George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 1 July 1776

From John Hancock

Philada 1 July 1776


I wrote you by the Express on Saturday last, since which nothing has Occurr’d worthy your Notice1—The sole Reason of Troubling you with this is to Acquaint you that in Consequence of your orders to Capt. Peters he proceeded with Major Rogers to this City, & Call’d on me Saturday last, & in the Evening of that day I Reliev’d him of his Charge, & put Major Rogers under Guard at the Barracks, where he now Remains;2 the Congress having by a particular Appointmt had under Consideration a momentous matter this day, which prevented their Attention to Major Rogers—My next will Inform you I hope of some very decisive Measures.3

Being much Engag’d can only Add my best wishes for your Health & Success, with Respects to your worthy Lady, I am Sir Your very hum. st

John Hancock Pt

In justice to Capt. Peters I must Say he has Conducted exceeding well.


2Nathan Peters (1747–1824) of Preston, Conn., a captain in the 3d Continental Regiment, was ordered by Joseph Reed on 27 June to escort Robert Rogers to Philadelphia “taking all due Care of him” (Guthman, Peters Correspondence description begins William H. Guthman, ed. The Correspondence of Captain Nathan and Lois Peters, April 25, 1775–February 5, 1777. Hartford, 1980. description ends , 39). Entrusted with GW’s second letter to Hancock of 27 June, Peters traveled with Rogers from New York to Philadelphia by public coach and returned to New York on 4 July (see Nathan Peters to Lois Crary Peters, 9 July, ibid.). Peters had been on active military duty since April 1775 when he marched to Roxbury with a party of minutemen from Preston in answer to the Lexington alarm. A native of Medfield, Mass., Peters in early May 1775 obtained a commission as a captain in Col. Timothy Danielson’s Massachusetts regiment, and on 1 Jan. 1776 he became a captain in Col. Ebenezer Learned’s 3d Continental Regiment. Peters left the Continental army in February 1777 and served the rest of the war as a major in the Connecticut militia, participating in the Rhode Island campaign of 1778 and by tradition playing a prominent role in the recapture of Fort Griswold at New London in 1781 (ibid., 3–6).

3Congress was considering the Declaration of Independence. See Hancock to GW, 6 July.

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