George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Sullivan, 30 June 1780

Ramapough June 30th 1780.

Dear Sir,

I write to you under a persuasion that the present moment in our affairs calls upon the virtue of every individual as well as every state: and that there has been no period of the War more important, or where men of influence could do more substantial good to their country. Either the evils that must follow, should we not be able to co-operate to effect with the French assistance, which is daily expected, or the issue of a successful co-operation comprehend the most powerful motion for our utmost exertions. Your State is called upon for levies to fill up her three regiments to five hundred and four rank and file and an additional force of between nine hundred and a thousand militia to serve for three months. The former are to be sent forward with all possible dispatch; and the latter are to rendezvous at Claverac by the 25th of next month. I have ordered Brigadier General Stark with some other officersto assist in collecting and forwarding the levies to camp, and to march the militia when assembled from Claverac. But let me entreat you on this occasion to use that spirit in your private station, which you have always displayed in a public one. Your endeavours may have a happy tendency, in rousing others—in promoting a general emulation throughout the State, and impressing on the minds of the people the ruin which may be produced by languid measures or the good to result from vigorous ones. When we speak on this head we cannot use too forcible a language: nor should the reasons why we ask for the most cogent and instant exertions be hid from the people, that if we fail in our operations from a defect in the demanded succour they may have only themselves to censure.

To Genl Starke I shall beg leave to refer you for the late movements of the enemy in this state— & if he can, to explain the principles of them— I cannot do it with any certainty myself and it would require a folio volume were I to launch into the field of conjecture to come at them. With sentiments of regard and affection I am Dr Sir Your obt sert

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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