George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Johnson, 9 July 1779

From Thomas Johnson

In Council Annapolis 9th July 1779


Your circular Letter of the 22d of May, in great Measure, occasioned a Call of our Assembly which is to meet the 15th Inst.1 We have to regret that Congress did not earlier make their Requisition on the States to fill up their Quotas of Troops and that Cloathing was not, we suppose could not be, sent with the Recruiting Officers. We have not been altogether without Success, tho’ it is much short of our Wishes. Your letter of the 28th May came to Hand only the 2d Inst. inclosed is a Confirmation of the Officers who were the Subject & Occasion of it.2 There have been some few Applications to us for Appointments in the Maryland Line, such as from Recommendations we were satisfied would do Credit to it, we have gratified. We are with the greatest Regard &ca.


LB, Maryland Council, 1779–1780, MdAA.

1The Maryland Senate did not convene until 20 July; the Maryland House of Delegates then convened on 22 July.

The House of Delegates on 24 July read for a second time “letters from general Washington and the board of war, relative to the army” and set consideration of them for 29 July (Md. House Proc., 22 July-15 Aug. 1779, 125). A seven-member committee was appointed on that date to “consider and report” on the subjects of those letters (Md. House Proc., 22 July-15 Aug. 1779, 130). That committee, on 5 Aug., suggested benefits for soldiers, including clothes, rum, land, and pensions, which also were meant to entice the 957 recruits needed to meet the state’s Continental army quota (see Md. House Proc., 22 July-15 Aug. 1779, 136–38). The House of Delegates concurred in the report on that date and then, on 11 Aug., ordered that a bill be drafted “conformable to the report” (Md. House Proc., 22 July–15 Aug. 1779, 138, 147). This bill, titled “An act relating to the officers and soldiers of this state in the American army, and other purposes therein mentioned,” was read and tabled on 12 Aug. (Md. House Proc., 22 July-15 Aug. 1779, 148). The Maryland Senate never considered these issues in a direct manner, but on 27 July it received and read GW’s letter to Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer and William Fitzhugh of 10 April “respecting the rank and claims of the officers of the Maryland line” (Md. Senate Proc., 20 July-15 Aug. 1779, 58).

2A letter-book copy of the Maryland Council action taken on this date reads: “His Excellency General Washington having inclosed in his Letter to the Governor, a List of Officers in the general Roster of Maryland Officers not originally appointed by the State to wit.

Benja. Garnett 1st Lieut. 5th Regt 13 Octr 1778
Parker Hall Lee Do 4. 16 Octr 1778
Wm Truman Stoddart Do 5. 21 May 1779
William Adams 2 Lieut. 7. 14 April 1778.

This Board appoint the said Persons to the respective Offices aforesaid and request that Commissions may issue according to their first Appointment” (Maryland Council, 1779–1780, MdAA; see also Md. Archives, description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends 21:468–70).

Index Entries