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Hancock’s Call to Arms

Philadelphia, June 11, 1776.

Gentlemen: –The Congress have this day received advice, and are fully convinced, that it is the design of General Howe to make an attack upon the City of New York, as soon as possible. The attack, they have reason to believe, will be made within ten days.

I am, therefore, most earnestly, to request, by order of Congress, to call forth your militia, as requested in my letter of the 4th instant, and to forward them with all despatch to the City of New York; and that you direct that they march in companies, or any other way that will hasten their arrival there.

The important day is at hand that will not only decide the fate of the City of New York, but in all probability of the whole Province. On such an occasion there is no necessity to use arguments with Americans. Their feelings, I well know, will prompt them to their duty, and the sacredness of the cause will urge them to the field.

The greatest exertions of vigor and expedition are requisite to prevent our enemies from getting possession of that town. I must, therefore, again most earnestly request you, in the name and by the authority of Congress, to send forward the militia, agreeable to the requisition of Congress, and that you will do it with all the despatch which the infinite importance of the cause demands.

I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,
Your most obedient humble servant,
John Hancock, President.

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