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, 6 September, 1776.
I was last night honored with your favor of the 3d, with sundry resolutions of Congress; and perceiving it to be their opinion and determination, that no damage shall be done to the city in case we are obliged to abandon it, I shall take every measure in my power to prevent it. Since my letter of the 4th, nothing very material has occurred, unless it is that the fleet seem to be drawing more together, and all getting close in with Governor’s Island. Their designs we cannot learn; nor have we been able to procure the least information of late, of any of their plans or intended operations.
As the enemy’s movements are very different from what we expected, and, from their large encampments a considerable distance up the Sound, there is reason to believe they intend to make a landing above or below Kingsbridge, and thereby to hem in our army, and cut off the communication with the country, I mean to call a council of general officers to-day or to-morrow, and endeavor to digest and fix upon some regular and certain system of conduct to be pursued in order to baffle their efforts and counteract their schemes; and also to determine on the expediency of evacuating or attempting to maintain the city and the several posts on this island. The result of their opinion and deliberations I shall advise Congress by the earliest opportunity, which will be by express, having it not in my power to communicate any intelligence by post, as the office is removed to so great a distance, and entirely out of the way.1
I have enclosed a list of the officers, who are prisoners, and from whom letters have been received by a flag. We know there are others not included in the list. General Sullivan having informed me, that General Howe was willing that an exchange of him for General Prescott should take place, it will be proper to send General Prescott immediately, that it may be effected.
As the militia regiments in all probability will be impatient to return, and become pressing for their pay, I shall be glad of the direction of Congress, whether they are to receive it here or from the Conventions or Assemblies of the respective States to which they belong. On the one hand, the settlement of their abstracts will be attended with trouble and difficulty; on the other, they will go away much better satisfied, and be more ready to give their aid in future, if they are paid before their departure. Before I conclude, I must take the liberty of mentioning to Congress the great distress we are in for want of money. Two months’ pay (and more to some battalions) is now due to the troops here, without any thing in the military chest to satisfy it. This occasions much dissatisfaction, and almost a general uneasiness. Not a day passes without complaints, and the most importunate and urgent demands, on this head. As it may injure the service greatly, and the want of a regular supply of cash produce consequences of the most fatal tendency, I entreat the attention of Congress to this subject, and that we may be provided as soon as can be with a sum equal to every present claim.
I have wrote to General Howe, proposing an exchange of General McDonald for Lord Stirling,1 and shall be extremely happy to obtain it, as well as that of General Prescott, being greatly in want of them, and under the necessity of appointing, pro tempore, some of the colonels to command brigades.
I have the honor to be, &c.
P. S. As two regiments from N. Carolina and 3 regiments more from Virginia are ordered here, if they could embark at Norfolk, &c., and come up the Bay with security, it would expedite their arrival, and prevent the men from a long fatiguing march. This, however, should not be attempted if the enemy have Vessels in the Bay, and which might probably intercept ’em.1
[1 ]The post-office had been removed up the Hudson River to Dobbs Ferry.
[1 ]General Donald McDonald had been captured by Colonel Caswell, the day after the action of Moore’s Creek Bridge, in North Carolina, February 27th.
[1 ]Read in Congress September 9th. Referred to the Board of War.