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President of Congress to the Eastern States



Philadelphia, November 15th, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: In consequence of sundry votes of the Assembly of Massachusetts-Bay being laid before Congress, they have come to the enclosed resolves, wherein you will perceive they have disapproved of the measure of increasing in any one State the bounty given by Congress, on the reinlistment of the troops, as having a manifest tendency to lay the foundation of discontent in the Army. They have, however, upon revising the resolution of the 16th September, agreed to engage for three years such of the soldiers as may decline inlisting during the continuance of the war.

In the present exigency of our affairs every measure should be adopted that will assist in filling up the Army, the completing of which is an object of the utmost importance. The Congress have therefore determined that those troops who will engage for three years shall be entitled to receive the same bounty and pay with those who inlist during the war, except the one hundred acres of land, which are to be given only to those who will inlist without limitation of time.

As the resolves of Congress for raising eighty-eight battalions for the defence of the American States was positive that they should be engaged during the war, General Washington, in a conference with Mr˙ Partridge, did not think himself at liberty to consent to the troops being inlisted on any other terms until the sense of Congress could be obtained in the matter.

[N˙ B˙ The foregoing paragraph was inserted only in the letter to the Massachusetts-Bay.]

It being a matter of the highest importance that you


should be informed of the resolves herewith transmitted, as soon as possible, in order that the service may not be injured by any of the soldiers declining to engage during the war who would otherwise be willing to inlist for a limited time, I have forwarded the enclosed by express; and have the honour to be, gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble servant,

John Hancock, President.

Assembly of New-Hampshire.

[The same to Assembly of Massachusetts-Bay, Assembly Rhode-Island, Assembly Connecticut.]