George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 2 November 1775

To Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Camp at Cambridge 2d Novemr 1775


I have been honored with your favor of the 30th ulto by Mr Trumbull1—I sincerely wish this Camp could furnish a good Engineer—The Commisary Genl can inform you how excedingly deficient the Army is of Gentlemen skilled in that branch of business; and that most of the works which have been thrown up for the defence of our several Encampments have been planned by a few of the principal Officers of this Army, assisted by Mr Knox a Gentleman of Worcester2—Could I afford you the desired assistance in this way I should do it with pleasure.

Herewith you will receive a copy of the proceedings held with the Committee of Congress from Philadelphia3—It ought to have been sent sooner, but I am at present without a Secretary—Colo. Reed having a call home, left this on sunday last4—I heartily congratulate you on the recovery of the Commissary General whose return, so soon as he can travel with safety, is much wished for. I am with the greatest Esteem and Regard your most obedient humble Servant

Go: Washington

LB, Ct: Trumbull Papers; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The bearer was probably one of the governor’s two younger sons, Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., or John Trumbull.

2Henry Knox (1750–1806), a bookseller from Boston who had read extensively about military and engineering matters before the war, joined with Col. Josiah Waters in planning and overseeing the building of fortifications at Roxbury. “Yesterday,” Knox wrote to his wife on 6 July 1775, “as I was going to Cambridge I met the Generals [Washington and Lee] who beg’d me to return to roxbury again which I did when they had viewd the works they express’d the greatest pleasure & su[r]prize at their situation and apparent utility to say nothing of the plan which did not escape their praise” (NNGL: Knox Papers). The Knoxes apparently established a temporary residence at Worcester after leaving Boston in June of this year. Knox became colonel of the Continental regiment of artillery on 17 Nov. 1775 and continued to command the artillery throughout the war, being promoted to brigadier general in December 1776 and to major general in March 1782.

3GW enclosed the minutes of the committee of conference for only 18–22 Oct., the dates that the representatives of the New England governments attended. See the copy of this enclosure in Trumbull’s letter book at the Connecticut State Library.

4Reed may not have departed until Monday, 30 October. See GW to Reed, that date, n.1.

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