George Washington letter to Governor Cooke, January 16, 1776

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  • George Washington letter to Governor Cooke, January 16, 1776

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George Washington letter to Governor Cooke, January 16, 1776


United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.


Image of the George Washington letter to Governor Cooke, January 16, 1776.


Washington, George, 1732-1799


C#0257 - Letters to the Governor, Vol. 23 #83


Rhode Island State Archives


1776 January 16


Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.





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Cambridge, Jany. 16 1776


            It is exceedingly painfull to me, that I should have

so often troubled you respecting this army, and that I am under the necessity of applying to you again:  But you must

in some measure be involved, in whatever difficulties attend me.

            To my great Surprize I find, that notwithstanding.

I had taken the utmost care to prevent the Soldiers, that would not reinlist in the New Army from carrying away their

Arms, or such of them as were good, the number collected is trifling & inconsiderable, of which there are but very few,


if any now in store  ^  having been delivered to the Recruits, which have come in.

            I also find that the report of the recruiting

officers, that few men are to be inlisted, who have Arms

in their hands, & that they are reduced to the disagreeable alternative of taking men without any, or no men at all

Unhappy alternative!  Must not those governments exert.  themselves in procuring them from the several Towns, or in such other manner, as to them shall seem most speedy & effectual?

            To account minutely for this great deficiency

would be of no importance – I shall only say that it

say that It has arisen from two causes, to wit, the badness of the Arms of the old army, which the Inspectors & appraisers

did not think worth detaining, and to the disobedience of

some Regiments, carrying theirs away, contrary to ever order I could Issue, & even Solemn threats of stopping the pay for the months of November & December, of those that should.

            The prospect of getting Imported Arms is so remote & uncertain, that I cannot depend upon it – I therefore request the favour of you to inform me whether you have any, and what number belonging to Government, as also if you will be able to procure more, & in what time – If you have any, or

can get them, I shall be glad to take them on account of the Continent.  They must be had If possible.  I have wrote to the other New England Governments upon the same Subject.

                                    I am Sir

                                        With great regard & esteem

                                                Your most Humble Servt.

                                                            Go. Washington


Honbl. Governor Cooke

Original Format



Washington, George, 1732-1799 , "George Washington letter to Governor Cooke, January 16, 1776," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #857, (accessed July 18, 2019).