George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Elias Dayton, 16 July 1780

Elizabeth Town July 16 1780


I am very well convinced from many different accounts, that the force under Admiral Greaves, consists of six ships of the line only and that no troops came with him. They are very industriously inpressing seamen, to mann their ships; upon which, they declare, that they intend to find and fight the french fleet—tho’ suspected by some, that they rather intend to sail for the West Indies.

I enclose to your excellency a letter received from New York yesterday ev’ning—the intelligence it conveys is important.

I have sent on with the bearer of this, three horsemen deserters from the enemy viz. Edmund Bambridge, [   ] Richardson and Mordecai McKinney, the latter of whom says he has been a waggon master in our service, under Colos. Forman & Mitchell, your excellency can best determine whether they are what they appear or whether they are impostors. One of the above mentioned deserters rides a horse which was taken some time since by the British from Isaac Woodruff Esqr., of this town. Mr Woodruff demands the horse, the deserter expects that he is his property—I think it exceedingly hard that an honest whig should be deprived of his own by such a fellow. I wish to have your excellency’s determination on this head by return of the bearer. I am your Excellencys most Humbe Servant

Elias Dayton

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


July 13th 1780

Dear Jack

we have [some] news on our Side from the west indies Our own accompts Say that they Spanyards have [Joineed] the french In those Sease and that they amount in all to thirty seven sail of the Line Beside Sixteen Sail of Second Rate Ships Such as fifties and forties But those thirtyseven are all first rates that they have Been Ingaged twice that we Came of the worst in Boath Ingagements that in the Last we had three first rates Intirely Distroyd that the Cornwal a ninety Gun Ship Sunck in the Ingagement and two more ware oblidged to Be towed into port and that they Boath was Run On Shoar and Lost in the harbour this hapned of [   ] and the Ships got into that port this is a fact you may depend on the accompts of the french fleet So much talked of Last week and who the gardeloop Braught us the accompt of is Said to Be a fleet of yours from philedelphia to Martineeck under convoy of the [   ] and Captn Roberson Damd Laughed at for his fritefull Story and not Staying to See who they was he Ran away from them and Lost his Guns and Boats Spars and they Say his hair was frighted off his head poor Littel D.

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