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From George Washington to John Morgan, 5 January 1780

To John Morgan

Hd Qrs Morristown [N.J.] 5 Jany 17[80]1


You[r] letter of the 27th of Decr last with its inclosures has been received. Doctor Shippen is ordered by this conveyance in arrest, on the charges you have exhibited.2

General Arnold’s tryal being yet unfinished, and succeeding Mr Hoopers, it will not be possible to bring on Doctor Shippens at the time you have proposed coming up, to camp3—the citations therefore for the attendance of the persons you have named cannot be made out at present. The moment the day can be fixed on, you shall have timely notice, with the citations mentioned as essential. I am &.

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The draft was mistakenly dated “1779.”

2The order for the arrest of Dr. William Shippen, Jr., has not been found.

3For Gw’s plan to order the trials in this sequence, see GW to John Laurance, 2 Dec., and GW to Samuel Huntington, 4 Dec. 1779. For the origins of the court-martial of Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold for his actions as commandant at Philadelphia, see Arnold to GW, c.18 April 1779, n.2. The trial, after a long postponement during the military operations of the last campaign, had finally been scheduled to resume on 20 Dec. 1779 but did not commence until three days later (see General Orders, 19 Dec. 1779, and GW to Joseph Reed, 4 Dec., and the notes to that document). The court-martial was currently in abeyance awaiting witnesses (see GW to the Board of War, 11 Jan., first letter). The trial concluded in late January, but the court’s verdict required Congress’s confirmation (see GW to Huntington, 30 Jan.). For the court’s decision finding Arnold guilty of dereliction of duty and his reprimand by GW, see General Orders, 6 April.

For the charges against deputy quartermaster general Robert Lettis Hooper, Jr., and Congress’s resolution directing a court of inquiry and courtmartial, see Remarks for the Continental Congress Committee of Conference, 23–31 Jan. 1779, n.13, and 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 13:106–7. Although preparations for Hooper’s court-martial seem to have gone forward, his trial had not taken place before Hooper left the quartermaster’s department in the summer of 1780 (see Hooper to Greene, 2 Jan., 3 Feb., and 11 Sept. 1780 in Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 5:225, 339, and 6:277; see also Pa. Col. Records, description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends 12:250). For the controversy in the medical department leading to the court-martial of Dr. William Shippen, Jr., see GW to John Morgan, 24 June 1779, and n.1 to that document; Morgan to GW, 20 July 1779, and n.1 to that document; and Samuel Huntington to GW, 27 Nov. 1779, n.1.

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