George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Livingston, 13 October 1778

From William Livingston

Morris Town [N.J.] 13 Oct. 1778

Dear Sir

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency’s Letter relative to the Quarter master Generals department, & also your favour on the Subject of Crowels flag of truce, to neither of which I can refer by their dates, not having them before me.1 The papers accompanying the first, I immediately laid before the house, but they being exceedingly hurried by the then approaching dissolution, have done nothing in the matter.2

As to the latter I am much obliged to your Excellency for your attention to my proposal of obliging the Enemy to send their flags only to such places in this State where we have posts to receive them; & I have transmitted your Letter on that Subject to General Maxwell.3

By a Resolution of Congress of the 6th instant I am requested “to use my utmost diligence in obtaining the best information upon oath of the treatment of Lieut. Collo. Baylor & his party by the Enemy who attacked them” & the President in his Letter inclosing the resolve says that if the bayonetting in cold blood should be proved he apprehends suitable retaliation will immediately follow a refusal of Satisfaction.4 As I heartily wish to execute this Commission in the amplest manner for the public good, after having examined two of the men whom I met with at Princeton,5 I took my Journey homewards by the way of Brunswick, where I heard a considerable number of that Regiment were on their way to Princeton, but they unluckily took their rout by Millstone, & so I missed them—If it should fall in your Excellencys way to be able to direct to me any good Intelligencers for the above purpose, you will greatly oblige Dear Sir your Excellencys most humble & most obedient Sevt

Wil: Livingston


1Livingston is referring respectively to GW’s Circular to Six States of 22 Sept. and GW’s letter to him of 5 October.

2The New Jersey general assembly adjourned on 8 Oct. and met again beginning on 28 October.

3This letter from Livingston to William Maxwell has not been identified.

4See JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 12:987, and Henry Laurens to Livingston, 6 Oct., DNA:PCC, item 13; see also Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 11:34–35. Livingston asked for Stirling’s assistance in carrying out this task in his letter to Stirling of 12 Oct., which Stirling enclosed in his letter to GW of 14 Oct. (see note 2 to that document). Stirling referred that request to Dr. David Griffith, who was caring for Col. George Baylor and some of the other wounded Americans (see Stirling to GW, 16 Oct.). Griffith reported his findings in his letter to Stirling of 20 Oct. (DNA:PCC, item 53; see also Baylor to GW, 19 Oct., n.1). For the British attack on Baylor’s regiment on 28 Sept. near Old Tappan, N.J., see Israel Putnam to GW, 28 Sept., and notes 1 and 2 to that document.

5Livingston is referring to privates Samuel Brooking and David Stringfellow of Baylor’s 3rd Continental Light Dragoon Regiment, whose affidavits, both dated 10 Oct., are in DNA:PCC, item 53. Their affidavits and the affidavits of six other soldiers from Baylor’s regiment, which Livingston took at Morristown on 18 and 22 Oct. and which also are in DNA:PCC, item 53, were enclosed in Livingston’s letter to Henry Laurens of 22 Oct. (see 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 , 2:469–70). They are among the affidavits that were published in the Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser (Philadelphia) for 29 October.

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