George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 6 September 1777

From John Hancock

Philada Septr 6th 1777.


You will perceive from the enclosed Resolves, that Congress, desirous of reinforcing the Army at this critical Period, have recommended to the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to order out immediately a considerable Part of their Militia; and I have no Doubt of their Compliance.1

I have wrote to Govr Livingston on the Subject, and informed him that should he think proper to appoint Genl Dickinson to the Command of the three Thousand requested from that State, it will be extremely agreeable to Congress.2 That Gentleman has, I understand, signified his Readiness to act whenever called upon; and as he posesses the Confidence of the Militia, and has Talents equal to the Task, I am persuaded the Appointment will give general Satisfaction.

Your Favour of the 3d Inst., and likewise of yesterday by the Hands of Genl St Clair I have been duely honoured with. The latter I shall lay before Congress this Morning. I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obed. & very hble Servt

John Hancock Presidt

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

1In the enclosed resolutions of 4 Sept., Congress recommends that the Pennsylvania executive council “give Orders that all the militia of their State hold themselves in readiness to march at a moment’s warning” and that it “call out five Thousand militia from the city and county of Philadelphia and the counties most adjacent,” and the governor of New Jersey is advised to order 3,000 of his state’s militia to assemble at Bristol, Pa., “with as much despatch as possible” in order to reinforce GW’s army. The enclosure also includes Congress’s resolution of 4 Sept. referring to GW a request of two officers in Ottendorf’s corps for permission to resign their commissions and a record of its decision on that date not to name a commander of the horse (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 , 8:710–11). Hancock may have enclosed with this letter the printed broadside of Congress’s resolution of 6 Sept. concerning clothing for the northern army that is in DLC:GW (see also ibid., 715–18).

2See Hancock to William Livingston, 5 Sept., 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 , 7:605–6.

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