George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Richard Varick, 5 August 1776

From Captain Richard Varick

Albany Augt 5. 1776.


I have Directions from General Schuyler, in Order to prevent Delays in forwarding the Stores & Other Necessaries for the Army, in his Absence, to open any Letters that shall be directed to him from the General Officers & Commanders of Posts in this Department & to Comply with their Requisitions in procuring & forwarding such Articles, as May be wanted and can be procured by Me, & to send for such Articles as cannot be had At this Place, to New York or such Other Place, as they may be had in Without Waiting his Orders, at the Great Distance he is from this Place.

I do therefore do Myself the Honor to enclose Your Excellency Copy of a Letter from General Arnold to General Schuyler (recd this Day) with a Copy of a Return of Ordinance & Ordinance stores wanted for the Public Service.1

Of the Many Articles wanted, Hands⟨pi⟩kes, Round Shot, Rammers, spunges, Worms, priming Horns[,] priming Wires & Tube Boxes, are the Only ones that Can possibly be procured or made at or near this Place & No Copper, Lead or Tin is to be had between this Place & New York.

I must therefore request Your Excellency in General Schuylers Name to Order the several Articles which are wanted & Not to be procured here, to be sent to this Place without the least Delay.

In mine of the 3d by the Express I forgot to inform Your Excellency that I had sent for the Anchors to Colonel Robert Livingston. I am Your Excellency’s Most Obedient & Most Humble servt

Richd Varick secy to M. Genl Schuyler

ALS, DLC:GW; copy, in Varick’s writing, NHi: Varick Papers; LB, NN: Schuyler Papers.

1The enclosed copies of Arnold’s letter to Schuyler of 30 July and his return of ordnance and ordnance stores at Ticonderoga on 31 July are in DLC:GW (see also Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 1:680–81).

In his letter, which he wrote at Ticonderoga, Arnold tells Schuyler that 200 ship carpenters had arrived at Skenesboro and that he had ordered them “to begin four Row Gallies, Nearly of the Constructions of those Built in Philadelphia, to Carry four Pieces heavy, & two pieces light Cannon Each. The two largest Schooners are at Crown Point, the Sloop Goes this Morning, & four Gondolas will follow in two or three Days. . . . A Frenchman Arrived here in 15 Days from St Francois, confirms the Intelligence respecting the Indians & adds that All the Tribes in Canada were determined on a Neutrality, That the Troops were buisy in Building Batteaus & several large Vessels at St Johns. General Carleton has Given the French Inhabitants Notice of his Intention of Crossing Lake Champlain the last of August or beginning of September & that he should depend on their Joining him; If we are supplied with the Articles I have wrote for we shall soon be in a Condition to Give him a proper Reception.

“Inclosed is a Return of the Ordinance stores Shott &ca &ca, by which You will Observe there is Many Articles wanting to Compleat the same As also a Great Deficiency of Shot in particular, Grape, double headed, Chain & Round—which will be Very serviceable among Vessels & Batteaus. More heavy Cannon will be wanted, for the Row Gallies, The four now building will Carry Eight twenty fours & Eight Eighteens, Four others will be set up soon & will require an Equal Number of Guns, to supply the Row Gallies & Lines, We have only Eleven pieces & 10 twelve Pounders, which May Answer tho Not so well as heavier Guns—If they are substituted, Eleven Pieces will still be Wanting with shot &ca—which I wish May be sent up if they Can possibly be procured—With the Approbation of Genl Gates I sent to Connecticut for three hundred seamen. The Express had Orders to Call on You (if returned) and take your Instructions in the Matter, as it was Uncertain if You were returned, I wrote Capt. Varick desiring him to give the Express a Warrant on the Paymaster General for one thousand Pounds to pay the Bounty of the Seamen, As the Treasury was Empty, he has proceeded on to General Washington. We are informed that of the four Regiments coming from Boston There is a Very Considerable Number of Seamen who are daily Expected” (DLC:GW).

Arnold’s return is entitled “A Return of the Ordnance and Ordnance Stores at Tyconderoga, together with the Number of each Article wanting to compleat them for Service allowing 40 Rounds and 10 Case Shot to each Gun—July 31st 1776,” and is followed by a note in which he says: “A large quantity of Sheet Cooper & Tin will be necessary to compleat the above also 100 Sheep Skins dressd for Sponges, 30 lb. Sponge Tacks—5 lb. Copper Nails—and a good Tinman for the Labortory. N.B. Ten Grape & ten double headed or Chain Shott wantd for all the Cannon above six Pounders—& a few for the four Pounders” (DLC:GW).

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