George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Jay, 30 August 1779

From John Jay

Philadelphia 30th Augt 1779


I have the honor of transmitting to your Excellency an Account of the Enemy’s force with Admiral Arbuthnot, from Arthur Lee Esqr.1 And am with the highest & Esteem Your Excellency’s Most Obedt Servant.

LB, DNA:PCC, item 14.

1Congress read two letters from Arthur Lee, both dated 26 April, on this date (see 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 14:1008). The enclosure has not been identified, but the docket of Lee’s letter to the Continental Congress Committee for Foreign Affairs, dated 26 April at Paris, includes the note, “Extract to be sent to genl Washington.” The section of the letter that Jay probably sent to GW, which concerns the British reinforcements sent with Vice Adm. Marriot Arbuthnot, reads: “The Re-enforcements sent & sending out to the Army against you, amount to about 8000 in new Scotch Levies, british, & german Recruits. It is the plan of the british Ministry is, as far as I can learn, to make great exertions, this campaign, both against the United States & the french Islands. Their war against you, will, in all probability, be in expeditions against different parts” (DNA:PCC, item 83). On 31 Aug., Jay sent GW further intelligence regarding the reinforcements with Arbuthnot.

Arbuthnot’s naval squadron had arrived at New York on 25 Aug. with 3,800 troops (see GW to Jay, 24–27 Aug., and n.8 to that document); for GW’s defensive preparations, see GW to Jay, 11 Aug., n.5.

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