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:
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.
New York, 26 August, 1776.
I have been duly honored with your favors of the 20th and 24th, and am happy to find my answer to Lord Drummond has met the approbation of Congress. Whatever his views were, most certainly his conduct respecting his parole is highly reprehensible. Since my letter of the 24th almost the whole of the enemy’s fleet have fallen down to the Narrows; and, from this circumstance, and the striking of their tents and their several encampments on Staten Island from time to time previous to the departure of the ships from thence, we are led to think they mean to land the main body of their army on Long Island, and to make their grand push there. I have ordered over considerable reinforcements to our troops there, and shall continue to send more as circumstances may require. There has been a little skirmishing and irregular firing kept up between their and our advanced guards, in which Colonel Martin of the Jersey levies has received a wound in his breast, which, it is apprehended, will prove mortal; a private has had his leg broken by a cannon-ball, and another has received a shot in the groin from their musketry. This is all the damage they have yet done us; what they have sustained is not known.
The shifting and changing, which the regiments have undergone of late, have prevented their making proper returns, and of course put it out of my power to transmit a general one of the army. However, I believe our strength is much the same as it was when the last was made, with the addition of nine militia regiments from the State of Connecticut, averaging about three hundred and fifty men each. These are nine of the fourteen Regiments mentioned in my Letter of 19th. Our people still continue to be very sickly. The papers designed for the foreign troops have been put into several channels, in order that they might be conveyed to ’em; and from the information I had yesterday, I have reason to believe many have fallen into their hands.1 I have enclosed a copy of Lord Drummond’s second letter in answer to mine, which I received since I transmitted his first, and which I have thought it necessary to lay before Congress, that they may possess the whole of the correspondence between us, and see how far he has exculpated himself from the charge alleged against him—The Log Book he mentions to have sent Colo. Moylan proves nothing in his favor. That shews he had been at Bermuda and from thence to some other Island, and on his passage from which to this place the Vessel he was in was boarded by a pilot who brought her into the Hook, where he found the British Fleet, which his Lordship avers he did not expect were there, having understood their destination was to the southward.1
[1 ]As the Hessians and other foreign troops were mercenaries, hired to fight in a cause in which they could feel no personal interest, the Congress thought it expedient to endeavor to entice them away from the service, and induce them to settle in the United States. For this purpose a resolution, drawn by Wilson, Jefferson and Stockton, was passed, promising to all such as would leave the British army a free exercise of their religion, and investing them with all the rights, privileges, and immunities of natives, and moreover engaging to every such person fifty acres of unappropriated land, to be held by him and his heirs in absolute property. This resolution, and other papers explaining the nature of the war, and of the part taken in it by the foreign troops, were ordered to be translated into German and circulated among them. Journals, August 14th. With this intent they were forwarded to General Washington. Concern having been expressed that no distinction had been made between officers and privates, by another resolution, Congress held out to foreign officers, who should leave the British army and become citizens of the United States, the encouragement of a bounty in land; to a colonel one thousand acres, to a lieutenant-colonel eight hundred, and so on according to the rank of the subordinate officers. Journals, August 27th.
[1 ]Read in Congress August 28th.