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, 19 July, 1776.
I have been duly honored with your favors of the 16th & 17th with the several Resolves they contained, to the execution of which so far as shall be in my power, I will pay proper attention.
In my Letter of the 17th I transmitted you a Copy of one from Genl Schuyler and of its several Inclosures. I confess the determination of the Council of General Officers on the 7th to retreat from Crown Point surprized me much, and the more I consider it the more striking does the impropriety appear. The reasons assigned against it by the Field Officers in their remonstrance, coincide greatly with my own Ideas, and those of the other General Officers I have had an opportunity of consulting with, and seem to be of considerable weight,—I may add conclusive. I am not so fully acquainted with the Geography of that country and the situation of the different posts as to pronounce a peremptory Judgement upon the matter, but if my ideas are right, the possession of Crown Point is essential to give us the superiority and mastery upon the Lake. That the Enemy will possess it as soon as abandoned by us, there can be no doubt, and if they do, whatever Gallies or force we keep on the Lake, will be unquestionably in their rear. How they are to be supported there, or what succor can be drawn from ’em there, is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps it is only meant, that they shall be employed on the communication between that and Ticonderoga. If this is the case, I fear the views of Congress will not be answered, nor the salutary effects be derived from them that were Intended. I have mentioned my surprize to General Schuyler, and would by the advice of the Generals here have directed, that that post should be maintained, had it not been for two causes; An apprehension that the Works have been destroyed, and that if the Army should be ordered from Ticonderoga or the post opposite to it, where I presume they are, to repossess it, they would have neither one place or another secure and in a defensible state. The other, lest it might encrease the Jealousy and diversity in Opinions which seem already too prevalent in that Army, and establish a precedent for the Inferior Officers to set up their Judgements when ever they would, in opposition to those of their superiors—a matter of great delicacy, and that might lead to fatal consequences, if countenanced; tho’ in the present instance I could wish their reasoning has prevailed. If the Army has not removed, what I have said to General Schuyler may perhaps bring on a reconsideration of the matter and it may not be too late to take measures for maintaining that post but of this I have no hope.
In consequence of the resolve of Congress for three of the Eastern Regiments to reinforce the Northern Army I wrote General Ward and, by advice of my General Officers, directed them to march to Norwich and there to embark for Albany, conceiving that two valuable purposes might result therefrom:—First, that they would sooner Join the Army by pursuing this Route and be saved from distress and fatigue that must attend every long March thro’ the country at this hot uncomfortable season; and secondly, that they might give succor here in case the Enemy should make an Attack about the Time of their passing: But the Enemy having now with their Ships of War and Tenders cut off the water communication from hence to Albany, I have wrote this day and directed them to proceed by Land across the Country. If Congress disapprove the route, or wish to give any orders about them, you will please to certifye me, thereof, that I may take measures accordingly.1
Enclosed I have the honor to transmit you copies of a letter and sundry resolutions, which I received yesterday from the Convention of this State.2 By them you will perceive they have been acting upon matters of great importance, and are exerting themselves in the most vigorous manner to defeat the wicked designs of the enemy, and such disaffected persons as may incline to assist and facilitate their views. In compliance with their request, and on account of the scarcity of money for carrying their salutary views into execution, I have agreed to lend them, out of the small stock now in hand (not more than sixty thousand dollars), twenty thousand dollars, as a part of what they want; which they promise speedily to replace. Had there been money sufficient for paying the whole of our troops and not more, I could not have done it. But as it was otherwise, and by no means proper to pay a part and not the whole, I could not foresee any inconveniences that would attend the loan; on the contrary, that it might contribute in some degree to forward their schemes. I hope my conduct in this instance will not be disapproved.
I enclosed Governor Trumbull a copy of their letter, and of their several resolves by Colonel Broome and Mr. Duer, two members of the Convention, who are going to wait on him; but did not think myself at liberty to urge or request his interest in forming the camp of six thousand men, as the levies, directed by Congress to be furnished the 3d of June for the defence of this place by that government, are but little more than one third come in. At the same time, the proposition I think a good one, if it could be carried into execution. In case the enemy should attempt to effect a landing above Kingsbridge, and to cut off the communication between this city and the country, an army to hang on their rear would distress them exceedingly.
I have the honor to be, &c.1
P. S. The enclosed paper should have been sent before but was omitted thro’ hurry.
P. S. After I had closed my Letter I received one from Genl Ward, a copy of which is herewith Transmitted. I have wrote him to forward the Two Regimts. now at Boston by the most direct road to Ticonderoga, as soon as they are well, with the utmost expedition, & consider their having had the small pox as a fortunate circumstance—When the three arrive which have marched for Norwich, I shall immediately send one of ’em on, if Congress shall judge it expedient, of which you will please to Inform me.1
[1 ]“Resolved, That General Washington be informed that Congress have such an entire confidence in his judgment, that they will give him no particular directions about the disposition of the troops, but desire that he will dispose of those at New York, the flying camp, and Ticonderoga, as to him shall seem most conducive to the public good.”—Journals, 23 July, 1776.
[2 ]Resolutions for calling out one fourth part of the militia of the counties of Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange, for the defence of the State; to be engaged till the last day of December, and each man to receive a bounty of twenty dollars, and Continental pay and subsistence. They were to be stationed in the Highlands, and in the vicinity below, to guard the defiles and prevent incursions of the enemy from Hudson’s River. General Washington was requested to appoint a commander of these levies. He appointed General George Clinton.
[1 ]Read July 20th. Referred to Board of War.
[1 ]“Resolved, that General Washington be impowered to order the regiment lately raised in Connecticut under the command of Col. Ward, wheresoever he shall think the service requires it.”—Journals of Congress, 29 July, 1776.