George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philemon Dickinson, 19 August 1777

From Major General Philemon Dickinson

⟨Tren⟩ton 19th August 1777


From the latest accounts I have received, I cannot find there has been any movements of the Enemy, upon Staten Island; and this Day I recieved the inclosed Letter from Gen: Forman, which I thought proper to send your Excellency.1

A few Days ago, I saw Mr Douglass, being the Person, whom I mentioned in my last letter to your Excellency, that made his escape from N. York,2 he say’s, that Gen: Jones is Governor of N. York3—& that Genls Clinton & Tryon, (when he left the City) were both at Kingsbridge. I did not know, untill the Receipt of Col: Tilghman’s letter,4 but what Gen: Tryon still continued, to act as Governor. I have the honour to be, Your Excellency’s, Most Obt Servt

Philemon Dickinson

ALS, DLC:GW. The text within angle brackets is mutilated. The addressed cover includes the notation: “Favor’d by Capt. [Alexander] Mitchell.”

1The enclosed letter from Gen. David Forman to Dickinson, written at Freehold, N.J., on 17 Aug., reads: “Yours requesting An Acct of the Enemies Movements upon Straten Island was handed me yesterday.

“if any Movements have Taken place since the British Fleet Sailed, they have not come to my knowledge.

“From the best Accts I can geather they have left the Island with a Very few Troops to Defent it—Two Small Regts one British the Other Hession are Stationed a[t] Coles Ferry.

“They mount a guard at Princes Bay Where they have a Small Work and Two pieces of Artillery.

“Colo. [Isaac] Allen (formerly of Trenton) Lays at Billopss’ Point with his Regt, the Number unknown.

“half way betwen Billops’ point & the old Blazeing Star Colo. [Edward Vaughan] Dungan [Dongan] (Late of New Brunswick) Lays with his regt.

“Colol [Elisha] Laurance [Lawrence] (Late of Monmouth) is Stationed at the Old Blazeing Star Ferry—His return of men fit for Duty at that place on the first of this month was 42 privates.

“Allens and Dungans regts are Stronger What Troops are Stationed from the Old Blazeing Star towards Elisabeth Town Point I have no Information” (DLC:GW).

2In his letter to GW of 11 Aug., Dickinson gives the escaped prisoner’s name as Anthony Taylor.

3Maj. Gen. Valentine Jones was the British commandant of New York City at this time.

4This letter has not been identified.

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