George Washington Papers

From George Washington to James Warren, 29 July 1775

To James Warren

Cambridge July 29th 1775.


I have this Instt received a Letter from Chelsea, of which the Inclosed is an extract1—as the Inhabitants are coming out in a different manner than proposed by your Assembly to the Select men of the Town of Boston, I have not delayed a moments time in giving you the earliest Information of it; and request that you may take the matter into consideration, & determine what is proper to be done on the occasion—If you think it prudent to receive them in this manner, query, whether it may not be proper to appoint some person to attend the movement.2 I am in haste, & with great respect Sir Yr Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, (photocopy), DNA: RG 93, Photographic Copies of State Records, c.1775–83; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The enclosed extract was apparently from Loammi Baldwin’s letter to GW of this date. See also Baldwin to GW, 31 July 1775, n.2.

2James Warren received this letter on the evening of 29 July. The next morning those members of the Massachusetts house of representatives who could be assembled (about fifty in number) met in an unusual Sunday session and decided that a joint committee of house and council members should go immediately to Chelsea “to inspect the State and Characters of such Inhabitants of Boston, as have, or may arrive there from thence; and that the said Committee be impowered and Ordered, to do and direct every Thing that they shall find absolutely necessary, for the Safety of the Country, and the immediate Relief of any helpless and indigent Persons.” The council approved the same resolution that day. On 31 July the members of the committee reported to both houses that “on their Way to, and at Chelsea, [they] found sundry of the Inhabitants of Boston, who had been allowed to remove, and by them were informed, that the Small Pox had not lately prevailed in that Town, and that General Gage had directed that the Alms-House Poor should be sent to Salem, but finding that no Inhabitants were permitted to come out on the Day that they were there, and that from General Gage’s past Failure in the Performance of his solemn Agreements with that Town, it was very uncertain whether others might come out agreeable to the just Expectations of the People; they impowered and directed the Selectmen and Committee of Correspondence of the Town of Chelsea . . . to make strict Enquiry into the State and Circumstances of all Persons who should arrive there from Boston, and take of and provide for the Indigent, and guard and secure the Country against the Small Pox” (Mass. House of Rep. Journal description begins A Journal of the Honorable House of Representatives of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England. Watertown, Mass., 1775. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , July–Nov. 1775 sess., 25–26; “Records of the Great & General Court or Assembly for the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England begun and held at Watertown in the County of Middlesex, on Wednesday the twenty sixth day of July 1775,” 17–18, 20–22 [hereafter referred to as “Mass. Council Journal,” July 1775–Feb. 1776 sess.], Microfilm Collection of Early State Records).

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