George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Jay, 18 August 1779

From John Jay

Philadelphia 18th Augt 1779


Since the date of my last, I have been honored with Your Excellency’s Favors of the 5: 5: 6: & 11th Inst., with the several papers mentioned in them.

I have now the honor of transmitting to Your Excellency a copy of an Act of Congress of the 16th Inst., paying the Soldiers for deficiencies in cloathing1—and also a Copy of a Circular Letter from Congress to the several States, which I am happy to find corresponds with the Sentiments expressed in your Excellency’s last Letter.2 With perfect Esteem And Regard I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s Most Obedt Servant

John Jay Presidt

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 14.

1The enclosed copy of the resolution is in DLC:GW (see also 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 14:970–971). GW published this act in general orders on 29 August.

2See GW to Jay, 11 August. The copy of the circular, dated 14 Aug. at Philadelphia, reads: “Congress have deemed it highly necessary to inform you that the enemy have exerted themselves to send out a very considerable reinforcement to their Army now in America. Seven thousand were destined hither from Europe and three thousand from the West Indies. The operations in the place last mentioned may perhaps prevent the arrival of those troops. But there is no solid reason to expect that the European reinforcement will not arrive.

“It is proper you should be informed that our allies were much concerned to find that preparations were not earlier made for a vigorous campaign. The exertions of America are necessary to obtain the great objects of the alliance, her liberty, sovereignty and independence. The barbarities already exhibited by the enemy and their avowed determinations to give a still greater scope to their ravages are additional motives to our endeavours. Congress are fully convinced therefore that you will comply with their earnest wishes to prepare for the most immediate and most vigorous operations, particularly by filling up your Batallions and having the militia of your State ready to march at the shortest warning. It is highly probable that circumstances may soon call them forth to operate offensively and it is hoped and expected with such energy and effect as to free these States from their hostile invaders” (DLC:GW).

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