George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Peters, 11 May 1777

From Richard Peters

War Office [Philadelphia] May 11th 1777


By Order of the Board I have the Honour of enclosing the Resolution of Congress herewith sent.1 I have written to Governor Livingstone & General Putnam & as soon as their Answers are recieved they will be communicated to your Excellency.

Congress are desirous to be informed what Number of Men are now under your Excellency’s Command in New Jersey as nearly as Certainty can be arrived at in the present Situation of the Army, in Order that a Judgment may be formed of the Propriety of hastning on or disbanding the Pennsilvania & Delaware Militia now embodying agreeable to the Request of Congress who would be glad of your Excellency’s Opinion on the Subject & that you would inform them whether the disbanding the Militia would be safe & proper or would in anywise interfere with any Plan your Excellency has formed. From the distracted State of Pennsilvania there is no certain Prospect of their Quota speedily taking the Field & no Accounts have been recieved of those of the Delaware State being ready. Steps however are persuing in both States to comply with the Recommendation of Congress & Part of the Men are assembled.

The Secretary of Congress mistook the State wherein Springfield is situate, it being in the Massachussetts & not the Connecticut State. I copied the Error in my Letter to your Excellency of the 7th inst. informing you of the military Stores being ordered thither from Portsmouth Boston & Providence. I have the Honour to be Your very obedient & most hble Servt

Richard Peters Secy

ALS, DLC:GW. In addition to the copy of the resolution mentioned in the text (see note 1), Peters apparently enclosed with this letter copies of various papers relating to the cargo and French officers aboard the recently arrived French ship Amphitrite (see GW to Peters, 12 May, n.5).

1Peters apparently enclosed a copy of Congress’s resolution of 10 May directing “that the Board of War take steps to enquire into the conduct of Captain [Thomas] Gamble, a prisoner at Princeton, and particularly of Dr. [Wynne] Stapleton, who has been permitted to attend Captain [John] M’Pherson, a prisoner of the 17th British regiment, at the same place: That they write to Governor Livingston relating to the conduct of the said Dr. Stapleton, and transmit to General Washington the result of their enquiries, and desire him to give such order, respecting the said doctor, as may be consistent with the laws of nations and the public weal; and that they give orders for the immediate removal of the said officers and doctor from Princeton and the line of communication” (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 , 7:344–45; see also GW to Peters, 12 May, and William Livingston to John Witherspoon, 29 May, Livingston Papers, 1:344).

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