George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jeremiah Dummer Powell, 31 July 1778

To Jeremiah Dummer Powell

Head Quarters White plains 31st July 1778


About Nine hundred of the Nine Months Men1 from the State of Massachusets have joined the Army, and have been attatched to Nixon’s, Pattersons, and late Learneds Brigades. As Glovers has yet had no proportion, I desire that three hundred of those yet to come on, may be ordered to stop at Providence and join that Brigade, which will make it equal to the others.

It is my intention to proportion all these Recruits among the Brigades of your State, that they may be upon a level, but they claim a right of choice to join which they please, which right they say is founded upon the law for raising them. As I have not a Copy of this law, I shall be glad to be furnished with one, that I may regulate myself according to the Terms of it.2 I am &c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW was referring to the troops raised in accordance with Congress’s resolution of 26 Feb., directing the states to complete their Continental regiments by drafting troops for nine months’ service ( 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 , 10:199–203).

2The troops raised by the resolution of 20 April 1778 “for filling up and compleating the fifteen battalions of Continental troops” were to be delivered “to such Continental officers as may be appointed by the Commander in Chief there, to receive them” (Mass. Resolves, May 1777–April 1778 description begins Resolves of the General Assembly of the State of Massachusetts-Bay, Begun and held at Boston, in the County of Suffolk, on Wednesday the twenty-eighth Day of May, (being the last Wednesday in said Month) Anno Domini, 1777; and thence continued by Adjournments to Wednesday the seventh Day of January 1778, following, and then met at Boston aforesaid, being the fifth sitting of said Assembly. [Boston, 1778]. description ends [1 April–1 May 1778], 16–21).

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