From Henry Laurens
[York, Pa.] 5th March 1778
The present Messenger1 will deliver to your Excellency with this, a Letter which I had the honour of writing the 1st Inst. & which has been detained by Susquehana.
Inclosed herewith Your Excellency will be pleased to receive the following Acts of Congress.
1. 2d March. for appointing a Quarter Master General & two Assistant Quarter Masters general & for other purposes in that department.2
2d. 2d & 3d March Containing divers Resolves relative to Lieutt Genl Burgoyne & the embarkation for Europe of himself family & Servants.3
3d. 4th March. Empowering Your Excellency to employ in the Service of the United States a Body of, not exceeding 400 Indians.4
I have the honour to be with the highest Esteem.
LB, DNA:PCC, item 13.
1. The messenger was Joseph Sharp.
2. For the resolutions, which appointed Nathanael Greene quartermaster general and John Cox, Jr., and Charles Pettit assistant quartermasters general, see 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 , 10:210–11.
3. On 2 Mar., Congress directed Laurens to inform Maj. Gen. William Heath “that it was by no means the intention of Congress that General Burgoyne should be prevented from communicating to Lord Howe, or the commanding officer of the British ships in the harbour of Newport, the intelligence of the act of Congress detaining the troops of the convention of Saratoga” and also resolved that Heath should permit Lt. Col. John Anstruther to go on parole to Rhode Island in order to negotiate an exchange (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 , 10:213). On 3 Mar., Congress gave Burgoyne “leave to embark for England... with the officers of his family and his servants” provided that he and two other officers give paroles that they would “return to America, upon demand and due notice given, and will re-deliver themselves into the power of Congress, unless regularly exchanged.” Congress also paroled one officer to Canada and denied passports to three others (ibid., 218).
4. In the resolution of 4 Mar., Congress authorized GW, “if he thinks it prudent and proper,” to employ the Indians “in such way as will annoy the enemy without suffering them to injure those who are friends to the cause of America” (ibid., 220–21). For the impetus to that resolution, see GW to a Continental Congress Camp Committee, 29 Jan., and note 38.