Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 1 - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. 1 - 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).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.1
Cambridge, 14 December, 1775.
I received your favor of the 2d instant, with the several resolves of Congress therein enclosed. The resolves relative to captures made by Continental armed vessels only want a court established for trial, to make them complete. This, I hope, will be soon done, as I have taken the liberty to urge it often to the Congress.
I am somewhat at a loss to know whether I am to raise the two battalions of marines here or not. As the delay can be attended with but little inconvenience, I will wait a further explanation from Congress, before I take any further steps thereon. I am much pleased that the money will be forwarded with all possible expedition, as it is much wanting; also that Connolly and his associates are taken. It has been a very fortunate discovery. I make no doubt, but that Congress will take every necessary measure to dispossess Lord Dunmore of his hold in Virginia. The sooner steps are taken for that purpose, the more probability there will be of their being effectual.1
Mr. William Aspinwall and Mr Lemuel Hayward were appointed surgeons at Roxbury in the first formation of the army. They were confirmed by Doctor Church, who promised them to write to the Congress in their behalf. They applied to me during his confinement here, at a time that I had notice of Doctor Morgan’s appointment. I referred them to his arrival, and inclosed you have his sentiments relative to them, also of Doctor Rand, surgeon to the smallpox hospital and his mate. I have to remark to you that when we had some time past got the better of the smallpox, Doctor Rand applied to me for a continuance of him in that department, which from a principle of not multiplying offices, I declined. He is at present wanting, and says that by only attending occasionally he loses his country practice; of course his livelihood. You will please to lay these matters before Congress for their consideration.
I was happy enough to anticipate the desire of Congress, respecting Mr. Croft and Mr. Trot. They both declined. The latter did not choose to serve, the former’s ambition was not fully gratified by the offer made to him of a majority, and higher rank must have turned out Col. Burbeck, or Major Mason, who had served in those characters in that regiment to acceptation.
I hope Colonel Knox will soon finish the business he is upon, and appear here to take the honorable command conferred on him by Congress.1
I will make application to General Howe, and propose an exchange for Ethan Allen. I am much afraid I shall have a like proposal to make for Captain Martindale and his men, of the armed brigantine Washington, which, it is reported, was taken a few days past by a man-of-war, and carried into Boston. We cannot expect to be always successful. You will doubtless hear of the barbarity of Captain Wallace on Connanicut Island, ere this reaches your hands.2
About a hundred and fifty more of the poor inhabitants are come out of Boston. The smallpox rages all over the town. Such of the military, as had it not before, are now under inoculation. This, I apprehend, is a weapon of defence they are using against us. What confirms me in this opinion, is, that I have information, that they are tearing up the pavement, to be provided against a bombardment. I wrote to you this day by Messrs. Penet and de Pliarne, who will lay before the Congress, or a committee thereof, proposals for furnishing the continent with arms and ammunition. I refer you to themselves for further particulars.3 I have the honor to be, &c.
[1 ]“A letter from General Washington dated 14th December being delivered by two strangers was read. Resolved that the same be committed to the Secret Committee, who are directed to confer with the bearers, and pursue such measures as they may think proper for the interest of the United Colonies.”—Journals of Congress (MS.), 30 December, 1775.
[1 ]Congress determined on December 2 to send the recently equipped continental vessels against Lord Dunmore, and pilots were sent for from Virginia. Two of the best pilots, Edward Cooper and William Ballard, came up to Philadelphia soon after Christmas 1775, but the appearance of two British vessels in the Chesapeake, put an end to the attempt. Richard Henry Lee to Arthur Lee, 6 July, 1783.
[1 ]Henry Knox was appointed Colonel of the regiment of artillery by Congress, on the 17th of November.
[2 ]Connanicut is a small island opposite Newport, in Narraganset Bay. Captain Wallace landed on the island with a body of sailors and marines, burnt several houses, plundered the people’s goods, and drove off the cattle.
[3 ]“I do myself the honor to address this letter to you by Mr. Prenet and another French gentleman, who arrived here [Providence] last night, with Captain Rhodes, from Cape François, who were despatched some time since from this place for powder. Mr. Prenet comes extremely well recommended to our committee, for providing powder, from a merchant of character, at the Cape. He hath proposals to make for supplying the United Colonies with arms and warlike stores. I am informed that the other gentleman is a person of some consequence.”—Governor Cooke to Washington, 11 December, 1775. “I have heard their proposals and plans for supplying the continent with arms and ammunition, which appear plausible, and to promise success. But not thinking myself authorized to enter into any contract respecting the same, and being not fully acquainted with the measures Congress have adopted for procuring these articles, I have prevailed upon them to go to Philadelphia, and recommended them, and a consideration of their plan, to that body, when the matter will be finally agreed upon, or rejected.”—Washington to Governor Cooke, 14 December, 1775.