George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Mercereau, 11 September 1780

From John Mercereau

September. 11: 1780

Since Our last1 No Movements with the Enemy. But are Still Under Marching Orders No arivel, but what you’l See in the papers2 nor nothing Else at present but what is in the papers which I Send by Mr Fitz Randolph I Shall indeavour to be up att the time with Every thing Can be got by that time apointed3 please to Send Some Accounts from the Army here from the Southerd & from the Indians. Which they want to know, by Sending those Accounts Over I Expect they will intrust him with letters if they Do you will See them first as they have imitated Something of the kind to him,4 they want philadelphia papers in Return for the york papers your most Obedient Servent

John Mercereau


2Mercereau presumably refers to ship arrival notices in New York newspapers.

3Mercereau probably had received undated queries from GW for spies in New York: “As late accts as can possibly be obtained, & brought to this place by Sunday Noon, the 17th Instt—Septemr:

“Of the precise situation of the enemy on York Island—Long Island—and Staten Island. naming the Corps on each—and where Posted.

“Know where General Clinton’s head Qrs are. And Where Generl Knyphausen’s.

“Learn whether the enemy are throwing up any other Works on Long Island besides those at Brooklyn—At what places—and of what kind—whether open or inclosed—large or Small—and for what purposes they seem intended.

“A Description at least of Brooklyn Fort should be had—and the size of it—if a plan can be had.

“The State of the Garrison respecting provision.

“When the Cork fleet is expected and what other Vessels arrive.

“A Particular acct to be obtained of the Embarkation that is talked—Know when it will take place—where destined—& what Corps it will consist of.

“Attend particularly to any Movements of the enemy.

“Enquire what their latest Accts from the Southward are & of what nature” (AD, NHi: George and Martha Washington Papers). For the supply fleet from Cork, Ireland, see Nathanael Greene to GW, 23 Sept., n.1.

4Mercereau sought assistance for one of his spies (see Intelligence Operations in the New York City Area, 17 May-24 June, editorial note).

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