Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - 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.
Cambridge, 4 January, 1776.
Since my last of the 31st ultimo, I have been honored with your favor of the 22d, enclosing sundry resolves, which shall, in matters they respect, be made the rule of my conduct. The resolution relative to the troops in Boston, I beg the favor of you, Sir, to assure Congress, shall be attempted to be put in execution the first moment I see a probability of success, and in such a way as a council of officers shall think most likely to produce it; but if this should not happen as soon as you may expect, or my wishes prompt to, I request that Congress will be pleased to advert to my situation, and do me the justice to believe, that circumstances, and no want of inclination, are the cause of delay.
It is not in the pages of history, perhaps, to furnish a case like ours. To maintain a post within musket-shot of the enemy, for six months together, without1NA, and at the same time to disband one army, and recruit another, within that distance of twenty-odd British regiments, is more, probably, than ever was attempted. But if we succeed as well in the last, as we have heretofore in the first, I shall think it the most fortunate event of my whole life.
By a very intelligent gentleman, a Mr. Hutchinson from Boston, I learn, that it was Admiral Shuldham that came into the harbor on Saturday last; that two of the five regiments from Cork are arrived at Halifax; two others have sailed for Quebec (but what was become of them could not be told); and the other, the fifty-fifth, has just got into Boston. Certain it is, also, that the greater part of the seventeen regiments is arrived there. Whether we are to conclude from hence, that more than five regiments have been sent out, or that the companies of the seventeen, arrived at Boston, are part of the regiments destined for Halifax and Quebec, I know not. We also learn from this gentleman and others, that the troops, embarked for Halifax, as mentioned in my letter of the 16th, were really designed for that place, but recalled from Nantasket Road, upon advice being received of the above regiments there. I am also informed of a fleet now getting ready, under the convoy of the Scarborough and Fowey men-of-war, consisting of five transports and two bomb-vessels, with about three hundred marines, and several flat-bottomed boats. It is whispered, that they are designed for Newport, but generally thought in Boston that they are meant for Long Island; and it is probable they will be followed by more troops, as the other transports are taking in water, to lie, as others say, in Nantasket Road, to be out of the ice. A large quantity of biscuit is also baking.
As the real design cannot with certainty be known, I submit it with all due deference to the superior judgment of Congress, whether it would not be consistent with prudence to have some of the Jersey troops thrown into New York, to prevent an evil, which would be almost irremediable, should it happen, I mean the landing of troops at that place, or upon Long Island near it.1 As it is possible you may not yet have received his Majesty’s “most gracious” speech, I do myself the honor to enclose one of many, which were sent out of Boston yesterday. It is full of rancor and resentment against us, and explicitly holds forth his royal will to be, that vigorous measures must be pursued, to deprive us of our constitutional rights and liberties. These measures, whatever they be, I hope will be opposed by more vigorous ones, and rendered unavailing and fruitless, though sanctioned and authorized by the name of majesty, a name which ought to promote the happiness of his people, and not their oppression.1 I am, Sir, &c.
[1 ]Left blank in the original to guard against the danger of miscarriage. Read, “without powder.”
[1 ]The British commander had no design of taking immediate possession of Rhode Island or New York, as we have seen by former reference to his correspondence, although both these purposes were in prospect. The forces, that sailed from Boston, in the month of January, under command of General Clinton, were bound to North Carolina, with the intention to join Lord Cornwallis in a grand enterprise against that colony, which the ministry had planned several months before, in consequence of the reports and solicitation of Governor Martin. It was supposed, that there would be a general rising among the loyalists in that country, when supported by a formidable force, and supplied with arms, and thus a secure hold would be gained on all the southern provinces. The affair turned out to be a signal failure, as did most of those undertaken at the suggestion of the colonial governors and zealous partisans of the crown, whose wishes and hopes betrayed them into a deplorable ignorance of the state of the country and character of the people.
[1 ]Read in Congress January 13th.