George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Elisha Boudinot, 29 March 1777

To Elisha Boudinot

Head Quarters Morris Town 29th March 1777

Dear Sir

I recd yours of this day and am much obliged to you for the pains you have been at to obtain intelligence.1

I highly approve of your plan to gain more, and enclose you a Sketch of such Matters as it will be proper for your Spy to report to deceive the Enemy. If he can do us no harm by reporting what is intrusted to him—You may add what you please, only taking care to keep a Copy and send it to me, that if any other person should go in upon the same Errand, he may carry the same Tale—Inclosed you have a Blank Pass which you may fill up.2 I am Sir Yr obliged humble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NHi: George and Martha Washington Papers. Tilghman addressed the cover: “To Elisha Boudinot Esqr. at Baskenridge.”

Elisha Boudinot (1749–1819), a Newark, N.J., attorney and the younger brother of the Continental commissary of prisoners, Elias Boudinot, kept GW informed about the activity of British vessels in New York Harbor. Elisha Boudinot became commissary of prisoners for the state of New Jersey in December 1778. After the war he was an active land speculator and promoter of manufacturing, and from 1798 to 1804 he served as a justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court.

1This letter has not been found.

2The enclosed pass has not been identified.

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