From Henry Laurens
[Philadelphia] 1st November 
With this Your Excellency will receive my Letter of the 30th which has been two days in the hands of Colonel Gimat; this Gentleman being detained by some prospect of receiving an Act of Congress in his favor in a day or two, I judge it best to forward the public Dispatches by an Express Messenger.1
Yesterday I had the honor of presenting to Congress your Excellencys’ several Letters of the 24th, 26th and 27th Instant.2 the former together with the Return which accompanied it, is committed to a Committee appointed to prepare a Plan for procuring Reinforcements for the Army. The latter produced a Resolve approving the reasons for not undertaking immediately an Expedition against Chemung which Your Excellency will find inclosed.3
I shall likewise transmit herewith a Letter of the 24th October 1778 from Nicholas Depui and others4 and two Affadavits referr’d to in the Letter which Congress refer to Your Excellency’s consideration. I have the honor to be &c.
P.S. This instant the Printer has sent in a Packet of printed Manifestos by Congress, which Your Excellency is requested to distribute by proper means at the several Posts of the Enemy North and East of this place, within these States. Fifty of these Papers will be found under Cover with this.5
LB, DNA:PCC, item 13. The letter was carried “by William Hunter from the Quarter Master.”
1. Laurens’s letter to GW of 30 Oct. covered two acts of Congress and reported the issuance of brevet commissions to various French officers. On 3 Nov., Congress resolved to grant Gimat a brevet commission of colonel and to reimburse him for his travel expenses to and from the United States; two days later the delegates awarded Gimat “an honorary certificate of his zeal and services” (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 , 12:1097, 1105).
3. The resolve was dated 31 Oct.; see 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 , 12:1084.
4. The enclosed letter of 24 Oct. from Nicholas Depui, John Chambers, Benjamin Van Camp, and John Van Campen to Pennsylvania Council president George Bryan reads:
“Gentlemen we do with Reluctance adress you once more conscerning the aprehensions we are under of the Indin & Torey Incursions on the Frontiers which we have not Neglected to give you Notice of. when we entered into the Combination with you of Defending our Rights & privileges against the unjust Claims of great Briton we expected a Mutual combination would have procured Mutual defence & it has so happened in the Coarse of the War that we were part of those that was first cald on to make up our Co[s]ts of the flying camp which we on the shortest Notice complyd with, the next call was to Trenton when the fate of the war seemd dark on our side but still as Gloomy as our struggle apeard at that time, a Generous Compliance took place & we were the first in the State there ready to take the field excepting the brave Melitia from philadelphia & our atending last winter in that Inclement Season all Cooperates to prove that we have Acted our part in the present Strugle for which Conduct we are singled out by the enenemy & your Neglect to suffer the loss of our lives & our all whilst those persons among us that profest neutrality sits Quiet & none to make <the>m afraid; so in the coarse of the present Strugle the <Ene>my is comeing to Ruien us an Enemy that is desperate Lost to the feelings of humanity therefore we have nothing to expect but fire sword & Desolation for it seems all in Vain to call on you for assistance you seem Deef to our Complaints if you think this Indecent Languague such can only be expected from a disparing people; but by way of N.B. we can assure you by certain Intiligence we receivd from Justice Vannakens the Indians are at Coshiston or perhaps now neaer on there way down towards this state the Information was from a party of Toreys that came down to Menisink from the great Corn Brant party to warn some of their Connections to move off, the reasons they give for their not proceeding farther after desolateing peanpack was the waters being so high they could not pass therefore they retired as far as Coshiston with a View to turn back when the waters fell: we have here given you the best Intiligence we can, & we mentioned in our last to you that the Inhabiters of uper Smithfield & great part of Deleware were movd over to the Jerseys where they still remain & the spirits of the fiew that remains amongs us is so depresd being without assistance that we are not able to keep a single scout out & the first Intiligence we may expect is a Stroke” (DLC:GW). The two affidavits that accompanied the letter have not been identified (see 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 , 12:1080).
The four correspondents were all from Lower Smithfield, Pennsylvania. Depui (Dupui, Depuis; 1728–1808) had served as a justice of the peace for Northampton County, Pa.; Chambers was a county sublieutenant and mustermaster; Van Camp served 1776–78 as a major in the county militia; and Van Campen (Van Camp; 1726–c.1801) served as a member of the Pennsylvania general assembly 1778–79 and as a member of the Pennsylvania supreme executive council 1780–81. For GW’s response to this howl of distress, see GW to George Clinton, 5 Nov. (first letter); to Philip Van Cortlandt, 5 and 10 Nov.; and to Casimir Pulaski, 10 November.