George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 9 October 1776

From John Hancock

Philada Octr 9th 1776.


The enclosed Resolves, which I do myself the Honour to forward, will inform you of the ample Provision the Congress have made for the Support of both Officer and Soldier who shall enter into the Service during the War. The Pay of the former is considerably increased, and the latter is to receive annually a compleat Suit of Cloaths, or in Lieu thereof, the Sum of twenty Dollars, should he provide the Suit for himself.1 This additional Encouragement, besides the twenty Dollars Bounty and fifty Acres of Land formerly granted, the Congress expect, will be the Means, (if any Thing can) of engaging the Troops during the War.

The Importance, and indeed the absolute Necessity of filling up the Army, of providing for the Troops, and engaging them during the War, having induced Congress to come to the enclosed Resolves, in Obedience to their Commands, I am preparing to forward them with all possible Expedition to the several States.2

Your Letters to the 5th of October have been duely received and laid before Congress. I shall immediately transmit all such Resolves which may hereafter be passed, and Ways relative to your Department, or necessary for your Information. I have the Honour to be, with every Sentiment of Respect, & Esteem Sir, your most obed. & very hble Servt

John Hancock Presidt

The several Resolves go to the States this day by Express.

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA: RG 12A. The postscript of the LS is in Hancock’s writing.

1Although the enclosed copy of these resolutions of 7 and 8 Oct. has not been identified, they are in 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 , 5:853–56. The new monthly pay rates for officers were: “a colonel, 75 dollars; lieutenant colonel, 60; major, 50; captain, 40; lieutenant, 27; ensign, 20; quarter master, 27½; adjutant, 40 dollars.” Each soldier’s “suit of cloaths” was to consist “of two linen hunting shirts, two pair of overalls, a leathern or woollen waistcoat with sleeves, one pair of breeches, a hat or leathern cap, two shirts, two pair of hose, and two pair of shoes.” Congress on 8 Oct. also recommended to the states that had regiments in Continental service “at New York, Ticonderoga, or New Jersey, that they forthwith appoint committees to proceed to those places, with full powers to appoint all the officers of the regiments to be raised by their states under the new establishment, that such officers may proceed immediately to inlist such men as are now in the service, and incline to re-inlist during the war, and that such committees be instructed to advise with the general officers, and promote such officers as have distinguished themselves for their abilities, activity, and vigilance in the service, and especially for their attention to military discipline.”

2See Hancock to Certain States, this date, in Smith, Letters to Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 5:324–25.

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