Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (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. IV (1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. IV (1776).
About Liberty Fund:
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
New York, 17 June, 1776.
The enclosed came to my hands as a private letter from General Sullivan. As a private letter I lay it before Congress.2 The tendency (for it requires no explanation) will account for the contrast between it and the letter of General Arnold. That the former is aiming at the command in Canada is obvious. Whether he merits it or not, is a matter to be considered; and that it may be considered with propriety, I think it my duty to observe, as of my own knowledge, that he is active, spirited, and zealously attached to the cause. That he does not want abilities, many members of Congress as well as myself, can testify; but he has his wants, and he has his foibles. The latter are manifested in a little tincture of vanity, and in an over desire of being popular, which now and then leads him into embarrassments. His wants are common to us all—the want of experience to move upon a large scale; for the limited and contracted knowledge, which any of us have in military matters, stands in very little stead, and is greatly overbalanced by sound judgment, and some knowledge of men and books, especially when accompanied by an enterprising genius, which, I must do General Sullivan the justice to say, I think he possesses.
But, as the security of Canada is of the last importance to the well-being of these colonies, I should like to know the sentiments of Congress respecting the nomination of any officer to that command. The character I have drawn of General Sullivan is just, according to my ideas of him. Congress will, be pleased therefore, to determine upon the propriety of continuing him in Canada, or sending another, as they shall see fit. Whether General Sullivan knew of the promotion of General Gates (at the time of his writing,) and that he had quitted the department he left him in, when he marched his brigade hence to Canada, I cannot undertake to say; nor can I determine whether his wish to be recalled would be changed by it, if he did. I shall add no more than my respectful compliments to Congress, and that I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of regard and esteem, Sir, &c.1
[2 ]The letter referred to is that dated 7 June, 1776, printed in Force, American Archives, Fourth Series, vi., 938. Compare letter of 5 June, on page 921 of the same volume.
[1 ]Read June 18th. Private.