George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Jay, 12 September 1779

To John Jay

Head Quarters West Point Septr 12th 1779


Since I had the honor of addressing you yesterday I have received the inclosed pieces of intelligence, thro Genl Gates and Genl Huntington.1 Genl Gates’s letter inclosing Mr Prouds was dated at Providence the 6th instant whence we may conclude that Sunday the date of Mr Prouds was the 5th2—Though these accounts differ as to the number of Ships of War, they seem clearly to indicate a french fleet of some kind standing towards our Coast—It is more than probable that the intelligence above referred to may appear in the Eastern prints, but as advantages may accrue by keeping it from the enemy in New York as long as possible, I have not communicated it publicly. Congress will judge of the expediency of doing the same.

I do myself the honor of inclosing your Excellency four English prints though not of a very late date, they contain parliamentary debates somewhat more at large than we have seen them.3 I have the honor to be With the greatest respect & esteem Your Excellency’s Most Obet, servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 17 Sept. (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 15:1072).

2In December 1776, John Proud (c.1747–1815) of Dartmouth, Mass., was acting as an assistant to Leonard Jarvis, the deputy Continental naval agent at Dartmouth (see Naval Documents, description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends 7:539–40). Proud still may have been acting in that capacity at this time.

3These enclosures have not been identified.

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