George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston, 12 February 1778

From Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston

Pike [land] Township [Chester County, Pa.]
12th Febr. 1778

May it please Your Excellency

I enclose You a Letter just now rec’d from Govr Clinton as I dont Care to give a Discharge to the Person alluded to without your Approbation The Other Soldier meant is in Coll Cortlandts Regiment and Brother to the Bearer—I would only Beg leave to add that Colonel R. Livingstons Iron Works are of Great Public Utility.1 I have the Honour to be with the Greatest Resspect Your Excellencies most Obt Humble Servant

Henry B: Livingston


1New York governor George Clinton’s letter to Henry Beekman Livingston, dated 29 Jan. from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., reads: “The Bearer James Wentworth a Soldier in your Regiment who was in this Neighbourhood some Time passt on Furlough has overstaid his Time by my Permission of which I have thought proper to inform you that he may not incur your Displeasure by his Absence.

“Your Relation Colo. Livingston tells me he was formerly one of his Forge Men & wishes to have him discharged the Service as without him & another who has enlisted in your Regiment of the same Occupation he say cannot keep his Iron Works going—Whether his Request can be ⟨co⟩mplied with or not you are to Judge” (DLC:GW).

Tench Tilghman wrote Henry Beekman Livingston for GW on 14 Feb., apparently in reply to Livingston’s letters of 10 and 12 Feb.: “His Excellency being busily employed with the Committee of Congress commands me to acknowledge the Receipt of yours of the 2d and 10th instants. He desires me to inform you that he cannot consent to the discharge of the two men you mention, without opening a door for numberless applications of the same kind. Scarce a day passes but some one or other applies to get a soldier for the purpose of employing them in private Works.

“His Excellency has no objection to your remaining out of Camp untill your health is re-established, which I hope may be soon” (Hastings, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 2:752–53). Livingston wrote Clinton on the same day: “I yesterday rec’d your Fav’r Relative to the Discharge of a Soldier wanted for Mr. Livingston’s Iron Works. I immediately wrote to His Excellency General Washington on the Subject and rec’d the Enclosed answer just now By Which you may Perceive its out of my Power to be of any assistance to Mr. Livingston in this affair” (ibid., 752).

As third lord of Livingston Manor, Robert Livingston (1708–1790) inherited the Ancram ironworks in southeastern Columbia County, N.Y., which had been established by his father, Philip Livingston (1686–1749), in 1743.

Index Entries