George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Board of War, 15 September 1780

To the Board of War

Head qrs [Bergen County] Septr the 15. 1780


I have received the honor of Your Letters of the 7th & 9th Instt and, in consequence of the former I wrote to sir Henry Clinton on the 11th for the permit You request. As soon as it comes to hand it shall be forwarded to the Board.1 It is much to be wished that circumstances would admit greater supplies sent for the prisoners, as I am very apprehensive they are materially wanted. Unfortunately the late affair near Camden has added considerably to the number of the Officers in the hands of the Enemy. Every thing I trust and am persuaded will be done in the power of the Board, from time to time, for the relief and accomodation of the prisoners in general. From a persuasion that a general permit would not be granted for sending Cloathing &c.—I did not apply for One; but if the Board will give me previous & timely notice I will always endeavour to obtain the necessary passports & I hope they will be granted without delay. The provisions necessary for the Seamen, is seldom or never included I believe; but only such Articles as compose the Cargo.

The Letters & papers from General Hamilton have not been sent to New York and will be put into the hands of Doctor Shields to be delivered to Lt Coan.

I beg leave to inclose a Certificate respecting Capn Lt Vandyke, who it seems was heretofore omitted to be included in the Artillery Returns made in consequence of the Act of the 15th March 1779.2 I also inclose a Return of Von heer’s Officers and Men, made out agreable to that Act. He says he made one before, but not having received any of the benefits proposed by the Resolution he offers the present One from an apprehension that the former might have miscarried. The Capn has likewise exhibited a Cloathing Return for his Troop, which I trouble the Board with as his Cloathing & that of the Cavalry in general has been furnished by their order.3 I have the Honor &c.


P.S. I have heard Lt Coan is gone into New York. The Letters from Genl Hamilton will be forwarded by another conveyance.

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW wrote Gen. Henry Clinton from headquarters in Bergen County on 11 Sept.: “I beg leave to inform your Excellency, that we are desirous of sending a small Vessel from Philadelphia to Charlestown, with some articles of Cloathing and Medicine and also a quantity of Flour for the prisoners there in your possession. I have to request, that you will be so obliging as to furnish, by an early opportunity, a permit for this purpose, and for a safe return of the Vessel. The Vessel is a schooner called the Blazing Star, burthen about ten tons—Thomas Smith sailing Master—Charles McCarthy Flag Master and two private Seamen” (LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, P.R.O.: 30/55, Carleton Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; see also Board of War to GW, 7 and 9 Sept.).

Clinton replied to GW from headquarters in New York on 16 Sept.: “Agreable to the request contained in Your Letter of the 11th Instant, You will herewith receive passports for the Schooner Blazing Star to proceed from Philadelpia, with the several Articles You mention, to Charlestown, and, after the delivery of the same at that place, to return to Philadelphia” (LS, DLC:GW; copy, P.R.O.: 30/55, Carleton Papers). GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote the Board of War from headquarters in Bergen County on 18 Sept.: “I do myself the honor, in the absence of the Commander in Chief, to inclose the passports for the schooner Blazing Star—They were received last Evening” (DLC:GW; see also The Hartford Conference, 20–22 Sept., editorial note).

2For this congressional resolution, see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 13:317–18; see also John Jay to GW, 15 March 1779.

3The enclosed returns have not been identified.

Index Entries