George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Artemas Ward, 18 April 1776

To Major General Artemas Ward

Newyork 18th April 1776

Sir

I received your favor of the 11th Instant in answer to Colonel Glovers application to you, I am of opinion that all accounts respecting the Armed vessels, shoud be paid by the Agents only, and as the trial of the prizes Cannot be much Longer defferd, they will have Cash for the goods which may be Condemnd, in their hands, much more than Sufficient, to answer the demands upon them—if there is not a probability of this, you will be pleasd to give a Warrant for as much as will pay the wages due to the Men.1

the Ship Jenny & the Brigantine ⟨  ⟩ both taken by Comodore Manly, the former from London, the Later from Antigua bound to Boston, are, by what I can Learn proper vessels to be fitted out as Cruizers you will therefore Sir, have a person of Knowledge & trust Sent on board to examine them if the report of them is Such, as they have been represented to me, you must have them purchasd for account of the United Colonies if Comodore Manly is in your Neighbourhood his opinion of them must have weight, & if they are fit for the purpose, he will of Course have his Choice of them, & attend the fixing one of them out, his first Lieutenant, Can Command the Hancock in the mean time, the Sooner this is put in execution the better.2

there is nothing Material to inform you of from hence, I am Sir Your Most H. St

Go. Washington

LS, in Stephen Moylan’s writing, MHi: Ward Papers; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Ward communicated this answer to William Bartlett, the Continental agent at Beverly, Mass., in a letter of 26 April (Clark and Morgan, Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 4:1260–61), but within the next two days Ward was obliged to give warrants to pay the crews of three armed vessels (see Ward to GW, 28 April 1776).

2John Manley captured the ship Jenny and the brig Little Hannah on 8 Dec. 1775 (see Bartlett to GW, 9 Dec., and GW to Hancock, 11 Dec. 1775). In his letter to Bartlett of 26 April, Ward directed him, Manley, and Gustavus Fellows to evaluate the two vessels (Clark and Morgan, Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 4:1260–61). They reported on 28 April that neither was fit for Continental service, a verdict that GW was reluctant to accept. GW instructed Ward on 9 May to have either vessel purchased for Continental service if the bidding at the public sale was much under its appraised value. On 25 May Bartlett bought the Little Hannah, which was subsequently renamed the Dispatch and sent to France on a mission for the secret committee of the Continental Congress (see Ward to GW, 28 April, 27 May, GW to Ward, 9 May, 16 June, and Bartlett to GW, 11 June 1776). Manley’s first lieutenant was Richard Stiles of Marblehead, Massachusetts.

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