George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Livingston, 8 June 1779

From William Livingston

Trenton [N.J.] 8 June 1779

Dear Sir

In answer to your Excellencys Favour of the 3d of June, I really do not know what Dispositions General Dickinson has made to facilitate the militia’s coming out on an Emergency tho’ the Beacons I believe are all fixt1 & as I conceive his presence will be very necessary on such an occasion, I have desired his return into the State, & expect him daily.2

The contents of your Excellencys Letter on the Subject of procuring teams for the Army I immediately recommended to the house, & have hitherto deferred my answer in hopes of being able to transmit you some agreeable News in answer. But they yesterday returned me as the result of their deliberations their opinion that the Laws of this State are adequate to the purposes therein mentioned.3

ADf, NN: Lyon Letter Book.

1See John Neilson to GW, 5 June, and n.1 to that document.

2In response to GW’s letter to him of 3 June, Livingston wrote John Jay on 5 June: “General Washington has reason to think that the Enemy mean to come with their whole force into this State. That he will stand in need of the aid of our militia, & is desirous of having General Dickinson of our Militia who now is in Maryland in this State. As I consider this as properly a continental Business, & requiring the utmost dispatch, I take the Liberty of inclosing to your excellency my letter to General Dickinson on that head & beg that it may be forwarded by one of the Express of Congress” (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 3:104; see also Livingston to GW, 30 March). Jay’s reply to Livingston on Monday, 7 June, reads: “On Saturday last I was honored with your Excellency’s Favor of the 5th Inst. covering a Letter for General Dickenson, which was sent to him immediately by Express” (Smith, Letters of Delegates, description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends 13:33). Livingston’s letter to Maj. Gen. Philemon Dickinson, misdated 5 April when the proper date apparently was 5 June, reads: “General Washington has reason to think that the Enemy mean to come with their whole force into this State—That he will stand in need of the aid of our militia, & wishes you to be in the state. From this Intelligence [and] from what you told me some time since, I have reason to hope you will set out for New Jersey as soon as possible” (Prince, “Livingston Papers”). John Dickinson, Philemon’s brother, wrote Caesar Rodney on 10 June from Philadelphia in a letter that in part reads: “My Brother came to town last night, from General [John] Cadwalader’s, & tells Me he came up in Consequence of an Express, to collect the Jersey Militia with all possible Expedition” (Smith, Letters of Delegates, description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends 13:43–44).

3See GW to Livingston, 2 June, and n.5 to that document.

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