January 24, 1776


In Philadelphia, the Continental Congress approves a letter to the Canadians promising a renewal of efforts to expel the British and urging the Canadians to associate with the Americans by appointing delegates to the Congress.

Meanwhile George Washington, ever the stickler for financial propriety, writes to the President of the Congress, John Hancock, urging that a man be appointed to get the army’s financial house in order.  “I shall take the liberty in this place of recommending the expediency, indeed, the absolute necessity of appointing fit & proper persons to Settle the accounts of this Army—to do it with precision, requires time, care & attention—the longer It is left undone, the more Intricate they will be—the more liable to error, & difficult to explain & rectify—As also the persons in whose hands they are, if disposed to take undue advantages, will be less subject to detection. I have been as attentive as the nature of my Office would admit of, in Granting Warrants for money on the paymaster, but It would be absolutely impossible for me to go into an examination of all the Accounts Incident to this Army, & the Vouchers appertaining to them, without devoting so large a portion of my time to the business, as might not only prove injurious, but fatal to It in other respects—this ought in my humble opinion, to be the particular business of a Select Committee of Congress, or one appointed by them—which once in three months at furthest should make a Settlement with the Officers in the different departments.”

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