George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 20 April 1776

From John Hancock

Philadelphia April 20th 1776


Your several Letters of the 24th and 27th of March, the 1t 4th and 15th Inst. I had the Honour of receiving in the Order of their Dates, by the last of which, I learn with Pleasure, that you had safely arrived at New York. The Dispositions you made to expedite the Embarkation of the Troops, were highly proper and judicious.

Too much Dispatch cannot be used in sending the Battalions to Quebec; as it frequently happens in conducting such important affairs, that a Week, a Day, even an Hour, proves decisive, and the greatest Advantages are thereby either gained or lossed for Ever.

The Resolutions of Congress as far as they relate to yourself, or those Parts of your Letters that have hitherto come under their Consideration, I do myself the Honour to transmit herewith1 and am, Sir with every Sentiment of Esteem & Regard your most obed. and very hble Servt

John Hancock Presidt

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 12A.

1The enclosed resolutions of 16 and 19 April concerned the disposition of the cannon and military stores that Esek Hopkins captured at New Providence, James Warren’s resignation as paymaster general, and Charles Lee’s request for an artillery company to be sent to the southern department. Congress resolved on 16 April that such of the captured cannon and stores as were not needed for Hopkins’s fleet should be left at New London and used to defend that harbor. In response to GW’s letter of 15 April, however, Congress authorized GW on 19 April to order cannon and stores to be moved from New London “to any other place he may think proper, having regard only to the permission of Congress relative to the defence of the harbour of New London” (DLC:GW; see also 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 , 4:289, 295–96). For an account of GW’s efforts to obtain the cannon, see GW to Hopkins, 14 April 1776, n.2. For Warren’s resignation, see Hancock’s second letter to GW of this date, and for Lee’s request for artillery, see GW to Hancock, 22 April 1776.

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