George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Bradford, Sr., 15 March 1778

To William Bradford, Sr.

Head Quarters Valley Forge 15th Mar⟨ch⟩ 1778


I yesterday recd a letter from Govern⟨or⟩ Wharton inclosing Copy of one from you to the Council on the subject of keeping five or six Gallies manned for the protection of the upper part of the River.1 The Governor has very politely left the matter to my determinati⟨on,⟩ but I would not wish to interfere in a Business which is out of my line any further than by giving my advice. I cannot help thinking ⟨now as I did before⟩ that should the Enemy com⟨e⟩ up the River they will do it with a superior force and certainly carry them, but Capt. Huston thinks, with the assistance of a small work on shore, under cover of which they can run ⟨in⟩ case of necessity, that they may be prote⟨cted.⟩ I would wish you to consult Govr Livingston ⟨and⟩ the Gentlemen in the naval line upon t⟨his⟩ matter and do what to you seems best. But you will not fail to secur⟨e⟩ the Guns and ⟨Stores,⟩ of those Gallies that you strip, in the safest manner, untill means can be fallen upon ⟨to⟩ carry them away.2 I am Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NFtT; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. A facsimile of this document includes two notations apparently taken from the cover, which is no longer with the LS: “Favd Capt. Huston” and “Receiv March the 17–1778” (PHi: Society Collection). Where the LS is mutilated, the text in angle brackets is supplied from the facsimile.

2On 16 April, Bradford wrote to Wharton that after receiving this letter, “we applyed to Governor Livingston for advice: he told us, that he was very sorry the Galleys should be dismantled, but as it was out of his Line he declined to give advice. . . . Six Galleys being then dismantled, as well as the Brig Convention, we carried off the Stores and Cannon to different Places, and put them under the Care of such Inhabitants as we could trust and depend on. . . . The Shot we have buried in a good Place near the Water” (PHarH: Records of Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary Governments, 1775–1790; see also Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 6:421). Two additional galleys were dismantled in consequence of GW’s letter to Bradford of 18 March.

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