George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 4 July 1776

From John Hancock

Philadelphia July 4th 1776.


The enclosed Resolves, to which I must beg Leave to refer your Attention, will inform you of the Steps Congress have taken to establish the flying Camp.1 To the unhappy Confusions, that have prevailed in this Colony, must principally be ascribed the Delays that have hitherto attended that salutary Measure. However I flatter myself Things will now take a different Turn, as the Contest to keep Possession of Power is now at an End, and a new Mode of Government, equall to the Exigencies of our Affairs will be adopted, agreeable to the Recommendation of Congress to the United Colonies.

I am directed to request you will appoint a proper officer for the Command of the flying Camp, and also persons to supply them with Rations.

I have wrote to the severall Committees, and press’d them to forward their Troops with the utmost Dispatch.2 I have the honour to be with perfect Esteem, Sir Your most Obedt Servt

John Hancock Presidt

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

1Congress resolved on 3 July that “the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania be Requested to Send as many of the Troops of their Colony as they can spare to Monmouth County in New Jersey, to the Assistance of the Inhabitants of that Colony, and to be subject to the orders of the Commander in Chief.” The delegates further instructed Hancock on that date to write “a Circular Letter . . . to the Committees of Inspection of the several Counties in Pennsylvania where Troops are Raised or Raising to form the Flying Camp, requesting them to Send the Troops by Battalions or Detachments of Battalions, or Companies as fast as Raised to the City of Philadelphia, except those Rais’d in the Counties of Bucks, Berks & Northampton, which are to be Directed to Repair . . . to New Brunswick in New Jersey” (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 , 5:508).

2See Hancock to Certain Pennsylvania Committees, 3 July, in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 4:376–77.

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