George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Pennsylvania Delegates, 6 July 1775

From the Pennsylvania Delegates

Philadelphia 6th July 1775


We inclose a Resolution of our Assembly authorising us to recommend proper Officers for the Battalion of Rifflemen to be raised in this Province, and a Letter from the Committee of York County, where a Company of an hundred Men has been raised.1

We therefore beg Leave to recommend Mr Michael Dowdle for Captain; Mr Henry Miller for first Lieutenant; Mr John Dill for second Lieutenant; and Mr John Matson for third Lieutenant of that Company.2 We are, with the greatest Esteem, Sir Your most obedient Servants

John Dickinson

Geo: Ross

Cha. Humphreys

James Wilson

LS, in James Wilson’s writing, NN. Each delegate signed his own name.

John Dickinson (1732–1808) of Philadelphia, George Ross (1730–1779) of Lancaster, and Charles Humphreys (1712–1786) of Haverford served in both the First and Second Continental Congresses. James Wilson (1742–1798) of Carlisle was elected to the Second Continental Congress on 6 May 1775.

1Having authorized the raising of six companies of Pennsylvania riflemen on 14 June, Congress on 22 June approved two more Pennsylvania rifle companies and instructed the colony’s assembly to recommend officers for all eight companies (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 2:89–90, 104). The Pennsylvania assembly took up the matter on 24 June and resolved that the colony’s delegates to the Continental Congress should serve as a committee to make the recommendations. A copy of the assembly’s resolution is in DLC:GW. The Pennsylvania delegates relied on suggestions from the committees of correspondence in the counties where the riflemen were raised. The York County committee informed the delegates on 1 July that its company was ready to march and recommended the four officers named here. “They are men whose courage we have the highest opinion of,” wrote the committee. “We hope no alteration will be made in the officers. The Capt. has behaved very well on this occasion, and has done all in his power by advancing money &c. to forward the important common cause. Mr Miller is known to some of you gentlemen; the other officers are men of worth and property. They have all wives and families and are entitled to the warmest thanks of their country” (Sprague transcript, DLC:GW). The York County company departed for Cambridge on 1 July and arrived on 25 July.

2Michael Doudel (Doudle, Dowdle) resigned his commission because of poor health on 13 Aug. 1775 and was replaced as captain of the York County rifle company by Henry Miller (1751–1824). Miller became a lieutenant colonel in the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment before he left the army in December 1778. The name of the third lieutenant in the York rifle company is given as James Matson in “Roll of Captain Michael Doudel’s Company,” Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 2d ser., 10:20–23.

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