George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Sever and Thomas Cushing, 10 April 1777

To William Sever and Thomas Cushing

Head Quarters Morris Town. 10th April 1777


I am favoured with yours of the 20th last month, in which you make a request for five thousand of the Arms, lately arrived from France, for the use of the Troops of your State. As your letter went on to Philadelphia it only reached my hands a few days ago.1

I cannot conceive that such a number could be wanting, had proper pains been taken to collect the public Arms, and to purchase all that could be procured from private persons, but I have however given orders to Genl Heath to draw as many as are absolutely necessary to arm the Men that are raised and ready to march. You must apply to the deputy Cloathiers in your State for your proportion of Blankets.2

I must entreat you Gentlemen still to persist in the collection of the public Arms, and have them properly repaired and deposited in Arsenals that will be built for the Reception of military Stores. Altho’ our late supplies are seemingly large, they are small when compared to our present wants, and the allowance that must be made for loss and waste. And I am very fearful that the States, taking it for granted that they will be fully supplied with the Arms lately arrived at Philadelphia and at portsmouth, will neglect to go on with the Collection of those that have been lent to the Militia and which have never been returned.

Genl Knox thinks that part of the powder borrowed from your State, was repaid out of that taken by Mugford, he has wrote to Mr Barber, to know certainly whether it is so.3 Genl Heath will have directions to deliver whatever is still due. I have the Honor to be Gentn Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, M-Ar: Revolution Letters; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Notations on the LS by John Avery, Jr., deputy secretary of the Massachusetts council, and Samuel Freeman, speaker pro tempore of the Massachusetts house of representatives, indicate that this letter was read in both houses on 19 April.

1See the Massachusetts Council to GW, 20 March. The draft reads: “it only reached my hands yesterday.”

3For the capture of the British transport Hope and its cargo of gunpowder and other ordnance stores by Capt. James Mugford, Jr., on 17 May 1776, see Artemas Ward to GW, that date. Nathaniel Barber, Jr., was commissary of ordnance stores for the eastern department.

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