Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 4
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

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To GOVERNOR NICHOLAS COOKE Cambridge, December 20, 1775.

    Sir: The Letter accompanying this was wrote before your favor of the 19th. pr. Express came to hand. Under my present Instructions, and more especially in my present situation, I could not justify the Sending a Regiment from these lines to

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you; unless there was an apparent design of Landing a body of Ministerial Troops on Rhode Island; at present I do not think this is to be apprehended, as a deserter out of Boston since my last, is particular in declaring that only four Companies, amounting to little more than 100 Men, Embarked as was said for Halifax; agreeing with others that Invalids and the Officers of the 18th and 59th Regts. who are going home to recruit, had sailed for England.

    The intention of my last, containing the Information as it was received, was only designed to put you upon your guard, not that I expected a Visit was intended you. If any small body of Troops move from hence, Southerly, I have no expectation of their Stopping short of Virginia; unless it should be on a Pillaging party. To conclude Sir, when I inform you, that I have been obliged to call in 5000 Militia, to supply the deficiency of the Connecticut Regiments and those absent upon Furlough, you will do me the justice to believe, that not a want of inclination but of ability, prevents me from complying with your request; unless as is before observed, I had some obvious reasons to believe, the Visit of more men, than we are well assured are embarked, was intended for your Government. I am with very great esteem and Regard, Sir &c.