From John Hancock
Philada August 23d 1777. 6 O’Clock A.M.
I am this Moment honored with your Favour of yesterday by the Return Express.
Considering the Necessity of strengthening the Army under your Command, and of giving all possible Opposition, to the Enemy, the Congress have come to the inclosed Resolves, Copies of which I shall forward in a few Minutes by Express to the sevl States with the utmost Expedition.1 I beg Leave to refer your Attention to them, and am with every Sentiment that Esteam and Respect can inspire, Sir your most obedt & very hble Servt
John Hancock Prest
I have just Rec’d an Express from Baltimore, the Intelligence the same as heretofore transmitted you, that I will not trouble you with the Copies.
LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 12A. The postscript, which is in Hancock’s writing, is not included on the letter-book copy. Hancock franked the addressed cover of the LS.
1. The enclosed resolutions of 22 Aug. request Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia to put parts of their militias under GW’s command to assist in repelling the expected British invasion. Maryland was “to Call out not less than Two thousand select Militia.” Pennsylvania was “to keep up 4000 of their Militia.” Delaware was “to Call out One thousand of their Militia,” and Virginia was “to Draw out one third of the Militia of each of the Counties of Prince William, Fairfax, Loudon, Berkely, Frederick, Du[n]more, Fauquier and Culpepper.” GW was directed “to order Brigadr Smallwood and Colonel Gist to Repair immediately to the State of Maryland to Arrange, March and Command the Militia requir’d of that State” (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 , 8:666–67, and Hancock to Certain States, 23 Aug., in 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 , 7:536).
Hancock also enclosed a copy of Congress’s resolution of 23 Aug. informing GW in response to the question about his authority in the northern department that he had asked in his first letter to Hancock of 21 Aug. “That Congress never intended by any Commission hitherto granted by them, or by the Establishment of any Department whatever to Supercede or Circumscribe the power of General Washington as the Commander in Chief of all the Continental Land Forces within the United States” (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 , 8:668).