From John Hancock
Philadelphia 22d Augst 1776
Congress not having Come to a full Determination upon the Subject of your Letter by the Express, he is still Detain’d, I shall so soon as the Resolutions are perfected Dispatch him with them1—Your favr of 20th I have rec’d, & is before Congress with its Inclosures.
I have now only to Inclose you several Resolves pass’d yesterday in Congress, to which beg Leave to Refer you.2 I have the honour to be with all possible respect Sir Your most Obedt servt
John Hancock Presidt
The three Gentln who Came from Virginia, for the Apprehending of whom you issued a Warrant, were taken at Eliza. Town, & deliver’d me yesterday by a party of the Light horse, and are now under Guard, will be Examin’d this Day.3
ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection.
2. The enclosed resolutions of 21 Aug. concern Basil Bouderot’s trial for murdering Samuel Holden Parsons’s brother, capital punishment for persons “found lurking as Spies in, or about the Fortifications or Encampments of the Armies of the United States,” appropriation of $500,000 for the army at New York, procurement of cannon for Gates’s army, continuance of Artemas Ward as eastern department commander, and procurement of copper (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 , 5:692–94).
3. The warrant of 17 Aug., which Robert Hanson Harrison signed by GW’s command, directs Jacob Shafer of New York City to apprehend Thomas Reed, Patrick Ballantine, and Robert Gilmour “late of the Colony of Virginia . . . who passed from the above said City this morning to Powles Hook” and who “are persons unfriendly to the rights and liberties of the United States of America and are carr[y]ing on sundry malpractices against the interest of said States.” Shafer was to take the prisoners to Philadelphia and deliver them to the president of Congress (ADS, sold by Parke-Bernet Galleries, catalog 1190, item 31, 30–31 Oct. 1950; the ADS was sold again by Sotheby, Parke-Bernet, catalog 4158, item 79, 3 Oct. 1978). Congress resolved on this date to send the prisoners to the Pennsylvania council of safety for examination (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 , 5:695), and on the reverse of the warrant Hancock instructs the officers of the prisoners’ guard to carry out that order. No record of the council’s action on this matter appears in its minutes.