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Letter from Philip Thomas to Maryland Council of Safety



Middle District of Frederick County, March 7, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: By the return of the Committee of the Militia Companies in this District, you will observe that I was chosen Captain of a company, which I believe was one of the first raised in the Province, and placed in the Fourth Battalion; but my commission has never come to hand;


and, to save your Honours the trouble of making one out, it is necessary to inform you that I decline serving in the above capacity, which I am induced to do for these reasons, viz:

I had the honour to command one of the oldest companies in the Province, and was recommended by the Committee to the Convention, as a proper person to be appointed Colonel of the Fourth Battalion. They being the representatives of the people, and a respectable body of men, I was impressed with a grateful sense of the favour conferred on me; the more so, as it was unsolicited. But their recommendation, for reasons which I am in some measure at a loss to suggest, did not meet with the approbation of the Convention; and a Lieutenant of a younger company, in another battalion, who was not recommended by the Committee to any office, was appointed, whose experience was not conspicuous, and whose assiduity in promoting the good of the cause we are justly engaged in, did not exceed my own. The First Lieutenant of my company was promoted to the appointment of First Major in the same battalion, by which means, was I to accept of the commission, I should be under the command of one who was formerly an inferior officer in a younger company, and of another who was an officer under me.

These reasons, I hope, will appear satisfactory to your Honours, and justify my resignation, especially as I find it impracticable for me, with honour under these circumstances, to render my country that service which I was inclined to do. I would not be understood (as it is far from my design) to cast reflection on the conduct of the Convention, or that I suspect them of being partial in the above appointments. I rather am inclined to believe it has proceeded from their being deceived by persons who they may have depended upon for information. In this opinion I am the more confirmed, from the many resignations of commissions, and from the complaints of the people, on account of the appointment of Field-Officers in this District.

I am, gentlemen, your very obedient servant,


To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.