George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hancock, 14 September 1777

From John Hancock

Philadelphia 14 Septr 1777 Sunday Morng


I have just Rec’d by Express a Letter from General Dickinson at Trenton, the Subject is of such importance that I Judged proper to Transmit you a Copy by Express, which is Inclos’d & to which I beg leave to Refer you.1

Your favr by the Return Express I Rec’d & shall lay before Congress this morng.2 I have the honour to be Sir Your most Obedt Servt

John Hancock Presidt

ALS, DLC:GW. Hancock franked the addressed cover.

1The enclosed copy of Philemon Dickinson’s letter to Hancock of 13 Sept. reads: “I am this moment inform’d by Express that the Enemy landed One thousand Men at Elizabeth Town yesterday morning about Sunrise, and that another Detachment had cross’d Second River at the same time, supposed to be about the same number, with Field pieces to each Detachment.

“They met with little opposition as there were but very few Militia collected—The Express (who is an Officer in our State) says that from certain Intelligence just Rec’d from New York, the Enemy had withdrawn their whole force from Rhode Island to that City.

“This movement of the Enemy will effectually prevent the marching of the Eastern Militia, agreeable to Requisition of Congress, which takes off one half the Force of this State. We have no Field pieces in the State.

“I shall wait the further orders of Congress by the Return of this Express—Major [Israel] Putnam [Jr.] is here, and waits to know if Congress have any orders for General Putnam in consequence of the above information” (DLC:GW). Dickinson’s letter had been received and laid before Congress on this date (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 , 8:740). For details of the British raid into New Jersey, see William Malcom to GW, 13 Sept., n.2.

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