George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 5 November 1780

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters Prackness Novr 5th 1780

Dear Sir

I have been favoured successively with your letters of the 30th & 31st Ulto1 and the 1st & 2d inst. Inclosed you will receive a warrant for the money due on your account.

In respect to the removal of the chain, I am of opinion it ought neither to be taken up too soon, nor suffered to remain too late, I could wish you to have every thing in readiness by the time you mention, & shall speak to Colo. Tupper on the subject.

Previous to yours of the 1st Inst: I had requested you, to use your discretion in the execution of such of the prisoners under sentence of death, as you considered proper objects for Capital punishment.2

I have written to His Excellency Gover. Clinton on the subjects of your Letter of the 2d.3 I am with great esteem Dear Sir Your most Obedt servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Since writing the foregoing, your favr of the 3d has come to hand. Necessity must justify your breaking in upon the reserved Flour. One hundred Barrels will go from hence or Morris Town in the Morning, and you shall constantly have a part of what little we get. I would have you by all means press the Eastern States to send forward their supplies. It is the States we must apply to and not the Commissaries, who are, upon the present establishment, merely receivers of Stores. I have myself written to Governor Clinton.4 I will consider and give an answer upon Spencers case. In the mean time have him well secured.5

Go: Washington

LS, in Caleb Gibbs’s writing, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote the postscript on both the LS and the draft. GW signed again after the postscript on the LS.

1For Heath’s concerns with provisions at West Point, military intelligence related to the New York frontier, his expenses while in Rhode Island, and the defensive chain obstructing the Hudson River, see his letters to GW of 30 Oct. (found at Heath to GW, 24 Oct., n.10), and 31 October.

4See Heath to GW, 3 Nov.; see also n.3 above.

5No further comments from GW regarding the prisoner Hazleton Spencer have been found.

Heath replied to GW on 7 Nov. (first letter).

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