George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Jacob Bayley, 3 October 1778

To Brigadier General Jacob Bayley

Head Quarters Fish Kill October 3d 1778


Capt. Young has just delivered me your favour of the 21st of September—I wrote you a few days since,1 to the care of Col. Hazen, informing you, that a satisfactory answer had been received from Congress relative to carrying on the expedition, if circumstances will permit; and to making the necessary preparations for that purpose, and that Mr Cuyler had agreed with the Commissary of Purchases here on the proposed arrangements in their department—Capt. Young will communicate what particulars he learnt from Mr Tychiner, assistant to Mr Cuyler—You will therefore proceed in the matters intrusted to your direction.2

Since my last General Schuyler has undertaken3 to provide a number of Snow shoes and macassins at Albany; but4 allowance has been made for this and you are not the less to procure the quantity of these articles, mentioned in my last. Yet as the actually collecting them would naturally lead the enemy to suspect our design, I would wish this part of the business to be deferred as long as it can—so as to be completed in season. In the mean time you may be laying out for them and taking such steps as will be least obvious and declarative of the intention.

I thank you for the informati<on> you have sent me and am Sir Your most Obed. servant.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; copy (extract) MHi: Heath Papers; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The extract in the Heath Papers does not include the second paragraph of the letter.

2Isaac Tichenor (1754–1838), native of Newark, N.J., who had graduated from the College of New Jersey at Princeton in 1775, was assistant commissary of purchases for New Hampshire and Vermont from July 1777 to August 1780. Posted at Bennington, Vt., for most of that time, Tichenor settled there permanently, establishing himself as a prominent lawyer and politician. His fine appearance and polished manners earned him the nickname “Jersey Slick.” Tichenor represented Bennington in the Vermont assembly 1781–84, serving the last two years as speaker. In 1782–83 and 1787–89 he was one of the Vermont agents who negotiated statehood with the Continental Congress. A strong Federalist, Tichenor served on the Vermont council 1786–91, on the state supreme court 1791–95, and in the U.S. Senate 1796–97 and 1815–21. He was governor of Vermont 1797–1807 and 1808–9.

Royal Flint, the assistant commissary general of purchases at Fredericksburg, wrote GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman on 28 Oct. enclosing some unidentified letters from Bayley, Cuyler, and Tichenor for GW’s consideration. “I could wish,” Flint said, “to be informed whether it was his Excellency’s intention that a certain quantity of provisions should, at all hazards, be deposited in the neighborhood of Newbury on Connecticut river; or whether it is only his design that the provisions that can be collected under Genl Bailey’s view be formed into magazines in that quarter” (DLC:GW).

Tilghman replied to Flint on 29 Oct. that he had laid the letters before GW. “He desires,” Tilghman wrote, “that under our present circumstances no Flour or any kind of supplies may be sent up the Country to form Magazines at Newberry. One principal inducement toward thinking of carrying the expedition into Canada was the assurance of Genl Bayly that a sufficiency of provision and forage could be procured on the head of Connecticut River for the supply of the troops to be employed upon such an enterprise. This you will see by the inclosed extract from his representation. It was very well known that under our present difficulties we could scarcely draw together a sufficiency for the Grand army, much less form magazines at such a distance. The provision and forage of that Country were to have been purchased up, and if the expedition failed (as it was very dubious) they were to have been transported down the Country for ordinary purposes—From the above you will clearly perceive that there never was the most distant thought of forming a Magazine at Newberry from the Country below” (DLC:GW). The extract that Tilghman enclosed to Flint has not been identified, but see a Board of Officers to GW, 10 September.

3Hamilton inadvertently wrote “untertaken” on the draft manuscript. GW’s most recent letter to Bayley was written on 26 September.

4At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote: “as we had better have a sufficiency an overplus than too few, you are not on this account to abate in the.” He then struck out that phrase and wrote above the line: “allowance has been made for this and you are not the less to procure.”

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