George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Richard Parker, 13 May 1779

From Colonel Richard Parker

Head of Elk [Md.] May 13th 1779


I have inclosed you a Letter from Governor Johnston to Mr Hollings Worth D. Quarter Master General at this place informing him of a Number of the Enemies Vessels being in the Bay.1 The officers who set out from Camp to Virginia embarked & set sail from this place last night with a fair wind down the Bay I wish they may not fall in with them as the Bay had been clear in the morning and no danger expected however it is too late to take any precaution against what I fear may happen and therefore must trust to chance. I am Yr Excellencys Most Obdt Sert

Rd Parker


1The enclosed copy of a letter from Maryland governor Thomas Johnson to Henry Hollingsworth, dated 12 May at Annapolis, reads: “Last Night Capn Hanson, with whom Capn Plunket was going as a Super Cargoe put back to this place they inform that they saw a Frigate a Brig of about 14 or 16 Guns A smaller Armed Vessel or two and two prizes in the Bay Hanson narrowly escaped being taken Capn Jack Nicholson was drove on Shore, on or very near Gwins Island—Yesterday near the Mouth of Patuxent, they met with one Mr Robinson, in a Boat, belonging to Chopt Ank, bound down the Bay. she had returned on hearing of the Enemies Vessels being in the Bay—Robinson told them that on Monday Morning he spoke a Schooner in the Mouth of Punkatank bound to Sea, and chased in by a Fleet of between 20 & 30 Sail, among them several large Ships, that she made this Fleet off the Horse Shoe on Saturday Morning, but it being hazey, they could not make out the exact number that there were several Sloops & Skooners amongst them we have yet heard nothing farther” (DLC:GW). The British ships were bound for Portsmouth, Va.; see William Maxwell to GW, 3 May, n.2.

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