George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Baron de Woedtke, 23 March 1776

From Baron de Woedtke

Philada March 23d 1776


The many marks of esteem and distinction with which your Excellency honoured me when I was at Cambridge, and the kind recommendation you favoured me with requires the most respectfull and lively gratitude.

I now have the honour to inform your Excellency that the Honourable the Congress have appointed me to the rank of a brigadier General, and that my destination is for Canada, where I shall repair immediately, and I pray your Excellency, to continue me the honour of your Protection.1 I am very Respectfully sir Your most humble & obedient servant

Baron de Woedtke

LS, PHi: Gratz Collection; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW. Below the signature in the LS there is a note reading “Good for nothing. J.A.,” which appears to be in John Adams’s writing. The circumstances under which this note was added to the manuscript are not known, but it must have been written at least several months after the date of this letter for most Americans did not become aware of the serious faults in Woedtke’s character until the following summer.

1John Adams moved in Congress on 15 Mar. that Woedtke be made a brigadier general and sent to New York (Richard Smith’s Diary, 15 Mar. 1776, in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 3:384–85). Congress approved the appointment the following day and ordered Woedtke to go to Canada (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 , 4:209–10). See also GW to Nicholas Cooke, 23 Feb. 1776, and note 1.

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