George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 21 July 1775

To John Hancock

Cambridge July 21. 1775.

Dear Sir

I am particularly to acknowledge that Part of your Favour of the 10th Instt wherein you do me the Honour of determining to join the Army under my Command. I need certainly make no Professions of the Pleasure I shall have in seeing you—At the same Time I have to regret that so little is in my Power to offer equal to Col. Hancock[’s] Merits1 & worthy his Acceptance. I shall be happy in every Oppy to shew the Regard & Esteem with which I am Sir Your most Obed. & very Hbble Servt

LB, in Joseph Reed’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The last two sentences were extensively revised in the letter-book copy. Before they were changed, they read: “At the same Time I have to regret that so little is in my Power to offer which Col. Hancock merits & is worthy of his Acceptance. Whatever is in my Power you will please freely to command & believe me with great Truth & Regard, Sir Your most Obed. & very Hbble Servt.”

1Although Hancock was commissioned colonel of an independent company of cadets in Boston on 1 April 1772, he had no practical military training or experience. His only service in the field during the Revolution came in 1778, when, as a major general of Massachusetts militia, he briefly commanded a body of militiamen in the operations around Newport.

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