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Middlebrook [ New Jersey ] May 3, 1779 . Explains that the exchange of nonmilitary prisoners is controlled by the states. LS , in writing of H, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives. Duane was a delegate to Congress from New York.
[ Middlebrook, New Jersey, May 26, 1779. ] Explains why the corps which included Colonel William Malcom’s regiment was not disbanded. Df , in writing of H, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
I with pleasure snatch a moment agreeable to your request to inform you of the events which have taken place since you left us. A York paper of the 24th announces the arrival of the Russell of 74, which parted three days before from Arbuthnot’s fleet, which was of course momently expected. Subsequent intelligence gives us the arrival of the whole fleet. This comes through different channels, &...
I this day received your bill⟨et⟩ of the 4th with one inclosed for Col Washington which was immediately forwarded. You do not mention the receipt of a line from me which I wrote several days since giving you an account of Arbuthnot’s arrival. The current of our intelligence makes the reinforcement with him amount to about three thousand, mostly recruits and in bad health. ’Tis said...
I do not recollect whether I said any thing in my last about the strength of the reinforcement with Arbuthnot. All the accounts agree that it does not exceed 3000, mostly recruits, and in very bad health; ’tis said more than a thousand died on the passage, and the greater part of the remainder, are journeying fast to the other world. Disease prevails also in the other parts of the army and...
I received your letter of the 10th ins. two days since & with my usual distraction suffered your apple to pass out of my hands and to be lost before it could be seen by the General. But Tilghman and Meade who saw it and pretend to be connoisseurs in matters of this kind laughed at me for my inquiries & insisted that it was nothing more than the common crab-apple and not the least resemblance...
I am much obliged to you, my dear Sir, for your two letters of the 16th & 23rd. In haste I snatch up my pen by an express going off to the Governor, to give you the news as it runs. The most important & best authenticated is, that Count D’Estaing was arrived on the coast of Georgia. The tale runs thus. We are in possession of a Charlestown paper of the 6th of September which mentions that the...
This will be handed you by the Marquis, who brings us very important intelligence. The General communicated the substance of it in a private letter to you & proposes a measure which all deem essential. For God’s sake, my Dear Sir, engage Congress to adopt it & come to a speedy decision. We have not a moment to lose. Were we to improve every instant of the interval, we should have too little...
Morristown [ New Jersey ] May 14, 1780 . Proposes that a small committee with all necessary power, rather than Congress, should handle proposed cooperation with French fleet and army. Believes that “we shall probably fix the independence of America if we succeed.” Would like to see Philip Schuyler, Robert R. Livingston, and James Duane on committee. Df , in writing of H, George Washington...
I take the liberty my Dear Sir to request your interest for a friend of mine and a member of the family, Dr McHenry. He wishes to quit a Station which among foreigners is not viewed in a very reputable light and to get into one more military. He will go into the Marquis’s family as an aide. He has been in the army since the commencement of the War—first in the medical line, since the 15th of...
Agreeably to your request and my promise I sit down to give you my ideas of the defects of our present system, and the changes necessary to save us from ruin. They may perhaps be the reveries of a projector rather than the sober views of a politician. You will judge of them, and make what use you please of them. The fundamental defect is a want of power in Congress. It is hardly worth while to...
The letter accompanying this has lain by two or three days for want of an opportunity. I have heard since of Gates defeat, a very good comment on the necessity of changing our system. His passion for Militia, I fancy will be a little cured, and he will cease to think them the best bulwark of American liberty. What think you of the conduct of this great man? I am his enemy personally, for...
Tappan [ New York ] October 4, 1780 . Criticizes proposed Congressional plan for raising a permanent army. Is concerned that slightest success “will lull us into security.” States that “the history of the war is a history of false hopes and temporary expedients.” Fears this winter “will open a still more embarassing scene.” Reports that interview at Hartford produced nothing conclusive. Df ,...
Since my last to you, I have had the pleasure of receiving two letters from you. I am sorry to find we do not seem to agree on the proper remedies to our disorder, at least in the practicability of applying those which are proper. Convinced, as I am, of the absolute insufficiency of our present system to our safety, if I do not despair of the Republic, it is more the effect of Constitution...
Poughkeepsie, New York, July 22, 1782. On this date the New York legislature passed the following resolution: “ Resolved , That the Honorable James Duane, William Floyd, John Morin Scott, Ezra L’Hommedieu and Alexander Hamilton, Esquires, be, and are hereby declared duly nominated and appointed Delegates, to represent this State in the United States in Congress assembled, for one Year, from...
Mrs. Schuyler having some business in this city obliged me to pass into it. I do not find that the definitive treaty is here, though I am inclined to believe that definitive orders have been received respecting the evacuation, and advice of the sailing of a fleet of transports for that purpose. A new embarkation of German troops is going on. But upon the whole I do not imagine the evacuation...
Albany, August 20, 1783. Requests information concerning 40,000 acres of land in Tryon County on which Abel James holds a mortgage. ALS , New-York Historical Society, New York City.
