George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Clinton, 14 September 1779

From George Clinton

Kingston [N.Y.] 14th Sepr 1779

Dear Sir

I am favored with your Excellency’s Letter of the 8th Inst. and should have immediately acknowledged the Rect of it but was at Marble Town when the Express arrived at this Place & did not see him. I am to thank Your Excellency for forwardg the Dispatches from my Brother they contain the same Accounts as those from Genl Sullivan.

I Inclosed your Exy a Copy of a Letter from Lt Colo. van Dyck commandg at Fort Schuyler1—Altho I presume the Action mentioned in it to be the same which happened at New Town, tho’ something differently related; yet it is expressive of the Impressions made on the Minds of the Savages & gives some farther Accts which may be true respectg our Operations in that Quarter.

I thank you for your obliging Offer of advising me by Express of the arrival of the Count la Luzerne at Head Qurs and shall do myself the Honor of waiting upon your Excellency & of paying my Respects to him if my Attendance on the Legislature who are now sitting will admit of it without public Inconvenience be dispensed with. Which I have some Reason to apprehend, as we are now drawg near the Close of the Session when my personal Attendance becomes daily more necessary will not be the Case.

Df, NHi: George Clinton MSS. In the copy of this letter received by GW, Clinton appears to have asked GW for a map of “the Western Country” (see GW to Clinton, 17 Sept.).

1The enclosed copy of a letter from Lt. Col. Cornelius Van Dyck to Col. Goose Van Schaick, dated 7 Sept. at Fort Schuyler, N.Y., has not been identified. The copy of the letter that GW sent to John Jay on 18 Sept. reads: “I can with pleasure inform you that this afternoon two Indians Runners from oneida arrived here with the agreeable news that General Sullivan eight days ago had a battle with the enemy near the Fort at Canadasago, that Butler came out to meet him about ten miles from the Castle with all the Indians, Tories, &ca he had when an engagement ensued which lasted near the whole day at last our army surrounded the enemy killed and taken a number, the rest that got away with Butler ran to their fort at the Castle where he told the Indians they had best all retreat to Niagara but the Indians told him it was his fault and he should stay there and fight them again or they would make him pay dear for their loss—our Army was still advancing towards that fort—when the Indian came away that bro’t this news from there, and saw the Indians and Squaws runing with their children towards Niagara in droves, and that our army had nearly surrounded that place where Butler and his remaining forces were before he came away, and makes no doubt was all taken before this that was in that Castle—he farther says that our Army had all their boats in the Cayuga Lake, and that at the same time this happened an Indian came running with the news to Butler that another Army of ours was advancing from the Genesee River from towards fort Pitt and had also a battle with the Indians in that quarter and had totally defeated them and that the enemy on hearing this was flighting from all quarters towards Niagara.

“This the Oneida Chiefs send to me as facts, as an Indian had returned, they had on purposely sent in the Senica Country—to see how matters went there.

“Glorious news, I hope it may be true we shall no doubt hear the certainty in a few days—The Indian who brings this news from the Senica Country is the young Onondaga that took the negro Prisoner at Buck Island that you gave the two Gallons Rum” (DNA:PCC, item 152).

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