George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 25 August 1775

To George Clinton

Camp at Cambridge Augt 25th 1775.

Dear Sir,

Mr White presented me with your favour of the 27th Ulto1—you may rely upon it, that any Civilities which may be in my power to shew this young Gentleman shall not be wanting—if an acquaintance of mine, for whom I have wrote to Virginia (knowing his promptitude to business) should not come, as there is reason to doubt,2 I propose to take Mr White into my Family as an Aid de Camp—the mode by which the Congress have left the ultimate appointment of Officers in this Army, confines all Offices (in its consequences at least) to the Governments in which the Regiments Originated; as, without the gift of Prophecy, I think it may be foretold, that no volunteers, not of those Governments to which the Regiments belong, will come in for a share; the propriety, & good policy of which, I leave you to judge of. I am with sincere esteem Dr Sir Yr most Obedt H: Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. I refer you to my Public Letters for the Occurrances of the Army &ca.

ALS, NN: Washington Collection. The cover is addressed in GW’s writing “To George Clinton Esqr. of New-York—now at Philadelphia. Favour’d by Mr Barrell.” Beneath the address an unidentified person wrote “now at New Windsor in New York.” William Barrell (d. 1776), formerly of Portsmouth, N.H., was at this time the Philadelphia agent for the Boston mercantile firm of Amory & Taylor. Barrell also carried GW’s letter of 29 Aug. to Richard Henry Lee and that of 30 Aug. to John Dickinson.

1GW apparently is referring to the letter from Clinton which is printed above under the date of 4 July 1775.

2In a letter of 28 Aug. 1775 to Lund Washington, which has not been found, GW apparently asked Lund to sound out Robert Hanson Harrison about becoming an aide-de-camp. The letter did not reach Mount Vernon until 3 or 4 Oct., and not until several days later was Lund able to see Harrison and obtain his consent (Lund Washington to GW, 5, 15 Oct. 1775). Harrison was appointed an aide-de-camp in General Orders, 6 Nov. 1775.

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