George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Massachusetts General Court, 16 May 1776

To the Massachusetts General Court

New York May 16. 1776.


The Honourable Continental Congress having come to sundry resolutions respecting the Cannon & Stores in & about Boston, and the mode to be observed for paying the Militias lately called in for the defence of the Lines before Boston, I do myself the honor to Transmit you Copies thereof, lest they may not have come to hand.1 I wou’d Observe that I think It will be of advantage to you to make your Arrangements out of the Cannon originally belonging to the Colony and those presented It by Congress, and not to count on those brought from Ticonderoga & which are left, tho Congress are willing to lend them—For It is more than probable that they may be wanted elsewhere and If they shou’d, It will derange your order and lay you under the necessity of providing Others and Carriages at a time that may be inconvenient and when they may be most usefull. I am Gentn with great respect and esteem Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, M-Ar: Revolution Letters; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Congress resolved on 4 May to return to Massachusetts and New Hampshire the cannon and other stores at Boston that those two colonies had provided the Continental army and to give Massachusetts all of the cannon left in the colony by the British army. Three days later Congress further agreed “that such of the iron cannon, as were brought from Ticonderoga to Boston, and have not been removed by General Washington, be lent for the defence of the town and harbour of Boston, to remain there during the pleasure of Congress” (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 , 4:327, 334). For the resolution regarding the paying the militia, see GW to Hancock, 4 April 1776, n.8. GW wrote a similar letter to the New Hampshire committee of safety on this date enclosing copies of these same resolutions (DLC:GW).

Index Entries