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To George Washington from Henry Laurens, 7 November 1777

From Henry Laurens

York Town [Pa.] 7th Novem: 1777.

Sir—

I had the honour of writing to you the 4th & 5th by the conveyance of the Express Wm Jones since which Your Excellency’s dispatch under the 1st & 3d Currt with several inclosed papers reached me,1 were immediately Reported to Congress & Committed to the Board of War.

My present duty is to forward the following recited Minutes & Resolves.

Of the 1st Inst: for observing the 18th December next as a day of general Thanksgiving to Almighty God.2

6th Inst. directing Your Excellency to settle the Ranks of Officers of Cavalry & to Issue their Commissions.

of the 24th & 31st July—25 November—12th & 27th December 1776—1st & 14 January 1777. relative to the Horse.

to these I beg leave to refer & remain with great regard & Esteem sir Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant3

Henry Laurens Presidt in Cong:

P.S. the Secretary this moment sent in a Resolve of Congress of this day—on General’s Mifflin’s Resignation & the appointment of a Board of War which will go inclosed with the papers above mentioned.4

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 13.

1Laurens wrote and struck out the name “Dunn” before inserting the name of William Jones for William Dunn. The LB reads “Dunn” and does not contain the change.

2On this date Congress ordered that “a duplicate of the recommendation of Congress to the several states to set apart a day of thanksgiving, signed by the president, be sent to the respective states, and to General Washington and General Gates” (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 , 9:873). For the text of the resolution, see ibid., 854–55, and for Laurens’s letter to the states, also written on 1 Nov., see Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 8:218–20.

3For Congress’s resolution of 6 Nov. respecting the Continental light horse, which included a provision ordering that GW be furnished with copies of other resolutions on the subject, 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 , 9:872. For the resolutions listed in the letter that were passed between 24 July 1776 and 14 Jan. 1777, see ibid., 5:606–7, 624, 6:980, 1025, 1045, 7:7, 34.

4Mifflin had informed Congress on 8 Oct. of his desire to resign his commissions as major general and quartermaster general. Although Congress accepted Mifflin’s resignation as quartermaster general on 7 Nov., it resolved that his “rank and commission of major general be continued to him without the pay annexed to that office until farther order of Congress” (DLC:GW; ibid., 9:874). After passing that resolution, Congress elected Mifflin to the Board of War, along with Timothy Pickering and GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison (ibid.). Harrison declined the appointment, however, in a letter to Laurens of 12 Nov. (DNA:PCC, item 78).

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