George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Glover, 18 January 1781

From Brigadier General John Glover

Garrison W. Point 18th Jany 1781


I have the Honor to transmit the enclos’d letter Received from Col. Vose this morning,1 the Subject matter of which, I am sorry to Introduce, having while at Totowa, received your Excellency’s opinion fully on that head, Viz. that no promotions could take place after the order of Congress was promulg’d to the army, but such as succeeded to Vacancies which happened before that time, which I communicated to the Officers at large, in massachusetts line, and to Colonel Vose in particular, who immediately wrote on to Gover. Hancock Countermanding, his Letter of the 2 of Novbr requesting Warrents, to fill the Vacancies, made by the Resignations of two Capt. on that day.2 that letter was rece’d by the Govenor, notwithstandg the Warrents have come on, but without any Letter, the bearer of them, (Capt. Pope) says his Excellency the Governor told him, your Excelly had inform’d, all Vacancies were to be fill’d up to the first of January. Col. Vose informs the Gentlemen are Anxious to have their Warrants, and claim them as Matter of right; should it be convenient, to your Excellency to drop a line in answer to this the bearer will wait.3 I am Sir very respectfully Your Excellency’s most Obedt Humle servt

Jno. Glover B. General


1The enclosed letter from Col. Joseph Vose to Glover, written at West Point on this date, reads: “would beg leave to Represent to you what has happend in my Regiment Respecting promotion. Second day of November last had two Capts. Resign’d. I then sent the same day to Governer Hancock for warrants, as follows. Capt. Lieut. [Jesse] Hollister & Lieut. [Ebenezer] Williams to the rank of Capt.[.] Lieut. [Thomas Humphrey] Cushing to the rank of Capt. Lieut. Ensn [Jeduthan] Rawson & Ensn [Ebenezer] Wilds to the rank of Lieut. the next day I was desired by Genl Glover to send and stope the warrants from being Issued. As he inform’d me it was his Excellenceys orders no promotion should take place after the first day of November[.] I immediatly sent to have them Stop’d but they came. the barer of the warrants inform’d me Governer Hancock Received both my Letters. I have no Vacancie in my Regt. Should be much Oblidged to you to lay the matter before his Excellencey. the Gentlemen Claime them as their right” (DLC:GW).

2Vose’s letters to Massachusetts governor John Hancock have not been identified.

3GW replied to Glover on 19 Jan. from headquarters at New Windsor: “I was favored last Evening with your Letter of the same date, on the subject of which you will be pleased to observe, that as I had before given My opinion that no promotions could take place after the publication of the Resolution of Congress to the Army; so I still remain decidedly of that sentiment—And that no power inferior to Congress can make a Departure from it in practice warrantable.

“I have never written to Govr Hancock respecting the Matter, or taken any Measures which could countenance to an opinion contrary to the foregoing” (Df, in David Humphreys’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; see also General Orders, 1 Nov. 1780).

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