George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Rogers, 14 December 1775

From Robert Rogers

Medford (Porters Tavern) [Mass.] Decemr 14. 1775


I sail’d from Gravesend the 4th of June last in a Merchant ship bound to Baltimore in Maryland, which was at the time I came away the nighest passage I could get to Philadelphia, where I waited on the Gentlemen that compose the Continental Congress, in order to obtain ⟨their permit to set⟩tle my private Affairs, being much ⟨encumbered with de⟩bts, chiefly contracted in the province ⟨of New-York; in w⟩hich settlement my Brother Colonel James Rogers (who lives in the Province of New York about Twenty miles West of Connecticut River) was deeply concernd, being bound for me in several sums of money, which made it necessary for me to visit him in my way home1—and for that purpose came by the way of New York & Albany, to my Brothers, & from thence to Portsmouth, to my Wife & Family (a pleasure long wishd for) having been Six Years in Europe—I have taken the earliest opportunity that would permit to come to this Town (where I arriv’d this morning) in order to lay before your Excellency the passport I receivd at Philadelphia from the Committee of Safety there; a Copy of which is transcrib’d at the Bottom of this Letter, together with the Minutes made thereon by the Committees of safety at New York & New Hampshire.2 I do sincerely entreat your Excellency for a continuance of that permission for me to go unmolested where my private Business may call me as it will take some Months from this time to settle with all my Creditors—I have leave to retire on my Half-pay, & never expect to be call’d into the service again. I love North America, it is my native Country & that of my Family’s, and I intend to spend the Evening of my days in it—I should be glad to pay you my respects personally, but have tho’t it prudent to first write you this Letter, & shall wait at this place for your Excellency’s commands.3 I am Sir your Excellency’s most Obedient & most Humble Servant

⟨Robert Rogers, Major

L[S], DLC:GW. The words in the mutilated portions of the manuscript are taken from Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 4:265. For a discussion of Rogers’s travels in 1775, see Eleazar Wheelock to GW, 2 Dec. 1775, n. 1. See also John Sullivan to GW, 17 Dec. 1775.

1James Rogers lived at Kent in Cumberland County, N.Y. (now Londonderry, Vt.), where he was lieutenant colonel of the militia. A Loyalist, James Rogers became major of the Royal American Reformees in 1778 and major of the King’s Rangers in 1779.

2The transcribed documents include Rogers’s parole signed at Philadelphia on 23 Sept., a passport of the same date signed by William Govett, secretary of the Pennsylvania committee of safety, Nathaniel Woodhull’s statement of 5 Oct. that the New York provincial congress had read the parole and passport, and Matthew Thornton’s statement of 12 Dec. that the New Hampshire committee of safety had read and agreed to them (DLC:GW).

3GW asked John Sullivan to interview Rogers. See Sullivan to GW, 17 Dec. 1775.

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