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.
Heights of Haerlem, 7 October, 1776.
I do myself the honor of transmitting to you a copy of a letter from the Comte d’Emery, governor-general of the French part of St. Domingo, which I received yesterday, and also my answer, which I have enclosed and left open for the consideration of Congress, wishing that it may be sealed, if they approve of the Sieur Dechambault’s releasement, which I think may be attended with many valuable consequences. If Congress concur in sentiment with me, they will be pleased to give direction for his passage by the first opportunity to the French islands; if they do not, I shall be obliged by your returning my letter.1
I have also the pleasure of enclosing a copy of a letter from Monsieur Penet, which came to hand last night, and which contains intelligence of an agreeable and interesting nature, for which I beg leave to refer you to the copy. The polite manner in which Monsieur Penet has requested to be one of my aids-decamp demands my acknowledgments. As the appointment will not be attended with any expense, and will show a proper regard for his complaisance and the attachment he is pleased to express for the service of the American States, I shall take the liberty of complying with his requisition, and transmit to him a brevet commission, provided the same shall be agreeable to Congress. Their sentiments upon this subject you will be kind enough to favor me with by the first opportunity. The enclosed letter for the Sieur Dechambault, you will please to forward to him (if he is to be enlarged) after closing it.
Before I conclude I must take the liberty to observe, that I am under no small difficulties on account of the French gentlemen that are here, in consequence of the commissions they have received, having no means to employ them, or to afford them an opportunity of rendering that service they themselves wish to give, or which perhaps is expected by the public. Their want of our language is an objection to their being joined to any of the regiments here at this time, were there vacancies, and not other obstacles. These considerations induce me to wish, that Congress would adopt and point out some particular mode to be observed respecting them. What it should be, they will be best able to determine. But to me it appears, that their being here now can be attended with no valuable consequences, and that, as the power of appointing officers for the new army is vested in the several States, it will be necessary for Congress to direct them to be provided for in the regiments to be raised, according to the ranks they would wish them to bear, for I am convinced they will never be taken in, let their merit be what it may; or to form them into a distinct corps, which may be increased in time. They seem to be genteel, sensible men; and I have no doubt of their making good officers, as soon as they can learn so much of our language as to make themselves well understood; but, unless Congress interfere with their particular direction to the States, they will never be incorporated into any of the regiments to be raised; and, unless they are, they will be entirely at a loss, and in the most irksome situation, for something to do, as they now are.
[1 ]“I yesterday had the honor of receiving your favor of the 4th of August, and I take the earliest opportunity of testifying the pleasure I have in complying with your request, by immediately ordering the release of Monsieur Dechambault. He shall be accommodated with a passage in the first vessel, that sails from Philadelphia to the French colonies in the West Indies. Had it not been for your interposition, Monsieur Dechambault must have remained in prison till released by a cartel; but I could not hesitate to comply with a request made by a nobleman, who, by his public countenance of our cause, has rendered such essential services to the thirteen United Independent States of America, whose armies I have the honor to command.”—Washington to the Comte D’Emery (St. Domingo), 7 October, 1776.