George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Philip Schuyler, 24 April 1776

To Major General Philip Schuyler

New York 24th April 1776.


I have this Day Granted a Warrant unto Captain Jacobus Wynkoop for two hundred seventy Six & two thirds Dollars, being for a Months Advance to him his Officers & Men who are to serve on the Lakes, at the Rates following.

Captain 32 Dollars 32
three Mates 15 Do 45
One Boatswain do 15
Two Boatswains Mates @ 9⅓ 18⅔
Twenty Seamen @ 8 160
One Do @ 6 6
276⅔ Dollars

Which You will please to take Notice of in adjusting the Accounts of this Captain & his Crews.1

Brigadier General Thompson, with four Battallions, & one Company Sailed from hence last Sunday, I hope they will have reached Albany long before this, & doubt not Your forwarding them on with all possible Expedition, We have Accounts of the British Troops under General Howe being arrived at Hallifax, a part of them if Not the whole, will probably attempt the Relief of Quebec, as soon as the Navigation up the St Lawrence is practicable. I am with Great Esteem Dr Sir, Your Most Assured Hble Servt

Go: Washington

LB, NN: Schuyler Papers; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1On 5 Feb. 1776 the Continental Congress granted a request from Schuyler that Jacobus Wynkoop (1721–1795), a captain in the 4th New York Regiment who had frequently been master of merchant ships and had served in the French and Indian War in both land and naval departments, be employed in the fleet of armed vessels that Schuyler was outfitting on Lake Champlain. Although Congress made Wynkoop a subordinate to William Douglass, who was designated commodore on Lake Champlain, it became evident during March that Douglass was very reluctant to act and that Wynkoop would not serve under him. On 13 April the New York committee of safety, wishing to expedite matters, ordered Wynkoop to enlist sailors in New York City and proceed north to take temporary command of the vessels on Lake Champlain. The Continental Congress endorsed the committee’s action on 2 May by empowering Schuyler to appoint Wynkoop to the command in place of Douglass, which Schuyler did five days later (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 4:111, 322; N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:364, 371–72, 382, 408, 418, 425–26). Wynkoop continued in that capacity until August when Benedict Arnold was named commander on Lake Champlain over Wynkoop. Unaware of being superseded, or so he later claimed, Wynkoop thwarted Arnold’s orders to two vessels by firing across their bows to stop their movement. In the ensuing dispute Wynkoop was arrested and dismissed from the service (see Arnold to Wynkoop, 17 Aug., Wynkoop to Gates, 17 Aug., and Wynkoop’s Memorial, 27 Aug. 1776, in Clark and Morgan, Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 6:215–17, 317–22). Schuyler reinstated Wynkoop at Fort George in March 1777, however, and employed him in building two armed schooners there. In May 1778 Wynkoop was directed to prepare bateaux to defend the Hudson River.

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