George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Daniel Tillinghast, 15 July 1776

From Daniel Tillinghast

Providence 15th July 1776

Agreeable to a resolve of Congress 6th Inst: I yesterday forwarded your Excellency 3 Cases Fire Arms as Pr Invoice Inclosed to the Care of Nathl Shaw Esqr: of New London, who I requested Immediately on rect of the Same to send you without Delay & which I wish safe to your hands.1 I expect in a few Days to be able to forward you a parcell more of the above Arms which I am to have from Newport & you may depend I shall make no Delay in doing the same. I am Your Excellencys most Obedt & very hble Servt

Danl Tillinghast Contl Agent


1Tillinghast’s clerk inadvertently wrote “withour Delay” in the manuscript. Congress resolved on 6 July “that an order issue to the agents in Massachusetts bay and Rhode Island, to send the arms taken out of the Scotch transports, to General Washington, at New York” (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 , 5:524). According to the enclosed invoice of 15 July, the three cases of arms that Tillinghast sent to New London were “taken by the Andrew Doria at Sea” and included a total of 117 small arms, 3 fuzees, 89 bayonets, and 20 broadswords (DLC:GW). The Continental brigantine Andrew Doria captured the British transports Oxford and Crawford off the Grand Banks on 29 May (see Charles Pond to GW, 19 June; see also Libel of Captain Nicholas Biddle Against Arms and Ammunition Taken from Two British Transports, 13 July, 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 , 5:1056).

A note at the bottom of Tillinghast’s invoice indicates that the wagon team transporting the Scotch arms from Providence to New London also carried 17,000 gun flints from the Providence firm of Clark & Nightingale that were to be forwarded to New York with the arms (DLC:GW; see also Clark & Nightingale’s invoice, 15 July, DLC:GW). On 18 July Nathaniel Shaw, Jr., wrote to GW from New London: “Inclos’d you have Capt. Jehiel Tinkers Receit for three Chests of Arms and One Barrell & One Kegg of Flints, as per Invoice Inclos’d, the Arms were Sent to me by Daniel Tillinghast Esqr. the Flints by Messrs Clark & Nightingale Merchts In Providence desiring I would forward them to you by the first Oppertunity, hope they will com[e] Safe to hand.” The addressed cover is endorsed “per the Crane Galley Capt. Tinker” (DLC:GW).

The arms and flints arrived at New York by 25 July when Ezekiel Cheever, the Continental commissary for artillery stores, signed a receipt for them on the reverse of Tillinghast’s invoice of 15 July. Robert Hanson Harrison acknowledged receipt of those items in a letter written on GW’s behalf to Tillinghast on 29 July (DLC:GW).

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