George Washington Papers

Notes for the Hartford Conference, September 1780

Notes for the Hartford Conference

[September 1780]

We have between 12 & 13,000 Continentals in the Field—& have had more than 6000 M[iliti]a.

Had the Second division of French force arrived in time1—or had the whole come in the 1st instance, the resources of the Country would have been poured in upon us.

Paint our distresses and wants—and the necesity of a Loan. distinguish between continued exertions—& one grand & vigorous effort.

Three operations—viz.—New York—Chas Town—& Canada. The two first depend upon a Naval superiority—The latter upon Magazines at Albany & Co’os—& all of them upon a better supply of Provisions than we have Hitherto met with.

Engage at all Events the Count de Rochambeau to come to the Continental Army with his Troops—the Fleet may be sent to Boston—or quære may it not be wintered at Phila with safety.

Many advantages may attend this Junction—such as preventing the Enemys detaching from New York—improving any faupas they may make, by following it up with a blow. or it may enable us to detach ourselves.

Twelve thousand French Troops includeing those now at Rhode Island; may be required for the next Campaign in America. or such a number as will insure 10,000 efficient men.

If a Southern Expedition is not undertaken this winter they should be ordered to Rhode Isld (if the prest French force remains there)—or to Philadelphia if the French & Americans should unite this winter. they ought to arrive by the 1st of May.

If an Expedition is undertaken against Chas Town they ought to touch there in there way to this part of the Continent.

A Naval superiority should be had at all events—because on this every thing does, in a manner depend.

AD, DLC:GW. In these undated notes, GW digested proposals of his aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton (see Document I).

1See GW to James Bowdoin, 28 Aug., and n.2 to that document.

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