George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 15 May 1779

From Major General John Sullivan

Millstone [N.J.] May 15th 1779

Dear General

I have the Honor to Inclose your Excelly a Letter from Colo. Butler Respecting Doctor Jones who is very Desireous of going on the Western Expedition as I know nothing more of Colo. Butlers Reasons than are mentioned in the Letter & nothing at all Respecting the Call that may be for Mr Jones to Remain with the army I can only Inclose Colo. Butlers Letter & Submit the Matter to your Exceys wisdom for Determination—Should there be no material Reason agt his going I think that his Acquaintance with the Indian Countries his knowledge of their Customs & Manners as well as his knowledge in other matters will operate in favor of Granting Colo. Butlers Request.1 I have the Honor to be with the most perfect Respect Yr Excys most obedt Servt

Jno. Sullivan


1The enclosed letter from Lt. Col. William Butler to Sullivan, dated 11 May at Millstone, N.J., reads: “As I am Just seting out on my Journey, it would have given me Pleasure to have seen you before my Departure—If you have any Commands, I would be glad to receive them as soon as possible—It is Probable, that I may Skirmish with the Enemy before I have the pleasure of seeing you, I should think myself additionally happy, if you could obtain Leave for the Revd Dr Jones to go with me as his assistance may be of great importance in Case of an action, and he can be well spared from 2d Penn. Brigade as the Chaplain of the 3d Brigade is in Camp & can do the Duty in the Drs absence—To enable him to come, he will stand in Need of a horse & some other Equipage, which I hope is in your power to obtain” (DLC:GW).

GW replied to Sullivan from headquarters on this date: “Under the circumstances which you have mentioned, and from the usefulness that Colonel Butler conceives Dr Jones may be of—I have consented to his joining Col. Butler, and directed him to you in case you should have any commands” (Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW).

David Jones (1736–1820), of Newcastle County, Del., was ordained a Baptist minister in 1756 and accompanied George Rogers Clark in his early expeditions to the Ohio country. Jones’s record of his experiences with Clark among the Indians was published in 1774 as A Journal of Two Visits Made to Some Nations of Indians on the West Side of the River Ohio, in the Years 1772 and 1773. Jones was appointed chaplain of the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment in April 1776 and became chaplain of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1777. He became chaplain of the 2d Pennsylvania Brigade in May 1778 and remained in the post until 1783. Jones visited GW at Mount Vernon in 1785 (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:200), and in 1792 he became minister of the Great Valley Baptist Church in Chester, Pa. Jones served as a U.S. Army chaplain, 1794–1800, and again, 1813–15.

Index Entries