George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the New York Committee of Safety, 30 April 1776

To the New York Committee of Safety

New York. 30th April 1776


I perceive by the tener of your favour of yesterday that my Letter of the 25th has given Umbrage, which I am sorry for as it was not most distantly, in my Ideas to give any.1

Three things led me to suspect that the New York Battalions were not upon the same establishment of the other Continental Troops—Current report—an implied exception in the order for detaching Six more Battalions to Canada—and that part of your Letter signifying that four of these Battalions were to be raised under your immediate direction2 which intimation coming in corroboration of the two first reasons (for I never had any information of this matter from Congress) led me to believe that you intended it as a genteel hint that I was not to consider them in the same light I did the Others it was not to be wondered at therefore that I should wish to know the extent of my authority over them that my Conduct might be regulated thereby—or, that I should be so solicitous in arming Regiments raised for local purposes as these for the General Service when the latter are also greatly deficient in this essential point—These were the Ideas that filled my mind at the time of writing—if the extreame hurry occasioned by a variety of buisness which is continually pressing upon me, clouded the meaning I wished to convey, I can only add that it never was, and I hope never will be, my intention to give unprovoked Offence of this your Committe may be once for all, assured—that it is my earnest wish to cooperate with them in every measure which can conduce to the General good—and that if I should, at anytime, differ from them in the means I shall feel my share of the concern being with respect Gentn Yr Most Obed. Humble Servt


LB, in William Palfrey’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2This last statement is in the seventh paragraph of the committee of safety’s letter to GW of 25 April. The “implied exception” that GW read in Congress’s resolutions of 23 April was apparently in the one directing “that if any of the troops from New Jersey or Pensylvania, which were raised at five dollars a month, be sent to Canada, they shall be allowed at the rate of six dollars and two thirds of a dollar per month, from the time they begin their march” (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 , 4:302). Since the four New York regiments were being raised at $5 a month also (ibid., 69), it was logical to assume that they were to be exempted from service in Canada.

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