George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Samuel Huntington, 30 October 1779

To Samuel Huntington

Head Quarters West point 30th Octobr 1779


I do myself the honor of transmitting to Congress the Copy of a letter which I recd yesterday from Governor Clinton.1 I have agreeable to his request directed the Massachusetts Militia to rendezvous at Albany instead of Claverack, not for the purpose of making use of them against the Indians should the incursion prove serious, but to give the appearance of an immediate collection of force in that quarter.2 Should the expected cooperation take place, they can, with great ease, be brought down to join the Army.3

Genl Greene has this moment recd a letter (of which the inclosed is a Copy) from Mr Bowen, announcing the evacuation of Rhode Island.4 The authenticity of the report is not to be doubted. I have not yet recd an express from General Gates on the occasion.5 I have the honor to be with great Respect Yr Excellency’s most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See George Clinton to GW, 28 Oct., and notes 1 and 2 to that document.

2See GW to Clinton, 29 Oct., and n.1 to that document.

3GW is referring to his intention to attack the British in and around New York City after rendezvousing with a French fleet under Vice Admiral d’Estaing. For an overview of GW’s preparations and ideas, which never were fully executed because of d’Estaing’s decision not to sail north after being defeated at Savannah, see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct., editorial note; see also Huntington to GW, 10 November.

4The enclosed letter from Col. Ephraim Bowen, Jr., to Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene, written at Newport, R.I., on 26 Oct., is in DNA:PCC, item 152. For a transcription of another copy of this letter, see GW to Duportail and Alexander Hamilton, 30 Oct., n.1.

5A letter that has not been found, Horatio Gates to GW, 27 Oct., presumably contained the official report that GW anticipated on the British evacuation of Rhode Island (see GW to Gates, 2 Nov.; see also Gates to GW, 31 Oct., and GW to Gates, 1 Nov.).

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