George Washington Papers

From the Continental Congress Committee to Inquire into the State of the Army, 16 July 1777

From the Continental Congress Committee to Inquire into the State of the Army

Wednesday Eveng [Camp at the Clove, N.Y., 16 July 1777]

Messrs Livingston, Clymer, & Gerry present their Complimts to his Excellency General Washington, & beg Leave to inclose him a Copy of the Resolution of Congress appointing them a Committee to repair to the Camp & enquire into the State of the Army.1 As they have not Time to wait upon his Excellency this Evening, they propose to be at Head Quarters in the Morning at ten OClock, & shall be glad to know the State of the Army in General as well as the several Departments thereof, with his Opinion on the Measures necessary to releive it from any Inconveniences that have or are likely to take place.


1The copy of Congress’s resolution of 11 July 1777 is written beneath the committee’s letter and reads: “Resolved That a Committee of three be appointed to proceed immediately to the Army under the Command of General Washington: that they be authorized & directed to make a diligent Enquiry into the State of the Army, particularly into the Clauses of the Complaints in the Commissary’s Department, & to make such Provision as the Exigency & Importance of the Case demands: & that they report the Whole of their proceedings for the Consideration of Congress with as much Dispatch as possible. The Members chuses Mr. [Philip] Livingston, Mr [Elbridge] Gerry & Mr [George] Clymer” (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 , 8:546). The committee, which Congress formed after receiving GW’s letter to Hancock of 9 July, met briefly with GW on 17 July, and it stayed in camp for at least two more days after its meeting with GW. For GW’s views on the state of the army, see his letter to the committee of 19 July. The committee brought in a long report based on its visit and GW’s letter on 5 Aug. (see ibid., 608–13).

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