Journals of the Continental Congress - Commission for General Washington; June 17, 1775

The Congress met according to readjournment.

The committee appointed to draught a commission to the general, reported the same, which, being read by paragraphs and debated, was agreed to and is as follows:


The delegates of the United; Colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina: To George Washington, Esq.

We, reposing special trust and confidence in your patriotism, valor, conduct, and fidelity, do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you to be General and Commander in chief, of the army of the United Colonies, and of all the forces now raised, or to be raised, by them, and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their service, and join the said Army for the Defence of American liberty, and for repelling every hostile invasion thereof: And you are hereby vested with full power and authority to act as you shall think for the good and welfare of the service.;

And we do hereby strictly charge and require all Officers and Soldiers, under your command, to be obedient to your orders, and diligent in the exercise of their several duties.

And we do also enjoin and require you, to be careful in executing the great trust reposed in you, by causing strict discipline and order to be observed in the army, and that the soldiers be duly exercised, and provided with all convenient necessaries.

And you are to regulate your conduct in every respect by the rules and discipline of war, (as herewith given you,) and punctually to observe and follow such orders and directions, from time to time, as you shall receive from this, or a future Congress of these United Colonies, or committee of Congress.

This commission to continue in force, until revoked by this, or a future Congress.

By order of the Congress.(1)

Dated, Philada June 17, 1775.

(1) The original is in the Library of Congress. It was printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, 11 December, 1775, together with the Congress pledge and list of officers of this day. At the Washington Headquarters, Morristown, New Jersey is a paper which purports to be this commission, or its earliest form. It was found in a shoemaker's shop by David Ames Wells, and he gave it to George Washington Childs, from whom it passed to Ferdinand J. Dreer, who presented it to the Headquarters. It is of doubtful value. Back

Journals of the Continental Congress 1774-1779
Vol. II Pages 96-97
Edited from the original records in the Library of Congress
by Worthington Chauncey Ford; Chief, Division of Manuscripts.
Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1905.
127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.