Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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. 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).
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.
I have been duly honored with your favors of the 28th and that of the 30th ulto., with the several enclosures to which they refer.
Congress may rely, that I will use every possible means in my power to conciliate any differences, that may have arisen in consequence of the Count d’Estaing’s going to Boston, and to prevent a publication of the protest upon the occasion. Several days before the receipt of the Resolution, I had written to the Eastward, urging the necessity of harmony, and the expediency of affording the Admiral every assistance to refit his ships. This I repeated after the resolution came to hand; and I have also taken opportunities to request all the general officers here to place the matter in the most favorable point of view, whenever they hear it mentioned.
The Five Hundred Guineas, which Congress were pleased to order, came safe to hand, and shall be appropriated to the purposes they intended, and as the exigency of the service may require. For want of supplies of this sort, we have been very deficient in intelligence in many important and interesting points. In some cases, no consideration in paper money has been found sufficient to effect even an engagement to procure it; and, where it has been otherwise, the terms of service, on account of the depreciation, have been high, if not exorbitant.
The designs of the Enemy, as to their future movements, remain yet entirely unfolded; but the expectation of their leaving the continent is daily decreasing. The hurricane season seems opposed to their going to the West Indies; and the passage to Europe in a little time will become more and more dangerous. Besides these, there is another circumstance, of some weight if true, to induce a belief that they mean to stay. It appears by the papers, that part of the Regiments lately raised in Britain are ordered to Halifax. If the troops here were intended to be recalled, it would seem that some of them would be sent to reinforce that Garrison sooner than troops from England or Scotland; and hence I think it may be presumed, that another Campaign will take place in America, especially if administration are disappointed in their expectations from the commission.
Where the theatre of war may be, must be a matter of conjecture. But, as it is an acknowledged fact, that an army acting in the Eastern States must derive flour for its support from those more western, I submit to Congress the expediency, and in my opinion the necessity, of establishing, without loss of time, magazines of this article at convenient places removed from the Sound in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I am the more induced to wish an early consideration of this point, as, by a sudden move of the army, (should events make it necessary,) the departments of commissary and quartermaster would be greatly distressed. Nor would such magazines, I should imagine, be attended with any considerable loss, though the army should not operate in that quarter, as the flour would answer occasionally for our shipping, and the surplus might, in all probability, be otherwise readily disposed of.
I take the liberty of transmitting to Congress, a memorial I received from the Reverend Mr. Tetard. From the certificates annexed to it, he appears to be a man of great merit, and from every account he has suffered in the extreme, in the present contest. His attachment, services and misfortunes seem to give him a claim to a generous notice; but according to the now establishment of the army, it is not in my power to make any provision for him. I therefore recommend his case to the attention and consideration of Congress.
Six o’clock, P.M.—I this minute received a Letter from General Sullivan, of which the Enclosure No. 2 is a copy. I shall be exceedingly happy, if a perfect reconciliation has taken place between him and the Count, and all the officers. His Letter will show some of the reasons, that led to the protest, and that it was the hope of our officers, that it would have operated as a justification to the Admiral to return, against the sentiments of his council, especially as it coincided, it is said, with his own inclination. I had these reasons from another hand when the protest first came.
I was duly honored yesterday evening, with your favor of the 31st Ulto. Tho’ it is not expressed in the Resolution of that date, that any other bounty is to be given to the men, who engage for three years or during the war, than Twenty Dollars, I shall take it for granted they are to receive the usual allowance of Cloathing and Lands. There are several Continental Troops whose time of service will expire at the end of the fall or during the Winter. I shall consider these within the meaning and operation of the Resolve, tho’ they are not mentioned—and shall direct every necessary measure to be taken to rein-list them. From the exorbitant State, Town and Substitute bounties, I am very doubtful whether Twenty Dollars will be found sufficient to engage so great a proportion either of the Draughts or Continentals, as was at first apprehended. Our failure in the enterprize against Rhode Island will have its weight and every day, from the approach of the fall and Winter, will add new difficulties. As it is a work of the most essential importance, I will order it to be begun, the instant the Money arrives; and lest on experiment the sum should prove too small I would submit it to Congress, whether it will not be expedient to pass another Resolve, authorizing a further bounty of Ten Dollars, to be used as circumstances may make it necessary. This can remain a secret, and will not be carried into execution, but in case of evident necessity. I feel very much interested upon the occasion, and have submitted this mode, that there may not be the least possible delay in attempting to engage the men, under a second expedient, if the first should not succeed. The Articles of Cloathing and blankets should also employ the utmost attention to provide them. We are now in great want, particularly of the latter, there not being less than — actually wanted at this moment. I have, &c.
P. S. The return of Blankets has not come in and therefore I cannot ascertain the deficiency by this conveyance.