George Washington to John Hancock, referred to Wythe & Committee, 14 February 1776
Cambridge February the 14th 1776
Through you I bed leave to lay before Congress, the Inclosed Letter from Lord Drummond to General Robertson, which came to my hands a few days agoe in order to be sent into Boston.
As I never heard of his Lordship being vested with power to trial with Congress upon the Subject of our Grievances nor of his having laid any propositions before them for an Accommodation, I confess It surprised me much, and led me to form various conjectures of his motives, and Intended application to General Howe & Admiral Shouldam for a pasport for the safe Conduct of such Disputes as Congress might appoint for negociating Terms of the conciliation between Great Britain and us. Whatever his Intentions are, however, benevolent his doings may be, I confess that his Letter has embarrassed and much, and I have not without suspicion of Its meaning more than the Generous purposes It proposes. I should suppose that If the mode for Negociation which he points out should be adopted, which I hope will never be thought of, that It ought to have been fixed and settled previous to any application of this Fort, and at best that his conduct in this Instance is premature
and Officious ,& leading to consequences of a fatal and Injurious value to the rights of this Country. [?] and desire perhaps of you amicable & constitutional [?] may have suggested & precipitated the undesired, be that as It may, I thought It of too much importance to suffer It to go in without having the express direction of Congress for that purpose, and that It was my Indispensable duty to transmit them the Original to make such Interpretations and Inferences as they may think right.
Messers Willard & Child who were sent to Nova Scotia in pursuance of the Resolve of Congress, have just returned and made their Report, which I do myself the honor to Inclose you. They have not answered the purposes of their commission by any means, as they only went but a little way to that Country, and found their Intelligence upon the Information of others. You will see the reasons they Assigned in excuse or justification of their conduct in the Report Itself.
Last night a party of Regulars said to be about Two hundred, landed on Dorchester Neck and burnt some of the Houses there, which were of no value to us, nor would they have been, Unless we take post there; they then might have been of some service. A Detachment went after them as soon as the first was discovered, but before It could arrive, they had executed their plan and made their retreat.
Inclosed is a Letter for David Franks Esq. from Mr. Chamide in Boston, upon the subject of victualing such of the Kings Troops as may be provided within the Limits of his Contract, which I beg the favour of you to deliver him, and that proper agents may be appointed by him to see that It is done. I could wish too that Congress would fall upon some mode for Supplying the Officers with such Money as they may really stand in [?] of, and depute propose persons for that purpose & furnishing the privates with such Cloathing as may be absolutely necessary, I am applied to and weaved by their repeated reports. In some Instances I have descried the Committees to give the prisoners within their appointments, what they should Judge absolutely necessary for their support, as the only means in my power of relieving their distress. But I imagine that If there were persons to superintend this business that their wants
would be better attended to, and many exorbitant charged prevented and saved to the Continent, & the [?] then be brought in to a proper account
I am Sir,
with great esteem & regard
Your Most Hble Servt.
P.S. I send a Return of the strength of the Regiments.
Letter from gen. Washington
Feby 14th 1776.
Enclosing Lord Drummand’s letter return of the New Arm.
Information of the persons sent to Nova Scotia.
Read 29 Feby. 1776
Mr. J Adams
By G.W. from
Mr. Chase 11 March