Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
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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).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
New York, 20 June, 1776.
I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of the 14th and 18th instant, and the interesting resolves contained in them, with which I have been honored. The several matters recommended to my attention shall be particularly regarded, and the directions of Congress and your requests complied with in every instance, as far as in my power.
The instituting a war-office is certainly an event of great importance, and, in all probability, will be recorded as such in the historic page. The benefits derived from it, I flatter myself, will be considerable, though the plan upon which it is first formed may not be entirely perfect. This, like other great works, in its first edition, may not be free from error; time will discover its defects, and experience suggest the remedy, and such further improvements as may be necessary; but it was right to give it a beginning, in my opinion.1 The recommendation of the Convention of New York for restraining and punishing disaffected persons, I am hopefull will be attended with salutary consequences; and the prohibition against exporting provisions appears to have been a measure founded in sound policy, lest proper supplies should be wanted, wherewith to subsist our armies. I have transmitted General Schuyler the resolves about the Indians, and the others on which he is to act; and have requested his strict attention and exertions in order to their being carried into execution with all possible despatch.
I note your request respecting Mr. Hancock—he shall have such directions as may be necessary for conducting his office and are happy he will have so early a remittance for paying the Troops in his Department.
The Silver and paper money designed for Canada will be highly serviceable and I hope will be the means of re-establishing our credit there in some degree with the Canadians and also encourage our men too, who have complained in this Instance. When it arrives, I will send it forward under a proper guard.
I have communicated to Major-General Gates the resolve of Congress for him to repair to Canada, and directed him to view Point-au-fer,1 that a fortress may be erected if he shall judge it necessary. He is preparing for his command, and in a few days will take his departure for it. I would fain hope his arrival there will give our affairs a complexion different from what they have worn for a long time past, and that many essential benefits will result from it. The kind attention Congress have shown to afford the Commander-in-chief here every assistance, by resolving that recommendatory letters be written to the Conventions of New Jersey, New York, and Assembly of Connecticut, to authorize him to call in the militia in case of exigency, claims my thankful acknowledgments; and, I trust, if carried into execution, will produce many advantages in case it may be expedient at any time to call in early reinforcements. The delays incident to the ordinary mode may frequently render their aid too late, and prove exceedingly injurious.
I this evening received Intelligence of the 19th Inst. from Capt. Pond of the armed Sloop Schuyler of his having taken about 50 miles from this on the South side of Long Island, a Ship and a Sloop bound to Sandy Hook—The ship from Glasgow with a Company of the 42 Regimt had been taken by one of Commodore Hopkins’s fleet who took the Soldiers out and ordered her to Rhode Island—after which it was retaken by the Cerberus and put under the Convoy of the Sloop—As Captain Pond Informs, there were Five Commissd. officers, Two Ladies, & four privates on board—they are not yet arrived at Head Quarters—Inclosed is an invoice of what they have on board.
General Wooster having expressed an inclination and wish to wait on Congress, I have given him permission, not having any occasion for him here. He set out this morning. I have been up to view the grounds about Kingsbridge, and find them to admit of several places well calculated for defence; and, esteeming it a pass of the utmost importance, have ordered works to be laid out, and shall direct part of the two battalions from Pennsylvania to set about the execution immediately, and will add to their numbers several of the militia, when they come in, to expedite them with all possible despatch.1 Their consequence as they will keep open the communication with the country requires the most speedy completion of them. I am, &c.1
[1 ]The Board of War and Ordnance consisted of five members, with a secretary and the necessary clerks. It was the duty of this Board to obtain and preserve an alphabetical register of all the officers in the Continental army, with their rank and the dates of their commissions; to keep exact accounts of the artillery, arms, ammunition, and warlike stores, and to have the same under their particular charge; to provide for the forwarding of all despatches and moneys transmitted by Congress on the public service; “to superintend the raising, fitting out, and despatching all such land forces, as should be ordered for the service of the United Colonies; to have the care and direction of all the prisoners of war, according to the orders and regulations of Congress”; and to keep a careful record of all their letters and transactions.
[1 ]A point of land on the western shore of Lake Champlain, between Isle aux Noix and Isle la Motte.
[1 ]These works were of great importance in keeping open a communication with the country. They embraced the fort on an eminence near Hudson’s River, called Fort Washington, the redoubts at Jeffrey’s Point, and on the hills north and east of Fort Washington, breastworks at Kingsbridge, and Fort Independence on the north side of Haerlem Creek near its junction with the Hudson.
[1 ]Read June 24th. Referred to the Board of War and Ordnance.