George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel David Forman, 10 January 1777

To Colonel David Forman

Head Quarters Morris Town 10th Jany 1777.


From my observation of your Behaviour and Attention to your Business during the last Campaign, I am induced to make you an offer of the Sixteen Battalions which the Congress have empowered me to raise and officer. If you accept of my offer, I shall leave the recommendation of the Feild and subaltern Officers in a great Measure to yourself, trusting to your recommending none but Gentlemen of known Abilities and Spirit.1 I dont know in what part of the Country you will recruit, but that you may lose no time, I enclose you such Instructions as I think it necessary for you to follow.2 As Philada will be the place where all Recruits must be armed and accoutered I should think a Feild Officer and such others as can be spared from the recruiting Service should be stationed there to receive them and send them into service with the utmost Expedition—Let me hear from you at any Rate upon the Rect of this. I am Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NjMoHP. The cover contains notations written at a later date that pertain to the New Jersey Society of Cinncinati, of which Forman was an original member.

1GW wrote Forman on 11 Jan. that “if you Incline to accept the offer I made you the other day of raising a Regiment upon the Continental Establishment I wish it may be agreeable to you to appoint [Thomas] Henderson or Brailey [David Brearley] your Lieutt Colo. if they, or either of them Incline to serve again—and Majr [Ebenezer] Howell (of whom I have heard a very good Character) your Major Let me hear from you as soon as possible” (ALS, NjR: Neilson Family Papers). GW addressed the cover of that letter: “To Colo. David Foreman,” and an unidentified person added “at Ezekiel Forman Esqrs. In New town on Chester River Maryland Who is Requested to Open this Letter if Coln. David is not there, And forwd this to him Immediately.” Thomas Henderson accepted a commission as lieutenant colonel, and William Harrison was appointed major on 1 May.

2The enclosed instructions have not been identified.

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