George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 22 May 1777

From Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Hartford May 22d 1777


As it may be of Consequence for you to be acquainted with every Movement of the Enemy, would inform your Excellency, that by a Letter this day receiv’d from Govr Bradford1 Dated the 20th instant, have Intelligence that, on the forenoon of that day, twenty seven Sail left New Port and appear’d to be bound up Sound—and that they learnt by some Deserters before that Time that two Hessian Regiments and a half and the sixty third brittish Regiment, were under Orders to embark last Saturday2—This Fleet I understand was last Night seen to pass Seabrook,3 standing westward—towards New Yo⟨rk⟩—These frequent Appearances of their Ships & Fleet⟨s upon⟩ our Coasts and traversing our Shoars, Keep, our sea Coasts especially, under continual Apprehensions and Alarms, and by calling our Husbandmen from the Field threaten4 us with Scarcety and Distress.

Have acknowledged the Receipt of your Favour of the 11th instant, by mine of the 18th to which refer, and must beg your Kind Attention, and answer to the matters therein contain’d—and will only add thereto, that upon laying our distress’d Situation before the Congress requesting the aid of some Continental Troops to be stationd here, they referr’d the Matter to the Board of War, who were of Opinion that the inclosed Resolve of the 10th of Decemr 1776 relative to the two Batallions, has not been superceeded and therefore no Occasion for a new One for that purpose5—for which Reasons and those mention’d in my last, cant but still hope & flatter ourselves, your Excellency will spare us those two Batallions. I am with great Esteem and Regard, Sir, your most obedient humble Sarvant

Jonth; Trumbull

LS, DLC:GW; LB, Ct: Trumbull Papers. The mutilated portions of the text on the manuscript of the LS are supplied within angle brackets from the LB. The addressed cover of the LS includes a notation in its lower left-hand corner that reads: “per Mr Brown, Express.”

1William Bradford (1729–1808), a native of Plympton, Mass., who had studied medicine in Hingham, Mass., and had practiced it in Warren, R.I., before becoming an attorney in Bristol, R.I., in 1767, served as deputy governor of Rhode Island from 1775 to 1778. Bradford was frequently a member of the state house of representatives between 1761 and 1803, and he served as its speaker several times. Although Bradford was elected to the Continental Congress in October 1776, he did not attend. He was a U.S. senator from 1793 to 1797 when he resigned.

2The previous Saturday was 17 May.

3The LB reads: “Saybrook.”

4The LB reads: “greatly threaten.”

5For the Board of War’s opinion on this matter, see Roger Sherman to Trumbull, 16 May, in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 7:87–88. The enclosed copy of Congress’s resolution of 10 Dec. 1776 is in 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 , 6:1021).

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