George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Horatio Gates, 15 January 1779

From Major General Horatio Gates

Boston January 15th 1779.


Intelligence is just now received from Co’os, by Messrs Blodget and Hurd, that the Magazine of Provisions Your Excellency ordered to be Formed there last Fall, is threatened to be destroyed, by a Strong Scout from the Enemy’s Army at Sorell.1 Colonel Bedel’s Regiment, which was raised last February, by Order of the Marquis de la Fayette, are the only Troops that can at present be posted for the protection of that valuable Magazine. Your Excellency’s Wisdom will point out to you, the Orders Necessary for its preservation.2

The Provisions, Cloathing, and pay for Horse Rations, demanded by Officers upon Furlough from Your Excellency’s, and General Sullivan’s Armies, are very great; how far is it your pleasure they Should be complied with? I am, Sir, Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Hume Servt

Horatio Gates

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, NHi: Gates Papers; copy, enclosed in Gates to John Jay of this date, DNA:PCC, item 154; copy, DNA:PCC, item 171; copy (extract), enclosed in GW to John Jay, 14 April, owned (2006) by Mr. Joseph Rubinfine, Cocoa, Florida. The extract consists of the first paragraph of the letter.

1For GW’s orders regarding the establishment of provisions magazines for the proposed Canadian expedition, see his letter to Jacob Bayley of 26 Sept. 1778. Gates’s informants were John Hurd, colonel of the Coos Regiment of the New Hampshire militia, and apparently Samuel Blodget, Sr. (1724–1807) of Goffstown, N.H., an active entrepreneur whose extensive business interests included a clothing store and potash manufactory at Haverhill, N.H., one of the two principal settlements in the Coos Country. Blodget had participated in the Louisburg expedition in 1745 and had been a sutler and quartermaster during the French and Indian War. A judge of the court of common pleas and an excise collector before the Revolutionary War, Blodget served in the New Hampshire general assembly from 1777 to 1778, representing Goffstown and Derryfield (now Manchester). Blodget is best remembered for his efforts between 1792 and 1807 in building an economically important canal around the Amoskeag Falls on the Merrimack River. His son Samuel Blodget, Jr. (1757–1814) served as a captain in the 2d New Hampshire Regiment from November 1776 to December 1777. In 1778 Samuel Blodget, Jr., became a merchant at Exeter, N.H., an undertaking in which he failed. However, he subsequently succeeded in foreign trade at Boston, and in 1789 he moved to Philadelphia, where he became involved in planning the Federal City. In 1793 the District of Columbia commissioners appointed Blodget superintendent of public buildings for the new city.

2For GW’s efforts to secure the supplies at Coos, Vt., see his reply to Gates of 14 Feb., and the letters listed in n.1 to that document.

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