Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VII (1778-1779).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Head-Quarters, six o’clock, p. m.,
Since I had the honor of addressing you this forenoon, I have received your letter of the 17th, with its several enclosures. I am happy in the approbation of Congress respecting my conduct to Dr. Ferguson. I could not find, after the maturest consideration on the subject, that his passage through the country could be in any wise material, or answer any other purpose than to spread disaffection.
I shall take every measure in my power to prevent an intercourse between the army and the enemy, and also between the inhabitants and the latter. You may rest assured, that whatever letters come from their lines shall be, as they ever have been, minutely inspected; and whenever they import any thing of an insidious cast, they shall be suppressed. In this I trust I shall not offend against any rule of right, nor the strictest propriety. The letter for the commissioners I shall transmit by any earliest opportunity; however, their departure from Philadelphia will prevent their getting it as soon as they otherwise would have done. I cannot say that I regret the delay; for there is no knowing to what acts of depredation and ruin their disappointed ambition might have led. And permit me to add, that I think there was no other criterion for Congress to go by, than the one they have adopted. The proceedings of the 22d of April, it is probable, have reached Britain by this time, and will show that the present powers of the commissioners, or at least those we are obliged to suppose them to possess, are wholly incompetent to any valuable end.
I have appointed General Arnold to command in Philadelphia, as the state of his wound will not permit his services in a more active line. Colonel Jackson,1 with a detachment of troops, is to attend him; and I flatter myself that order will be preserved, and the several purposes answered, expressed by Congress in their resolution of the 4th instant.2 The General set out this evening, and I myself shall move with the main body of the army at five in the morning to-morrow.3 I have the honor to be, &c.
P. S. By this conveyance you will be pleased to receive the proceedings of the court of inquiry, respecting the losses of the forts in the Highlands.1
[1 ]Henry Jackson, of the Massachusetts line.
[2 ]The object of this resolve was to protect the inhabitants of Philadelphia from suffering any insult or injury to their property or persons after the evacuation. It was required, that no transfers, removals, or sales of goods or merchandise in the possession of the inhabitants should be allowed, till it should be ascertained by a joint committee, appointed by Congress and the government of Pennsylvania, whether any of them belonged to the king of Great Britain or his subjects.
[3 ]“You are immediately to proceed to Philadelphia and take the command of the troops there. The principal objects of your command you will find specified in the enclosed resolve of Congress of the 4th instant, which you will carefully execute. You will take every prudent step in your power to preserve tranquillity and order in the city, and give security to individuals of every class and description, restraining as far as possible, till the restoration of civil government, every species of persecution, insult, or abuse, either from the soldiery to the inhabitants, or among each other. I leave it to your own discretion to adopt such measures as shall appear to you the most effectual, and at the same time least offensive, for answering the views of Congress, to prevent the removal, transfer, or sale of any goods, wares, or merchandise, in possession of the inhabitants of the city, till the property of them can be ascertained in the mode directed.
[1 ]Read in Congress, June 20th.