George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Continental Congress Executive Committee, 26 February 1777

From the Continental Congress Executive Committee

Philada Feby 26th 1777


We have this Night received from Congress the dispatches sent herewith,1 by these you will see the promotions that have taken place and that no deputation of Members of Congress are to meet Genl Lee, who I suppose will be much disapointed but surely he shou’d have pointed out more clearly the design of his request, as the consequences of complyance or even of the refusal may be important. It wou’d appear from what we have lately heard that Genl Howe intends sending him to England which we shall be sorry for, as such a measure may possibly involve in its consequences more destruction than either side really wish for. We have recommended to Congress either to remain where they are, or if they do remove to let it be to Lancaster which we think wou’d be much more convenient than Baltimore,2 the public business meets great obstructions from their distance and the difficulties of getting dispatches backwards & forwards, they are exceedingly retarded by bad roads & the frequent stoppage at Susquehannah Ferry & in our oppinion when they did move they should have gone to Lancaster, if they remove again before Genl Howes designs are clearly evinced or frustrated, it shou’d be there. We Issued orders last Week to have all the public Stores in readiness to remove from this place and are now urgeing to every department the propriety of carrying those orders into execution not only so far as relates to their being in readiness but as to the actual removing of them which we shall insist on in complyance with Your repeated requisitions on this head.3 We are Your Excellencys Most Obedt hble servts

Robt Morris

Geo. Clymer

LS, in Robert Morris’s writing, DLC:GW.

1The executive committee enclosed Hancock’s letter to GW of 23 Feb. 1777 and its enclosures.

2The executive committee recommended this course of action in a letter to Hancock of 22 Feb. (see Hancock to GW, 25 Feb., and note 4).

3“In consequence of a recommendation from his Excellency [GW],” the executive committee wrote Thomas Mifflin on 22 Feb., “we have Issued orders to John Nixon, Francis Hopkinson & John Wharton Esqr. Board of Assistants to the Marine Committee Carpenter Wharton Esqr. Commissary of Provisions, Benjamin Flower esqr. Commissary of Military Stores James Mease esqr. Cloathier General & John Maxwell Nesbitt Esqr. Continental Agent to hold all publick monies goods and Stores under their care and custody respectively in readiness to be removed on the shortest notice with assurance that you would supply them with waggons and every assistance from your department” (DNA:PCC, item 133; see also 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 , 6:343–44). For the orders of that same date that were sent to Flower and to the navy board (Nixon, Hopkinson, and Wharton), see ibid., 342, and Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 7:1261.

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