Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 16, 1776: Secure Their Friendship

Acknowledging receipt of Gen. John Sullivan's letters of June 5 and 6, Gen. George Washington wrote that he was glad for good news about Continental efforts in Canada. On June 16, Washington wrote to Sullivan, "I am convinced many of our misfortunes are to be attributed to a want of discipline, and a proper regard to the conduct of the soldiery. Hence it was, and from our feeble efforts to protect theCanadians, that they had almost joined and taken part against us. As you are fully apprized of this, and conceive them well disposed towards us, with confidence I trust you will take every step in your power to conciliate and secure their friendship."

Washington believed that support for American troops depended upon their good and respectful conduct. Washington wrote, "If this can be effected--and of which you seem to have no doubt--I see no objection to our indulging a hope that this country (of such importance in the present controversy) may yet be added to, and complete our Union." My thanks to Northern Illinois University Libraries for making American Archives, the documents edited by Peter Force, available online.
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