From Henry Laurens
[York, Pa.] 21st febry 1778
I had the honour of writing to your Excellency the 19th by Barry1—Under the present Cover Your Excellency will be pleased to receive—An Act of Congress of the 19th for seperating the Troops included in the Convention of Saratoga & for other purposes.2
of the present date for appointing by Your Excellency’s Order a Major Genl to releive Major Genl Spencer in the Comand of the Troops at Rhode Island.3
And for hastening supplies of Meat & Forage to the Camp.4
Another Act of the present date for appointing proper persons without delay to fill the several Offices of the Quarter Master’s department.5
In consequence of the Act of the 19th Your Excellency is requested to suspend the transmission to Sir William Howe of the requisition for passports for Vessels to transport Fuel &ca to Boston for the subsistence of Genl Burgoyn’s Troops until Congress shall have further deliberated on that matter. I have the honour to be with very great Esteem.
LB, DNA:PCC, item 13. The letter was carried by Joseph Millet, who served as a messenger for Congress through the rest of 1778.
2. This resolution is in 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 , 10:184–85.
3. Congress resolved on this date “That General Washington be directed to order a major general to take the command of the troops in the State of Rhode Island, in the place of Major General Spencer, resigned” (ibid., 188). The question of a replacement for Joseph Spencer had been mooted in Rhode Island before the passage of this resolution, and William Ellery hoped that GW would appoint Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene to the post. Greene wrote Rhode Island governor Nicholas Cooke on 5 Feb., however, that he had consulted GW and found him “very averse to such a measure” (Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 2:274). GW eventually decided to appoint Maj. Gen. John Sullivan to the post (see GW to Sullivan, 10 March).
4. For the background to this resolution, which is in 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 , 10:189, see Jonathan Mifflin, Jr. to GW, 20 Feb., n.1.
5. For this act, see ibid., 186; a transcript of it is in DNA:PCC, item 192.