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Claims and Memorials
Letter to Morris County Militia

Hanover 12th June 1775


Being informed that a meeting of the Officers of the Militia in the County of Morris is proposed to be held at Morris Town on Friday next for the purpose of considering of the propriety of resigning the Commissions they hold over Government, & lest I should be prevented from attending said meeting, would wish to communicate to you my sentiments on the subject with that freedom which I think the importance of the occasion justly merits & which as an English Subject I am entitled to express.

Permit me Gentlemen to entreat you to proceed on this business with the greatest caution & circumspection, to act with such prudence on this Solemn occasion that the World may see that your deperminations are the result of calm deliberation becoming men who are contending for their liberty’s upon the Solid principles of that happy Constitution which is the birthright & boast of Englishmen & the envy & admiration of all the World.

The Continental Congress is now sitting & the united wisdom of this Country is supposed to be collected, with a view to adopt some plan for the preservation of American freedom & to settle the unhappy dispute with our mother Country upon an equitable & lasting foundation.

Let us not therefore Gentlemen Counteract their labours by our hasty resolutions especially in a matter of so momentuous consequence--but wait the result of their proceedings with a little patience, conducrt ourselves with discretion which will ensure success in every undertaking.

I cannot think the resignation proposed can have any good tendency, but may be productive of bad consequences, tho’ should I in this opinion be so unfortunate as to differ with my brother Officers, I hope you will treat with tenderness an honest zeal which I assure you is devoted to the honor of the Corps of which I am a member, & to the happiness & welfare of my Country in whose just defence I would endeavour to be among its foremost advocates.

I am with great esteem
Your Most Obedt.
huml. Servt.
P[hilip] V[AN] C[ORTLAND]

To the Officers of the Militia
of the County of Morris assembled
at Morris Town on Friday 15th inst.

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 54, folio 631-632.

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