A Dreadful Trust
WE HAVE a very full Congress," Washington reported, after a week in Philadelphia, to the Fairfax County patriots, "and I flatter myself that great unanimity will prevail." However, he instantly expressed a doubt: New York, formerly considered a Tory stronghold, was said now to be "zealous" in the patriot cause, "but, as I never entertained a very high opinion of your sudden repentances, I will suspend my opinion till the arrival of the [British] troops there." ( Washington, who had served on no committee in the first Congress, had already been appointed on one to advise New York concerning military preparations.)
Massachusetts, so Washington continued, had voted 13,600 men, the other New England governments had levied proportionately, and the British were confined in Boston by about 9000 entrenched Colonials. "It is supposed General Gage will keep close till he receives his reinforcement to consist, our accounts say, of about 2000 men, and to be expected the last of this month. What he will then do, no one can tell." 1
Although a majority vote would still be divisive if the minority would not come along, unanimity was much more elusive than in the first Congress: the issues had become so much more dangerous. Few wanted war. The ruling hope was that Parlia
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Publication information: Book title: George Washington: the Forge of Experience, 1732-1775. Contributors: James Thomas Flexner - Author. Publisher: Little, Brown. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1965. Page number: 332.