« AnteriorContinuar »
5. No drivers of waggons, or persons taking care of the hired horses, are on any account to be called upon to do the duty of soldiers, or be otherwise employed than in conducting or taking care of their carriages or horses. 6. All oats, Indian corn, or other forage, that waggons or horses bring to the camp, more than is necessary for the subsistence of the horses, is to be taken for the use of the army, and a reasonable price paid for the same.
“ Note.--My son, William Franklin, is empowered to enter into like contracts, with any person in Cumberland County.
« B. FRANKLIN."
“ To the Inhabitants of the Counties of Lancaster,
York, and Cumberland. « FRIENDS AND COUNTRYMEN,
Being occasionally at the camp at Frederic, a few days since, I found the general and officers extremely exasperated on account of their not be ing supplied with horses and carriages, which had been expected from this province, as most able to furiiish them; but through the dissensions between our governor and assembly, money had not been provided, nor any steps taken for that purpose.
It was proposed to send an armed force immediately into these counties, to seize as many of the best carriages and horses as should be wanted, and compel as many persons into the service as would be necessary to drive and take care of them.
. “I apprehended that the progress of British soldiers through these counties on such an occașion, (especially considering the temper they are in, and their resentment against us,) would be attended with many and great inconveniences to the inhabitants, and therefore more willingly took the trouble of trying first what might be done by fair and equitable means. The people of these back counties have lately complained to the assembly that a sufficient currency was wanting : you have an opportunity of receiving and dividing among you a very considerable sum; for if the service of this expedition should continue (as it is more than probable it will) for 120 days, the hire of these waggons and horses will amount to upwards of thirty thousand pounds; which will be paid you in silver and gold of the King's money.
66 The service will be light and easy, for the army will scarce march above twelve miles per day, and the waggons and baggage horses, as they carry those things that are absolutely necessary to the welfare of the army, must march with the army, and no faster; and, are for the army's sake, always placed where they can be most secure, whether in à march or in a camp.
“ If you are really, as I believe you are, good and loyal subjects to His Majesty, you may now do a most acceptable service, and make it easy to yourselves; for three or four of such as cannot separately spare from the business of their plantations, a waggon and four horses and a driver, may do it together; one furnishing the waggon, another one or two horses, and another the driver, and divide the pay proportionably between you : but if you do not this service to your King and country, voluntarily, when such good pay and reasonable terms are offered to you, your loyalty will be strongly suspected: the King's business must be done : so many brave troops, come so far for your defence, must not stand idle through your backwardness to do what may be reasonably expected from you: waggons and horses must be had ; violent measures will probably be used; and you will be to seek for a recompense where you can find it, and your case perhaps be little pitied or regarded.
“I have no particular interest in this affair, as (except the satisfaction of endeavoring to do good) I shall have only my labor for my pains. If this method of obtaining the waggons and horses is not likely to succeed, I am obliged to send word to the general in fourteen days; and I suppose Sir John St. Clair, the hussar, with a body of soldiers, will immediately enter the province for the purpose; which I shall be sorry to hear, because I am very sincerely and truly “ Your friend and well-wisher,
“ B. FRANKLIN."
I received of the general about eight hundred
pounds, to be disbursed in advance money to the waggon owners, &c.; but that sum being insufficient, I advanced upwards of two hundred pounds more; and in two weeks, the 150 waggons, with 259 carrying horses were on their march for the camp. The advertisement promised payment according to the valuation, in case any waggons or horses should be lost. The owners, however, alleging they did not know General Braddock, or what dependance might be had on his promise, insisted on my bond for the performance; which I accordingly gave them.
While I was at the camp, supping one evening with the officers of Col. Dunbar's regiment, he represented to me his concern for the subalterns, who, he said, were generally not in affluence, and could ill afford in this dear country to lay in the stores that might be necessary in so long a march through a wilderness, where nothing was to be purchased. I commiserated their case, and resolved to endeavor procuring them some relief. I said nothing however to him of my intention, but wrote the next morning to the Committee of the Assembly, who had the disposition of some public money, warmly recommending the case of these officers to their consideration, and proposing that a present should be sent them of necessaries and refreshments. My son, who had some experience of a camp life, and of its wants, drew up a list for me, which I inclosed in my letter. The Commit
tee approved, and used such diligence, that, conducted by my son, the stores arrived at the camp as soon as the waggons. They consisted of twenty parcels, each containing61b. Loaf Sugar
1 Gloucester Cheese 6 do. Muscovado do. 1 Kegg containing 20lb.good Butter 1 do. Green Tea 2 Dozen old Madeira Wine 1 do. Bohea do. 2 Gallons Jamaica Spirits 6 do. Ground Coffee i Bottle Flour of Mustard 6 do. Chocolate
2 Well-cured Hams Chest best white Bisc. Dozen dried Tongaes Mb. Pepper
6lb. Rice 1 Quart White Vinegar 61b. Raisins.
These parcels, well packed, were placed on as many horses, each parcel, with the horse, being intended as a present for one officer. They were very thankfully received, and the kindness acknowledged by letters to me from the colonels of both regiments, in the most grateful terms. The general too was highly satisfied with my conduct in procuring him the waggons, &c. &c. and readily paid my account of disbursements; thanking me repeatedly, and requesting my further assistance in sending provisions after him. I undertook this also, and was busily employed in it till we heard of his defeat; advancing for the service, of my own money, upwards of 10001. sterling; of which I sent him an account. It came to his hands, luckily for me, a few days before the battle, and he returned me immediately an order on the paymaster for the round sum of 10001., leaving the remainder to the