Benjamin Franklin Papers

Three Pennsylvania Delegates in Congress to the Lancaster County Committee, 11 July 1775: résumé

Three Pennsylvania Delegates in Congress to the Lancaster County Committee

ALS:8 Library of Congress

< July 11, 1775: We have received your communication about the rifle company to which Captain Smith is appointed. You mention that James Ross has raised men from whom a good company may be formed; we immediately laid this matter before Congress, which approved their enlistment. Please certify the officers, as with the other company, and have the best men available prepared with the utmost dispatch to follow Captain Smith, who we suppose will have marched before this reaches you.

The Congress highly approves the generous bounty provided by the people of Lancaster County.9 Signed by Franklin, George Ross, and James Wilson.1 >

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8In the hand of George Ross. For the full text see Smith, Letters, I, 621–2.

9On June 14 Congress resolved that Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia should raise between them ten companies of riflemen for the continental service, to join the army before Boston as soon as possible. The next day several Pennsylvania delegates sent a circular letter to five county committees urging them to comply; Lancaster was asked for a single company. It was recruited by Matthew Smith (1740?–90), a veteran of Bouquet’s expedition, largely from Scots-Irish, and was one of the first to reach Cambridge. James Ross (c. 1754–1808), George’s son, undertook to raise a second (the bounty referred to), and Congress accepted it. Meanwhile, on June 25, Pennsylvania’s quota was increased by another two companies, and all those from the province were incorporated in a battalion. JCC, II, 89–90, 104, 173; Smith, Letters, I, 491–2, 625; Herbert C. Bell, History of Northumberland County . . . (Chicago, 1891), p. 548; John B. Linn, Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution . . . (2 vols., Harrisburg, 1880), I, 305, 320, 674.

1Both are identified above in a note on a letter they signed, July 3.

Index Entries