George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel William Malcom, 16 September 1780

To Colonel William Malcom

Head Quarters Bergen County 16th Sepr 1780.


I have received your favor of the 8th inst. The difficulties and distresses, which we every day experience on the score of provisions, evince that we can place no certain dependance on the modes pointed out for obtaining regular supplies, and that it will be therefore expedient for you to procure as much as you consistently can by virtue of the powers with which you are vested by His Excellency Governor Clinton.1

The number of Men for which you propose to make Winter establishments at Fort Schuyler, is I think about the number which will compos⟨e⟩ the Garrison. From the favorable accounts lately received from Colo. Hay, I hope there will be no difficulty in procuring a supply of Flour as soon as the new Wheat is threshed out and ground, and I would recommend the formation of a very sufficient Magazine of that article as early as possible.2 We have been under the necessity of expending what salt meat was laid up at West point; but Govr Trumbull, some little time ago, promised to furnish between four and five hundred Barrels of prize Beef, and of that parcel I propose to assign one hundred at least for Fort Schuyler3—and as soon as the season for salting comes in, the Commy Genl shall have directions to furnish a further quantity. I should wish the Garrison to be always supplied with six Months Flour and salt provision if possible. It may be difficult under present circumstances to procure the full quantity of salt meat, but a supply equal to forty or fifty days consumption at least should be provided and kept in reserve to secure the place against a sudden investiture. I am Sir Your most obt and humble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW signed the cover of the LS, which is addressed to Malcom at Albany, with a note in his aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman’s writing: “Should Colo. Malcom have left Albany Colo. Van Schaick is desired to forward this letter after him.” The letter reached Malcom on 29 Oct. (see Malcom to GW, that date, DLC:GW).

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