George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant General John Burgoyne, 17 December 1777

To Lieutenant General John Burgoyne

Head Quarters [Gulph Mills, Pa.] 17th Decemr 1777


I was, a few days ago, honored with yours of the 25th Novemr. The packets for Sr William Howe and the letters for Gentlemen in his Army were immediately forwarded to Philada.1

As I did not conceive myself at liberty to answer either of your requests without first consulting Congress,2 I have transmitted a Copy of your letter to them and have desired their determination as speedily as possible. As soon as I know the result, I shall take the earliest opportunity of acquainting you with it.3 I have the honor to be Sir Yr most obt and hbb. Servt.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; copy, P.R.O.: Colonial Office, Misc. Manuscripts, John Burgoyne Letter Book; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. At the bottom of the draft Tilghman drafted GW’s letter to William Phillips of this date.

1GW enclosed Burgoyne’s letters in his letter to William Howe of 14 December.

2The copy in P.R.O. reads “did not consider” instead of “did not conceive.”

3GW enclosed a copy of Burgoyne’s letter to him of 25 Nov. in his letter to Henry Laurens of 14 December. On 17 Dec. Congress read it and decided not to consider altering the point of embarkation until Burgoyne petitioned it directly (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 , 9:1032). GW informed Burgoyne of Congress’s decision in a letter of 20 December.

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