Extracts of a Letter from Major PRINGLE of the Corps of Newfoundland Volunteers dated St. Johns Newfoundland 10th December 1779.
I have been very successful in raising Recruits for the Corps of Newfoundland Volunteers.
I have already two hundred and fifty on the List; and this day the principal Merchants not only made an Offer of their personal Services, but have also engaged to bring their Servants and dealers to the amount of Five hundred Men.
The better Sort of House keepers and young Men Clerks to the principal Merchants to the number of Seventy, have beged to be mustered in one Company and to be commanded by Mr. ROGERS.
They are to Cloth and Arm themselves Uniformly and to sign the seven articles you have approved of.
I have accepted their proposal and shall give Mr. ROGERS an Order to Command them till your pleasure is known.
I could with the greatest Certainty raise five hundred Men in Six weeks, provided the Corps had the honor to have you as Governor for its Colonel; As the Merchants are highly pleased with this mark of your attention to their Interest, and Security, and would greatly assist in compleating the Corps.
At this day meeting they beged me to return you their most sincere thanks together with the fullest Offers of their Service.
And to solicit you to procure Five hundred Stand of Arms and Accoutrements and ten Drums and fifes to be sent out by the first Convoy, as we are Short, having only One hundred and fifty Stand in Store exclusive of those belonging to the Proteus.
You are Sufficiently acquainted with this Country to be sensible, that a Body of Men of this kind, assisted by an Occasional Militia would not only protect this Port, but every other Harbour in the Country, and maintain this Island to Great Britain whilst she could send a Ship to carry on the Fishery, without it the out Harbours will be perpetually exposed to the Insults of Privateers, as it is impossible that the Fleet can at the same time Guard them and Cruize against the Enemy.
Signed Robert PRINGLE
Great Britain, Public Record Office, Colonial Office, Class 194, Volume 35, folios 3-4.
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