From Edward Rutledge
Brunswick [N.J.] Wednesday Evening
[11 September 1776] 10’ O’clock
My dear Sir
Your Favour of this Morning is just put into my Hands1—in Answer I must beg Leave to inform you that our Conferrence with Lord Howe has been attended with no immediate Advantages—He declared that he had no Powers to consider us as Independt States, and we easily discover’d that were we still Dependt we would have nothing to expect from those with which he is vested—He talk’d altogether in generals, that he came out here to consult, advise, & confer with Gentlemen of the greatest Influence in the Colonies about their Complaints, that the King would revise the Acts of Parliament & royal Instructions upon such Reports as should be made and appear’d to fix our Redress upon his Majesty’s good Will & Pleasure—This kind of Conversation lasted for several Hours & as I have already said without any Effect2—Our Reliance continues therefore to be (under God) on your Wisdom & Fortitude & that of your Forces—That you may be as succesful as I know you are worthy is my most sincere wish—I saw Mrs Washington the Evening before I left Philadelphia, she was well—I gave Mr Griffin a Letter from her for you3 The Gentlemen beg their Respects—God bless you my dear Sir. Your most affectionate Friend
We wrote you about 2 Hours ago by the Post.4
ALS, DLC:GW. Robert Hanson Harrison docketed this letter: “From Edwd Rutledge Eqr. Septr 1776.” The Continental Congress committee conferred with Lord Howe on Wednesday, 11 Sept. (see note 2).
1. This letter, which may have been addressed to the committee of conference, has not been found.
2. For other accounts of this meeting, which was held earlier this day on Staten Island across from Perth Amboy, see the minutes in Willcox, Franklin Papers description begins William B. Willcox et al., eds. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. 40 vols. to date. New Haven, 1959—. description ends , 22:598–605; the committee’s report to Congress, 17 Sept., in 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 , 5:765–66; and Lord Howe to Lord George Germain, 20 Sept., in Davies, Documents of the American Revolution description begins K. G. Davies, ed. Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783; (Colonial Office Series). 21 vols. Shannon and Dublin, 1972–81. description ends , 12:225–27.
3. Rutledge apparently gave this letter, which has not been found, to Deputy Adj. Gen. Samuel Griffin at Perth Amboy on the way to or from the meeting with Lord Howe.
4. This letter from the committee has not been found.