George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Reed, 19 January 1779

From Joseph Reed

Council Chamber [Philadelphia] January 19th 1779


At the desire of Council I enclose your Excellency a state of Colonel Samuel Attlees claim upon which are founded his expectations to be recommended to Congress as a brigadier General of this state I also enclose your Excellency the resolutions of the Council of safety respecting the prisoners and the plan of arrangement from which you will have a very clear and explicit view of Colonel Attlees pretensions upon all these the Council request your Excellency to favour them with your opinion how far it may be proper to recommend him to Congress.1

I have only to add that if consistent with Justice and military rules Colonel Atlee can be advanced, this Board are of Opinion his merit and sufferings render him worthy their regard and attention. I am with every sentiment of Respect and regard Your Excellencies most Obedient humble servant

Jos: Reed President

LS, DLC:GW; DfS, PHi: Dreer Collection; copy, NHi: Reed Papers.

1The enclosed undated statement of Col. Samuel John Atlee’s claim to promotion briefly summarizes his military service in the Revolutionary War, including his appointment as a colonel in the Pennsylvania service on 21 March 1776 and his capture, while in Continental service, at the Battle of Long Island on 26 Aug. 1776. The statement also quotes the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council’s resolutions of 24 Oct. 1776 and 30 Jan. 1777 guaranteeing that captured Pennsylvania officers would retain their rank, pay, and rations while prisoners of war, and it refers to Congress’s resolutions of 24 Nov. 1778 regarding officer arrangement and promotion. The statement concludes by saying: “Colonel Atlee having been exchanged in the year 1778 signified his intention of entering into the army again if his rank was preserved—he has persevered in these intentions, and now claims to be presented to Congress, by the Council for the post of a Brigadier General on the nomination of Pennsylvania” (DLC:GW). Atlee, who was a member of Congress at this time, was not recommended for promotion (see GW to Reed, 9 Feb.). The enclosed copies of the Pennsylvania council’s and Congress’s resolutions have not been found. For the council’s resolution of 24 Oct. 1776, see Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 10:764, and for its resolution of 30 Jan. 1777, see Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 11:109. Congress’s resolutions of 24 Nov. 1778 were published in the general orders of 18 Dec. 1778 (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 , 12:1154–59).

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