George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Jay, 14 June 1779

To John Jay

Smith’s in the Clove [N.Y.] June the 14: 1779


On Saturday Evening1 I was honoured with Your Excellency’s favor of the 7th Instant and with the papers to which it refers.2

The intelligence from Carolina is very interesting as related, and I should hope from it’s coming through so many channels & from its being told so circumstantially, that it is not destitute of foundation.3

I have nothing to communicate to your Excellency respecting the Enemy. They have made no movements since my Letter of the 11th and I believe there situation is the same that it was then. I have the Honor to be with sentiments of the highest respect & esteem Yr Excellencys Most Obedt &c.

Go: Washington

P.S. Your Excellency will be pleased to receive three N. York papers.4 If we should be so happy as to receive a confirmation of the South Carolina News—when it is published—I think it would be well for the printer to subjoin the piece inclosed in black lines in Rivington’s paper of the 9th.5

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW is referring to 12 June.

2At this place on the draft manuscript, Harrison wrote and then struck out a paragraph that reads: “I have published the Acts of the 5th Inst respecting Cols Courtlandt—Gansevoort & Dubois and Captain Prowell of the 11th pensylvania Regiment in General Orders and transmitted an Extract, so far as the three first were concerned to Brigadier Genl Clinton, with directions to communicate it to the parties.”

3Reports of an American success in South Carolina ultimately proved erroneous (see GW to John Augustine Washington, 20 June, and n.7 to that document).

4At least one of the enclosed newspapers was the Royal Gazette (New York) for 9 June (see n.5 below). The other two newspapers have not been identified.

5GW probably is referring to an item in the Royal Gazette (New York) for 9 June that reads: “The Lieut. Govern[o]r of South Carolina, ’tis said, has wrote in p⟨r⟩essing terms to Mr. Patrick Henry, titular Governor of Virginia, imploring a body of troop[s], since the British army had moved with such rapidi[t]y towards Charlestown, as had thrown Mr. Lincoln and the rebel band three days march behind them, which occasioned that capital to be threatened with the most extreme danger. To confirm the brilliant state of our affairs in Carolina, we have been well informed that a person lately arrived by land from Charlestown, declared at Philadelphia, that the action, related in the rebel news papers, in which Mr. Polaski’s officers had suffered conside⟨r⟩ably, was fought within 15 miles of that city, adding, that he had not the least doub[t] of General Prevost’s troops being then in possession of it.

“The above Informant men[t]ioned that the works intended for the defence of Charlestown were so very extensive, that they had not in arms a fourth part of the people necessary for manning them.”

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