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Jackson, Henry (1747-1809) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00604 Author/Creator: Jackson, Henry (1747-1809) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter Date: 27 May 1777 Pagination: 6 p. : docket ; 22.1 x 18.5 cm.

Gives details of marching with an unspecified company, and discusses his recent service at Providence, Rhode Island. Refers to a recent election of representatives, possibly in Boston, Massachusetts. Writes, "My good friend, we are in a very bad state of defence in this Town & harbour, not a man in all the Forts here..." Sent his regiment to recruit soldiers outside of Boston, and they have only raised 26 men: "the Country People have got the devil in them... good god Harry if we go on in this way we shall soon be ruined, ruined for ever." Mentions the discrepancy between the current draft of nine months and George Washington's orders to draft for three years or the length of the war. Disapproves of the nine month draft, stating "by the time I had got them well disciplined their time would out... then all my time, trouble & expense would be lost." Spotted two British frigates in the [Massachusetts] Bay.

Boston May 27 1777
My dear Friend
Yesterday I recd: your favor's of 27th Apr: & 4th of May, wrote me when I was on duty at Providence, it give's me the greatest pleasure in life, that you approbate my march'g with the Company. I asure you at first, I did not know what to do, being affraid that in my absence, the Court might grant me the additional Bounty, and my not being at the Spot at the time, General Washington, would blame my conduct, tho' at the same time, might approve of my Spirit - while at Providence we spent our time very agreeable, and were very happy - all the duty we did was to mount the Generals Guard, when we left Providence we had the thanks fo the General favour good conduct while there - and I think [2] the Company have done themselves honor in this little expedition - to Morrow is our Election Day, at which time I shall appear with the Company, and then take my leave of them, I should have done it some time ago, but the Company are very much Attach'd to me, & beg'd I would continue till after Election, it is a very fine Company & I am loath to leave it -
We had high Fun last Thursday at Town meeting at the Choise of representatives there was great opposition North against South Collo. Crafts & Collo R head'd the north
There list was …
[3] you know the North, seldom or ever got beat even in Pope affairs. - they were too strong for us, and they got there List in. but by a small majority - Master Bill Tudor is got to be a Committe Man, he is appointe'd prosecutor General of all the Tory's, with a Salary of £ ____ a year - My good friend, we are in a very bad state of defence in this Town & harbour, not a man in all the Forts here, but a few Militia of this Town, I verely believe if 3,000 Enemy should come here, they would carry all before them -
My Regt: Recruits but slow as yet, at the Time of the draft; taken place in the Country, I sent all my officers out, they have not been able to raise but 26 Men in all - the Country People have [4] got the very devil in them - in some of the Town's they are given £60. Srg. bountes besides the Continental & State bounty which make's it £86 Srg & Town is bid'g on Town[.] I expect the Bountes will soon be 400 dollars a man - good god Harry if we go on in this way we shall soon be ruin'd, ruin'd for ever -
There is dificulty Lee & myself labor's under we did not think of - the men in the Country are drafte'd only for 9 Mo it will not do for us to take any of these men in our Regt: our Order[s] are from his Excellency the General to inlist only for 3 Years or dur'g the War - I would not take a Regt: for only 9 Mo for by the time I had got them well discipline'd their time would out, (this was the Case wh Collo. Crafts) [5] then all my time, trouble, & expence would be lost - I am doing, and shall do, every thing in my power, no plan trouble or expence shall be wanting on my Part, to complete my Regiment -
Capt: Manly & Capt: McNeel saild last week, in Company with the Tarter & Mifflen, two 20 Gun Ships - also 10 small Privateers - in all 14 Sail - at the time they went out, there was two British Frigats in the Bay - as soon as our Fleet appear'd, they put of & have not b[en] seen since - we are in expectation of hear'g some thing from them any hour, a small Vessell got in yesterday, who heard a very [6] heavey Fireg in the Bay - we expect any moment to see a British ship com'g in with Continental Colors - you will not forget what I wrote, with respect to my necessary Order - By a Gentleman who arriv'd here from South Carolina bring an Acct: of 4 Large French Ships arriv'g there, one of htem mount'g 22 Guns - & all of them upward of 500 Tons Load'd with dry goods & Military Stores, they arriv'd the day before he left there, which was the 6 Int: I think there is good New's
Yours -
A friend
Colo Harry Jackson
May 27 1777

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