George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Israel Angell, 1 February 1778

To Colonel Israel Angell

Head Quarters Valley Forge 1st Feby 1778.


I am favoured with yours of yesterday.1 As it is my wish to cut off the intercourse with Phila. as effectually as possible, I desire that no passes may be granted by you to any persons upon any pretence whatsoever; and that you will do all in your power to apprehend those who attempt to go into the City with marketting. There is no way so likely to put a total stop to this practice as making an Example of some notorious offender: If therefore you can hear of any person who has made a practice of going to Philadelphia with provisions or horses I would wish you to take pains to have him apprehended. I am Sir Your Most Obedt Serv.

Go: W——n

Df, in Caleb Gibbs’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Angell’s letter to GW has not been found, but Angell wrote in his diary on this date that “the Ladies begun to apply this morning for passes to philadelphia, I gave a number as had not Recd. an Answer from a letter I wrote to his Excellency on the matter the day before, but in the afternoon Recd. orders not to give aney passes to aney person whatsoever.” Angell and 300 troops were stationed from 27 Jan. until 3 Feb. near Radnor Meeting House, Pa., from where Angell dispatched patrols to capture deserters and disrupt trade with Philadelphia (Boyle, “Angell’s Diary,” description begins Joseph Lee Boyle, ed. “The Israel Angell Diary, 1 October 1777–28 February 1778.” Rhode Island History 58 (2000): 107–38. description ends 126–27).

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