George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Mumford, 8 September 1780

From Thomas Mumford

Groton State of Connecticutt 8th Septemr 1780


Tho’ I have not the Honor of a personal Acquaintance with your Exelency, your Ardour in Support of the Independance of these United States demand my warmest gratitude, your perseverance when the Army under your Command so Repeatedly are unsupply’d with Common necessaries Speak Loudly the greatness of your Soul & goodness of your heart, God grant you may be preserved & Reap the fruit of your Toils in Peace establishing the Independance of these States, I am happy at this time to have it in my power to Regale you with some five Years Old Madeira Wine, intended for Our Enemies officers in New York, and beg your Acceptance of the best Pipe from a Cargo of Three Hundred Captured by Capt. Peter Richards in my Privateer Sloop Hancock, the Order inclos’d will inform your Exelency to whom to apply,1 I wou’d gladly have Sent it to you at Camp, but your movements being frequent I shou’d be at a Loss where to Send, & the best Rout for it to go in Safety, I wish you may Recieve it in the purity it goes from Hartford.

I Refer your Exelency to your Officers in the Connecticutt Line, (particularly my worthy friend Genl Parsons) for my general Character, Shou’d you ever pass thro the Eastern part of this State you will do me both Honor & pleasure to favour me with your Company, at my habitation.2 I have the Honor to be with utmost esteem & Respect Your Exelencys most Obedt & very Huml. Servt

Thos Mumford

ALS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman docketed the letter: “The order for the Wine delivd to Colo. Meade.”

1For a reference to the unidentified enclosure, see n.2 below.

Peter Richards (c.1754–1781), of Norwich, Conn., served as a Continental navy lieutenant and escaped from prison in England after being captured in June 1778. He married into Mumford’s family and captured two British vessels in September 1780 as a privateer. The British executed Richards when raiding New London, Conn., in September 1781 (see Mumford Memoirs description begins James Gregory Mumford. Mumford Memoirs: Being the Story of the New England Mumfords from the Year 1655 to the Present Time. Boston, 1900. description ends , 158, 169).

2GW replied to Mumford from headquarters in Bergen County on 15 Sept.: “I have received your obliging letter of the 8th inclosing an order upon Mr Chenevard of Harford for the delivery of a pipe of Madeira Wine for my use.

“The polite manner in which it is tendered adds not a little to the value of the present.

“Altho’ I have not the pleasure of an acquaintance with you, I am no stranger to your character, which I have often heard represented in the most favourable light—I shall be happy in an opportunity of returning my thanks personally” (ALS, in private hands; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW).

John Chenevard (1733–1805) was a merchant in Hartford who later became an alderman.

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