George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Livingston, 23 January 1781

New Windsor Janry 23d 1781

Dear Sir,

Having received information from Colo. Shreve of the defection of the Jersey line, and apprehending the most dangerous consequences may ensue unless an immediate stop shall be put to such horrid proceedings; I am now taking the most vigorous coercive measures for that purpose.

I thought it necessary your Excellency should be apprised of my intention, in order to prevent any compromise being made with the m[uti]neers; as well as to have the mili[tia] of the State in readiness to co-ope[rate] with the detachment I have orde[red] under Major General Howe to quel[l] the insurrection.

I doubt not, we shall deri[ve] every aid from the good People of Your State in suppressing this Mutiny not only from a conviction of the da[n]gerous tendency of such proceedings to effect the entire dissolution of the army, but as it may affect Civil, as well as Military authority to have a redress of grievances demanded with arms—and also from a sense of the unreasonable conduct of the Jersey Troops in revolting at a time when the State was exerting itself to redress all their real grievances.

It will be necessary to take your Measures with secresy & advise (Genl Howe) the Commanding officer of the detachment of them—who will Ma[rch] (if the heavy fall of Snow last night does not render it impracticable) by the rout of Ringwood, Pompton, &ca. I have the honor to be with great respt & Regd—D[r Sir] Yr Most Obt & most Hble Servt

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