George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from John Hancock, 26 November 1776

From John Hancock

Philada Novr 26th 1776.

Sir,

In Consequence of your Dispatches by Genl Mifflin, who arrived here on Sunday Evening, the Congress, the next Day, came to the enclosed Resolves, which I do myself the Honour of forwarding in Obedience to their Commands. They will inform you of the Steps taken to reinforce your Army at this Juncture.1

The Urgency of Affairs, will, I trust, induce the Militia to exert themselves in a proper Manner, on this Occasion; as it is extremely evident that Nothing but such an Exertion will be effectual in our present Situation.

The Congress have ordered General Mifflin to stay in this City, until you shall require his Attendance at Head Quarters, being well convinced that his Influence, which is very considerable over the Associators of this Place, will be employed to spirit them on to the most vigorous Measures.2 I have the Honour to be with every Sentiment of Esteem & Respect Sir your most obed. & very hble Servt

John Hancock Presidt

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 12A.

1Mifflin arrived in Philadelphia on the evening of 24 Nov. carrying GW’s letter to Hancock of 23 Nov., which Congress read the following morning and referred to a committee of the whole. After considering GW’s letter and conferring with Mifflin, the committee of the whole agreed on several resolutions, which later that day were presented on the floor of Congress and were passed by the delegates. The enclosed copy includes nearly all of those resolutions of 25 November. In one of them Congress requests the Pennsylvania council of safety “immediately to call forth all the Associators in the City of Philada and its Liberties & in the Counties of Philada[,] Chester[,] Bucks and Northhampton, to continue in the Service of the United States six Weeks from the Time they join the Army, unless sooner discharged by Congress.” Volunteers from the associators, who enrolled to serve with the Continental army until 10 Mar. 1777 under the terms that the council of safety had stipulated on 23 Nov., were also be discharged “as soon as the Situation of public Affairs will possibly admit of it—it being the Intention of Congress to detain them no longer than the present Emergency shall render it absolutely necessary.” In other resolutions Congress directs the Board of War to have the Virginia light horse, the German Battalion, and the French volunteer Matthias-Alexis, chevalier de La Rochefermoy, join GW’s army as soon as possible (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 , 6:979, and Mifflin to GW, this date). For Congress’s resolution of 25 Nov. requesting Mifflin to stay in Philadelphia, see note 2. The enclosure omits only two short resolutions of that date concerning monies appropriated for the Pennsylvania council of safety and the German Battalion (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 , 6:979–80). For the Pennsylvania council of safety’s resolutions of 23 Nov. calling for volunteers from the ranks of the associators, see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 3:195–96.

2A copy of this resolution of 25 Nov. is included on the enclosure (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 , 6:980, and Mifflin to GW, this date).

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