George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Massachusetts General Court, 28 June 1776

To the Massachusetts General Court

New York 28 June 1776


By certain Advices just received, I am informed that a Fleet consisting of 130 Sail left Hallifax the 9th Instt bound for this Place, and am well assured that General Howe is already arrived at the Hook in the Greyhound1—I do therefore in the most pressing manner request, that you would not lose a moments time in sending forward the Militia of your Province, as the Enemy will undoubtedly attack us in our weak State, as soon as a sufficient Force arrives to enable them to attempt it with the least probability of Success—and altho I cannot expect, by reason of the distance, that your Quota of Troops will reach this so seasonably as to afford us assistance upon the first attack of the Enemy yet I promise myself it will not occasion any delay in their March2—Relying on your using all possible dispatch in this Business I remain with much Respect Gentlemen Your Very humble Servant

Go: Washington

LS (photocopy), in Thomas Mifflin’s writing, DNA: RG 93, Photocopies of State Records; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW wrote almost identical letters on this date to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr. (LB, Ct: Trumbull Papers; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript DLC:GW), and to Brig. Gen. James Wadsworth of the Connecticut militia (Varick transcript, DLC:GW). The letter to Trumbull includes a postscript asking him “please to forward the enclosed to the Provincial Convention of Massachusetts, as soon as possible” (Ct: Trumbull Papers). The enclosure was undoubtedly this letter to the General Court.

2In GW’s letter to Trumbull of this date the last part of this sentence reads: “and our safety in a great measure depends on the seasonable arrival of the Militia from the several Colonies who are to furnish them” (Ct: Trumbull Papers). GW’s letter to Wadsworth of this date also is worded in that way.

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