The enclosed was delivered me by Doctr. Schuyler with a request to transmit it to one of the delegates of the state for patronage. He assures me that what he asks has been done in similar cases; particularly for some Hospital surgeons belonging to the State of Pensylvania. If so there will prob⟨ably⟩ be no difficulty in the case. I beg l⟨eave⟩ to recommend it to your attention. Doctor Schuyler...
I received last night your letter of the 8th. instant, accompanied by one from Mr. L’hommedieu and yourself to Mr. Floyd and myself. I shall in consequence write to the Governor on the subject; though if I recollect right, I did in an official letter to him mention all that I can now say though perhaps at greater length—to wit that the resolutions of the senate & Assembly were committed for...
The flattering token of their regard with which the Mayor Recorder & Alderman of the metropolis of a state distinguished for its exertions in the late revolution have honored me, derives additional value from the characters of the respectable individuals who compose that body and from the very obliging manner in which it is conferred. The degree of my zeal for the common cause of America will...
[ New York, 1786. ] Encloses draft of a certificate and asks Duane “to affix the seal of the Corporation” of the City of New York to the draft. ALS , New-York Historical Society, New York City. Duane was mayor of New York.
I received The packet you Honoured me with by The Bearer Mr. J. Nourse, and immediately forwarded your Letter with The Books to the State Secretary T. Merriwether Esqr. at Richmond, with a Letter from myself, requesting him to Present it to The Committee, that is appointed to attend The General Meeting in Philadelphia. Previous to my receiving your Letter, I had The Honour to receive a packet...
It is in my opinion intirely necessary that the Common Council should be convened this day in order to pass an act for appropriating the City Hall to the use of Congress. This act should be published in the papers & notified by yourself, or if you are not well enough by a committee or member of your board to the senators & representatives as they arrive. The Philadelphians are endeavouring to...
[ New York, September 24, 1789. On September 24, 1789, Duane wrote to Hamilton : “I called upon you within the time limited to give you my answer on the Communication which … you was pleased to make me this morning.” Letter not found. ] Duane was mayor of New York City.
The form of the bill has been changed to day. He is to be paid 7000 Dollars & an annuity for life but the blank is not filled up. Nobody talks of less than 1500 Dollars. The Baron says his contract or nothing; but you & all his friends must join me in telling him that to act upon this would be to act like a boy. This must be done before you leave town. Yr affect & Obling ALS , New-York...
I find myself obliged to remit the proceedings on the Petition of John Osborn in order that a further inquiry be had. Having had occasion heretofore to consult the British Acts of Parliament respecting the admeasurement of vessels, I am satisfied that there must be some incorrectness in the evidence from which it has been stated that the Tonnage, according to the rule prescribed by the British...
I return herewith the statement sent me in the case of Lemuel Toby and the Ship Lydia, in order that a further enquiry & statement may be had. I am not at present satisfied of the innocence of the transaction, as it respects all the parties, who may be concerned, and as it is a shape in which fraud may present itself with great success, I am solicitous for a pretty strict scrutiny. A Hogshead...
I am much obliged to you my dear Sir for your two letters of the 16th and 23d. In haste I snatch up my pen by an express going off to the Governor, to give you the news as it is runs. The most important and best ascertained is that Cou[n]t D’Estaing was arrived in the coast of Georgia. The tale stands thus. We are in possession of a Charles Town paper of the 8th. of September, which mentions...
Mr Laurance is setting out for Philadelphia to obtain a determination respecting the promotion which he may expect by continuing in his present station. It seems his pay has been lately reduced—and he stands in the predicament of the civil staff in general, without any assurances of having his depreciation made good; though certainly there can be no reason for excluding him from this piece of...
I have perused the letter which you did me the honor to write—containing several subjects of consideration refered by Congress to the Committee of conference—and on which you desire my opinion. As I am not yet furnished with sufficient data relative to the first head—it will be necessary to defer touching it—until I can by means of the board of war inform myself more fully of the object of the...
Mr Thomas Reed Deputy Pay Masr Genl for the Troops in the Northern department has made application for 100,000 dollars for the use of that department. As the Sum remaining in the Chest at Middle brook will not be more than sufficient to discharge the pay now due the Army there, and that upon the other side of Hudsons River I am under the necessity of referring Mr Reed to the Board of Treasury...
Mr Beatty, at my desire has made a representation of the state of the Marine prisoners, a copy of which is inclosed. They do not seem to be upon so regular a footing as might be wished. It appears that those in the hands of the enemy, captured in state or private as well as in Continental vessels, are subsisted at the expence of the United States; but exchanged for the benefit of the...
I have taken the liberty, thro’ the Channel of the Committee appointed to confer with me, to lay before Congress the inclosed extract of a letter from General Knox, and the Return to which it refers. As the completion of the Corps of Artillery is a matter of great importance, I hope the earliest attention will be paid to that Business. There are but two ways of keeping up the Regiments of...
I am honored with your favour of the 27th of April, in behalf of the delegates of New York, which hurry of business prevented my answering sooner. So far as the matter respects military prisoners, it is in my province, and I have written to His Excellency Governor Clinton accordingly —The exchange of inhabitants has always been transacted by the States to which they belonged; and I have...
