George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Livingston, 1 October 1777

To William Livingston

Head Qrs [Skippack, Pa.] Octo. 1st 1777.

Dr Sir

I was just now honoured with your Favor of the 30th Ulto with It’s Inclosures.1 I am extremely concerned, that the situation of Affairs in Jersey is such, as to preclude me from any hope of a further Reinforcement from thence. The Account transmitted by Genl Dickinson, if true, is very interesting;2 But I trust even the smallest number of Troops said to have arrived, is exaggerated, as none of the public prints, till a late paper or two from New York, have made mention of any such force. The Report, however, added to the contiguity of Staten Island to the Main, which affords an easy passage across for incursions on the part of the Enemy holds forth but too just Grounds of apprehension in the Eastern Militia and for their being employed where they are. If All were united, All would be well But in this Quarter, Toryism and disaffection too generally mark the conduct of the people. I will not enlarge. Our Affairs at present have an unfavourable appearance but I hope they will change for the better. I have the Honor to be with great regard & esteem Yr Most Obedt sert


P.S: It should be remembered always, that if we can destroy the Enemy’s Grand Army, the Branches of it fall of course.


The situation of our public Stores, particularly those of the Ordnance kind at Trenton gives me great uneasiness—I have directed every exertion to be employed for their Removal—I must entreat that any assistance you can give in Waggons &c. may be afforded—Also that a body of Militia, under a Spirited Officer, if it is possible, may be ordered there as a Guard till they can be removed—I have spoken to Colo. scudder upon the subject, to whom I take the liberty of referring you.3 Yrs.

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This letter has not been found.

2Philemon Dickinson wrote Livingston on 29 Sept. that Gen. Henry Clinton’s troops at New York City recently had been reinforced and that they were ready to march inland at any time (MHi).

3Nathaniel Scudder (1733–1781), who had studied medicine after his graduation from the College of New Jersey in 1751 and had established his practice at Freehold, N.J., served on the New Jersey legislative council from August 1776 to November 1777, when he was elected to the first of two consecutive one-year terms as a delegate to the Continental Congress. By 1776 Scudder was lieutenant colonel of the 1st Regiment of Monmouth County militia, and in November 1776 he was promoted to colonel. Scudder was killed in a skirmish with Loyalist refugees at Shrewsbury, N.J., in October 1781.

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