<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0256

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Committee of Congress
Recipient: Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Sir,

The Committee on the Affairs in the Northern Department having laid before
Congress a Letter receivd from Colo Stewart who was sent by them
agreable to Order of Congress,1 to
procure Cannon, wherein he informs that there is a Quantity of Cannon
at Salisbury Foundery which the Governor & Council of Connecticutt
are willing to dispose of to the Continent, but demand the Price of
seventy Pounds Lawful Money per Ton for 18 & 9 pounders and Eighty
Pounds Lawfull Money per Ton for 6, 4 & 3 pounders, it is an order
of Congress that the Committee aforesaid write to Govr Trumbull &
inform him of the Contracts enterd into by Congress, state to him the
Prejudice it will do to those Contracts and the ill Effects that must
ensue to the Continent, should so high a Price be given for these
Cannon, and request him to lend the Cannon, which are much wanted for
the Defence of Ticonderoga, and assure him that Congress will return
them or others in Lieu of them as soon as
possible.2

Your Honor will please to be informd that Congress have enterd into a
Contract with the owners of a Foundery in the State of Maryland for
1000 Tons of Cannon from 32 down to 4 pounders to be deliverd in such
proportion as Congress shall require at £36 10s per Ton accounting
Dollars at 7/6.3

The Prejudice which will be done to this Contract if so high a Price should
now be given for the Cannon at Salisbury, must be obvious. It will be
an Example for all others to demand the like Prices; and moreover it
may afford a Pretext for those who wish for occasions to spread
Jealousy and Discord among the united States, to say, that the State of
Connecticut have in this Instance taken Advantage of the Necessity of
the Continent. As there is no Reason to entertain so unworthy a
Sentiment of that State we earnestly wish that no Circumstance may take
place which might gratify the Inclinations of our insidious Enemies to
do an Injury to our common Cause.

We are with the greatest Respect,
your honors most obedient & very hbl Servts

S[amuel] A[dams]
W[illiam] W[hipple]
R[ichard] H[enry] L[ee]
H4

Notes:

File copy, New York Public Library. In the hand of Samuel Adams.

1 In a letter of this date to Walter Stewart, Samuel Adams acknowleged the
receipt of his January 23 letter to the committee and reported that
he had laid it before Congress. “The Price of the Cannon at Salisbury
so much exceeds that at which it is set in a Contract enterd into by
Congress with the Owners of a Foundery in this State,” Adams
explained, “that Congress have thought proper not to allow it, but
have directed the Committee to request Governor Trumbull to lend
them, to be returnd or others in Lieu of them as soon as possible.
The Come. have written accordingly; and I think it necessary to give
you Notice of the Sense of Congress relating to the Price of Cannon
as early as possible, that you may govern yourself thereby in your
further Execution of your Commission.” Adams, Writings (Cushing),
3:357. Stewart’s 23 January 1777, letter to Adams is in the Adams
Papers, NN.

2 See JCC, 7 – 111.

3 See Robert Treat Paine to Samuel and Daniel Hughes, 24 August 1776.

4 Either Benjamin Harrison or Thomas Heyward. See Committee of Congress to
Walter Stewart, 31 December 1776.