George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Benjamin Tallmadge, 26 August 1780

From Major Benjamin Tallmadge

Middle Pattent1 [N.Y.] Augt 26th 1780


Your Excellency’s favour of the 21st inst. has been duly recd & the directions therein contained, attended to.2

I was yesterday at the Gentleman’s house to whom a certain Letter was addressed to be forwarded to Major D——y,3 when the Author of it came in4—He soon enquired whether that letter had been recd by him & forwarded, & was answered in the Affirmative. The Gentleman who I heretofore informed, dare not at Present have his name disclosed,5 would not chuse to have the Author of the Letter know the Steps he had taken, as the Enemy have it in their Power to ruin him at any time—He is a Man of a suspected Character, & for this reason I dare not tell him that Your Excelleny fore knew his plan, & was guarded against any bad Consequences, least he might disclose the Secret—He wishes however that the fate of the letter might be concealed from its Author, or to be sure the way of its detection be kept Secret. I wish the Imprudency of the Man, may not lead him into Errors of a worse nature. I have the Honor to be with great Regard Your Excellency’s most Obedt Servt

Benja. Tallmadge

P.S. There has, for several Days past, been from 8 to 10 Vessels passing thro’ the Sound, mostly to the eastward; no Troops could be discovered on board—A Vessel of 8 Guns, with dispatches for England, was taken a few days ago in the Sound, by some of our Privateers.

ALS, DLC:GW. No reply from GW to Tallmadge has been found.

1The Middle Patent was a large parcel of land, patented in the early eighteenth century, in the northeast section of Westchester County, New York. The patent extended from the south side of Bedford, N.Y., to the Connecticut border and was bounded on the east and west by a bend in the Mianus River.

2See Tallmadge to GW, 20 Aug., source note.

3Tallmadge is referring to Maj. Oliver De Lancey of the British army.

4For this letter, see Tallmadge to GW, 12 Aug., and n.3 to that document.

5Tallmadge first informed GW of this person in his letter of 12 Aug.; see also GW to Tallmadge, 13 August.

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