UNLIKE the Revolution, the colonial wars brought little bloodshed to New Jersey soil; nevertheless they did interrupt the course of economic and political life in the province, and occasioned considerable military activity. Three times during Read's career New Jerseymen were called upon to join in protecting the American colonies against England's enemies and their Indian allies. Each time he was involved in an official way.
The time of his coming to New Jersey coincided with the outbreak of hostilities with Spain in the third inter-colonial war in 1739. New Jersey was asked to contribute troops and funds toward a proposed naval attack on the Spanish West Indies. Read was recommended by the council for a commission as major, and in the spring of 1740, by proclamation of Governor Morris, he was appointed to enlist the militia in Burlington County.1 It is doubtful that he actually joined the expedition which, when it finally started in the fall, was doomed to failure.
When four years later war was declared against France, Governor Morris summoned the assembly to make provision for attack against the French and the Indians; but little was accomplished. Notwithstanding considerable activity across the river at Philadelphia, where privateers were being built and fitted out to press the conflict at sea, it was difficult to engender in a Quaker-dominated assembly any enthusiasm for a war on distant territory which New Jersey had no part in starting. Upon the death of Governor Morris in 1746, Acting Governor Hamilton summoned the assembly to consider aid for an overland invasion of Canada then being planned. This time the assembly acted; it voted £10,000 in bills of credit to finance the raising of five companies of 100____________________