George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Massachusetts Council, 8 December 1776

From the Massachusetts Council

Council Chamber Boston Decr 8th 1776


Immediately on receiving your Excellencies intimations that it was necessary your Army should be reinforced with Four thousand of the Militia from this State, Orders were issued to raise the men—And since that as our affairs grew more serious & Alarming, the Court have given orders to Augment the number to about Six Thousand1—every measure hath been adopted to forward the Troops to you with dispatch—we can’t but indulge the pleasing hope that the intended reinforcement will arrive in season—and that they will afford every Assistance and Support that may justly be expected from them. They are Ordered to Rendezvous at Danbury in Connecticutt where General Lincoln, who is appointed to take the Command of them, will wait your Excellencies Orders. The General Court of this State are determined, vigorously, to exert themselves in raising a New Army and render to your Excellency every support in their power. notwithstanding the alarm the Enemy are spreading by hovering round these Coasts with a large number of Ships of War & Transports, perhaps with a View to divert us from these designs—We congratulate you on the late happy success of our Arms and wish to be informed of the perticulars of the Battle near Hackensack River, and of every occurrence important to the United States which may take place. We are with great regard and Esteem your Excellencies Most Humle Servants.

In the name and by Order of Council

James Bowdoin Presidt

LS, DLC:GW; Df, M-Ar: Revolution Letters; LB, M-Ar: Revolution Letters. For GW’s reply to this letter, see GW to James Bowdoin, 18 December.

1GW’s letter to the Massachusetts General Court of 6 Nov., requesting this reinforcement was read by the house of representatives and the council on 13 Nov., and two days later the General Court passed “An Act for providing a reinforcement to the American Army” (Mass. House of Rep. Journal description begins A Journal of the Honorable House of Representatives of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England. Watertown, Mass., 1777. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records.) description ends , May 1776-April 1777 sess., 153, 155–56; “Mass. Council Journal,” Oct. 1776-Feb. 1777 sess., 174). For the text of that act, see the Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal, 2 December.

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