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Hanovarian Mercenaries

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

The following is said to be the plan which will be put in execution for reducing America: –Ten thousand Hanoverians are to be taken into British pay, the expenses to be defrayed out of duties to be laid by parliament, and levied in America. This body of men is to be stationed in several parts of that continent, and to be kept on foot in peace as well as in war. Fortresses are to be built in the provinces of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, in which those foreign mercenaries are to be stationed, and accommodated with barracks, firing, etc., at the expense of the several colonies in which they shall happen to be quartered. Besides this, a fleet of five ships of the line and twenty frigates are always to be stationed in that service, both to prevent smuggling, and, in case of any disturbance, to be ready to co-operate in reducing the rebellious or disaffected to obedience. Every Hanoverian soldier, who shall have served seven years with the approbation of his superior officer or officers, shall have a portion of ground, not more than fifty nor less than twenty acres, rent free, forever. The expense of raising a proper habitation, furnishing same, purchasing implements of husbandry, etc., to be defrayed by the colony in which he shall be then resident. The whole expense of recruiting to be provided for in like manner–that is to say, fifty pounds for every soldier, and one hundred for every trooper, rating his horse at fifty and himself at as much more. This mercenary army is to consist of thirty battalions of infantry, of five hundred men each, and four regiments of cavalry; twenty battalions and two regiments of which are always to be stationed in the four New England provinces, and the remaining ten battalions and two regiments at New York, Philadelphia, and Williamsburg in Virginia, and their neighborhoods. On the whole, as the Germans are known to be a very prolific people, it is supposed that by the beginning of the year 1800, there will be no less than a million of that nation, including their offspring, within the four New England provinces alone. 1


1 Constitutional Gazette, September 30.

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