George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Watson, 23 January 1776

From William Watson

Plymouth [Mass.] 23. January 1776


I am much obliged by your Excellencys favour of the 20th instant pr Capt. Dyar1—I shall do every thing in my power to dispatch the Harrison. shall get the square sail prepared, & think it very necessary, the expence wont be great—Lieutenant Wigglesworth the bearer of this will wait on your Excellency for his Commision as 2d Lieutenant, by whom youl please to send a Commisn for Mr Thomas Doten as first Lieut.—Mr Wigglesworth has conducted in this matter with great Dignity. I had appointed him as 1st Lieut. but Mr Doten offering his service, Wigglesworth generously gave way to Doten as being a more experienced sailor & as haveing been some years commander of a good vesell.2

Nothing is wanting for the Harrison but a Guner & a few Quire of cartridge paper, which your Excellency will please to order.3 I have the honr to be your Excellencys most obediant much obligd Humble Servant

William Watson


1See Robert Hanson Harrison to Watson, 20 Jan., quoted in Watson to GW, 15 Jan. 1776, n.2.

2John Wigglesworth became captain of the Massachusetts sloop Swift in May 1776 and received orders from the council to cruise between Cape Ann and Nova Scotia gathering intelligence of British naval movements. Thomas Doten (d. 1794) lived in Plymouth.

3Stephen Moylan replied to Watson on 25 Jan.: “Your Letter to his Excellency of the 23d instant is Come to hand, by Lieut. [John] Wiggleworth, his Conduct respecting Mr Dote, in giving up the first Lieutenancy to him will be taken due notice of on a future occasion. he Carrys the Commissions, & Cartridge paper—the General doubts not your endeavoring to get the Harrison out as soon as possible” (DLC:GW).

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