George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 5–6 June 1776

From John Hancock

Philadelphia June 5th[–6] 1776.


The Congress having this Day made several Promotions in the Army of the United Colonies, and established some Rules for the future Direction of the Deputy Commissaries general, Deputy Quarter Master General &c. I do myself the Pleasure to enclose you a Copy of the same.1

I have delivered Col. Reed his Commission, and have sent Mr Whitecom Mr Mercer, and Mr Moyland theirs.2

Should you stand in Need of any more blank Commissions, they shall be immediately forwarded, on your letting me know it. I entirely forgot to make Enquiry into the Matter while you was in this City.

Having Nothing further in Charge from Congress at this Time, I beg Leave to assure you that I am, with the greatest Respect and Esteem, Sir your most obedt and very hble Sevt

John Hancock Presidt

June 6. P.S. This Morning two small Privateers arrived here after a very successful Cruise; having taken three West India Ships with 22,420 Dollars on Board—1052 Hhds & Trs. of Sugar 70 Pipes best Madeira Wine, and a Variety of other Articles. The Captain and Owners this Moment called to acquaint me, the Money is now in this City, and have generously made an offer of it to the Congress.3

I have this Morning advanced thirty Dollars to Fessenden in Part of his Account, which you will please to deduct on Settlement.

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 12A.

1On 5 June Congress named Joseph Reed adjutant general, Stephen Moylan quartermaster general, and John Whitcomb and Hugh Mercer brigadier generals. The new regulations concerning the commissary, quartermaster, adjutant, mustermaster, and paymaster generals and their deputies required each of them to submit a monthly return to Congress. The other enclosed resolutions empowered GW to appoint the commander of the recently created flying camp, ordered expresses to be established between the several Continental posts, directed that militiamen on active duty be paid and fed as Continental troops were, fixed the ranks of aides-de-camp and GW’s secretary, and set the pay for the quartermaster general’s assistants and the regimental surgeons (DLC:GW; see also 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 , 5:418–19).

2See Hancock to Joseph Reed, 5 June, and Hancock to Stephen Moylan and John Whitcomb, 6 June 1776, DNA:PCC, item 12A, and Hancock to Hugh Mercer, 6 June 1776, in Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 6:723. Hancock directed Reed and Mercer to go to GW’s headquarters at New York as soon as possible.

3The Pennsylvania privateer sloops Congress, George McAroy (McElroy), master, and Chance, John Adams, master, arrived at Little Egg Harbor, N.J., on 5 June with their prizes the Lady Juliana, Juno, and Reynolds (Virginia Gazette [Dixon and Hunter; Williamsburg], 22 June 1776).

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