Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - 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 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).
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 PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Cambridge, 9 February, 1776.
In compliance with the resolves of Congress, I have applied to General Howe for the exchange of Mr. Lovell. A copy of my letter and his answer thereto you have inclosed.
Captain Waters and Captain Tucker, who command two of the armed schooners, have taken and sent into Gloucester a large brigantine laden with wood, 150 butts for water and 40 suits of bedding, bound from La Havre in Nova Scotia for Boston. She is one of the transports in the ministerial service. The captain says he was at Halifax the 17th January, and that General Massey was arrived there with two regiments from Ireland.
The different prizes were all libelled immediately on receipt of the resolves of Congress pointing out the mode, but none of them yet brought to trial, owing to a difference between the law passed in this Province, and the resolutions of Congress. The General Court are making an amendment to their law by which the difficulties that now occur will be removed, as I understand it is to be made conformable to your resolves. The unavoidable delay attending the bringing the captures to trial is grievously complained of by the masters of these vessels, as well as the captors. Many of the former have applied for liberty to go away without awaiting the decision, which I have granted them.
I beg leave to call the attention of Congress to their appointing a commissary in these parts, to attend the providing of necessaries for the prisoners who are dispersed in these provinces. Complaints are made by some of them, that they are in want of bedding, and many other things; as I understand that Mr. Franks has undertaken that business, I wish he was ordered to find a deputy immediately, to see that the prisoners get what is allowed them by Congress. Also to supply the officers with money as they may have occasion. It will save me much time and much trouble.
There are yet but few companies of the militia come in. This delay will, I am much afraid frustrate the intention of their being called upon, as the season is slipping fast away when they may be of service.
The demands of the army were so very pressing before your last remittance came to hand, that I was under the necessity of borrowing £25,000 lawful money from this province. They very cheerfully lent it, and passed a vote for as much more if required. I have not repaid the sum borrowed, as I may stand in need of it before the arrival of another supply, which the demands of the commissary general, Quartermaster general, and paying off the arrearages, will very soon require.
Your esteemed favor of the 29th ultimo is just come to hand. It makes me very happy to find my conduct hath met the approbation of Congress. I am entirely of your opinion that should an accommodation take place, the terms will be severe or favorable, in proportion to our ability to resist, and that we ought to be on a respectable footing to receive their armaments in the spring. But how far we shall be provided with the means, is a matter I profess not to know under my present unhappy want of arms, ammunition and I may add men, as our regiments are very incomplete. The recruiting goes on very slow, and will I apprehend be more so, if for other service the men receive a bounty, and none is given here.
I have tried every method I could think of to procure arms for our men. They really are not to be had in these governments belonging to the public, and if some method is not fallen upon in the southern governments to supply us, we shall be in a distressed situation for want of them. There are near 2000 men now in camp without firelocks. I have wrote to the committee of New York this day, requesting them to send me those arms, which were taken from the disaffected in that government. The Congress interesting themselves in this request will doubtless have a good effect. I have sent officers into the country with money to purchase arms in the different towns; some have returned and brought in a few; many are still out, what their success will be, I cannot determine.
I was in great hopes that the expresses resolved to be established between this place and Philadelphia would ere now have been fixt. It would, in my opinion, rather save than increase the expence, as many horses are destroyed by one man coming the whole way. It will certainly be more expeditious and safer than writing by the post, or private hands, which I am often under the necessity of doing. I am, &c.1
[1 ]Received February 22nd. On the 23d a committee composed of Paine, Wilson, Huntington, Lee and Lewis Morris, was named to contract for the making of muskets and bayonets, and to consider of farther means of promoting and encouraging the manufacture of fire arms in all parts of the united colonies. The secret committee was also authorized to export a certain amount of produce to be exchanged for arms. It was not until March 14th that a general resolution recommending the disarming of the “notoriously disaffected” throughout the colonies was adopted, the arms taken to be paid for.