George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Adam Babcock, 6 May 1776

From Adam Babcock

New Haven May 6. 1776


I heard a few Days since that your Excellency had fitted out an Armed Vessel under the Command of Capt. Perrit to Cruise to the Southward—should that be the Case—I beg leave to propose that a Vessel I have fitted out commanded by Capn Brooks may go out in Company with Her, which will make them both quite secure against any Thing they may chance to meet with in getting off the Coast, except they should fall in with a Man of War.

The little Vessel I have fitted Mounts 6 three Pounders with Swivels Blunderbusses & small Arms for 50 Men which She carries, and is already Man’d—and is a Prime Sailor—will Sail the beginning of next Week—but will wait till Thursday for your Excellency’s Vessel—If in the mean Time I am informed that She will be ordered here and to keep Company with my Vessel till both are clear of the Coast.1 I have the Honour to be with the greatest Respect & Regard Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

Adam Babcock

ALS, DLC:GW. This letter is docketed “ansd the 8th 1776,” but no reply from GW or his secretaries or aides has been found.

Adam Babcock, a merchant in New Haven, owned several privateers during the Revolutionary War.

1The sloop Gamecock, commanded by Capt. Lemuel Brooks of Norwalk, Conn., was commissioned a Continental privateer on Monday 13 May and sailed from New London soon afterwards in company with the Connecticut armed vessel Spy commanded by Capt. Robert Niles. In his application for the privateering commission, Babcock says that the Gamecock was “mounted with Four Three Pounders and two Four pounders, Eight Swivels Twelve S[illegible] 6 Blunder busses” and carried a variety of small arms and supplies (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 , 5:76–77).

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