From the Continental Congress Executive Committee
Philada Feby 21st 1777
We have just rec’d the inclosed resolves from Congress which the President desires us to send forward to you,1 & we have the pleasure to inform you they are to adjourn next Tuesday from Baltimore to Philadelphia where we hope they may long remain undisturbed, so that the Public business may meet that dispatch which is now become so essentially necessary.
Your Excellency will find herein a letter from the Navy Board requesting the assistance of fifteen or Twenty Rope Makers,2 they are exceedingly wanted as we have plenty of Hemp which shou’d be Worked up with all possible expedition and We think you will greatly promote the public Service by directing a Search through the Army for these Men or as many of them as can be got, sending them down & they shall be rewarded to their satisfaction for the service’s they perform and may afterwards return to their Duty in Camp if it be their duty to return. With the greatest respect & esteem we remain Your Excellencys Most Obedt hble Servants
LS, in Robert Morris’s writing, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 133.
1. The executive committee enclosed Congress’s resolution of 18 Feb. 1777 directing GW to inquire “into the military abilities and conduct of the French gentlemen in the army, and how far they can be usefully employed in the service of these States, and to dismiss such of them as he shall find unworthy of commissions, or unable to render service in the military line” (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 , 7:131). The executive committee also enclosed two other resolutions of Congress of the same date resolving to appoint additional major generals for the Continental army (see ibid., 132). For the letter transmitting these resolutions to the executive committee, see Hancock to Robert Morris, 23 Feb. in Smith, Letters of 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 , 6:350–51.
2. This letter has not been identified. The navy board for Philadelphia (the middle district) consisted of John Nixon, Francis Hopkinson, and John Wharton.