George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Jacobus Swartwout, 21 October 1779

To Colonel Jacobus Swartwout

[West Point] October 21. 1779


Colo. Hay has mentioned to me the necessity there is for the Roads being repaired before the Autumn & Winter Rains begin to fall—and that he had proposed to You that parties of the Militia about to assemble at Fish Kill should be left in each district under the direction of proper Officers for the purpose.1 The plan is perfectly agreable to me—and as it is very interesting that the Roads should be put in order you will be pleased to employ parties in the way Colo. Hay has proposed. They can be drawn together the instant their services are more materially wanted else where.2 I am Sir Yr Most Obedt sert


Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Jacobus Swartwout (Swarthoudt; 1734–1827), colonel commandant of the brigade of Dutchess County, N.Y., militia, was commanding a detachment of his brigade stationed at Fishkill, New York. He had served as a colonel of New York militia since 1775. In 1776 and early 1777, he was a member of the state’s committee for detecting conspiracies, and, from 1777 to 1783, he served in the New York assembly. In March 1780, he became brigadier general of the Dutchess County militia. Swartwout was a New York state senator from 1784 to 1795 and was a member of the state convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution.

1GW had requested that the militiamen answering his call for 2,500 New York militia assemble at Fishkill, N.Y. (see GW to George Clinton, 4 Oct.).

2GW had called in the New York militia to support the army’s prospective operations with the French fleet (see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct.).

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