Hurry of business has prevented my having the pleasure of acknowledging sooner the receipt of your two favors of the 15th & 17th instant. Application was made to me for dissolving the corps you mention and incorporating that part which belonged to Col. Malcoms Regt with the troops of the State of New York. But I did not concur with it for several reasons—The principal one was that a spirit of...
I had several days ago the Honor to receive the Board’s Letter of the 18th Ulto which I should have acknowledged long since, if I had not been prevented by the hurried and moving state of the Army. I am persuaded Mr Auditor Johnston’s report has but too much foundation and that many Officers have left the service without having previously settled their accounts. This however, has not been with...
Enclosed you have my answer to the Acts of your Corporation, which I pray you to present. I thank you for the Arguments & judgment of the Mayor’s Court of the City of New York in the Cause betwn Elizabeth Rutgars & Joshua Waddington —I have read them with all the attention I could give the subject, and though I pretend not to be a competent judge of the Law of Nations, or the principle &...
Your favors of the 4th & 9th came safe to hand. I thank you very sincerely for the several articles of intelligence contained in them; and shall be happy, at all times, to hear from you when any thing occurs worthy of the moments which must be spent in the communication. My hearty wishes attend your endeavors to accomplish the confederation. It is certainly a most desirable event for us—and a...
The arrival of the Marquis De La Fayette opens a prospect which offers the most important advantages to these States, if proper measures are adopted to improve it. He announces an intention of his Court to send a fleet and army to cooperate effectually with us. In the present state of our finances, and in the total emptiness of our magazines, a plan must be concerted to bring out the resources...
I had the pleasure to receive your favor of the 21st of May in due time. You must be good enough to attribute my not answering it sooner to the real cause—a hurry of other business. I had been twice before applied to for my opinion on the propriety of promoting Captn McLean, the last was thro the Board of War to whom I stated my objections fully on the 9th of April—I need not enter into a...
I have heard that a new arrangement is about to take place in the Medical Department and that it is likely, it will be a good deal curtailed with respect to its present appointments. Who will be the persons generally employed I am not informed, nor do I wish to know—however I will mention to you that I think Doctors Cochran and Craik from their Services—abilities and experience—and their close...
I thank you My Dear Sir for your letter of the 19th of Sepr. I should have been happy in the information you give me, that some progress had been made in the business of raising a permanent army had it not been intimated to me through other channels, that in the resolutions framed on this article, the fatal alternative of, for one year has been admitted. In my letter to Congress of the 20th of...
I received with much thankfulness your confidential letter of the 9th Instt, and am greatly obliged by the affectionate expressions of personal regard which are contain’d in it—an unreserved communication of sentiments, accompanying such information as you may be at liberty to give, will ever be pleasing to me, & cannot fail of being useful—In this light I view, & value your last letter; some...
The recpt of your letter of the 29th Ulto, and of a former by the Marqs De la Fayette I have the honor to acknowledge and to return you my thanks for them. The contents of that of the 29th are very important. it presents a fair field, capable of yielding an abundant harvest if it is well improved—Skilful labourers are all that are wanting, & much depends upon a judicious choice of them. Men of...
Baron de Steuben, who will have the honor of presenting this Letter to you, feeling himself in a disagreeable situation, has made a representation of it to Congress, in expectation that that Honble Body will releive him from present distress, & place him—especially with respect to half pay—upon a more permanent footing than the thing appears to be with him at present, having no State to resort...
I shall be obliged to you, or some friend in Congress, to inform me what has been, or is like to be done, with respect to my reference of the case of Captn Huddy? I cannot forbear complaining of the cruel situation I now am, & oftentimes have been placed in, by the silence of Congress in matters of high importance—and which the good of Service, & my official duty, has obliged me to call upon...
I have carefully perused the Papers which you put into my hands relating to Indian Affairs. My Sentiments with respect to the proper line of Conduct to be observed towards these people coincides precisely with those delivered by Genl Schuyler so far as he has gone in his Letter of the 29th July to Congress (which, with the other Papers is herewith returned)—& for the reasons he has there...
I am extremely happy to have it in my power to inform you, that Sir Guy Carleton has announced to me his intention, to relinquish the Posts he holds on York Island from Kingsbridge to McGowens pass inclusive, on the 21st instant, Herricks & Hampstead with all to the Eastward on Long Island, on the same day, and if possible to give up the City with Brooklyn on the day following; and Paulus...
The bearer hereof, Mr. Osmont, is a young gentleman who was very particularly recommended to me from France, and who very particularly deserved it as he is a young man of extraordinary merit and talents. I take the liberty of asking your advice to him in the following case wherein I am not sufficiently informed to counsel him. A Frenchman of the name of Le tonnelier, who was connected with...
The inclosed papers relate to an event of national importance and they are transmitted to you by the direction of the President of the United States: the district judges being the officers contemplated by law, as best suited to the execution of the 9th. article of the consular convention he thinks it desirable, that all such information, should, if possible be acted upon by the judicial power....