To John Hancock
Morristown April 26th 1777.
I was last night honored with your Letter of the 25th with sundry Resolves of Congress. Such of them as are necessary for my government & conduct, I shall strictly attend to.
The Money and Bills for our prisoners, had better be transmitted to Elias Boudinot, Esquire, to whom I shall give directions, to adopt ways and means for sending the same, and for a proper appropriation and distribution of the money amongst them. Bills, I think, will be most eligible, provided they are duly paid. As to procuring Cloaths in New York, I have reason to beleive, that it will not be allowed, and that the prisoners will obtain no supplies but what we send them.1
I heard of Mr Franklins practices some time ago, and advised Governor Trumbull of the same, that his conduct might be properly attended to.2 It is very unhappy for us, that through the intrigues of such Men, the Enemy have found means to raise a spirit of disaffection but too generally in many of the States. In this, I have strong assurances, that it has arisen to a great height, and I shall not be disappointed, if, a large number of the Inhabitants in some of the Counties, should openly appear in Arms, as soon as the Enemy begin their operations. I have taken every measure in my power to suppress it, but nevertheless, several from Sussex and Bergen, have joined their Army, and the spirit becomes more & more daring every day.
You will be pleased to direct Genl Mifflin, to remain in Philadelphia, as long as Congress shall think his presence there essential.
I have inclosed a Copy of General How’s Letter, which I received last night, in answer to mine of the 9th Instt.3
Nothing of an interesting nature has occurred since my last,4 which leaves me, only to add, that I have the Honor to be with sentiments of the greatest respect Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt
LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 29 April (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 , 7:308).
1. Congress on 22 April directed the Secret Committee “to transmit from time to time to general Washington bills of exchange or specie for the support of prisoners of war in the hands of the enemy according to their ranks and pay in the continental service; And that the general be desired to appoint a commissary of prisoners for the purpose of applying the money obtained by the bills and the specie transmitted, to the purposes aforesaid; and that the said commissary be ordered to take care that the prisoners of war be provided with proper provisions and cloathing” (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 , 7:289).
2. See GW to Trumbull, 23 Mar. 1777. On 22 April Congress, having “received undoubted information that William Franklin late governor of the state of New Jersey and now a prisoner in Connecticut has since his removal to that state sedulously employed himself in dispersing amongst the inhabitants the protections of Lord Howe and general Howe stiled the kings commissioners for granting pardons &c., and otherwise aided and abetted the enemies of the united states,” requested Trumbull “to order the said William Franklin esqr. into close confinement prohibiting to him the use of pen, ink and paper or the access of any person or persons but such as are properly licensed for that purpose by governor Trumbull” (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 , 7:291).