Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY. - 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 GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY.
Cambridge, 16 January, 1776.
Your several resolves, in consequence of my letters of the 10 and 15 instant have been presented to me by a committee of your honorable body. I thank you for the assurances of being zealously disposed to do every thing in your power to facilitate the recruiting of the American army; and, at the same time I assure you I do not entertain a doubt of the truth of it, I must beg leave to add, that I conceive you have mistaken the meaning of my letter of the 10th, if you suppose it ever was in my idea, that you should offer a bounty at the separate expense of this colony.
It was not clear to me, but that some coercive measures might be used on this as on former occasions, to draft men to complete the regiments upon the Continental establishment. But as this is thought unadvisable, I shall rely on your recommending to the selectmen and committees of correspondence, &c. to exert themselves in their several towns, to promote the enlistments for the American army.1
In the mean while, as there is no appearance of this service going on but slowly, and it is necessary to have a respectable body of troops here as soon as possible, to act as circumstances shall require, I must beg that you will order in, with as much expedition as the nature of the case will admit of, seven regiments, agreeable to the establishment of this army, to continue in service till the 1st of April, if required. You will be pleased to direct, that the men come provided with good arms, blankets, kettles for cooking, and if possible with twenty rounds of powder and ball.
With respect to your other resolve relative to arms, I am quite ready to make an absolute purchase of such as shall be furnished either by the colony or individuals. I am also ready to engage payment for all the arms, which shall be furnished by the recruits, if lost in the public service; but I do not know how far I could be justified in allowing for the use of them, when I know it to be the opinion of Congress, that every man shall furnish his own arms, or pay for the use of them if put into his hands. To do otherwise is an indirect way of raising the pay. I again wish, that the honorable Court could advise some method of purchasing.
I beg leave to return my thanks for the kind offer of fifty thousand pounds for the Continental use. I will accept of a loan, upon the terms mentioned, of half that sum to secure payment of the militia, whose time of service will be up the last of this month; till when I shall not have occasion to make use of the money.
I am, with great respect, &c.1
[1 ]“I think the service has suffered and the enlistments been embarrassed, by the low state in which you keep your treasury here. Had the general been able to have paid off the old army to the last of December, when their term expired, and to give assurances for the pay of the militia when their continuance in the army should end, it might have produced many good effects—among others added some thousands to the army. You will be surprised, perhaps, when I tell you there is but about 10,000 dollars here; and that left by the necessary parsimony of the general, not knowing what occasion there might be for a little. The time for which our militia came in, ends to-morrow. We have presumed so much on the public spirit of our countrymen as to make no other provision, though everything depends on their staying, and they wish to be at home. Our house adjourned yesterday morning, and the members went down among them to use their influence. I flatter myself most of them will stay to the last of this month.”—James Warren to Samuel Adams, 14 January, 1776. (Massa. Hist. Soc. Proc. xiv., 277.
[1 ]The views of the British commander in Boston, respecting the state of affairs at this time, may be known by the following extract from a letter, dated on the 16th of January, and written by him to Lord Dartmouth.