George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 3 December 1777

From Major John Clark, Jr.

Mr Trumbals 3rd Decr 1777, 1 oClock P.M.


Col: Laurens Letter came to hand this morning.1

I am sorry a Guard of Militia under the Command of Colonel Warner took up one of my Friends going into Philada which has prevented my getting some very material intelligence as I had formed a channel through which every thing in that way wou’d have come with secrecy & for that purpose had sent a little provision to my Correspondent in Philada from whom I herewith send you an extract of a Letter just from the City & you will observe what necessity there was for so doing—“We are pretty well of as yet, have a barrell of good Flower & some Potatoes—Money is very ill to be got—numbers of People in Town will take no paper Money of any Currency—Brigadier General Pattison,✻ has taken your new Shop Yard & Stable for his Cattle & live Stock, there’s a Centry placed over them & no fire or Candle allowed some of his principal Officers is quarter’d in Falconers new Houses & I have a Young Scotch Officer quartered on me.”2

The Enemy are in motion have a number of flat bottom’d Boats on Carriages & Scantling—& are busy pressing Horses & Waggons—no persons permitted to come out except those on whom they can depend—they were busy this morning—I have ordered the person to be discharged & hope you will approve of the plan I had adopted—the impropriety of communicating it to you by Letter will plead my excuse—and I am under every circumstance Your Excellency’s faithful

Jno. Clark Junr

✻ Second Street } on the Hill
‡ Shippen Street

ALS, DLC:GW. The cover indicates that Clark sent this letter “per Express.”

1For John Laurens’s letter to Clark of 2 Dec., see Clark to GW, 1 Dec., source note.

2A copy of this extract in Clark’s writing, docketed “A Letter brought me by a Spy sent in to the City of Philada by order of Genl Washington” and dated 29 Nov., is in NHi: Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Philadelphia. James Pattison (1724–1805), a colonel in the British army since 1761 and a brigadier general of artillery in the American service, arrived at Philadelphia on 25 Nov. 1777. The owner of the new houses may be Joseph Falconer who after the war resided at 15 Shippen Street in Southwark, a district in the suburbs of south Philadelphia. A Joseph Falconer served on the committee of inspection and observation for Southwark in 1774, as an election judge in 1775, and as a captain in the militia from 1780 to 1783. Isaac Warner (c.1737–1794) was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Philadelphia militia in the spring of 1777 and promoted to colonel later that year.

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