George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Bromfield and Commodore John Manley, 24 June 1776

To Henry Bromfield and Commodore John Manley

New York June 24. 1776


The Honble Congress having determined a valuation shall be made of the Ordinance Stores taken last fall by Captn Manly, and directed me to appoint a person in behalf of the Continent to do It in conjunction with one to be chosen by Captn Manly, as you will perceive by the Inclosed Resolve, I must request the favor of you to undertake the business1—I have transmitted the Original Invoice to Major Genl Ward upon which you are to act2—It will be necessary to qualifye as the Resolve directs, and after the Estimate is made, to annex It to the Invoice under your Hands—Genl Ward will forward It to me when It is finished3 and praying your excuse for this trouble & liberty I am Sir Your Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

LS (facsimile), in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, sold by Joseph Rubinfine, catalog 53, item 109; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Both the LS and the LB are addressed to Bromfield, but the LB includes a memorandum in Harrison’s writing that reads: “A Similar Letter to Commodore Manly. same date.”

The addressee is probably Henry Bromfield, Sr. (1727–1820), a prominent Boston merchant, but it could be his son Henry Bromfield, Jr. (1751–1837), who was also a merchant in Boston. The elder Bromfield owned a country house in the village of Harvard, Mass., which he frequently visited and to which he permanently retired in March 1777. Henry Bromfield, Jr., continued in business in Boston until 1787 when he moved to London.

1Congress approved the resolution regarding the cargo of the captured British ordnance ship Nancy on 17 June (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 , 5:454). William Davis, another Boston merchant, represented Commodore John Manley and his crew in making the required valuation (see Bromfield to GW, 13 Aug. 1776, DLC:GW). For GW’s earlier request to Congress for an appraisal of these ordnance stores, see his letter to Hancock of 25–26 April 1776.

3Ward enclosed the finished appraisal in his letter to GW of 15 Aug. 1776 (MHi: Ward Papers). The appraisal, which is dated 12 Aug., is in DNA:PCC, item 39.

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