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Letter from Colonel Dubois to the President of Congress



[Read August 1, 1776.]

New York, July 17, 1776.

SIR: On my arrival at New York, I applied to General Washington for recruiting orders for the officers of my regiment, according to appointment of the honourable Congress, which he granted me. I thereupon notified the several officers of their appointments; but, to my great surprise, I found many of them offended, and soon after they sent me their resignations, with their reasons, which I now enclose you.

I could hardly have believed that gentlemen would have disputed for rank they all the winter acquiesced in, and performed duty accordingly in the Army before Quebeck; especially as the arrangement of the officers of the regiments to be recruited out of the four New York regiments in Canada was made on the same principle, to wit: agreeable to the appointment by the late worthy General Montgomery.

I also enclose you a certificate of the rank of the officers of the Third Regiment, in which I served in Canada, certified by Colonel Weissenfels, who then acted as Brigade-Major, by which it will evidently appear that the gentlemen who have resigned assigned false reasons, and that the arrangement of my regiment, as far as it respects the late officers of the Third Regiment, is perfectly agreeable to the rank they bore therein. And should there be any mistakes in respect to any of the officers of the other regiments, it was without any design in me to injure them; nor do I believe there is any, except in the case of Lieutenant Gano, which I offered to have corrected, as it might have been done, as the men in whose favour it was unintentionally made, resigned. It is true, there was one Mr˙ Gilliland left out of my regiment, who served last winter in Canada; but I hope I shall stand justified in not returning his name in my list of officers made by the Convention of this Colony to Congress last spring, because he is noted as unfit to serve, as is mentioned by that return. If I am rightly informed, the Congress of this Colony decline appointing the remainder of my officers. This will tend so much to delay the filling my regiment, that I would beg to be informed by your honourable House, how they are to be appointed, that I may take the proper steps for that purpose. A number of good men have offered their services, and say they can raise their proportion of men in a few days.

I am, with the profoundest respect, your most obedient servant,

To the Hon˙ John Hancock, Esq˙, President of the Continental Congress.