George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 3 June 1776

To John Hancock

Philadelphia June 3d 1776


I have perused the petition preferred by the Independant Corps of Boston and beg leave thro you to Inform Congress, that the Five Regiments there are extremely deficient in Arms, as are many Other Regiments in Continenta⟨l⟩ pay, and Submit It to their consideration whethe⟨r⟩ any part of the Arms lately taken, under these circumstances shou’d be delivered to the Gentlemen applying for them,1 determening at the same time that whatever decisio⟨n⟩ they come too will be agreable to me and be litterally complied with by. Sir Your Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; LB, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; copy, DLC: Hancock Papers; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1“The Gentlemen of the Town,” Benjamin Hichborn wrote to John Adams from Boston on 20 May, “are about forming themselves into an independent Corps, and as the Inhabitants encrease, I dare say we shall put ourselves under the best military Regulations” (Taylor, Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977—. description ends , 4:202–4). The petition from this corps, which was sent to Adams either with Hichborn’s letter or separately about the same date, has not been found, but it apparently asked that some of the 1,000 carbines that had been captured on the British transport Hope be appropriated for the use of the corps. Adams replied to Hichborn on 29 May that “the Petition from the independent Corps, in Boston gave me, great Pleasure and is much to their Honour. I did my Endeavour to get the Prayer granted, but it is at last left to the General” (ibid., 216–19). Congress did not alter its resolution of 25 May that put at GW’s disposal the arms, ammunition, and military stores captured by armed vessels in Continental service, and GW eventually ordered all of the carbines from the Hope sent to New York (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 , 4:393; see GW to Ward, 28 May, 26 June, and Ward to GW, 9 June, 4 July 1776).

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