From George Washington to John Hancock, March 27, 1776

“I beg leave to Transmit you the copy of a petition from the Inhabitants of Nova Scotia, brought me by Jonathan Eddy Esq. mentioned therein, who is now here with an Accadian—From this It appears they are in a distressed situation, & from Mr Eddys account are exceedingly apprehensive that they will be reduced to the disagreable alternative of taking up Arms & Joining our Enemies, or to flee their Country, unless they can be protected against their Insults & oppressions—he says that their Committees think many salutary & valuable consequences wou’d be derived from Five or Six hundred men being sent there, as It wou’d not only quiet the minds of the people from the anxiety & uneasiness they are now filled with and enable ’em to take a part in behalf of the Colonies, but be the means of preventing the Indians (of which there are a good many) from taking the side of Government, and the Ministerial Troops from getting such supplies of provisions from thence as they have done—How far these good purposes wou’d be answered If such a force was sent as they ask for, is impossible to determine in the present uncertain state of things—For If the Army from Boston is going to Hallifax as reported by ’em before their departure, that or a much more considerable force wou’d be of no avail—If not, and they possess the friendly disposition to our cause, suggested in the petition & declared by Mr Eddy, It might be of great service, unless an other body of Troops shou’d be sent thither by Administration too powerfull for ’em to oppose—It being a matter of some Importance, I judged It prudent to lay It before Congress for their consideration, and requesting their direction upon the Subject, shall only add, If they determine to adopt It, that they will prescribe the number to be sent and whether It is to be from the Regiments which will be left here—I shall wait their decision & whatever it is, will indeavour to have It carried into execution.”

“From George Washington to John Hancock, 27 March 1776,” Founders Online, National Archives,