George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Livingston, 5 April 1779

To William Livingston

Head Quarters Middle Brook 5th April 1779.

Dear Sir

I have been honored with yours of the 30th March.

As I shall be very soon under the necessity of removing the troops at present at and in the neighbourhood of the Minisink settlement, I thought it advisable1 to give this notice to your Excellency, that you may, if you judge proper, order some Militia to occupy their posts. I have wrote to Govr Clinton upon the same subject.2 Altho’ the move which the troops are about to make will in fact give as much3 security to the frontier as by remaining where they are,4 yet perhaps the inhabitants cannot be made sensible of it, and as the re-settlement and cultivation of that fine Country ought by all means to be encouraged, I submit it to your Excellency’s judgment, to determine, whether any measure will so effectually answer those desirable ends as ordering a few Militia to give the inhabitants protection.5 I am &.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1At this place on the draft manuscript, Tilghman first wrote “proper.” He then struck out that word and wrote “advisable” above the line.

2See GW to George Clinton, this date, and n.4 to that document.

3At this place on the draft manuscript, Tilghman first wrote “more.” He then struck out that word and wrote “as much” above the line.

4GW is referring to Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s expedition into northern Pennsylvania and western New York that was planned for the coming summer.

5On 2 June 1779 the New Jersey general assembly passed “An Act to embody, for a limited Time, One Thousand of the Militia of this State, for the Defence of the Frontiers thereof” (see Livingston to the New Jersey General Assembly, 24 April, and to Jacob Morris, c.19 May, in Prince, Livingston Papers description begins Carl E. Prince et al., eds. The Papers of William Livingston. 5 vols. Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., 1979–88. description ends , 3:69–70, 93; and N.J. Acts, 1778, Second Sitting description begins Acts of the General Assembly of the State of New-Jersey. At a Session begun at Trenton on the 27th Day of October, 1778, and continued by Adjournments. Being the second Sitting of their third Session. Trenton, 1779. description ends , 58–63). These militia troops apparently failed to reach the state’s northwestern frontier before the destructive Indian attack that occurred there in late July (see Bernstein, N.J. Privy Council Minutes description begins David A. Bernstein, ed. Minutes of the Governor’s Privy Council, 1777–1789. Trenton, 1974. In New Jersey Archives, 3d ser., vol. 1. description ends , 1:124–25).

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