George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 14 July 1778

To Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Head Quarters Paramus [N.J.] July 14th 1778


I last night recieved a Letter from Congress, informing me of the arrival of a French Fleet, on our Coast, extracts of which I have the Honor to enclose.1 In addition to that information, I have recieved intelligence, of tolerable authenticity, to day, of its arrival off the Hook. Every thing we can do to aid and cooperate with this Fleet is of the greatest importance. Accounts from New-York speak of a Cork Fleet which is momently expected there, for the safety of which the Enemy are extremely alarmed. It is probable that this Fleet, to avoid the French Fleet, will be directed to take its course thro’ the Sound—If this should be the case, it might answer the most valuable consequences, were the eastern States to collect before hand all the Frigates and armed Vessels they can get to gether for the purpose, at some convenient place, for interrupting their passage that way. If the whole, or any considerable part of the Cork-Fleet could be taken or destroyed, it would be a fatal blow to the British Army, which, it is supposed, at this time, has but a very small stock of Provisions on hand—Should the project I have now suggested appear to you eligible, I beg the favor of you to transmit Copies of my Letter, and the enclosed extracts to the neighbouring States, and endeavour to engage their concurrence. I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect & Esteem Your Excellency’s Most obedient Servant

G. Washington

P.S. From the nature of the River even small armed Boats may be useful, as the Frigates cannot protect the Transports.

LB, Ct: Trumbull Papers; Df, DLC:GW; copy, Nh-Ar: Weare Papers; copy, M-Ar: Revolution Letters, 1778; copy, R-Ar: Letters to the Governor; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The copies were enclosed in Trumbull’s letters of 18 July to Meshech Weare, to Jeremiah Dummer Powell, and to William Greene, respectively.

1The enclosed extracts from Henry Laurens’s letter to GW of 10 July have not been identified.

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