George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 20 December 1780

Garrison West Point Decr 20th 1780

Dear General

The last evening I was honored with yours of yesterday shall attend to its injunctions.

Enclosed is Major Darbys opinion of the model of a flat bottom’d boat of the best construction for the convenience of men and transportation of the boats on Carriages.

Capn Welles who has the charge of the Guards Boats informs me that the number of boats is insufficient and that additional ones of a proper size are not to be obtained that some of those, that were on the Carriages, are much lighter & more suitable than the common Flat boats, or any other he can obtain at present. Capn Welles has but two Light Guard boats—If your Excellency should think proper to permit him to have two of the lightest of those sent up to Murderer’s Creek, I will give him notice when your pleasure is known. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellencys Most Obedient Servant

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


West Point Decr 20th 1780

I am of oppinion that the following dimentions are best for the construction of a flat bottomed Boat, boath for the conveniency of men, and transportation of the Boats on Carriages.

feet Plank
Length upon the flore 25
width amidship upon the flore 5 6
Width from Gunwaile to gunwaile 6 4
depth of Sides in board 1 10
read and Stearn Sharpe boath alike

I am Sir with respect your very Huml. Sert

Saml Darby Major

N.B. The bottom plank being in one length adds much to the strength of the Boat, & makes them less liable to injury by land, transportation—Flooring (or cieling) the bottom, contributes also to the strength & qualifies them for the transportation of Horses.

G: Washington


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