George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Massachusetts General Court, 7 December 1775

From the Massachusetts General Court

Watertown [Mass.] Decemr 7th 1775


We inclose to your Excellency an attested Copy of the Resolve, passed by the General Court, on the first instant, upon the Subject matter of which Resolve, a Committee of both houses had yesterday the honor of a Conference with your Excellency.1 We are clearly of opinion, that the words of the Resolve will not admit of such a construction as was suggested to your Excelly by Genl Heath, but that they plainly put the Officers & Soldiers of the Militia, now to be raised, upon the same footing in all respects, as the rest of the American Army, under your Excellency’s command, and that they were so intended by the Court.2 We could have wished, that Genl Heath had defer’d giving the information he did, to your Excelly, unless he had been possess’d of fuller evidence, than he appears to have had. We trust this account of the matter will be fully satisfactory to your Excelly, and prevent any difficulties from arising upon this head. In the Name, & by order of, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay

W. Sever


1The enclosure is a printed copy of the General Court’s resolution of 1 Dec. providing for a reinforcement of 3,089 militiamen to serve with the army from 10 Dec. 1775 to 15 Jan. 1776. The enclosure also includes a listing of each town’s quota of militiamen to be furnished and the enlistment form for these reinforcements (DLC:GW).

2“Each Officer and Soldier,” the General Court resolved, “shall be allowed for his Service respectively, the same Sums per Month, as are allowed to such Officers and Soldier in the Army” (ibid.). For Gen. William Heath’s information on this matter, see GW to James Otis, Sr., 6 Dec. 1775.

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