George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Jay, 6 August 1779

To John Jay

West point August the 6th 1779


Your Excellency’s Letter of the 28th of July—with it’s several Inclosures, has been duly received.1 I shall take the liberty in a few days, to lay before Congress a state of facts with respect to the Expedition under General Sullivan, by which I trust it will appear, that every measure and precaution in my power has been taken to ensure it’s success;2 and notwithstanding the difficulties he points out, I would fain hope that it will terminate happily. I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect Yr Excellency’s Most Obedt servant

Go: Washington

P.S. I inclose Your Excellency a Letter from Genl Parsons of the 31st of July, with sundry Depositions, respecting the conduct of the Enemy at New Haven3—also his Returns of the Houses they burnt at Fairfield & Norwalk.4

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 16 Aug. and referred Brig. Gen. Samuel Holden Parson’s 31 July letter with its enclosures to the Committee of Intelligence (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 14:967–68).

1GW is presumably referring to Jay’s letter of 29 July.

3See Parsons to GW, 31 July, and n.1 to that document. For the British raiding expedition in early July against Fairfield, New Haven, and Norwalk, Conn., see GW to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 7 July, source note.

4For these returns, see Parsons to GW, 20 July, n.1. The draft, in the writing of GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison, has the following note after the postscript: “Copies of the Returns alluded to are in Genl parsons’s Letter of the 20 July—1779.” A document with copies of these returns, in Harrison’s writing and probably meant to be included with the draft of this letter, is filed with the 6 Aug. documents in DLC:GW; but the copy of the Norwalk return erroneously leaves off the count of vessels destroyed.

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