George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Mifflin, Jr., 3 October 1777

From Jonathan Mifflin, Jr.

Trenton [N.J.] 3rd Octor 1777


I am happy to inform you that the Removal of the Stores is now in a very good Train—There are remaining about 80 Loads of Arms unfit for Service, belonging to the States, 20 Loads the Property of the State of Pennsylvania, 30 Loads fixed Amunition, 80 Loads of Rum, Rice & Salted Provision; the Commy has besides 3000 Barrells Herrings Flour & Indian Meal—The Stores in the Qr Mr Genl Department are removed except some Tent Poles, Hand & wheel Barrows, the Artificiers Tools & other lumbering Articles will amount to 150 Loads—The Cloathier Genl has sent all his Stores to Lancaster—On my Arrival at this Place I was greatly distressed for Want of Men to impress Teams there being no Troops here either Continental or Militia to procure that Assistance from the Country which the relaxed State of the Civil Authority especially in Pennsylvania could not afford I was therefore obliged to detain Col. Flowers Artificers & a Company of Masons whom I have employed in impressing Teams, & loading them.

This Day Major Vancleve with 100 of the Jersey Militia came here by Order of Govr Livingston—The Waggons from Easton are now Returning & with those coming in from the Country I expect to have every thing removed by Sunday Night.1

The Naval Comittee at Borden town have taken Charge of the Stores belonging to the Marine Department.

Capt. Charles Biddle with 3 small armed Vessells lies off Borden Town2 the Frigates commanded by Caps. Barry & Reed are at White Hill 2 Miles lower down the River at which Place I am informed they propose mounting some Cannon—A heavy firing has been heard this Morning supposed to be at Fort Mifflin. I am Your Excellencys most obdt hbl. Servt

J. Mifflin ⟨Jr.⟩ D. Q. M. G.


1The following Sunday was 5 October.

2Charles Biddle (1745–1821) of Philadelphia, older brother of Capt. Nicholas Biddle of the Continental navy, sailed to France at the beginning of the Revolutionary War to purchase arms for Congress. On returning to America, he joined a Philadelphia light infantry company and participated in the summer campaign of 1776 before sailing in September 1776 to the Caribbean where he was captured and imprisoned in Jamaica for several months. Biddle returned to Philadelphia shortly before the Battle of Brandywine, and in early September 1777 he sailed a privateer brig up the Delaware River to Bordentown. On 5 Oct., however, Biddle left the brig and set off to Charleston, S.C., to visit his brother. After marrying Hannah Shepard of Beaufort, N.C., in 1778, Biddle served briefly in the North Carolina general assembly. He settled at Reading, Pa., in 1780, and in 1781 he became captain of a privateer brig, which was captured off the Delaware Capes. Imprisoned in New York, he eventually was exchanged. In 1785 Biddle was appointed vice-president of the Pennsylvania supreme executive council, and in that capacity he entertained GW at his house in Philadelphia during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:184–85).

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