George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 21 February 1781

To John Hancock

Head Quarters New Windsor 21st February 1781


I had the honor of receiving your Excellency’s favor of the 5th by General Warner, to whom I gave every advice and assistance relative to the distribution of the generous donation of the State to their old Soldiers.1

This well timed gratuity has had, I am informed, a most happy effect, and I have not the least doubt, but if the future supplies of pay—Cloathing and provision, the two last in particular, are more regular than they have been for some time past, that the troops, instead of exhibiting those marks of discontent, which had in a manner pervaded the whole Army, will re-assume their wonted good temper, and chearfully perform those duties, which can only be expected or exacted from men, who have no just cause of complaint.

Give me leave to congratulate Your Excellency upon the late brilliant success of our Arms to the southward,2 and to hope that your next will afford me the pleasure of hearing of your perfect recovery. I have the honor to be With the highest respect & esteem Your Excellency’s Most Obedient servant.

Go: Washington

LS, in William Colfax’s writing, M-Ar; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The docket of the LS indicates that the Massachusetts Senate read this letter on 28 Feb. and ordered it “sent Down” to the House of Representatives.

2GW refers to the victory at the Battle of Cowpens (see Nathanael Greene to GW, 24 Jan. [first letter], n.3).

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