George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 5–6 August 1776

From Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Lebanon [Conn.] 5th[–6] August 1776


I have received your two favours of the 24th & 25th of July last1—have put Colo. Wards Regiment under Marching Orders to proced without loss of Time whatever way Congress shall direct—The Troops from this State destined to the Northward, are marched to Bennington, and from thence to Skeenesborough—at request of General Schuyler, for One thousand felling Axes—have sent 800, ground and with helves, to go the same rout—they went from hence the 29th last—the residue will go with Cloathing preparing for that Army Next Monday2—Tho’t it not best to wait for Orders, as we ware very well Assured of their Necessity.

Notwithstanding our Enemies are so numerous, and powerful, and have hired Mercenaries into their Service, yet knowing our Cause righteous, & trusting Heaven will Support & Defend us, I do not greatly dread what they can do against us—Our internal Malignants may be permitted to do many injurious and insidious things—they are therefore to be watched with care & diligence to prevent such hypocritical and designing Men carrying on and perpetrating their wicked purposes—no doubt there are many such, the persons and Caracters unknown to me and not convenient to mention in a Letter, the Notices given me of any.

Last Week I sent Circular Letters addressed to the Civil Authority, Select Men, Comtee of inspection, & Military Officers in all the Towns in this State, to promote & facilitate the filling the several Battalions ordered to be raised here, and to send them forward to the places of their Destinations—Recruiting Officers for the Companies not filled are Necessary—and conclude are left for the purpose, the people have in some measure got through the Hurry of Harvest &c., Hope that they will now chearfull inlist & go on.

Colo. Elipha. Dyer and Richd Law Esqrs. are directed to repair to New York to confer with your Excellency on every Subject needful for our direction and for your information, you know our readiness to afford every Assistance for our Common Defence.3 I am, with great Esteem and Regard Sir Your most Obedient Humble Servant

Jonth; Trumbull

6th—8 O’clo.—A.M. P.S. Just received your two favours of the 1st instant—Orders are gone to Colo. Elmore—and Express to carry those to Colo. Ward expected in soon—The Orders are ready.

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, Ct: Trumbull Papers. The addressed cover includes the notation “Favoured per Colo. Dyer.”

1See GW to Trumbull, 24 July, and Circular to Certain New England Governments, 25 July.

2The following Monday was 12 August. Helves are handles.

3Eliphalet Dyer and Richard Law, both of whom were members of the Connecticut council of safety, were given this task by the council on 2 Aug. (see Hinman, Historical Collection description begins Royal R. Hinman, comp. A Historical Collection, from Official Records, Files &c., of the Part Sustained by Connecticut, during the War of the Revolution. Hartford, 1842. description ends , 378). On 16 Aug. Law wrote Trumbull from Milford, Conn., where he stopped on his return journey from New York, that “General Washington was anxious to have the Militia forwarded, and I find they have gone down pretty universally from these western towns. All was quiet when I left New-York on Tuesday evening [13 Aug.]. They had been expecting an attack for some time, but when it will be, is very uncertain. A number of suspected persons are apprehended, and are now on their way from New-York to Norwich, to the care of your Honour. Our conference with General Washington shall repeat to your Honour, and am in hopes there is not that foundation for jealousy as was apprehended” (Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 1:989).

Richard Law (1733–1806), a native of Milford who had become a practicing attorney in New London, served as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1777 and from 1781 to 1782. In September 1789 Law was appointed U.S. district judge for Connecticut by GW.

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