Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PROVINCIAL CONGRESS OF NEW YORK. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO THE PROVINCIAL CONGRESS OF NEW YORK. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. III (1775-1776).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO THE PROVINCIAL CONGRESS OF NEW YORK.
Camp atCambridge, 8 August, 1775.
It must give great concern to any considerate mind, that, when this whole continent, at a vast expense of blood and treasure, is endeavoring to establish its liberties on the most secure and solid foundations, not only by a laudable opposition of force to force, but denying itself the usual advantages of trade, there are men among us so basely sordid, as to counteract all our exertions, for the sake of a little gain. You cannot but have heard, that the distresses of the ministerial troops for fresh provisions and many other necessaries at Boston were very great. It is a policy, justifiable by all the laws of war, to endeavor to increase them. Desertions, discouragement, and a dissatisfaction with the service, besides weakening their strength, are some of the natural consequences of such a situation; and, if continued, might afford the fairest hope of success, without further effusion of human blood.
A vessel, cleared lately out of New York for St. Croix, with fresh provisions and other articles, has just gone into Boston, instead of pursuing her voyage to the West Indies. I have endeavored to discover the name of the captain, or owner, but as yet without success. The owner it is said, went to St. Croix before the vessel; from which, and her late arrival, I make no doubt you will be able to discover and expose the villain. And, if you could fall upon some effectual measures, to prevent the like in future, it would be doing a signal service to our common country.1
I have been endeavoring, by every means in my power, to discover the future intentions of our enemy here. I find a general idea prevailing, throughout the army and in the town of Boston, that the troops are soon to leave the town and go to some other part of the continent. New York is generally mentioned, as the place of their destination. I should think a rumor or suggestion of this kind worthy of very little notice, if it were not confirmed by some corresponding circumstances. But four weeks of total inactivity, with all their reinforcements arrived and recruited, the daily diminution by desertion, sickness, and small skirmishes, induce an opinion, that any effort they propose to make will be directed elsewhere.2
I thought it proper just to hint to you what is probably intended, and you will then consider what regard is to be paid to it, and what steps it will be expedient for you to take, if any. I am, with great respect and regard, Gentlemen, &c.1
[1 ]“It is a matter of exceeding great concern to the General to find, that at a time when the united efforts of America are exerting in defence of the common rights and liberties of mankind, that there should be in an army constituted for so noble a purpose, such repeated instances of officers, who lost to every sense of honor and virtue, are seeking by dirty and base means, the promotion of their own dishonest gain, to the eternal disgrace of themselves and dishonor of their country. Practices of this sort will never be overlooked, whenever an accusation is lodged; but the authors brought to the most exemplary punishment.”—Orderly Book, 10 August, 1775.
[2 ]“We have had no occurrence in the camp for several days worthy of notice; but by some advices from Boston, and several concurring circumstances, we have great reason to suspect a part or the whole of the ministerial troops, are about to remove. New York is the place generally talked of as their destination. I give you the intelligence as it came to me, but do not vouch for its authenticity.”—Washington to New York Provincial Congress 10 August, 1775.
[1 ]“Cambridge, August 9, 1775. We waited on General Washington, who I have the pleasure to inform you is much beloved and admired for his polite condescension and noble deportment. His appointment to the chief command has the general suffrage of all ranks of people here, which I think is no bad omen.”—Extract of a letter from a Philadelphian. Pennsylvania Gazette, August 23, 1775.