George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the New Hampshire Committee of Safety, 15 October 1775

To the New Hampshire Committee of Safety

Camp at Cambridge October 15. 1775


I was yesterday favoured with yours of the 11th Instt wherein the Necessities of the Town of Portsmouth & the Garrison there for some Part of the late Capture of Flour are represented. Had I known their Situation, I should have made the Application unnecessary by directing Mr Moylan on the Subject. They have my chearful Consent to take what is necessary, but perhaps somewhat less than 600 Barrels may answer the present Exigence. As our mutual Wants are now known to each other, I shall leave it to you to reserve what Quantity, you think indispensably necessary.1

I do not see any Impropriety in paying the Seamen their Wages out of the Sales of some Part of the Cargo & make no Doubt it will be approved in the Settlement of this Affair.

With Respect to the Transportation of it to Marblehead or Salem by Water, I apprehend it must depend upon Circumstances such as the Enemy being upon the Coast &c. of all which Mr Moylan was directed to inform himself & then act as should be best. The Expence of Land Carriage would be very considerable & I wish to use all possible Oeconomy, so as to be consistent with our Safety—You will please to favour Mr Moylan with your Opinion on the Subject to which he will pay a suitable Regard.2 I am with much Respect & Esteem Gentlemen Your most Obedt & very Hbble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Joseph Reed’s writing, Nh-Ar; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The LS is addressed to “The Hon. Wm Whipple Esqr. Chairman of the Committee of Safety for the Province of New Hampshire.”

1For the agreement that Stephen Moylan made with the committee of safety, see Moylan to GW, 13 Oct. 1775.

2On 7 Oct. Joseph Reed told Moylan to “direct the Transportation in the Manner most proper & Safe” (DLC:GW), and about 15 Oct. Reed gave Moylan further instructions on this subject: “The Committee Seems to think the Transportation by Cape Ann dangerous—pray do not run any unnecessary Risques—if there are no Enemy Cruizers there can be no danger—At all Events consult with the provincial Committee & if you do not follow their Advice in Sending it by Ipswich—give them your Reasons for not doing so—this is a proper Mark of Respect after what they have said” (ibid.). Moylan and John Glover reported to Reed from Salem on 19 Oct. “that the flour is all safe arrived” (ibid.), and on that same date Reed wrote to Moylan: “Let 200 Bbbls. of Flour be detained for the Use of the Vessels at Salem to be put in the Hands of the Agent. There is nothing to be gained by Sending Teams from hence, so that you had better employ those of the Country at the Price you mention, a Letter from you to the Committee of Ipswich I fancy will answer all your Purpose” (ibid.).

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