[dateline] Philadelphia November the 7th 1775
[salute] To Silas Deane Esqr.
You are desired to repair immediately to the City of New York, and there purchase
a Ship suitable for carrying 20 nine pounders upon one deck, if such a Ship can there
be found. Also a Sloop, suitable to carry ten guns, which we would choose should be
Bermudian built if such a one can be had. If you succeed in purchasing both, or either
of these Vessels, you will use all possible expedition to procure them to be armed
and equipped for the Sea. For this purpose you will apply to, and employ such persons
as can carry this business into the most speedy execution. Should there be danger
in fitting these Vessels at New York from the Kings ships, you may then send the Vessels
eastward thro the Sound to New London or Norwich in order to be armed and fitted.
Should this be the case you will repair immediately to the place where the Ships are
to be fitted, and there use every means in your power to procure this to be done with
the utmost expedition. In the Colony of Connecticut you are to procure powder for
both these Vessels, and such other Military Stores as can there be had. You will procure
the Cannon and other Stores at New York or any other place where it can be done in
the best and most expeditious manner. You will also procure Officers and Men suitable
for these Vessels. As soon as these Vessels can possibly be fitted for the Sea, you
will order them immediately into Delaware Bay. You will by every opportunity give
us the most exact intelligence of all your proceedings by conveyances the most safe
and secure that can be obtained. You are empower'd to draw on Governor Hopkins for
such sums of money as may be necessary for the above business.
[signed] Step Hopkins
[signed] Chris Gadsden
[signed] Richard Henry Lee
[signed] Joseph Hewes
[signed] John Adams
PS. In the course of your Journey at New York, or elsewhere you are to employ proper
Persons to engage experienced and able-bodied seamen to man the ships now fitting
out who must repair to Philadelphia with all possible dispatch.