George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Clinton, 4 July 1775

From George Clinton

4 July 1775. Recommends the bearer, “Mr. White, the Son of Anthony White Esq’r of New Jersey. . . . Inspired with Love for our much injured Country he now vissits your Camp to offer his Service as a Vollenteer in the Army under your Command.”1

Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds., Public Papers of George Clinton, 10 vols. (1899–1914; reprint, New York, 1973), 1:208–9. This letter may be incorrectly dated. GW in his letter of 25 Aug. 1775 to Clinton writes “Mr White presented me with your favour of the 27th Ulto.”

George Clinton (1739–1812) of Ulster County, N.Y., took his seat with the New York delegation in the Second Continental Congress on 15 May 1775. He was in New York, however, from late June until late July, when he returned to Philadelphia. In December 1775 Clinton was appointed a brigadier general in the New York militia, and in March 1777 he became a Continental brigadier general. A lawyer whose previous military experience was limited to brief service as a subaltern during the French and Indian War, Clinton did not greatly distinguish himself as a general in the Revolution, but as governor of New York from 1777 to 1795 and 1801 to 1804, he proved to be an able politician and administrator.

1Anthony Walton White (1750–1803), son of Anthony White of New Brunswick, N.J., stayed at Cambridge until late October, when, failing to obtain appointment as an aide-de-camp to GW, he returned home to seek a place in the Continental forces being raised by New Jersey. White was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 3d New Jersey Battalion in February 1776, but lost that position during the ensuing year because of conduct unbecoming an officer. With GW’s assitance White became lieutenant colonel of the 4th Continental Light Dragoons during 1777, and in January 1780 GW sent him to the South to take command of the 1st Continental Light Dragoons. White was not promoted to colonel despite several appeals to Congress. He fought in the South until 1782. For GW’s later criticism of White’s military abilities, see GW to Timothy Pickering, 9 Sept. 1798.

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