George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Samuel Huntington, 13 April 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philadelphia April 13. 1780


Enclosed your Excellency will receive an Act of Congress of the 7th Instant, granting a Commission of Major to Joseph Louis Gill, an Indian Chief, and for embodying those of his Tribe who are willing to enter the Service of the States.

Also directing the Board of War to fill up Commissions for a certain Number of Officers who may be recommended to command under Joseph Gill.1

Your Letter of the 10th Instant enclosing the New York Paper is received.

Bradford’s Paper herewith enclosed contains the Spanish Account of the Engagement between the two fleets in the Extract of a Letter from Bilbao of the 1st of February which I have received.2 I have the honor to be with great respect your Excelly’s hble servant

Sam. Huntington President

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 14.

1The enclosed copy of the resolution that Congress adopted on 7 April gave “Joseph Louis Gill an Indian Chief of the St Francois tribe” a major’s commission dated 1 May 1779. It also authorized Gill to form Indians from his tribe “into a Company or Companies” under his command, with the same compensation as other Continental officers and soldiers, and allowed commissions from the Board of War for “one Captain and two subalterns” (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 , 16:334–35; GW to Huntington, 3 Nov. 1779; and GW to Moses Hazen, 6 Nov. 1779).

2Huntington enclosed Thomas Bradford’s Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser (Philadelphia) for 12 April 1780, which included part of a letter dated 1 Feb. from Bilbao, Spain. The extract reported British admiral George Rodney’s victory over a Spanish fleet off Gibraltar in January, but stated that another Spanish “fleet of twenty four sail of the line, sailed in quest of the English, so that some farther event is daily expected” that “may prove successful to the allies of the States.” The extract ends with a garbled and erroneous assertion: “Six of the Spanish men of war were engaged with all the English fleet, and there are but three missing. The engagement does the greatest honor to this nation, as they disabled half the enemy’s.”

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