George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Samuel Huntington, 2 November 1779

To Samuel Huntington

Head Quarters West point 2d Novemr 1779.

Sir

Since I had the honor of addressing your Excellency last,1 I have received a letter from a confidential Correspondent in New York who informs me that the 57th Regt Rawdons Corps and a detachment of Artillery were to sail for Hallifax on the 29th ulto and that they were to be accompanied by all the heavy ships of War except the Europa.2 The Daphne Frigate was to sail for England at the same time. This intelligence being of importance to His Excellency Count D’Estaing, I have communicated it to General du portail and Colo. Hamilton3 who will have an interview with him very soon after he reaches either the Capes of Delaware or the Hook.4

My Correspondent further informs me that a packet had arrived the 23d ulto. The accounts brought by her seemed very alarming to the freinds of Government. It was currently reported that the Ardent of 64 Guns had been taken and the British fleet chased into Portsmouth by the combined fleet of France and Spain, which remained off that port several days—Your Excellency will be pleased to observe that the European intelligence is not given as authentic. My informant has only picked it up in New York. I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect Sir Your Excellency’s Most obt Servt

Go: Washington

The capture of the Ardent is confirmed by a New York paper of the 28th ulto.5

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read GW’s letter on 8 Nov. (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 15:1249).

1GW last wrote Huntington on 30 October.

2See Samuel Culper, Jr., to John Bolton, 29 Oct., and the notes to that document, printed as an enclosure to Benjamin Tallmadge to GW, 1 Nov.; see also Culper, Jr., to Tallmadge, 21 Oct., found at GW’s instructions to Tallmadge, 17 Oct., source note.

3See GW to Duportail and Alexander Hamilton, this date.

4For official notice that the French fleet under Vice Admiral d’Estaing would not come north, see Huntington to GW, 10 Nov., and GW to Huntington, 20 and 24 Nov.; see also Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct., editorial note, and GW to Duportail and Hamilton, 11 Nov., to Henry Knox, 12 Nov., and to Philip Schuyler, 24 November.

5GW is referring to The Royal American Gazette for 28 October.

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