From John Jay
Philadelphia 27th July 1779
The Success of the Enterprize against stony Point was splendid and important—It has added another Laurel to your Wreath, and given a grateful Country a fresh opportunity of presenting you their Thanks for the Vigilance wisdom and magnanimity, with which their Arms have been conducted. I have now the Honor of conveying them expressed in the enclosed Act of Congress.1 Prudence forbids me to indulge my Feelings or my Pen on this interesting Occasion; lest in their Warmth, too little Attention might be paid to the Delicacy blended with the Virtues they wish to celebrate. Permit me however most sincerely to assure you That I am with the greatest Respect & Esteem Your Excellencys obedient & h’ble Servt
John Jay Presidt
LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 14.
GW answered Jay from West Point on 5 Aug.: “I have had the honor to receive your Excellency’s Letter of the 27th Ulto—The fresh approbation which Congress have been pleased to express of my conduct, by their act of the 27th [26th] Ulto—is highly flattering, and such as demands my warmest gratitude. And you will permit me to add Sir, that if any thing could have rendered it more pleasing—it would have been the very polite and obliging terms in which your Excellency conveyed their resolution.
“I shall publish in orders the proceedings respecting the Officers and Troops, whose conduct & valour atchieved the success against Stony-point, and which, more than any merit I can pretend to upon the occasion, has procured me this grateful testimonial from my Country” (ALS, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). Congress read GW’s letter on 16 Aug. (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 14:967).
1. The enclosure was a copy of congressional resolutions, unanimously adopted on 26 July, praising GW, Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne, Lieutenant Colonel Fleury, Maj. John Steward, Lt. James Gibbons, Lt. George Knox, Wayne’s volunteer aide-de-camp Henry Waldegrave Archer, and the troops involved in the attack on Stony Point (DLC:GW; see also JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 14:887, 890–91, and GW to Jay, 21 July, and notes 23, 25, and 27 to that document). GW used the text of this enclosure in the general orders for 7 August.