George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Heath, 21 October 1775

From Brigadier General William Heath

Cambridge Saterday afternoon Oct. 21st 1775


I am this moment Informed by the Revd Mr Foster, Chaplin to Colo. Scammons Regt That One Mr Page an Episcopalian Minister, is takeing plans of all our works—That he was yesterday viewing the works at Roxbury in order to Correct his plans, That he Acquainted the Revd Mr Belknap who is now in Cambridge, that he was going for England, and by those plans would Strive to Convinc my Lord Dartmouth, that we were too Strong to be Taken,1 whether this was before known to your Excellency or not I cannot tell, but I thought it my Duty to acquaint your Excellency with it and am with the greatest Respect your Excellencys most Obedient and very Humble Servt

W. Heath

Copy, written and signed by Heath, MHi: Heath Papers.

1Jacob Foster (1732–1798) resigned as minister of a Congregational church in Burbeck, District of Maine, on 15 June 1775 to become chaplain of Col. James Scammans’s Massachusetts regiment. Foster remained with the army until the following spring. Jeremy Belknap (1744–1798), a Congregational clergyman from Dover, N.H., who later published a history of New Hampshire, declined appointment in July as chaplain to his colony’s troops. Mr. Page may be the controversial clergyman of that name who visited Newport in 1773. “The Revd Mr. Page,” Ezra Stiles wrote in his diary, “preached at Chh. yesterday; he was too evangelical for the Taste of that Congregation. He is said to be Chaplain to the Countess of Huntingdon to whom also Mr. Whitefield was formerly Chaplain. He was last year in America; and embarked from N. York last June for London. In London he was ordained by the Bishop, and is now come over for the Orphanhouse in Georgia. I am told by a Gentleman who was in his Company here, that he is very facetious & full of entertaining stories. . . . In another Compa Mr. Page remarked that he was grieved to hear the King so much vilified & abused in New Engld & America; that he was well acquainted with the Kings’s Character, & had been honored with a personal Interview with his Majesty; and that he was truely a religious, virtuous, pious Prince” (Dexter, Diary of Ezra Stiles description begins Franklin Bowditch Dexter, ed. The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D., President of Yale College. 3 vols. New York, 1901. description ends , 1:354–55; see also ibid., 405–8).

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