George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Alexander McDougall, 22 March 1779

From Major General Alexander McDougall

Head Quarters Peeks Kill [N.Y.] March 22nd 1779 1 A.M.


Two Hours ago, I had the Honor, to cover Sundry Copies of Original Letters and papers from New-York, to which I beg Leave to refer you.1

This will be handed to you, by Mr Elijah Hunter Assistant Commissary of Forage at Bedford in this state. He is the person, mentioned in my last, the link of the Chain between me and ——. He goes to Head Quarters, for such Intelligence, as you shall judge expedient, to give him, on a Matter, which he will fully communicate—It is with great Reluctance, he engaged in this Business—But a Desire to serve his Country, has prevailed on him to undertake it.2 I am with great Truth and Regard Your Excellency’s most Obedient and most humble Servant

Alexr McDougall


2After expressing reluctance to employ Elijah Hunter as a double agent, GW incorporated the former captain of the 4th New York Regiment and Westchester County militia into his intelligence network (see GW to McDougall of 25 and 28 March; McDougall to GW, 31 March 1779, and 28 Nov. 1783, DLC:GW; Hunter to GW, 21 May 1779, 12 April 1781, and 11 March 1783, all DLC:GW; GW to Hunter, 12 Aug. 1779 and 11 June 1783, both DLC:GW; John Jay to GW, 25 Aug. 1779, DLC:GW; GW to Jay, 7 Sept. 1779, UkWC-A; and Benjamin Tallmadge to GW, 9 Nov. 1780, DLC:GW; see also Hunter to GW, 9 Dec. 1789, Papers, Presidential Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series. 17 vols. to date. Charlottesville, Va., 1987—. description ends , 4:377–83).

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