The Massachusetts Delegates to George Washington
Phyladelphia June 22. 1775
In Complyance with your Request We have considered of what you proposed to us, and are obliged to give you our Sentiments, very briefly, and in great Haste.
In general, Sir, there will be three Committees, either of a Congress, or of an House of Representatives, which are and will be composed of our best Men; Such, whose Judgment and Integrity, may be most rely’d on; the Committee on the State of the Province, the Committee of Safety, and the Committee of Supplies.
But least this Should be too general, We beg leave to mention particularly Messrs Bowdoin, Sever, Dexter, Greenleaf, Darby, Pitts, Otis of the late Council, Hon. John Winthrop Esq. L.L.D., Joseph Hawley Esqr. of Northampton, James Warren Esqr. of Plymouth, Coll. Palmer of Braintree, Coll. Orne and Elbridge Gerry Esqr. of Marblehead, Dr. Warren, Dr. Church, Mr. John Pitts all of Boston, Dr. Langdon President of Harvard Colledge, and Dr. Chauncey and Dr. Cooper of Boston. Coll. Forster of Brookfield.1
The Advice and Recommendations of these Gentlemen, and of Some others whom they may introduce to your Acquaintance may be depended on.
With great Sincerity, We wish you, an agreable Journey and a glorious Campaign; and are with much Esteem and Respect, Sir, your most obedient Servants.
Robt. Treat Paine
RC in JA’s hand (DLC:Washington Papers); addressed in John Hancock’s hand: “To the Honble George Washington Esqr. General and Commander in Chief of all the Forces of the United Colonies per John Hancock”; docketed: “[. . .] Ju. 22. 1775.”
1. Benjamin Greenleaf (1732–1799) of Newburyport, was a member of the Council from 1770 to 1774; John Pitts (1737–1815), a Boston selectman beginning in 1773, was active in the Sons of Liberty and a member of the Second and Third Provincial Congresses; Rev. Samuel Langdon (1723–1797), a strong whig, became president of Harvard College by 1774 and a chaplain to the army in Cambridge, soon thereafter serving as chaplain to the Continental Army until it moved south in 1776; Col. Jedediah Foster (1726–1779) was very active in the local affairs of Brookfield, had long service in the House of Representatives, and was rejected for the Council by Gage in 1774 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates description begins John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge and Boston, 1873– description ends , 13:86–90;14:197–201; 10:508–526; 11:395–398).
Richard Derby Jr. (1712–1783), a Salem merchant and shipowner, saw service in the House of Representatives before 1774 and as a delegate to the Third Provincial Congress; Col. Azor Orne (1731–1796), Marblehead merchant, attended all three Provincial Congresses (Wroth and others, eds., Province in Rebellion description begins L. Kinvin Wroth, George H. Nash III, and Joel Meyerson, eds., Province in Rebellion, Cambridge, 1975. description ends , p. 2847, 2884–2885).