George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Thomas Mifflin, 11 June 1777

From Major General Thomas Mifflin

Philada 11th June 1777

My dear General

I was honord with your Letter of Monday and of Yesterday at 5 OClock this Morning1—I have given every necessary Direction to the persons who have the Care of the Boats at Trenton & Coryels Ferry; and have sent 220 Men from Bristol as a Guard at Coryels with a party of 50 Ship Carpenters who undertook to conduct the Boats from Trenton to Coryels. Major General Arnold sets off to day to take the Command of the Militia from Bristol to Coryels Ferry. I have Col. Gurney & Capt. Reed of our Navy to princeton to continue the Signals from thence to Philada—The Spears are sent off to you with 430 Tents: some of the latter Col. Biddle will probably receive this day.

I was under the Necessity of calling the Inhabitants together in Town Meeting at 10 OClock this Morning & hope to give your Excellency a happy Account of it.

Mrs Washington is still here to whom I deliverd your Letter—She is in perfect Health and had determind to have sett off this Morning but I beleive has been influenced by Mr Custis to wait untill To Morrow.2 I am with great Respect and Attachment Your Excellencys Obt Hle St

Tho. Mifflin


Mifflin enclosed with this letter a general return of the troops quartered in Philadelphia that was made on 10 June 1777 by Col. Lewis Nicola, and which is located in DLC:GW. Although Nicola indicates that nearly half of the detachments in the Philadelphia area failed to report, the return shows 41 commissioned officers, 74 noncomissioned officers and staff, 436 rank and file, and 66 sick, for a total of 617 men, plus 4 prisoners.

1GW’s letter to Mifflin of Monday, 9 June 1777, has not been found.

2GW’s letter to Martha Washington of 10 June 1777 has not been found.

Martha Washington, who had recently left GW’s former headquarters at Morristown, N.J., was visiting the home of Charles Pettit in Philadelphia (see Martha Washington to Joseph Reed, June 1777, in Fields, Papers of Martha Washington description begins Joseph E. Fields, ed. “Worthy Partner”: The Papers of Martha Washington. Westport, Conn., and London, 1994. description ends , 173–74). While she was at Philadelphia the Pennsylvania general assembly decided to present her with a fancy ceremonial coach that had been owned by Richard Penn, Jr., the popular former lieutenant governor of the colony who had returned to England in 1775. On 13 June the assembly resolved that “Mr. Parker, Colonel Coats, and Mr. Whitehill, be a committee to purchase a coach and present the same to the Honorable Mrs. Washington, the worthy lady of his Excellency General Washington, as a small testimonial of the sense the Assembly have of his great and important services to the American States” (Moore, Diary description begins Frank Moore. Diary of the American Revolution from Newspapers and Original Documents. 2 vols. New York, 1859–60. description ends , 1:446). On the following day the members of the committee reported to the assembly that they had bought a “very elegant” coach, “and, in the name of the House, had presented it to that lady, by whom it had been politely accepted” (ibid.). On 14 June the assembly also drafted for Penn a two-and-one-half-page appraisal of the elaborately designed ornamental carriage, which it described as “a very handsome round Bottom Crane Neck Coach made of the very best materials,” listing in detail its many pieces, and assigning to it a value of £457.18.6 sterling. A letter written at the end of the appraisal from Lancaster, Pa., by committee member William Coats to David Rittenhouse on 27 Dec. 1777 indicates that the committee agreed to purchase the coach for half of the appraisal value. The appraisal and letter are in PHi.

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