George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from John Hancock, 12 February 1776

From John Hancock

Philadelphia Febry 12th 1776


Your Letters of 24th & 30th ulto have been duly Rec’d, and laid before the Congress, are now with their severall Inclosures under the Consideration of a Committee, as soon as Report is made, I shall do myself the honour to Transmitt you the Result of Congress thereupon.1

I yesterday morng Rec’d an Express from General Lee, requesting an Augmentation of Troops, Congress immediately directed one Battalion of Minute Men from New Jersey in Addition to Lord Stirling’s Battalion, & one Battalion of Associators from this City to proceed to New York & be under the Command of General Lee, the latter Commanded by Coll Dickinson who very chearfully step’d forth, & both Battalions will immediately March.2

Colonell Bull the Bearer of this Takes Charge of Two hundred & fifty Thousand Dollars for the use of your Army; I beg leave to Recommend him to your Notice3—I have the honour to be with the utmost Esteem, Sir Your most Obedt Servt

John Hancock Presidt

ALS (incomplete), MH: Jared Sparks Collection; ALS (incomplete), NjMoHP. The document in the Sparks Collection consists of the dateline, the salutation, the first two paragraphs of the letter, and the addressed cover. The document at the Morristown National Historical Park consists of the last paragraph of the letter, the closing, and Hancock’s signature. It is dated “Feb. 12th 1776” in unidentified writing apparently added at a later date.

1Congress received a report on these letters on 16 Feb., but did not immediately act on it (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 , 4:154–55; see also Hancock to GW, 6 Mar. 1776).

2Charles Lee’s letter to Hancock of 9 Feb. 1776 is in DNA:PCC, item 158; see also Lee Papers description begins [Charles Lee]. The Lee Papers. 4 vols. New York, 1872-75. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 4–7. description ends , 1:279–80. Congress approved the reinforcements on 12 Feb., but three days later it suspended the march of the Philadelphia associators because “the danger which occasioned an application for their service, is at present over” (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 , 4:127–28, 151). John Dickinson (1732–1808), one of the Pennsylvania delegates to Congress, commanded the 1st battalion of the Philadelphia associators.

3John Bull (1730–1824), a veteran of the Forbes campaign in 1758, resigned his commission as colonel of the 1st Pennsylvania Battalion on 22 Jan. 1776 after he was accused by his officers of selling furloughs to the men and other unbecoming conduct. Bull served as a commissioner at the Indian treaty held at Easton, Pa., in January 1777, and a short time later he was named colonel of the Pennsylvania State Regiment. The officers of that regiment refused to serve under him, however. The dispute was finally resolved when Bull gave up command of the regiment to become adjutant general of the state militia on 17 June 1777. He held that position for the remainder of the war.

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