Today’s Document from the National Archives

Document for December 4th:
Letter from General George Washington to John Hancock, President of Congress, 12/04/1775


Letter from General George Washington to John Hancock, President of Congress, 12/04/1775, signature page (National Archives Identifier: 824626); Series: Letters From General George Washington, 1775 - 1784; Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention, 1765 - 1821; Record Group 360, National Archives.

During the seige of Boston in the early part of the American Revolution, George Washington sent this letter to Congress in which he passed along information he had heard from a sailor: that British General William Howe was sending people out from Boston who had been deliberately infected with smallpox so that they might pass on the disease to the Americans surrounding the city. After seeing an increased number of cases in those leaving the city, Washington came to believe that smallpox was indeed "a weapon of Defence they Are useing against us."

Washington’s letter and other gripping eyewitness acounts from U.S. History are part of the Eyewitness exhibit--travelling to museums nationwide through 2008.

Read more of Washington’s suspicions of Bioterrorism in Eyewitness...
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Yesterday's document: December 3rd
Report of an Unidentified Object

Tomorrow's document: December 5th
Announcing the Repeal of Prohibition

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