A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3


From Thomas Cushing

9 September 1776

From Daniel Joy

10 September 1776
From David Cobb
Cobb, David RTP
My Dear Sir, Boston Septr. 9th 1776

I have been oblig’d to omit writing you in consequence of the great trouble & attention that I have had in gitting a Military Hospital properly establish’d; for the sick of a Camp always being numerous at this Season, and Barracks but Illy affording any conveniency for ’em; that I have always thought it the Duty of Authority to provide every necessary for Hospitals when an Army is first establish’d, 284but unhappily it was never tho’t of ’till the evil of it had come upon us, when our Barracks were crowd’d with Sick and Infection communicated from one to a thousand; but at last, thro’ great fatigue, I have got it effect’d and the Sick rejoice with the conveniency of their scituation. It adds new life to the Camp.

I receiv’d your Letter of the 24th ulto.1 with papers inclos’d, for which I am much oblig’d. I wrote you in my last a perticular account of the Small pox which before this you must have receiv’d; the disorder here is almost stop’d and expect the Town will be free from it by next week. The County of Bristol, always persueing measures in opposition to their Good, have Voted not to have a Hospital in the County.

I receiv’d a Letter, some days since, from Mrs. Paine by which she appears desireous of being Inoculated if she cou’d have conveniencies; as she is in no danger, I advis’d her to rest contented a little while when probably an oppertunity wou’d offer, when conveniences of every kind might be had; at present there is no such place open’d.

A Number of prizes have been sent into the different ports of New England since my last, 4 in at Bedford, one at Cape Ann, some at the Eastward & a number at Providence, chiefly West India men. The Spirit for Privateering is got to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, almost every Vessell from 20 Tons to 400 is fitting out here; they are in great want of Guns, but with what they dig up on Wharfs and at the Corners of Streets, they have made out heretofore very well; Small Vessells are gone to Hispaniola for the Cannon of 2, 24 Gun Ships, that are now fitting for the Sea; the Owners have offer’d me 20£ per Month & 4 shairs, to take the Surgeon’s birth on board one of ’em. The Salt Petre business is still persu’d with spirit, ’tho’ the quantity that has been bro’t in since June, is but small, but when the Farming business is over we shall have it in as great plenty as ever.

You must be better acquainted with the state of our Nothern Army than we are, but least you may possibly be deceiv’d, I shall give the following Intelligence, which was communicated to me by a Gentn. who went to Ticonderoga with our Troops and came from thence but a fortnight since, viz. That the Army are very sickly indeed, numbers dieing daily, having neither Medicines, Oatmeal, Indian Meal, Barley, Rice or Sugar, that they are at an allowance of bread & pork, ’tho’ they have a plenty of Fresh Meat, on the broath of which the Sick are oblig’d to live, that the Old Army that came out of Canada are very much dishartin’d, 285but have reviv’d a little from the Numbers that have join’d them. I cou’d wish that every measure might be taken to supply that Northern Army with all possible necessaries consistant with their scituation, for their is nothing that can make the Service so disagreeable as being badly Nurs’d when sick and as badly Cloath’d & victual’d when well.

Mr. Barnum who was Chaplen to Coll. Greaton’s Regiment, dyd at Pittsfield on his return home. Thus we have lost our parson.

I have just receiv’d your Letter of the 31st ult. Do continue your favours. New York news we have here in plenty; the perticulars you must have long before us.

Your Friends are all Well as is perticularly Your Humble Servant,

David Cobb

RC ; internal address: “R. T. Paine Esqr.”; endorsed.


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