George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 13 November 1776

From Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Lebanon [Conn.] Novr 13th 1776


Your favours of the 6th 7th & 10th Instant are recieved, and am much Oblidged to your Excellency for the early Notice given me in that of the 6th of the supposed Embarkation of about three thousand of the Enemy and of their destination.1

Your’s of the 7th advising of the Approaching Dissolution of a large part of our Army is truly Alarming,2 and that season drawing near am Sensible will be most Critical and that every Method possible ought to be taken in Order in some good measure to Supply the deficiency which must happen by their Dismission, for which purpose as well as for a reconsideration of the matters referred to in yours of the 10th has Induced me to call the Assembly of this State to meet at Hartford on Tuesday Next;3 the reasons you have therein given of the great Inconvenience which may happen by adding to the wages of the Soldiery to be raised in this State beyond the Incouragements given by Congress are indeed Obvious, & which effectually opperated to prevent our Assembly taking such a Step untill the Comtee of the Massachusetts passed New Haven for the Army and there gave out to sundry of our members that—that State had given the additional Incouragement of 20/ pr month and that New Hampshire undoubtedly had done the same[.] That being the case we were Induced to resume the Subject and make the same Addition—Being Sensible it would be Impossible to raise our Quota on terms inferior to those given by our Neighbouring States. tho we are apprehensive that it will be attended with much greater difficulty to Receed from the additional Incouragements than if they had never been given.

The earliest Notice shall be given you of the Resolutions of our Assembly—Hope our Army may be Established on a firm & United footing. I am, with great Esteem and Regard Sir Your most Obedient Humble Servant

Jonth; Trumbull


1The letters to Trumbull of 6 and 7 Nov. were written at GW’s direction by Robert Hanson Harrison. For the part of Harrison’s letter of 6 Nov. concerning the threat of a British expedition to Rhode Island, see GW to Hancock, 6 Nov., n.4.

2Harrison’s letter to Trumbull of 7 Nov. is nearly identical to GW’s letter to the Massachusetts General Court of 6 Nov. except the last paragraph where Harrison writes: “His Excellency knowing the exertions of your State and the difficulties you have experienced on account of the frequent draughts that have been made from time to time, decline[s] mentioning any precise Quota to be furnished by you, and means only to submit the necessity and propriety of the requisition and the performance of it to your own good judgment, fully confiding that all the aid in your power will be most readily given in this and every other instance. There is one thing which I am directed to mention, shewing the necessity that something should be done, to wit, that the Militia now here, who came under Genl Saltonstall are extremely impatient to return, urging that they did not come for any particular time, and therefore are at liberty, or should be as they conceive, to return when they please. Two or three of the Colos. applied to his Excellency on this head yesterday, but he could not but refuse their request consistently with the good of the service in our present circumstance. He apprehends their dissatisfaction will increase and that they will take every opportunity to go off without having any regard to his prohibition” (Ct: Trumbull Papers).

3The following Tuesday was 19 November.

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