George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the New York Committee of Safety, 29 April 1776

To the New York Committee of Safety

New York 29th April 1776.


Sometime before I left Cambridge I received an Order of Congress to apply to the Assemblies, or Conventions of the four New England Colonies for Arms to Supply the deficiency of their respective Regiments; and if not to be had, to discharge the Men that wanted them1—When I came to this place, & was informed by Colo. Ritzema of the want of this Article for his Regiment, and the other Troops of this Colony, it became my duty to make this want known to Congress, at the sametime giving it as my opinion, that as we found it no easy matter to recruit Men with the Expedition they were required, it might be disserviceable to discharge any of the York Troops as some lucky hit might throw Arms into our hands—In consequence of which I receiv’d by Post the Inclosed Resolution, which without delay I lay before your Humble Body2 and am Gentn Yr most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS (facsimile), in Sotheby Parke Bernet catalog 5031, 26 April 1983; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The committee of safety read this letter and the enclosed resolution later on this date (N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:426).

2GW enclosed the Continental Congress’s resolution of 26 April directing him not to disband any troops for lack of arms and to apply to the New York provincial congress and committee of safety for arms seized from Loyalists and any other arms available (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 , 4:312; see also GW to Hancock, 22 April, n.1, and Hancock to GW, 27 April 1776, n.2). The committee of safety had previously addressed these matters in its letter to GW of 25 April.

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