John Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire

to Vice Admiral Samuel Graves1

Fort William and Mary in New Hampshire, June 29th 1775

Sir   I have had the Honour to receive your Letter of the 23d instant, and am much obliged to You for your kind Expressions of Concern at my Situation, the People of New Hampshire are unhappily adopting the Measures recommended by the General Congress, and it is to be feared it will be some time before they come to be right again   I do not indeed expect it until the Public Tranquility be restored in the Massachusetts Government.

His Majesty's Sloop Falcon with the Resolution Transport are arrived, which Captain [Andrew] Barkley acquainted me in a Letter of the 27th were ordered here by You, to carry the Guns and Military Stores belonging to this Fort, to Boston, for Security in case the King's Ships should have Occasion to move from this Place, and they have been put Onboard the Transport for that purpose. Captain Barkley in A Letter he wrote to me the 9th instant proposed the Shipping of those Guns and Stores Onboard a Ship then in this Harbour, to which I gave him for Answer, that I did not at that juncture think it advisable to dismantle the Fort entirely, in the manner he proposed.

Many Reasons indeed weighed with me against such a Step. His Majesty's Commission does not impower me to dismantle a Fort without the Advice of the Council, and in the naked State this place is in, without any Protection, it could not be expected the Council would advise to dismantle the Fort, as it must inevitably expose their Lives and Properties to the utmost danger; — It is moreover notorious that the minds of the unhappy deluded Country People, are more unsettled by the Propagation of false Rumors among them, than by any other means, and a movement of this nature cannot fail of being turned to that use by those Leaders who make it their Study and Aim to mislead the Multitude. I therefore applied for your affording me more Aid, and I cannot help expressing my Concern, that the Guns and Stores could not be properly secured in the Fort, so that there might be no Occasion to remove them, as I am persuaded it would be more conducive to His Majesty's Interest that they should be kept in safety here, unless there should be a necessity for them elsewhere.

However, as it is not convenient to station another Ship here, and in such an Exigency, as the Removal of the Scarborough, it appears very expedient that those Guns and Stores should be out of the Way as the Country People would otherwise take Possession of them.

An Inventory has been taken of every Particular and is herewith incised (a Duplicate whereof has also been delivered to Captain Barkley) which I must beg leave to rely on being restored to the Fort, unless his Majesty shall be pleased to Command any other disposition of them.

Sign'd J. Wentworth.

1. PRO, Admiralty 1/485, LC Transcript.
Source: Naval Documents of the American Revolution, I, 774-5