George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philemon Dickinson, 15 June 1778

From Major General Philemon Dickinson

Trenton [N.J.] June 15th 1778

Dear Sir,

The inclosed just came to hand, from Genl Maxwell1—the same Intelligence, was brought me a few hours before, which I believe may be relied upon—a Person whom I sent down the River, saw the Vessells on the Stocks, at both the upper, & lower parts of the City, in flames.

A Gentleman of Reputation who lives near Philada sent me word last Evening, that the Enemy were very industrious, in transporting their Troops, Artillery, & Waggons, over to Coopers Ferry. The Intelligence comes so many different ways, & so well authenticated, that it does not admit of a doubt. I shall instantly write to Govr Livingston, respecting a general summons for our Militia2—but perhaps, he may not yet be convinced, of the Enemy’s Intentions, I am very apprehensive, they will be greatly advanced in their rout, before any considerable force can be collected, to oppose them. I have the honor to be, Your Excellency’s most Obdt

Philemon Dickinson


1The enclosed letter from Brig. Gen. William Maxwell to Dickinson, dated “½ past 7 oclock” on 14 June from Mount Holly, N.J., reads: “If any thing can make a certainty in the Enemys Movement to this side what Capt. Rice has just now informed me I think will make it certain. It says he has it from good authority the Enemy both horse & foot have been crossing all day Cannon Carriages &Ca and that they have set fire to the Vessels on the Stocks It is going to you therefore I will not detain you nor him If you should think the Intiligence good which I have not much reason to doubt please to forward it to His Excellency … N.B. I expect to give you more news by to morrow Morning” (DLC:GW).

2Dickinson’s letter to New Jersey governor William Livingston has not been identified, but see Livingston’s reply of 16 June in Prince, Livingston Papers description begins Carl E. Prince et al., eds. The Papers of William Livingston. 5 vols. Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., 1979–88. description ends , 2:365–66.

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