George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 25 April 1777

From John Hancock

Philada April 25th 1777.


You will percieve, from the Resolves which I have now the Honour of transmitting, the Measures the Congress have come into on a Variety of Subjects.1 I beg Leave to refer your Attention to them.

Altho Congress have recommended to the executive Authority of this State to call out three Thousand of the Militia, and to order the City Militia to hold themselves in Readiness at a Moments Warning, yet such is the Weakness of the Government, that every Means should be used to give Efficacy to this Requisition.2 They have therefore determined to detain Genl Mifflin in this City for some Time knowing his Popularity and Influence to be very great, provided you should be of Opinion the Service will admit of his Absence from the Army. I have the Honour to be with the utmost Respect & Esteem, Sir, your most obed. & very hble Servt

John Hancock Presidt

Your Letters of 21 & 23 have been duly Rec’d.

As I propose in a few days to Send my Family off for Boston, I Take the freedom to Request that you will be so Obliging as to give me your Opinion which Rout would be the safest for them to Take; & what part of the North River you Judge best for them to Cross at. I am Your most Obedt

John Hancock

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 12A. The postscripts to the LS are in Hancock’s writing. Only the first postscript is included on the letter-book copy. The letter-book copy contains some draft changes.

1The enclosed resolutions of 22 and 24 April concern the forwarding of reinforcements to GW’s army from Bristol, Pa., the furnishing of bills of exchange for the support of American prisoners of war, regulations for sending sick and wounded men to military hospitals, a request that William Franklin be confined closely in Connecticut, and a recommendation that part of the Pennsylvania militia be called out (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 , 7:289–91, 296).

2In its resolution on this subject of 24 April, Congress recommends that one-half of the three thousand militiamen “rendezvous at Chester on the Delaware and the other half at Bristol,” and it requests the Pennsylvania executive authority to “take measures to furnish the said troops with a proper train of Artillery” (DLC:GW; see also ibid., 296).

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