engaged to make him a reasonable compensation. He consented to undertake the business and I left with him 28-4-0 lawful money of Connecticut to defray the expenses attending it and to pay the teamsmen then employed in transporting the twelve pounders and shot aforesaid, for which money I took his receipt and have annexed it to this Report.
Being of opinion that application should immediately be made to Col. Livingston for trux and shot, and it being uncertain whether he was at Ancram or the Manor, I went immediately to Ancram, and not finding him there proceeded to the Manor. At my request he has undertaken to furnish the Convention of ye State of New York with proper trux for ten twelve and five (?) six pounders together with cannon shot of various sizes. On my way to this place I overtook the cannon and shot aforesaid going to Col. Hoffman’s Landing, and being informed that a sloop was there ready to sail to Fort Montgomery, I ordered the said cannon & shot to be put on board & carried to the said Fort.
[August 7 (?), 1776.]
[1 ]Report made to the Secret Committee of the New York Convention about August 7, 1776. This was one of the more important of several committees on which Jay served during that critical period. It was appointed, July 16th, specially to obstruct the channel of the Hudson and annoy the enemy’s shipping, and was also authorized “to impress carriages, teams, sloops and horses, and to call out detachments of the militia.” Jay was commissioned to secure cannon at Salisbury, Connecticut, for Fort Montgomery in the Highlands.