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[57] appointed Hon. Francis B. Crowninshield the agent to proceed to Europe and purchase arms, and gave him a letter of credit to the amount of fifty thousand pounds sterling. Mr. Crowninshield sailed in the next steamer from New York for England.

On the day that orders were received to send forward troops, the Governor wrote the following letter:—

Boston, April 15, 1861.
To Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War.
Sir,—I have received telegrams from yourself and Brigadier-General Thomas, admonishing me of a coming requisition for twenty companies of sixty-four privates each; and I have caused orders to be distributed to bring the men into Boston before to-morrow night, and to await orders. Allow me to urge the issue of an order to the Springfield (Mass.) Armory, to double the production of arms at once, and to push the work to the utmost. If any aid by way of money or credit is needed from Massachusetts, I hope to be at once apprised. An extra session of our General Court can be called immediately, if need be; and, if called, it will respond to any demand of patriotism.

And I beg you would permit, in addition to suggesting the utmost activity at Springfield Armory, to urge that the armory at Harper's Ferry be discontinued, and its tools, machinery, and works be transferred elsewhere, or else that it be rigidly guarded against seizure, of the danger of which I have some premonitions. If any more troops will certainly be needed from Massachusetts, please signify it at once, since I should prefer receiving special volunteers for active militia to detail any more of our present active militia, especially as many most efficient gentlemen would like to raise companies or regiments, as the case may be, and can receive enlistments of men who are very ready to serve.

Allow me also to suggest that our forts in Boston Harbor are entirely unmanned. If authorized, I would put a regiment into the forts at any time. Two of my staff spent last Saturday in making experiments of the most satisfactory character, with Shenkle's new invention in projectiles; and so extraordinary was the firing, that I have directed eighteen guns to be rifled, and projectiles to be made. May I commend this invention to the examination of the United-States Government?

I am happy to add that I find the amplest proof of a warm devotion to the country's cause, on every hand to-day. Our people are alive. Yours,

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Francis B. Crowninshield (2)
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