James Madison Papers

John Mathews, for Committee of Congress, to Nathanael Greene, 9 January 1781

John Mathews, for Committee of Congress,
to Nathanael Greene

RC (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). Address sheet missing.

Philadelphia Jany. 9th: 1780.[1781]1


We are desired by Congress to transmit you the inclosed resolutions.2

Nothing new has transpired since we last wrote, informing you of the departure of the British fleet from New York, except that in less than forty eight hours after their sailing, there was a most violent storm, which we have the best reason to imagine they had to encounter. This circumstance we flatter ourselves, will be attended with many advantages, as it will necess[a]rily cause delay on their part, & give the longer time for your reinforcements coming in. And further, that our Express, will reach you before they can, & although the notice of their approach may be short, yet it will be of consequence.3

We are Sir with much Esteem & Regard Yr. most Obedt. servts. In behalf of the Committee

Jno. Mathews Chairman

1The contents of this letter permit no doubt that the year should be 1781 and that Mathews was addressing General Greene in the name of the committee of which JM was a member (Mathews to Greene, 27 November 1780, editorial note).

2Inclosures missing. Early in January, Congress adopted several resolutions on issues relating to the quartermaster’s department when Greene had been quartermaster general, and on supplying equipment for the southern army (Journals of the Continental Congress, XIX, 10–13, 19–20, 23–24, 26–27, 35–36, 40).

3A gale on 26 and 27 December 1780 scattered the ships carrying Benedict Arnold’s troops from New York to Chesapeake Bay. Although most of them reached there on 30 December, three transports bearing four hundred soldiers were delayed in arriving until five days later (William B. Willcox, ed., The American Rebellion, pp. 236–37; Christopher Ward, War of the Revolution, II, 868).

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