George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Elbridge Gerry, 16 August 1776

To Elbridge Gerry

New York Augt 16th 1776.

Dear Sir,

Your favours of the 3d & 6th have come duly to hand,1 and Mr Adams’s return affords me an oppertunity of acknowledging the receipt of them, & thanking you for the attention paid to the several matters I took the liberty of mentioning as you passed this place.2

The Enemy have given us much time to collect our Strength, and erect the necessary Works of Defence—The Militia from Connecticut are coming in fast, and we have received aid from Phila. & that Provence, notwithstanding which if Accts be true the Enemy will out number Us in this Quarter—Our Troops are very sickly but those which are in health are in high Spirits & not at all backward in making the Appeal.

The Flints you were obliging enough to procure (I am told) are arrived—so are the Micmack Indians sent by yr Honble Council. In haste I am Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALS (photocopy), DLC:GW. The ALS was owned in 1954 by Mr. Herman Warner Williams, director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. GW addressed the cover to “The Honble Eld. Gerry Esqr. Water Town. Favour’d by the Hon. S. Adams Esq.”

1These letters have not been found.

2Gerry stopped at New York 18–22 July while traveling home to Massachusetts from Philadelphia, where he was serving in Congress. Gerry’s fellow delegate, Samuel Adams, left Philadelphia for Boston on 12 Aug. and reached New York two days later. On this date Sam Adams wrote John Adams from New York that he “found the General [GW] and his family in Health and spirits. Indeed every Officer and Soldier appears to be determin’d. I have not had Opportunity to view the Works here, but I am told they are strong and will be well defended whenever an Attack is made which is expected daily. I see now more than I ever did the Importance of Congress attending immediately to Inlisiments for the next Campaign. It would be a pity to lose your old Soldiers. I am of Opinion that a more generous Bounty should be given. 20 Dollars and 100 Acres of Land for three years [service] at least” (Taylor, Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977—. description ends , 4:467–69). Samuel Adams arrived at Boston on 28 August. By that time Gerry apparently had left Massachusetts for Philadelphia where he arrived on 3 Sept. (see John Adams to Abigail Adams, 4 Sept. 1776, in Butterfield, Adams Family Correspondence description begins Lyman H. Butterfield et al., eds. Adams Family Correspondence. 9 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., 1963—. description ends , 2:117–18).

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