George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 9 April 1777

From John Hancock

Philada April 9th 1777.


Yesterday Evening the Congress compleated the Business of the Medical Department, and on so large and liberal an Establishment that we may rationally expect the most beneficial Effects will flow from it. Every Encouragement is given to Gentlemen of Skill and Reputation in that Art to enter into our Army, and a Variety of Regulations adopted to carry the Plan more effectually into Execution. As I have the Honour of enclosing the Resolves on this Subject, I beg Leave to refer your Attention to them.1

It is with particular Pleasure I transmit the Resolution of Congress directing Monuments to be erected to the Memory of Major General Warren, and Brigadier General Mercer.2 Every Mark of Distinction shewn to those illustrious Men who offer up their Lives for the Liberty and Happiness of Mankind, reflects the highest Honour upon those who pay the Tribute, and by holding up to others the Prospects of Fame and Immortality, will animate them to tread in the same Path. I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect & Esteem, Sir, your most obed. & very hble Servt

John Hancock Prest

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 12A.

In addition to the resolutions of 7 and 8 April that are mentioned in this letter, Hancock enclosed several resolutions of this date, which concern measures for the defense of Philadelphia and the frontier, the manufacture and sale of military stores, the sending of deputy paymasters to detached parts of the army, the settlement of accounts, and various military appointments (see copy in DLC:GW; see also 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 , 7:246–49).

1The enclosed handwritten copy of these resolutions of 7 and 8 April is in DLC:GW (see also ibid., 231–37, 244–45). Congress on 8 April ordered the publication of the hospital regulations (see ibid., 246), and John Dunlap of Philadelphia subsequently printed a two-page broadside containing the resolutions of 7 and 8 April and a resolution of 12 April regarding the medical department. One of those broadsides is in DLC:GW (see also Richard Peters to GW, 29 April).

2This resolution of 8 April is in DLC:GW (see also ibid., 242–43). The monument to Joseph Warren was ordered to be erected in Boston, and the monument to Hugh Mercer was ordered to be built in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Congress also resolved to educate Warren’s oldest son and Mercer’s youngest son “from this time at the Expence of the United States” (DLC:GW).

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