George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Bartlett, 20 December 1775

From William Bartlett

Beverly [Mass.] 20th Decer 1775


I hereby Acknolidge the Receipt of yours Pr Collo. Glover togeather with the Two Thousand Dollers Also Sundry Letters since Concerning Giving to the Prisoners their Private Property which Orders Your Excellency may depend on Shall be Punctually Obey’d with Pleasure for it allways hes ben Very disagreable to me that any thing Should be taken from them and have done my Utmost to Prevent it but it hes ben Impracticable which I hope Your Excellency hes heard from differant hands to Your Satisfaction1 Also your Order with Regard to the Corn and Oats on board the Sloop Betsey togeather with Thos Mifflin Esqrs. Order for the Same Collo. Glover is Sence Arrived here who informs me that Mr Mifflin will not Give so much as the Cargo will Sell for here and that your Excellency is willing I shoud dispose of it at this place I Shall therefore wait Your Excellencys Orders.2

I have Onloaded the Brign. Hannah3 & Stor’d her Cargo at Salem Bridge The Coals Out of the Concord Goes of Very Slow on Acct of the Price of Teams4 The Butter taken Out of her would Sell Exceeding well here if Your Excellency would Think proper to Give me Orders to dispose of it The Porter on board the Ship Jenny is of an inferior Quallity desire your Excellencys Orders Concerning it5 Am in Hast with the Gratest Respect Your Excellency most Obedt Hume Sert

William Bartlett


1On 6 Dec. Stephen Moylan wrote to Bartlett: “I send you by the bearor two thousand dollars to defray the expences attending the Military Stores. do you pay all the Charges & Keep Vouchers that we may not be troubled with a Multiplicity of Accounts” (DLC:GW). The military stores were apparently from the brig Nancy. On 15 Dec. Moylan instructed Bartlett to give personal property to several ship captains and passengers from captured vessels (ibid.; see also Bartlett to GW, 11 Dec. 1775 [first letter], n.4). In a second letter to Bartlett of 15 Dec., Moylan wrote: “The General was Much Surprisd at the Rapacity of the Crews in Stripping the prizes of every Little thing they Coud Lay their hands upon—it is now his positive Command that you make a Strict enquirey for the different articles which have been taken & such as Can be got returned to the proper owners & that Such articles as Cannot be found must be made good to them the same to be deducted from the shares of those whom it Can be proved were the pilagers, if they Cannot be found out—it must be a charge upon the one third belonging to the Captors—of this you must acquaint Captain Manly & the Agent for the people if any Such is by them appointed. His Exy desires, you will pay a Strict attention to this order, & that he may not be plagued with any more applications of this sort” (DLC:GW).

2Bartlett wrote to Thomas Mifflin the next day: “I would Acknolidge the receipt of Yours per Yesterday wherein you desire Me to forward the Corn and Oats on board the Sloop Betsey to you which I should Comply’d with, with Pleasure but Collo. Glover coming here to day informs me that you would not Give So much as it would Sell for here if So must Out of Duty to the Captures dispose of it. The Corn will fetch 3/4 per Busl & the Oates f⟨ro⟩m 2/6 to 2/8 Pr without any Expence if you Chuse to have it at the Above Prices You will please to Let me know imediately Although it is Very much Wanted here Yet will Give the prefference to you not Only to Serve the Continental Army but Mr Mifflin who I had Formerly the Honour to be Acquainted with at Philadelphia” (ibid.).

On 25 Dec. Stephen Moylan replied to Bartlett: “As the Corn & Oats are wanting for the use of the Army, Colonel Mifflin must have them, he will give the price you mention for the One third belonging to the Captors, As to the other ⅔ It is of little consequence what price is fixt thereon, Coll Glover must certainly have been mistaken, when he informed you, that his Excellency was willing that the Corn & Oats should be disposed of at your place, It could not be his meaning, As he knew the want the Quarter Master Genl was in for them—I wish you would send up immediately the baggage belonging to Captain [William] Fosters people, for they are in a very dirty Condition—Also for such of Captn [Robert] Adam’s men as are here” (ibid.).

3The Little Hannah.

4For the price of wagon teams, see Bartlett to GW, 11 Dec. 1775 (first letter), n.2.

5“I dont know what directions to give you relative to the Porter,” Moylan wrote to Bartlett on 25 Dec., “we must Order a Survey on it & judge by the report of its value, I think some Buts would Sell well at Camp” (DLC:GW). In a letter of 28 Dec., which Moylan apparently wrote on behalf of GW, Bartlett was ordered “to advertize in the Cambridge & Watertown papers, at Least eight days before that of the sale of any goods taken by the Contl Armed vessells” (ibid.).

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