George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from John Hancock, 8 July 1777

From John Hancock

Philada July 8th 1777.

Sir,

I have the Honour to transmit at this Time Copies of three Letters from Generals Sullivan, Green, and Knox to Congress, the Receipt of which, as the Contents were highly derogatory to the Honour and Justice of Congress, could not fail to be extremely displeasing. They have therefore come to the enclosed Resolve on the Subject, to which, as it clearly expresses their Sense of the Impropriety of the Conduct of those Officers, I beg Leave to refer your Attention, and to request you will make them acquainted therewith.1

Your Favour of the 7th Instant I this Morning received, and in a few Minutes shall lay it before Congress. I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, Your most obed. & very hble Servt

John Hancock Presidt

P.S. 5 O’Clock P.M. Since writing the foregoing, the inclosed Resolutions of this Day have been passed, which I transmit for your Information.2

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

1The enclosed letters from generals Sullivan, Greene, and Knox to Hancock of 1 July 1777, which are located in DLC:GW, were written to complain about the rumored appointment of Du Coudray to major general of the artillery and to tender the generals’ resignations from the army if Congress followed through with the appointment. Hancock also enclosed a copy of Congress’s unanimous resolution of 7 July directing him to transmit the letters to GW “with Directions to him, to let these Officers know, that Congress consider the said Letters as an Attempt to influence their Decisions, an Invasion of the Liberties of the People, and as indicating a Want of Confidence in the Justice of Congress; that it is expected by Congress the said Officers will make proper Acknowledgements for an Interference of so dangerous a Tendency: but if any of those Officers are unwilling to serve their Country under the Authority of Congress, they shall be at Liberty to resign their Commissions and retire” (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 , 8:537).

2These resolutions include orders for the Virginia and North Carolina troops in the Philadelphia area to march to Billingsport, N.J., to work on the Delaware River defensive works, appointments of several French officers, and orders for Maj. Gen. Gates to return to GW’s headquarters (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 , 8:538–40).

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