Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Captain Francis Grice, 30 May 1777

To Captain Francis Grice1

Head Quarters Camp at Middle Brook [New Jersey] May 30th. 1777.


By His Excellency’s command, I am to acknowledge the receipt of yours2 per Mr. Grace.3

Colo. Biddle4 has given Mr. Grace an order to make use of the waggons at Hackets Town,5 for the purpose of transporting the twelve boats you mention. The General expects it will be done with all possible dispatch, as it is absolutely necessary we should have all the boats we can collect at and about Coryel’s ferry,6 in case we should want to make use of them.

The General expected, that by this time, all the boats were removed from Trenton to Coryel’s. He desires it may be done, without loss of time; since by remaining there, they can answer no good end to us, and may be serviceable to the Enemy, should they make a sudden push that way; and it would be difficult to move them up the River in a hurry, should it be necessary, whereas nothing would be more easy than to carry them down, if there was occasion.

You will be careful to keep your boats together, so that they may all be had at a moment’s warning, which cannot be the case, if you allow them to be scattered up and down the River.

I am Sir &ca.

A. Hamilton A.D.C.

Varick transcripts, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1This letter is listed in PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , I, 258, as a “letter not found.”

Grice was assistant deputy quartermaster general of the Pennsylvania militia.

2On May 30, 1777, Grice wrote to George Washington: “We have at Trenton lower Ferry twenty boats built to transport 100 men each, & five artillary scows five other scows will be ready at our return built to carry two field pieces the company & apparatus; the last mentioned boats & scows are large & will be expensive pooling them to Corells, therefore request your Excellency’s order for that particular purpose should your Excellency think it necessary to have them up” (ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).

3Captain Richard Grace of the Second Maryland Regiment.

4Colonel Clement Biddle was deputy quartermaster general of the Flying Camp from July 8 to December 1, 1776. On July 1, 1777, he became commissary general of forage.

5Hackettstown, Warren County, New Jersey.

6Coryell’s Ferry was approximately twenty-five miles north of Trenton on the Delaware River.

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