George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Livingston, 29 April 1777

To William Livingston

Head Quarters Morris Town 29th April 1777


I do myself the honor of transmitting the inclosed Resolve of Congress passed the 25th inst.1

I shall be obliged if you will, agreeable to the requisition therein made, order out One Thousand of the Militia of your State to continue in Service Four Weeks from the time they join the Army. I mention four Weeks because I think by your late Militia Law, you cannot insist upon their Service for a longer term at one time—But if it can be prolonged, I could wish it might be for six or eight Weeks. The place at which I at present intend to post them, is from pompton extending towards Hackensack, they will then protect the well affected, awe the disaffected, and serve to check the Tory Regiments under Brown, Van Buskirk &ca who are kept at Bergen and intice many persons to join them from the adjacent Country and from Sussex.2

General Heard is at present at Pompton he has about three hundred Men under his Command, whose Tour of duty I fancy has almost expired, therefore those Regiments or Companies that can be soonest put in Motion should be ordered to march with all Expedition to Pompton and put themselves under Genl Heards Command, or whatever Brigadier of the State may be then in Service.

That there may be no disproportion between the Number of Officers and Men I enclose you the Regulation of Congress of the 21st March for that purpose,3 Copy of which you will please to transmit to the Colonels or commanding Officers of Battalions, letting them know at the same time that if there should be more Officers in the feild than specifyed in the inclosed, no pay will be allowed to them.

As you think Colo. Duykink a prisoner in the Military Line, I must keep him confined, for he is too dangerous to be set at liberty at this time.4 I have the honor to be &c.

P.S. There will probably be occasion to keep up some Militia in Monmouth County and I should therefore be glad to be understood that the Body of 1000 is to be seperate and distinct from them.


Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For Congress’s resolution of 25 April requesting the New Jersey governor to call out as many militiamen as GW thought necessary to reinforce the Continental army, see 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 , 7:300.

2In a letter to Livingston of this date, GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton writes: “A spirit of disaffection Shows it self with so much boldness and violence in different parts of this State, that it is the ardent wish of his excellency [GW], no delay can be avoided might be used in making examples of some of the most attrocious offenders—If something be not Speedily done to strike a terror into the disaffected the consequences must be very disagreeable. Among others all security to the friends of the american cause will be destroyed; and the natural effect of this will be an extinction of Zeal in seconding and promoting it. Their attachment, if it remain, will be a dead, inactive, useless principle. And the Disaffected, emboldened by impunity, will be encouraged to proceed to the most dangerous and pernicious Lengths” (copy, DLC: Alexander Hamilton Papers; see also Df, DLC:GW).

3For Congress’s resolution of 21 Mar. 1777 setting the proper proportion of officers to privates in companies and regiments, see ibid., 190–91.

4John Duyckinck remained in jail at Philadelphia until the late spring or early summer when he was paroled to Reading, Pa.; he was subsequently moved to Easton, Pa., where on 25 Sept. 1777 he received orders to prepare to march to Dumfries, Virginia. Reluctant to be sent so far away from his family, Duyckinck wrote Nathanael Greene on 26 Sept. asking to be paroled to his farm at Lamington, N.J. (Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 2:166–67). On 19 Nov. 1777 Duyckinck signed a parole at Easton that apparently confined him to Bedminister Township, N.J., the township that includes Lamington, and on 16 Jan. 1779, GW wrote him from Philadelphia, releasing him from that parole and giving him “liberty to return to the former place of your abode” at or near New Brunswick (DLC:GW).

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