Letter from the Continental Congress to George Washington, July 24, 1775
George Washington, an experienced and respected military leader, provided a unifying influence as the American colonies rebelled against Great Britain. The Second Continental Congress placed great trust in him, as illustrated by this letter authorizing Washington to appoint officers and determine the number of troops needed for the newly created Continental Army. John Hancock, president of the Congress, signed the letter.
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
Supporting the Revolutionary Army
Two months after the battles of Lexington and Concord ignited the Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia to take charge of the war effort. In June 1775 Congress quickly appointed George Washington to lead the Continental Army. Washington left immediately to take command of the troops already assembled in Boston. Congress raised funds for the war by issuing money and pursuing loans from European governments. It also requested that the colonies provide money to support the Continental Army.