From Samuel Huntington
[Philadelphia, 28 September 17791]
I enclose you an Act of Congress passed the 24th Inst. and am happy, in the first exercise of that important trust with which Congress have been pleased to honor me, to have the opportunity of conveying to you the thanks of Congress for ordering with so much wisdom, this late attack on the enemy’s works at Paulus Hook⟨.⟩ The important business, in which Congress have been engaged, has prevented an earlier attention to that brilliant Action.2
I can assure you, Sir, Congress have a proper sense of the merit of the Officers and soldiers employed in that enterprize as well as of the army in general which, by their cheerful performance of every duty under every difficulty, have proved that they ardently wish to give the truly glorious example they now receive.
The act of this day which I enclose relative to the Officers of the Convention Troops was occasioned by the situation of public Affairs which is too critical to permit the enemy to avail themselves of the knowledge they must receive from the Communications of Officers of such rank and observation.3 I am, with due respect Sir, Your Excellency’s Obedt and very humble servt
Saml Huntington President
LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 14. A note below the closing of the LS reads: “Received the 6th of Octbr 1779.”
Samuel Huntington (1731–1796), a lawyer from Norwich, Conn., and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, represented Connecticut in Congress from 1774 to 1784. The delegates elected Huntington president of Congress on this date (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 15:1114), and he served as president until July 1781. He later served as lieutenant governor and governor of Connecticut.
1. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote the date.
2. The enclosure, dated 24 Sept. and signed by Charles Thomson, contained the resolutions GW published in the general orders of 8 Oct. and an additional resolution that GW did not publish to the army: “Resolved, That the thanks of Congress be given to his excellency General Washington, for ordering with so much wisdom, the late attack on the enemy’s fort and works at Powles Hook” (DLC:GW). 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 15:1099–1102.
3. This enclosure has not been identified. For the resolution, which ordered the Board of War to “detain” British major general William Phillips and German major general Riedesel and bar them from going into New York on parole, 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 15:1114. For GW’s previous authorization of the two generals’ parole and GW’s subsequent action on these orders, see GW to John Jay, 24–27 Aug., and n.12 to that document, and Phillips to GW, 30 Sept., and n.1 to that document.