From Henry Laurens
York [Pa.] 2th Novemr 1777
The last I had the honour of writing to you was dated the 19th. Your Excellency’s Letter of the 17th in which was inclosed Copy of a paper from Mr Zantzinger & a Return of deficiencies in Clothing for the Army came Since to hand & have been presented to Congress—& by their order Committed to the Board of War & Treasury from whence no Reports have yet come up, I am thereby left without Instruction for making the necessary reply.1
My present business is to forward to Your Excellency under this Cover an Act of Congress of the 20th Inst. for appointing Commissioners for Indian affairs in the Western Frontier, & for divers other matters the last of which is a request that Your Excellency will Send Colo. William Crawford to pittsburgh to receive Orders from General Hand.2 I have the honour to be with every respectful Sentiment &ca.
LB, DNA:PCC, item 13; ADfS, ScHi: Henry Laurens Papers. Although the LB is dated “28th Novemr 1777,” its placement in the letter book is with the letters for 22 Nov., and the ADfS is dated 22 November. The context of the letter also suggests that it was written on 22 November. Laurens says in his letter to GW of 26 Nov. that William Jones carried the original letter to GW.
1. Paul Zantzinger’s letter and the relevant portion of GW’s letter to Laurens were referred to the Board of Treasury on 21 November. GW’s entire letter of 17–18 Nov. and its enclosures were forwarded to the Board of War on the same day (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 , 9:946).
2. The Continental Congress on 20 Nov. resumed its consideration of a committee report concerning “an inroad [that] has been made on the western frontiers of Virginia and Pensylvania, by some savage tribes of Indians, wherein a number of helpless people have been cruelly massacred, and the peaceable inhabitants driven from their homes and reduced to great distress.” The committee concluded that, among other things, “three commissioners be appointed to repair, without delay, to Fort Pitt” and that “they be empowered and directed, for effectually checking the progress of the enemy, to concert with Brigadier General [Edward] Hand a plan of carrying the war into the enemy’s country.” After agreeing to the committee’s recommendations, Congress resolved to request GW to “send Colonel William Crawford to Pittsburg, to take command, under Brigadier General Hand, of the continental troops and militia in the western department” (see 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 , 9:942–44).