George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Benjamin Tallmadge, 13 September 1780

From Major Benjamin Tallmadge

Lower Salem [N.Y.] Septr 13th 1780


I have the honor to enclose Dispatches from the C——s which have this moment come to hand—As C——Junrs was an Answer in Part to my last on the Plan of our future Correspondence, it was necessary for me to decypher it—Your Excellency will observe what he writes respecting his Services, & as he informs he can shorten the route on Certain Conditions, Your Excellency’s assurances will regulate his future Services1—Thus much I can observe respecting the Man, he is a Gentleman of business, of Education & honor—C——Seniors frequent Expresses to N.Y. for the Papers which are forwarded to your Excellency, & to resolve Questions proposed by other Genl Officers, at other Periods has expended the Money which has been furnished him, as We were con⟨sidera⟩bly in arrears when the last money was handed him2—I have just engaged a Man to bring letters from N.Y. via Kingsbridge if necessary; but cannot as yet tell whether C——Junr will deliver him dispatches—His Name & Services I believe are well known to Your Excellency.

I Recd Major Humphrey’s Letter of the 11th the last Evening, & immediately wrote to have the boat cross, which I am confident will not be delayed only by the present heavy wind & rain3—Your Excellency may depend on my Exertions in the matter.

I shall fo⟨ld⟩ this letter very small to prevent being disc⟨overed⟩ if the Express should chance to be taken.4 I have the Honor to be, with the highest Esteem, Sir, Your Excellency’s most Obedt Servt

Benja. Tallmadge

ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, NjP: Benjamin Tallmadge Collection. Tallmadge wrote “Private” on the cover of the ALS. Mutilated material on the ALS is supplied in angle brackets from the draft.

1The enclosure was from Samuel Culper (Abraham Woodhull’s alias) to John Bolton (Tallmadge’s alias), written at Setauket, N.Y., on 12 Sept.: “Yours of 29 the August came to hand and observe the contents. Since my last the 17 D[ragoons] have removed to Smith Town, and encamped in Wido. Blidenburgs Orchard it is Said they will Stay there 12 days but very uncertain: No one expectd they Would move from Setauket So Soon. Coll Birch hath left the Regt and is appointed Commodant of New York City Capt. Archdale Commands the Regt—I must Call on you for more Cash haveing advanced considerable to carry it on—Inclosed you have C. Jur dispach no verbal accounts in Great hast[e]” (DLC:GW; underlines signify decoded text; the enclosure from Samuel Culper, Jr.—Robert Townsend’s alias—has not been identified, but see n.4 below). For the code, see Tallmadge to GW, 25 July 1779.

2Culper had acknowledged receiving money (see Tallmadge to GW, 28 Aug., n.1).

3The letter dated 11 Sept. from GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys to Tallmadge has not been identified; neither has Tallmadge’s letter regarding the boat.

4GW replied to Tallmadge from headquarters in Bergen County on 16 Sept.: “I have received yours of the 13th as I have your several late favors with their inclosures. It is impossible for me, circumstanced as matters are, to give a positive answer to C——juniors request, as I cannot, without knowing his views, tell what are his expectation⟨s—⟩Of this—both you and he may rest assured, that should he continue servicable and faithful, and should the issue of our Affairs prove as favorable as we hope, I shall be ready to recommend him to the public, if public employ should be his aim, and if not, that I shall think myself bound to represent his conduct in the light it deserves, and procure him a compensation of another kind.

“I shall take the first opportunity of sending you a further sum of Money for contingencies” (LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NsbSU; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; mutilated material on the LS is supplied in angle brackets from the draft). Tallmadge replied to GW on 19 Sept.; see also Tallmadge to GW, 17 October.

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