From the Eastern Department Navy Board
Navy Board Eastern department Boston Octor 13. 1779
Nothing but the present Exigency which no other resourse can Supply would appoligize for the Trouble we now give you at a time when we know you are Engaged in opperations of the greatest importance.
The Ship Trumbull will soon be ready to go to Sea if she had powder but it is out of our power to Supply that article it is not to be purchased here we are therefore Constrained to Beg the favor of you to give us an order on Some public Magazine this way for five tuns for the use of the Navy we wish you every possible Success that may Conduce to your own honor & the Interest of our Country two objects we Conceive Insepperable in your mind1 & are with the greatest Respect Your Excellencys most obedt humble Servts
LB, NN: United States Navy Board.
1. The Continental frigate Trumbull was fitting out for sea at New London, Connecticut. GW replied on 24 Oct., explaining his inability to comply with the eastern department navy board’s request due to the “scantiness of our supplies of powder” (DLC:GW).
2. William Vernon (1719–1806), owner of a profitable Newport, R.I., mercantile firm, had operated successful privateers in King George’s War and early in the Revolution, giving him considerable experience with naval affairs. In April 1777, Congress appointed him to the navy board for the eastern department, which, under the direction of Congress’s marine committee, supervised Continental naval affairs in the New England states. Vernon served as chairman of the eastern department navy board and advanced large sums from his own fortune to support the board’s work.