Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO RICHARD HENRY LEE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO RICHARD HENRY LEE. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. III (1775-1776).
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TO RICHARD HENRY LEE.
Camp atCambridge, 27 November, 1775.
Your favor of the 13th, with the enclosures, for which I thank you, came to this place on Wednesday evening; part of which, that is, the night, I was engaged with a party of men throwing up a work upon a hill, called Cobble Hill, which, in case we should ever be supplied with such things as we want, may prove useful to us, and could not be delayed, as the earth here is getting as hard as a rock,1 This, and the early departure of the post, prevented my giving your letter an answer the next morning.
In answer to your inquiries respecting armed vessels, there are none of any tolerable force belonging to this government. I know of but two of any kind; those very small. At the Continental expense, I have fitted out six, as by the enclosed list, two of which are upon the cruise directed by Congress; the rest ply about Cape Cod and Cape Ann, as yet to very little purpose. These vessels are all manned by officers and soldiers, except perhaps a master and pilots; but how far, as they are upon the old establishment, which has not more than a month to exist, they can be ordered off this station, I will not undertake to say, but suppose they might be engaged anew. Belonging to Providence there are two armed vessels; and I am told Connecticut has one, which, with one of those from Providence, is, I believe, upon the cruise you have directed.
I have no idea that the troops can remove from Boston this winter to a place, where no provision is made for them; however, we shall keep the best lookout we can; and upon that, and every occasion where practicable, give them the best we have. But their situation in Boston gives them but little to apprehend from a parting blow, whilst their ships can move, and floating batteries surround the town.
Nothing of importance has happened since my last. For God’s sake hurry the signers of money, that our wants may be supplied. It is a very singular case, that their signing cannot keep pace with our demands. I heartily congratulate you and the Congress on the reduction of St. John’s. I hope all Canada is in our possession before this. No accounts from Arnold since those mentioned in my last letter to the Congress. Would it not be politic to invite them to send members to Congress? Would it not be also politic to raise a regiment or two of Canadians, and bring them out of the country? They are good troops, and this would be entering them heartily in the cause.1 My best regards to the good families you are with. I am, very affectionately, your obedient servant.
[1 ]These breastworks, forming one of the strongest points in the American lines, were thrown up on the night of the 22nd, by Putnam and Knox, with the support of the regiments of William Bond and Eben Bridge.
[1 ]Congress had already provided for these measures, in the instructions given to a committee, R. T. Paine & Jno. Langdon, appointed to proceed to the northern army, for the purpose of conferring with General Schuyler on the affairs of his department. It is there stated, that “Congress desire you to exert your utmost endeavors to induce the Canadians to accede to a union with these colonies, and that they form from their several parishes a provincial convention, and send delegates to this Congress,”—and that “you use all the means in your power to perfect the raising of a regiment of Canadians.” In fact General Montgomery had been beforehand with Congress in this respect, for he had said to the people, when he took possession of Montreal, on the 12th of November, that he “hoped to see such a provincial convention assembled, as would enter with zeal into every measure, that could contribute to set the civil and religious rights of that and her sister colonies on a permanent foundation.” And he did not fail to use his best endeavors to induce as many Canadians as possible to join his standard. In this, however, he was less successful, than some sanguine persons had anticipated. Notwithstanding appearances, the Canadians proved themselves nowise inclined to be conquered into liberty.