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To George Washington from Colonel James Clinton, 20 June 1776

From Colonel James Clinton

Fort Constitution [N.Y.]
20th [June] 1776

May it Please Your Excellency

I have According to Your Directions Saught for an Armourer1 and found one who I have sent Down to Buy some Tools if it meets with your Excellencies Approbation he asks if he finds his own Tools 10s. pr Day and for an Apprentice Lad that works with him 4s. pr Day we have also in this Garrison four men in one of the Companies of my Regt who worke at the same Trade and wish to be Employed as Coll Livingston tells me, who I must Beg Leave to Refer Your Excellency to for Particulars Relative to them or any thing Else that I may happen to forget the Commissioners I have had together and Discharged Except two who I Could wish to keep with me till we are furnished with an Engineer we are much Cramped for Room in Quarters for which Reason I should think it Necessary if the Millitia are sent here to have A Supply of Tents for my Regiment If more Cannot be spared, I Enclose a Genl Return of Both Garrisons A Billiting Roll of two Companies of my Regt a Pay Roll of 5 Companies of the same a Return of Ordinance &c. and Ordinance Stores at Both Forts and a Return of the Artificers and others Imployed at Both Forts by the Com[missioner]s and the Wages Allowed them2 The most of them if not all are Necessary in their places. I am Your Excellencies Most Obedt Humble Servant

James Clinton Coll

ALS, DLC:GW. Clinton inadvertently dated this letter “20th May 1776,” but it is docketed correctly in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing: “Colo. James Clinton June 20. 1776.” The context of the letter supports the June date (see note 1 and GW to Clinton, 23, 25 June).

2Clinton’s general return of 19 June reports the total strength of the garrisons at forts Constitution and Montgomery to be 388 officers and enlisted men, including 52 men sick in quarters, 7 men on command, and 15 men on furlough; 8 men had deserted recently. The return also shows that the garrisons had 48 good firearms and 98 bad ones, leaving a total of 240 arms wanting. Commissioner William Bedlow’s return of artificers and other civilian workers at Fort Constitution, dated 20 June, lists 13 men with their occupations and wages; Commissioner Gilbert Livingston’s similar return for Fort Montgomery, dated 21 June, names 21 civilian employees. All three of these returns are in DLC:GW; the other enclosures have not been identified. The date of Gilbert Livingston’s return indicates that Lt. Col. Henry Beekman Livingston, who carried this letter to GW, set out on 21 June (see also Clinton to GW, 22 June).

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