"To establish a New Army is of infinite moment. ..."
Wolcott reports from Congress on the developing military situation; given the Connecticut-centric content of the letter, his correspondent was probably Samuel Adams, the Litchfield lawyer whose son Andrew was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress and a signer of the Articles of Confederation. Noting a paucity of letters reaching Philadelphia, Wolcott speculates that the mails will soon improve "as by the Return of the British Army to N York and Carlton to Canada the Communication will be kept fully open so that probably in future no Interuption will be given to the Post I hope I may hear more frequently from my Freinds."
Despite claiming that "Nothing in special has occured since my last Letters," Wolcott provides a wealth of up-to-the-minute information: "An Expedition is supposd to be forming by the Enemy, Many Think agt. this City, in Consequence of which Expectation, all the associators are ordered to it. I think it is more probably they will go farther South, I think, to the Carolinas or Georgia.
"Some Very Considerable Success has been had agt. the Cherokees, a number of their Towns have been burnt, so that it is hopd. these Savages will be thoroly quelld."
Uppermost in Wolcott's mind is the necessity—and difficulty—of establishing a unified Continental Army "To establish a New Army is of infinite moment and Demands every attention to have Accomplished. Many Difficulties will attend it but I hope they will all be Surmounted. It is an established Opinion here and amongst all the Officers of the Army, that the pay of it must be uniform. An Army it is said under different pay cannot Subsist together, and that for any colony to Vary in this Circumstance is totally to Subvert a continental Regulation, which if it can be done, it is in Vain to make any—for if the Veiws of a particular Colony were answered, and a new & general Regulation took place in Consequence of it, another Colony might Vary from that, and so render every Regulation ineffectual."
Congress is likely to accomplish little, Wolcott implies, so long as attendance remains erratic. "At present I am alone from Connecticut. Messrs. [Roger] Sherman and [Samuel] Huntington went home some time ago, and Col [William] Williams the 13th inst. I expect Mr. Sherman will soon Return. I think Mr. Williams might as well have tarryed at the present, as to have come here at all, as there have not since the 1st of this month been but nine colonies represented, the lowest Number necessary to make a Congress, so that my failure of attendance would intirely put a stop to all Business. ... I beleive more Colonies will soon be in. N York Wants one more member for a Representation who is hourly expected, Delaware and Maryland Members are settling their Government, Georgia Representation expired the 1 of this month and their members are Waiting for New Powers." Wolcott was uncertain even of his own status in Congress: "I perceive by a Philidelpa. paper Published therein under the N Haven Head, that the former Connecticut Members are re-elected with Mr. Law. Whether they are all to attend, or some of us to supply Vacancies I have not heard, and indeed nothing more about it, than what I saw in that Paper." Eliphalet Dyer and Richard Law had been added to the Connecticut delegation, giving the state a total of six—any three of which were to be in attendance at all times.
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