George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Livingston, 20 April 1780

Morris Town 20 April 1780

Dear Sir

Finding the Court broke up & the Magistrates who composed it dispersed, & Mr Condict abroad, by which Gentlemen I expected to feel the pulse of this County respecting its assistance in removing the flour from Brunswick to Morris, & having reason to think from such of the more principal Inhabitants as the time would permit me to consult on the occasion, that our Expectations from this County would be very precarious, I thought the most adviseable step was to apply to the most active Magistrates of Middlesex & Somerset from whose Exertions I entertain some hopes, & to whom I have seperately written (to avoid some Inconveniences which I apprehend from a public address) a Copy of the Letter I take the Liberty to inclose—If your Excellency conceives that I can be more serviceable on the occasion by any other Step I shall most chearfully pursue it & am with great respect Dr Sir your Excellencys most humble Servan[t]

Wil: Livingston

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Morris Town 20 April 1780


There are about four hundred Barrels of Flour belonging to the United States in the City of New Brunswick, which are conceived to be so greatly exposed to be destroyed by the Enemy, as to render it necessary to have them immediately removed to a place of greater Security. Besides the precarious Situation of that Flour, the Necessity the Army is in for a speedy Supply of that Article renders it the more indispensable to have it transported to Morris Town with all possible Dispatch.

This County has lately so vigorously exerted itself in the public Service, has this moment so great a number of Waggons employed in conveying provisions from Trenton to this place, & their Teams are generally so exceedingly weak from the Scarcity of Fodder occasioned by the Army’s being quartered in it, that no assistance in the present Emergency can reasonably be expected from them.

The Commissaries have found it difficult to procure Waggons any where arising from the continental Agents then not being supplied with money, but there is not the least room to doubt that the Expences incurred by this Service will be punctually paid, as Mr Furman the Quarter Master for this State, is furnished with Cash for this purpose.

From the former patriotic Exertions of the Counties of Middlesex & Sommerset, & that laudable zeal for the common Cause which they have hitherto exhibited whenever the public Exigency required it, abstracted from the important Consideration of the devastation to which great part of those Counties will be exposed should the Enemy make the Stores at Brunswick an Object, (which it is highly probably they will do) I flatter myself with the pleasing hopes of the Magistrates of those Counties exerting their utmost Influence with the Inhabitants in this pressing occasion, & that they will for that purpose meet without loss of time, to concert the most proper measure for inducing them to render this essential Service to their Country.

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