George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Nicholas Cooke and Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 15 July 1776

To Nicholas Cooke and Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Head-Quarters New York 15th July 1776

Dear Sir.

Since my last1 Two of the Enemies Ships, one of Forty the other twenty Guns, taking advantage of a strong Wind and Tide pass’d Us notwithstanding a warm fire from all our Batteries, they now lie in Taupan Sea between Twenty and thirty Miles up Hudsons-River, where no Batteries from Shore can molest them, their Views no doubt are to cut of all Communication between this and Albany by Water, which they effectually will do, If the Gundaloes, Row Gallies &c. from Providence and Connecticut were here I should think of makeing their Station uncomfortable, If possible I must request they may be sent on, as soon as conveniently may be, I have wrote Gove[r]nor Trumbull,2 requesting the same of him, ’tis not unreasonable3 to suppose these Ships have a number of Small Arms on Board which are intended to put into the hands of the disaffected on the North River and in the back parts of this Province when a favorable Opportunity may offer for their makeing use of them against Us, I am sorry to say their numbers by the best Information I can get are, great.4

We have one large Row-Galley compleated and another which will be ready by the time those arrive from Providence and Connecticut, the whole when collected will be sufficient to Attack the two Ships up the River, if no material Alteration between this time and their Arrival, the Channel they now lie in is so narrow—they cannot work their Guns to Advantage, Lord Howe arrived on Fryday last—his fleet cannot be far of5—I have the Honor to be with Esteem sir Yo. Most Hume Servt

Go: Washington

LS, addressed to Cooke, in Samuel Blachley Webb’s writing, MiU-C: U.S. Presidents Collection; LB, addressed to Trumbull, Ct: Trumbull Papers; LB, addressed to Trumbull, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, , addressed to Trumbull DLC:GW. The LB in DLC:GW includes a note in the margin reading: “Similar lettr wrote Govr Cooke of the same Date,” and the Varick transcript is followed by the notation: “The Same to Governor Cooke. Rhode Island.”

2The LB in the Trumbull Papers reads “I have wrote Govr Cooke.”

3The LB in DLC:GW reads “Tis but reasonable.”

4The LB in the Trumbull Papers includes here the sentence: “Inclosed is a letter I wrote the 11th instant which, through mistake, was neglected by the Thursdays Post.” See GW to Trumbull, 11 July. The previous Thursday was 11 July.

5In the LB in the Trumbull Papers, the text of this paragraph reads: “We have one large Row Galley nearly compleated, and another which may be ready by the time those arrive from your Honor and Governor Cooke—The whole, when collected, will be a force sufficient to attack the two Ships up the River, as the Channel they now occupy is narrow which will prevent their working their Guns to advantage.”

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