Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Huntington, 17 November 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philada November 17. 1780


The Intelligence contained in the enclosed Copy of a Letter just received from General Washington is of such a Nature, I have thought proper to transmit the same to your Excellency by Express.

Your several Dispatches of the 26. Ulto. 3d, 7. and 10. Instant have been duly received.

I have the Honor to be &c &c,


FC (DLC: PCC, No. 15). At foot of text: “N.B. Similar Letters, excepting the last Clause, to Governor Lee and General Greene.” Enclosure not found, but it was undoubtedly a copy of Gen. Washington’s letter to Huntington of 14 Nov., reporting the movement of the British fleet in New York Harbor. The nature of Washington’s information was to be an issue in the inquiry into TJ’s conduct as governor (see Nicholas’ Charges and Jefferson’s Answers, printed under 31 July 1781), and his letter is therefore quoted here in full:

“Sir: I have just received advice that Admiral Rodney’s Fleet, with the transports which have been sometime preparing, fell down to the Hook on Saturday last. The number of troops on board is not yet ascertained. It is said that Major General Phillips commands the detachment, but I have it not sufficiently vouched, to make it a matter of certainty. Their destination is generally believed to be to the Southward. I expect more circumstantial intelligence shortly” (Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, xx, 346; TJ received this information on 26 Nov.; see his letter to Gen. Greene of that date).

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