Howland, Joseph (1749-1836) to Henry Knox
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00201 Author/Creator: Howland, Joseph (1749-1836) Place Written: Norwich, Connecticut Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 13 August 1775 Pagination: 2p. 31.6 cm. x cm.21.4.
Indicates that he sent Knox some hosiery. Describes Norwich as confused. Discusses current preparations to defend against the British, who would like to seize their provisions. Calls the uncontested British seizure of provisions on Fishers Island the previous week shameful for the Americans. Interprets a letter from George Washington to the Rhode Island Committee of Correspondence in regard to transports as a reprimand. Asks Knox his rank and requests that he show the works at Roxbury and Cambridge to two of Howland's friends. Discusses forming a light infantry in Rhode Island and asks Knox about uniforms. A post script asks Knox to send a copy of Colonel Timothy Pickering's "Plan of Exercise." Howland was a merchant and ship owner at Norwich, Connecticut.
Norwich August 13th 1775
My Absence from Home & some little matters have Take up my Attention has prevented my Addressing you sooner, This Acknowledges the receipt of your esteem'd Favour for which you have my Thanks, The Hosiery I sent you Thro the Hands of our Commissary which hope you have received & that it Turns our agreable to your Liking. If you have not received it Immagine you will find it a[t] Genl Thomas's Head Quarters at which place I directed it for you - The present state of this Place is something confused as we think We shall hav ea Visit rom the Men of War's Boats for our Provisions &c &c - However We are not in such a Situation but that We are taking every Precaution necessary to Defend it, The Manuver the Week past in regard to their taking the Stock off Fishers & other Islands Unmolested is Truly shamefull had the Necessary Precautions (which might have been taken without any hazard, been take in season, or had We shown ourselves with the Spirit which has Distinguishd Connecticut men) on the Island at the Time they were there We could with Ease have drove them from the Island & made them return with Confusion to their Masters - I saw a Letter from Gen Washington's Secy in answer to One from Our Committee acquainting the Genl what the Transports had taken - It came in season & I hope it will be of use to 'em, It contain'd what I should have thought a Severe reprimand in a very mild Manner - We have nothing new at present that can be depended on except that 20 Tons of a Very Necessary Article is arrived at Phila some of which Its likely you have before this I want to know what Rank you bear in the Army & at what Place you may be found as I may have occasion to pay you a Visit 'ere long - This goes by my good Friend Mr Thomas Coit  of this Place Mr Wm Hubbard is in Company with him, They will have a Curiosity to see the Works at Cambridge & Roxbury andy Favour you may show them I shall acknowledge as done myself - We have Form'd a pretty Light Infantry Compa here, Our Uniform is Green Turn'd up in Scarlet I have the Honor of being a Member, should be glad you would Inform me what Destination is made in the Army between the Captain & Subaltern officers, how the Epelauts are wore &c &c have nothing afarther to add that I wish you every Blessing &
I am Dr Sr your
Friend & Serv
PS Should be glad you would Send me Colo Pickering's Plan of Exercise &c &c
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