George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 14 October 1778

From Major General John Sullivan

Providence October 14th 1778

Dear General

I was yesterday honoured with your Exceellenceys favor of the 11th Instant I have as yet heard nothing of the Fleet1 Seen off Stamford.

I this morning Received the Inclosed Letter from General Prescott with a Large Box containing Packages for myself the Governor Council Representatives Ministers of the Gospel &c. in this State; They Contain Proclamations Similar to the one Inclosed. I have Delivered over those Directed to the Governor & Council & Requested them not to Suffer them to be Spread among the people till I had your Excellenceys Direction This Seems to be the Last Struggle of the Expiring Commissioners from Britain Their Threats Discover their weakness & their Entreaties their Desperate Situation I beg your Excellys Directions what I Shall do with those Directed to me & what Advice I Shall give the Governor & Councill 2 I have the Honor to be most Respectfully Dear Genl Your Excys most obedt Servt

Jno. Sullivan


1Sullivan inadvertently wrote “Fleen” on the manuscript.

2The enclosed letter that Maj. Gen. Richard Prescott wrote to Sullivan on 12 Oct. from Newport reads: “Having had the honour to receive from the King’s Commissioners the different Dispatches herewith transmitted You, I take the earliest Opportunity of forwarding them, & request they may be delivered to the several Persons & Bodies to whom they are Addressed—I must also beg, You’ll be so good to Expedite the Enclosed Letter for General Heath.

“Lieutenant Collier, of the Artillery, is charged with this, being an Officer of the Convention Army, on Parole, which Corps he is now on his way to join” (DLC:GW). William Collier was Maj. Gen. William Phillips’s secretary (see Mackenzie Diary description begins Diary of Frederick Mackenzie Giving a Daily Narrative of His Military Service as an Officer of the Regiment of Royal Welch Fusiliers during the Years 1775–1781 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1930. description ends , 2:433).

Sullivan also enclosed for GW a copy of the British peace commissioners’ manifesto and proclamation of 3 Oct., copies of which GW already had seen (see GW to George Clinton, 8 Oct., and note 4 to that document). For GW’s response to Sullivan’s request for guidance in regard to the manifesto and proclamation, see the postscript to his letter to Sullivan of 17 October.

Index Entries