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Letter from William Pitt, Earl of Chatham to Arthur Dobbs
Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham, 1708-1778
December 30, 1757
Volume 05, Pages 789-791

[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: Vol. 75.]
Letter from Secretary Pitt.

Whitehall Decr 30th 1757.

Sir, [Governor Dobbs]

His Majesty having nothing more at heart, than to repair the Losses & Disappointments, of the last inactive & unhappy campaign, and by the most vigorous & extensive Efforts, to avert, by the blessing of God on His Arms, the Dangers impending on North America; and not doubting, that all His faithful and brave Subjects there will chearfully cooperate with, and second, to the utmost, the large Expence, & extraordinary Succours, supplied by this Kingdom for their Preservation and Defence; And His Majesty considering that the several Provinces, from Pensylvania inclusive to the Southward, are well able with proper Encouragements to furnish a body of several Thousand Men, to join the King's Forces in those parts, for some offensive Operations against the Enemy; And His Majesty not judging it expedient to limit the Zeal and Ardor of any of His Provinces, by making a Repartition of the Forces to be raised by Each respectively, for this most important Service; I am commanded to signify to You the King's Pleasure, that you do forthwith use your utmost Endeavours & Influence with the Council & Assembly of your Province to induce them to raise, with all possible Dispatch, as large a Body of Men, within Your Government, as the Number of its Inhabitants may allow, and, forming the same into Regiments as far as shall be found convenient, that you do direct them to hold themselves in readiness, as early as may be, to march to the rendez-vous, at such Place or Places, as may be named for that purpose by Brigadier General Forbes appointed to Command His Majesty's Forces in those parts, in order to proceed from thence, in conjunction with a Body of

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His Majesty's British Forces, & under the supreme Command of Brigadier Forbes appointed as above, so as to be in a situation to begin, by the first of May if possible, or as soon after as shall be any way practicable, such offensive Operations, as shall be judged by the said Commander of His Majesty's Forces in those parts, most expedient for annoying the Enemy, & most efficacious towards removing & repelling the Dangers, that threaten the Frontiers of any of the Southern Colonies on the Continent of America; and the better to facilitate this important Service, the King is pleased to leave it to You to issue Commissions to such Gentlemen of Your Province, as You shall judge, from their weight & Credit with the People, & their Zeal for the Publick Service, may be best disposed and enabled to quicken & effectuate the speedy Levying of the greater Number of Men; In the Disposition of which Commissions, I am pursuaded You will have nothing in view but the good of the King's Service, & a due Subordination of the whole, when joined, to His Majesty's Commander, And all Officers of the Provincial Forces, as high as Colonels inclusive, are to have Rank according to their several respective Commissions, in like manner, as is already given by His Majesty's Regulations, to the Captains of Provincial Troops in America.

The King is further pleased to furnish all the Men, so raised as above, with Arms, Ammunition, & Tents, as well as to order Provisions to be issued to the same, by His Majesty's Commissaries, in the same Proportion & Manner, as is done to the Rest of the King's Forces:—And a sufficient Train of Artillery will also be provided, at His Majesty's Expence, for the Operations of the Campaign: The whole, therefore, that His Majesty expects & requires from the several Provinces, is, the Levying, Cloathing, & Pay of the Men; And, on these Heads also, that no Encouragement may be wanting to the fullest Exertion of your Force, the King is farther most graciously pleased to permit me to acquaint You, that strong Recommendations will be made to Parliament, in their Session next Year, to grant a proper Compensation for such Expences as above, according as the active Vigour & strenuous Efforts of the respective Provinces shall justly appear to merit.

Altho' several Thousand stands of Arms will be forthwith sent from England to be distributed to the Troops, now directed to be raised in the Northern & Southern Provinces; Yet, as it is hoped, that the Numbers of Men levyed in all parts of America, may greatly exceed the quantity of Arms, that can at present be supplied from England, It is His Majesty's Pleasure, that You do, with particular Diligence, immediately collect, & put into the best Condition, all the Serviceable Arms, that can be found within your Governmt in order that the same may be employed, as far as they will go, in this Exigency.

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I am further to inform You that similar Orders are sent, by this Conveyance to Maryland, Virginia, & So Carolina The Northern Governments are also directed to raise Men in the same manner, to be employed in such offensive Operations, as the Circumstances & Situation of the Enemy's Possessions in those parts may point out, which it is hoped, will oblige them so to divide their Attention and Forces, as will render the several Attempts more easy & successful.

It is unnecessary to add any thing to animate your Zeal, in the Execution of His Majesty's Orders on this great Occasion, where the safety and preservation of America & of your own Province in particular, are at Stake; and the King doubts not, from your known Fidelity & Attachment, that You will employ yourself, with the utmost Application & Dispatch, in this urgent and Dangerous Crisis. I am &c.

W. PITT.