From John Hancock
Philada March 26th 1777.
I have the Honour of transmitting such Resolves of Congress as have passed since my last, which are either relative to your Department, or necessary for your Information.1
The Congress have authorized you to proceed in the Exchange of Prisoners agreeably to the Cartel at present existing, or such other Regulations as you may think proper to make in the Matter, provided the Enemy will relax in their Treatment of Genl Lee, and acknowledge him to be a Prisoner of War, and as such entitled to be exchanged.2
I congratulate you on the Arrival of a Vessel at this Port, from France, with eleven Thousand Stand of Arms in good Order, and I am informed, fit for immediate Use. She has brought likewise fifteen Hundred Gun Locks and a large Quantity of Flints, Six Thousand eight Hundred of the Arms are public Property. The Balance, which belong to Individuals, the Congress have empowered the secret Committee to purchase immediateley.3
I have wrote to General Gates to repair to Ticonderoga agreeably to the enclosed Resolve.4
Colonel Clinton was yesterday appointed a Brigadier General, in Consequence of a very warm Recommendation from the Convention of New York. As he is an Officer of established good Character, and is now engaged in obstructing the River, his Station at the Highlands will be more convenient, and highly agreeable to the Convention of New York.5
Your Favour by Genl Green was duly received,6 and a Committee appointed to confer with him, the Result of which shall be immediately transmitted.7 I have the Honour to be with the most perfect Esteem & Respect, Sir your most obed. Servt
John Hancock Presidt
This moment Rec’d yor favr by Col. Palfrey, I shall assist him all in my power.8
LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 12A. The postscript of the LS is in Hancock’s writing and does not appear on the letter-book copy. Beneath the letter’s docket GW’s aide-de-camp Robert Hanson Harrison made a memorandum unrelated to this letter.
1. In addition to the resolutions discussed in the body of this letter, Hancock enclosed Congress’s resolutions of 19, 21, and 24–26 Mar. respecting foreign officers, General Schuyler, a prison stockade in Massachusetts, the decisions of councils of war, pay for aides-de-camp, army reinforcements, the appointment of an adjutant general, and the suspension of Esek Hopkins. See 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 , 7:185–86, 189, 191, 196–97, 202–4.
2. The enclosed copy of Congress’s resolution of 24 Mar. 1777 concerning the cartel and the treatment of Maj. Gen. Charles Lee is in DLC:GW (see also ibid., 197).
3. For the arrival of the brigantine Sally at Philadelphia on 24 Mar. 1777, see Nathanael Greene to GW, 24 Mar., and note 5. The enclosed copy of Congress’s resolution of 24 Mar. empowering the secret committee to purchase “such of the arms and military stores as belong to private persons” is in 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 , 7:197).
4. The enclosed copy of Congress’s resolution of 25 Mar. 1777 is in DLC:GW (see also ibid., 202). For Hancock’s letter to Gates of 25 Mar., see 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 , 6:486–87.
7. In the letter-book copy this sentence appears as a postscript.