George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Peter Van Brugh Livingston, 10 August 1775

To Peter Van Brugh Livingston

Camp at Cambridge Augt 10: 1775⟩

⟨Sir

Your Fa⟨vor of the 2d Inst. is⟩ duly received,1 but it is out of ⟨my Power to Comply⟩ with the Request it contains, of f⟨orwarding Com⟩missions. All those I have yet rece⟨ived from the⟩ Honble Continental Congress, are far short ⟨of the Number⟩ required in this Army: for which Rea⟨son when⟩ at New York, & by Letter from this, I direct⟨ed Genl⟩ Schuyler to apply to the Congress at Phila. ⟨for⟩ those of his Department, as the shortest & ea⟨siest⟩ Mode—To which I must also now refer y⟨ou.⟩2

We have had no Occurrence in the Camp for several Days worthy of Notice: But by some Advices from Boston, & several concurring Ci⟨rcum⟩stances; we have great Reason to suspect a P⟨art⟩ or the whole of the ministerial Troops are a⟨bout⟩ to remove: New York is the Place generally ⟨talkd⟩ of as their Destination: I give y⟨ou the In⟩telligence as it came to m⟨e, but do not vouch for it’s Authenticity.3 I a⟩m with the most re⟨spectful Regar⟩ds to yourself & the Body over wh⟨om you pres⟩ide Sir, Your most Obedt & very Hbble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Joseph Reed’s writing, N: New York Provincial Congress, Revolutionary Papers; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The LS was badly damaged in the New York State Library fire of 1911. Missing portions of the text are supplied within angle brackets from the letter-book copy atDLC:GW. This letter was read in the New York provincial congress on 17 Aug. 1775 (N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:109).

1The letter from the provincial congress to which GW is responding is dated 3 Aug. 1775.

2For GW’s directions to Schuyler regarding commissions for the New York department, see Schuyler to GW, 1 July 1775, n.5, and GW to Schuyler, 10–11 July 1775. For the letter that the provincial congress wrote to Charles Thomson on 18 Aug. requesting 200 blank commissions, see Peter Van Brugh Livingston to GW, 21 Aug. 1775, n.2.

3This intelligence prompted the provincial congress on 18 Aug. to order the sending of “two prime sailing boats . . . to the eastward, to observe if they can discover any fleet steering towards the westward” and “to give the speediest intelligence to this Congress of any fleet they may discover.” That same day the provincial congress wrote to Brig. Gen. David Wooster asking him to return to his camp “at Harlem, with the utmost speed, to assist in the defence of this city and Province.” It also requested the committees at Philadelphia and Elizabeth, N.J., to keep their militia “properly arrayed, to march at a moment’s warning” to the assistance of New York (N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:110–11).

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