George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 23 April 1777

To John Hancock

Head Quarters Morris Town 23d April 1777


I have the honor to transmit you the inclosed pieces of intelligence, which I received this day from Genl Stephens, who, by my desire, employed persons to go into New York and Brunswick. I do not put intire confidence in the whole, but the principal reason of sending the intelligence forward is that proper measures may be fallen upon to find out and apprehend Thomas Long, mentioned in General Stephen’s letter of this date.1

If the enemy should move, I have taken steps to make as good an opposition as my small force is capable of. I have the honor to be Sir Your most obedient servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 24 April (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 , 7:296).

1GW enclosed Adam Stephen’s letter to him of 22 April and both of Stephen’s letters to him of this date [1] [2]. For the accusation of spying against Thomas Long, see the first of Stephen’s letters to GW of this date.

GW at this time also sought intelligence about British movements from Stirling. Richard Kidder Meade wrote Stirling on 22 April: “I am to inform you, that his Excellency [GW] is acquainted with the movement of the Enemy as is said, towards Staten Island; yet however, it not being sufficiently confirmed; request[s] if possible that you get information, and [on] that Head, and communicate to him; as also, the account of the Boats being fixed on Waggon Carriages” (MH: Dearborn Collection).

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