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General Washington to Joseph Reed



Cambridge, December 25, 1775.

DEAR SIR: At the same time that I thank you for stopping visitors in search of preferment, it will give me pleasure to show civilities to others of your recommendation. Indeed, no gentleman that is not well known, ought to come here without letters of introduction, as it puts me in an awkward situation with respect to my conduct towards them.

I do not very much understand a paragraph in your letter, which seetns to be taken from mine to Colonel Hancock, expressive of the unwillingness of the Connecticut troops to be deemed Continental. There is no expression in any of my letters, that I can either recollect or find, that has a tendency that way; further than their unwillingness to have officers of other Governments mixed in their corps; in which they are not singular, as the same partiality runs through the whole. I have, in some measure, anticipated the desires of the Connecticut Delegates, by a kind of representation to each of the New-England Governments of the impracticability of raising our complement of men by voluntary inlistments, and submitting to their consideration whether, if the powers of Government are sufficiently coercive, each town should not be called upon for a proportionate number of recruits. What they will do in the matter remains to be known. The militia, who have supplied the places of the Connecticut Regiments, behave much better than I expected they would under our want of wood, barracks, and blankets. With these men, and such as are reinlisted, I shall hope, if they will be vigilant and spirited, to give the enemy a warm reception, if they think proper to come out. Our want of powder is inconceivable. A daily waste, and no supply, presents a gloomy prospect. I fear the detention of the vessels from your port is so generally known, as to defeat the end. Two men-of-war, it is said, put into New-York the other day, and were immediately ordered out, supposed to Virginia.

I am so much indebted for the civilities shown to Mrs˙ Washington on her journey hither, that I hardly know how to acknowledge them. Some of the enclosed (all of which I beg the favour of you to put into the post-office) are directed to that end, and I shall be obliged to you for presenting my thanks to the commanding-officers of the two battalions of Philadelphia, for the honour done to her and me, as also to any others equally entitled.

I very sincerely offer you the compliments of the season, and wish you and Mrs˙ Reed, and your fireside, the happy return of many of them, being, dear sir, yours, &c.


To Joseph Reed, Esq.