Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from George Ross, 10 December 1775

From George Ross

ALS: Amherst College Library

Lancaster: Decr: 10th: 1775

Dear Sir

I am told that the Congress have determined to raise four more Battalians in the Province.4 And as a member of the committee of Safety have been applyed to by several Gent who will be glad to enter into the Service.

Among others Mr: Thomas Hartly of York Town a Gent of the Law of distinguished Zeal in the Cause he is generally known to the Genl: [Gentlemen] who are members of the Committee of Safety And I think would fill the Office of Lieutn: Col: with Honor.5 When you have leisure (if such a thing be possible) you Don’t know how much pleasure a line from you would give me.

I am forced to write and keep the paper steady with the same hand having the Gout in my left hand and Elbow. And tho’ I should be glad to get rid of his Company yet I have so much of the Christian Spirit I use him kindly and with the greatest tenderness. Yet I own could I by any means bring about a seperation between the Gout and me I should do it, Non Obstante any Instructions even from the Assembly of Pennsylva.6 I am with real Affection Your Much Obliged and Obedient Humble Servant

Geo: Ross

Doctor Franklin

Notation: Thomas Hartly Lieut. Colonel Recommended by Geo: Ross

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In June Congress formed Pa. rifle companies into a battalion for continental service; see the note on the committee of safety to the Lancaster Co. committee above, July 11. In October Congress requested another battalion, and in early December ordered four more and instructed the committee of safety to recommend field officers. In the first days of 1776 the province was called upon for a seventh battalion. JCC, III, 291, 418, 429; IV, 29.

5Hartley held the same commission in the minutemen and the first militia battalion; see the letter from the York committee above, Aug. 31. He became lieut. col. of the 6th Pa. on Jan. 10, 1776: Heitman, Register of Officers, p. 212.

6The separation from Britain precluded by the Assembly’s instructions to its delegates above, Nov. 9. A violent attack of gout killed Ross in 1779 at the age of forty-nine: DAB.

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