March 16, 1776

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In Philadelphia, congress requests authorities in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey to hold their militias in readiness to march in defense of New York.

In Charleston, the British frigate HMS Syren (24 guns) spotted an American ship that was carrying a Pennsylvania Artillery Company.   The Syren fired a shot across the bow and the ship surrendered.

Abigail Adams writes to husband John from Braintree, as they all wait for the expected exit of the British.  She believes that, if they move on to the south, it may well be an act that helps turn the disparate colonies into a unified whole.  By the accounts in the publick papers the plot thickens; and some very important Crisis seems near at hand. Perhaps providence see’s it necessary in order to answer important ends and designs that the Seat of War should be changed from this to the Southeren colonies that each may have a proper sympathy for the other, and unite in a seperation. The Refuge of the Believer amidst all the afflictive dispensations of providence, is that the Lord Reigneth, and that he can restrain the Arm of Man… From Pens Hill we have a view of the largest Fleet ever seen in America. You may count upwards of 100 & 70 Sail. They look like a Forrest. It was very lucky for us that we got possession of Nook Hill. They had placed their cannon so as to fire upon the Top of the Hill where they had observed our people marking out the Ground, but it was only to elude them for they began lower upon the Hill and nearer the Town. It was a very foggy dark evening and they had possession of the Hill six hours before a gun was fired, and when they did fire they over shot our people so that they were coverd before morning and not one man lost, which the enemy no sooner discoverd than Bunker Hill was abandoned and every Man decamp’d as soon as he could for they found they should not be able to get away if we once got our cannon mounted… A fine quiet night—no allarms no Cannon. The more I think of our Enemies quitting Boston, the more amaz’d I am, that they should leave such a harbour, such fortifications, such intrenchments, and that we should be in peaceable possession of a Town which we expected would cost us a river of Blood without one Drop shed. Shurely it is the Lords doings and it is Marvelous in our Eyes. Every foot of Ground which they obtain now they must fight for, and may [they purchase it at] a Bunker Hill price… PS Pray convey me a little paper. I have but enough for one Letter more.”

Join us for the best historical tours in Philadelphia at Bow Tie Tours.  The snow is melting (slowly), spring is coming, spring break is arriving, and our guides are ready to give you the ultimate Philadelphia experience!

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