To Captain Patrick Dennis
Head Quarters N. Yk 13th July 1776.
Mr Duer informs Me that they are two or three Vessels lying at the Dock of Mr Beverly Robinson in the Highlands1—As it is probable the Men of War which sailed up the River yesterday may have Anchored to the Northward of those Ships I think it absolutely necessary that an attempt should be made to secure those Vessels for future service I have therefore to desire the favor of You to procure proper persons to bring these Vessels down the River, & to Anchor them under the Fort where General Mifflin Commands2—It is absolutely necessary that this matter should be conducted with the utmost Secrecy, & dispatch and as I am of Opinion that you possess these requisites I have tho’t proper to apply to You for your Services in this matter. I am sir &c.
LB, in Samuel Blachley Webb’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. See also Israel Putnam to GW, this date. Beverly Robinson (c.1723–1792), a native Virginian who had married a wealthy New York heiress in 1748, lived at this time in Dutchess County on the east side of the Hudson about a mile and a half down the river from West Point. Although GW had been well acquainted with Robinson since he visited him in 1756 on the way to and from Boston, Robinson was a steadfast Loyalist, and he fled to British-occupied New York City in February 1777 after refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the state. During the spring of 1777 Robinson raised the Loyal American Regiment chiefly from his tenants. He served as colonel of the regiment throughout the war, and he particularly distinguished himself in the attack on forts Clinton and Montgomery in October 1777. Robinson’s estates were confiscated in 1779, and after the war he went to England to live.
2. GW is referring to Fort Washington on the upper west side of Manhattan Island.