George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Clinton, 13 July 1779

From George Clinton

Poukeepsie [N.Y.] 13th July 1779.

Dear Sir

I take the Liberty of transmitting to your Excellency a Copy of a Letter I this Moment received from my Brother as I have Reason to beleive he has not been able to write to your Excellency by the Person who delivered me his Letter1—I am with the Most perfect Esteem & Respects Your Excellencys Most Obedt Servt

Geo: Clinton

ALS, DLC:GW. The cover of this letter reads: “By Express.”

1The enclosure is a copy of a letter of 6 July from Brig. Gen. James Clinton to George Clinton, “dated at Camp on the South End of Otsego Lake,” N.Y. It reads: “I have the Pleasure to inform you that I have now at this Place two hundred and eight Boats with all the Stores Provision and Baggage of the Army; so that I am now in the most perfect readiness to move down the Susquehanna whenever I receive Genl Sullivans Orders for that Purpose.

“I have thrown a Dam across the Outlet which I conceive will be of Infinite Importance as it has raised the Lake at least two feet by which the Boats may be taken down with less Danger than otherwise; altho’ from the intricate Winding of the Channel I expect to meet some difficulties on the Way.

“It is uncertain when I shall leave this Place—I received a Letter from Genl Sullivan Yesterday dated at Wioming July 1st in which he informs me that he was anxiously waiting the arrival of his Stores from Sunbury, that he expected them daily—that it was determined in Council that, that Army should proceed as far as Tioga previous to my leaving the Lake as by that Means he might make a Diversion in my favour & facilitate my Movements down the River. This I imagine to be in consequence of a Letter which he has probably received from General Washington, similar to one I received from him dated the first Instant in which his Excellency expresses his Surprise at my taking so much Stores with me when it was determined that all the Supplies of the Army should come up with Genl Sullivan and that nothing more shou’d be brought with me, except what was absolutely necessary for the Troops until the Junction was formed at Tioga—However as it was Genl Sullivans Orders to bring what Provisions I cou’d, and as his Excellency added in his Letter to me that it was not his Intention to contravene any Orders I may receive from Genl Sullivan, I ordered the whole to be forwarded to this Place which I have happily effected & of which I do not repent as I believe I shall fall short of many Articles.

“Mr Deane arrived here yesterday with thirty five Indians Ten of whom returned to Oneida after they had held a Conference with me; in which they endeavored to apologize for the whole Tribe not attending me on the present Expedition, they informed me that the Six Nations were waiting for their Departure to effect the total Destruction of their Castle—that a number of them had collected at Ca[y]uga for that purpose—that their former Intentions was to have joined me with their whole Tribe but that their present dangerous Situation had not only obliged them to renounce those Intentions but also laid them under the Necessity of applying to me for the performance of the Promisses which had been made them by the Commissioners whenever they shou’d need our Assistance—that, that Time was now come and they therefore requested that I would send a small Party to help them to defend their Castle in case of an Attack upon it, that if they shou’d be so fortunate as to beat the Assailants they were determin’d to pursue them thro’ their Country until they formed a Junction with us at Tioaga River.

“In consequence of their Requisition I have ordered the Commanding Officer at Fort Schuyler to detach an Officer and thirty or forty Privates to their Castle with orders to recall them whenever Circumstances shall require it.

“The Troops are in good Health and high Spirits and every Thing seems to promise a most favorable and Successful Campaign.

“I forgot to mention that the Indians further inform that a Party of the Enemy consisting of about three hundred Indians and Tories had marched from Ca[y]uga ten Days ago with a Design to harrass the Troops on their March but that the Enemy did not intend to give us Battle until we advance some Distance up the Tioga River” (DLC:GW). GW’s letter to James Clinton of 1 July has not been found, but it likely was similar in content to GW to James Clinton, 27 June.

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