George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston, 20 February 1777

To Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston

Morristown February 20th 1777.


I yesterday evening received the favor of your Letter of the 15th Instt. As the Congress vested the Conventions of the several States with powers to appoint Officers for their Quota of Batallions first voted, I have made it a point not to interfere though fully authorized, except in an Instance or two where the choice has been evidently improper and injudicious. This line of conduct I wish to pursue, and therefore would not do more in the case referred to me, than to recommend Colo. Renier to the notice of the Conventn and for the vacancy you want him to fill—I have done this as you will perceive by the inclosed Letter, which after reading, you will be pleased to seal and transmit to them in such way as you judge proper.1 The character given Colo. Renier, is much to his honour, and the sacrifices I am told he has made on account of his Attachment to our Cause, claim our notice and some compensation. In respect to the Other Officers which you mention to be wanted, you must prevail on the Convention to appoint them, & if they will not, I shall confirm your own choice.

The situation of things in the Military line having undergone some alteration since I saw you, I would advise the Expedition you had in view to be laid aside. I do not think it improbable that your services may be wanted elsewhere and upon some more interesting occasion. I am Sir with much esteem Yr Most Hble Servt


Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW is referring to a letter he wrote to the New York convention on this date recommending Pierre Regnier de Roussi “to fill the place of Lt Colonel” in Livingston’s regiment. “I am not acquainted with Colo. Renier myself,” GW continues, “but from the recommendations I have of him he is a Gentleman of Honor, a diligent & brave officer & well quallified for that Command; his Attachment to the cause of America is not to be questioned, having given many proofs of it & sacrificed his fortune (as I am told) to her Interest. The latter might be urged as a reason for a generous Compensation, but would not be a sufficient reason for his promotion, did he not possess the other Requisites, but as he does, he has a Claim upon our good offices, & I trust will approve himself worthy of Your Favor” (DLC:GW). Regnier visited GW’s headquarters in March 1777 to inquire about the convention’s actions regarding his appointment, and GW referred him to Brig. Gen. Alexander McDougall (see GW to McDougall, 21 Mar. 1777, LS, NjP).

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