George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Jacob Bayley, 29 April 1776

To Colonel Jacob Bayley

New York 29th April 1776


I Received your favour of the 29th Instant with Mr Metcalfs Plan and Capt. Johnsons journal of the route from Newbery to St John’s1 the Representation that was Transmitted to me by the Hands of Colonel Little I had sent to Congress.2 Mr Weatherspoon has been since sent to Examine or Explore a Rout but I hear he is still at Cohoes. the time of the Congress is taken up with so many Objects of Consequence that it is impossible for them to Attend to Everything and as it is of Importance that every Communication with Canada should be made as free as Possible it is my Oppinion & Desire that you set about the Road you Propose as soon as possible.3

As you must be the best Judge who to Employ you Will please to take the whole upon yourself we cannot at this time spare Soldiers you must therfore engage such men as you know will do the business faithfully & well, as to their wages you must agree with them on the most Reasonable terms, & I doubt not that you will in this and every other Instance serve your Country with Integrity honor & Justice. as you go on you will upon every Oppertunity keep me advised & I will provide for the Expence which you will be Careful in making as light as possible. I am Your Most Obbt Humle Serv.


P.S. I Send you by Mr William Wallace 250£ Lawfull Money to Begin with.4

LB, in Caleb Gibbs’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW is referring to Bayley’s letter to him of 15 April.

2Bayley’s letter to Moses Little of 24 Nov. 1775 proposing that a road be built to Canada from Newbury, Vt., was enclosed in GW’s letter to Hancock of 25 Dec. 1775. See also Bayley to GW, 26 Feb., GW to Samuel Adams, 22 Mar., and GW to Hancock, 5 May 1776 (second letter).

3Congress approved the building of this road on 10 May (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 4:342; see also Hancock to GW, 10 May, and Samuel Adams to GW, 15 May 1776). The Coos area lies in the vicinity of Newbury, Vt., on the Connecticut River.

4William Wallace served as clerk and commissary for the road-building project. See Bayley’s account of the expense of the road enclosed in Bayley to GW, 15 Oct. 1776 (DLC:GW).

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