George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Pennsylvania Council of Safety, 5 January 1777

From the Pennsylvania Council of Safety

In Council of Safety Philadelphia January 5th 1777


The Council being Apprehensive that your Excellency might Possibly be in want of Fixt amunition and knowing that your Attention must be engrossed with objects of the greatest importance, and being desirous of relieving your Excellency as much as our department will admit of, we have therefore sent several Waggons Loads to Bristol, there to wait the orders of your Excellency or General Putnam.1

The Public is impatient to be informed of the event of your Excellencys late Manœuvres as nothing but vague rumors have reached us, we should be much obliged therefore if you could gratify us with some intelligence by this Express. I am with the greatest respect Your Excellencies Most obedient Humble servant

Tho. Wharton junr Prest

P.S. According to Astronomical Calculations, on thursday next between the hours of 9 and 11 in the forenoon, a great Eclipse of the Sun will be visible here, perhaps it may not be amiss on this occasion to guard against a superstitious fear in the Army which might take place should the Men be unnexpectedly surprised with this appearance.2


1On 12 Jan. at GW’s headquarters at Morristown, Col. Benjamin Flower, commissary general of military stores, wrote to the commander at Bristol: “It is his Excellancy, Genl Washington, Express Orders that all the Amunition now in Bristol, and all that is Coming on from Phila. be Immediately Sent on to the Army the Safest and Shortest rout, with a Sufficient Guard, directed to me or to Brigadier Genl. Knox, at or near Head Quarters, & if the Army should remove from this place, to follow with the utmost Dispatch” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 5:181).

2The following Thursday was 9 January. A partial eclipse of the sun did occur on that morning (see GW to Pennsylvania Council of Safety, 8 Jan., n.1).

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