To John Hancock
Morristown April 21st 1777
I was this morning honored with your favor of the 20th inclosing Sundry proceedings of Congress.
The removal of provisions &c. from the Communication between Brunswick and Trentown, has been pretty well effected already.1 It was an Object early attended to, and what I recommended to the Assembly of this State, as deserving their interposition and aid;2 but finding it had not their immediate consideration, and that they seemed to decline interfering in the matter, I directed the Quarter Masters & Commissaries to purchase their first Supplies of those necessaries from such places, as appeared to be most exposed to the Enemy’s incursions, and through which, it is most probable, they will take their Route towards the Delaware, in case an Enterprize that way should be in contemplation. I have transmitted Copies of the Resolve upon this Subject to Genl Putnam & Colo. Foreman, the latter of whom is in Monmouth County, with orders to execute the same agreable to the directions therein prescribed, where it may be necessary on the Road leading from South Amboy across the Country.3
I have nothing of importance to communicate to Congress; The advices they will receive to day which passed through this Town Yesterday, will tell them, that the Enemy remained at Rhode Island on the 15th Inst., notwithstanding the Accounts we had received of their embarkation before. I have the Honor to be with great respect Sir Your Most Obedt Servt
LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 22 April (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 , 7:288).
1. Among the enclosures in Hancock’s letter to GW of 20 April was Congress’s resolution of 19 April directing GW “to take effectual Measures for removing all Provisions, Cattle, Carriages, and Forage which he may think in Danger of falling into the Hands of the Enemy, particularly in the Countries through which their Rout may lie should they attempt to march; and that he give Directions to all Officers employed on this Duty to be careful not to deprive the Inhabitants of what may be necessary for their immediate Subsistance, and to cause all Provisions, Cattle, Carriages, and Forage removed, to be appraised to a just Valuation, that the Owners may be paid for the same” (DLC:GW; see also 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 , 7:283–84).
3. Elias Boudinot, who was at Morristown, on this date wrote to Lt. Col. Edward Antill at Princeton: “I am ordered by his Excy General Washington to endeavour to obtain a Map of the Road from Amboy to Trenton—There are but two actual Surveys that I know of in the Province—The one hangs up in the Common Room in Rensaler Williams’s Tavern in Trenton, which is the most compleat—As I cannot be spared to ride there at Present, and it is of consequence to obtain it immediately I must beg the favour of you, the first Time you go to Trenton, to endeavour to get it from Mr Williams—I know he will not choose to let it go, but you may assure him that I will carefully return it, as soon as I have copied it—If he will sell it, I will pay for it—If he will not let it go at any rate, I must beg the favour of you to send a light Horseman in my Name to Mr James Kinsey in Burlington, who has one (rather more imperfect) and who I know will send it immediately on shewing him this Letter—When you receive it, you will be kind enough to forward it to Me at Head Quarters as soon as possible” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 18275).