George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 21 November 1780

From Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Lebanon [Conn.] 21st Novemr 1780


I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of 10th instant—copy of which I have communicated to the Convention of these States now sitting at Hartford.1

This State have order’d the several towns to collect as soon as possible for our troops—Two pr shoes—two pr stockings—two shirts—one pr overalls—one pr mittins—which I hope will give some relief—By my son very lately from Boston, I am informed that Messrs Otis & Henley have a very considerable quantity of cloathing on hand—enough (as my son understood them to say) to furnish almost the whole of the army, excepting for coats—that this quantity had lain by them some time past—and could not go on for want of money for the transportation.2 My son was also told there is great neglect from some quartermasters in the forwarding on the roads, what has been actually sent on; and that some quantities have actually perished on the communication for want of care—there being now at Springfield some in that condition, being rotten and unfit for the use intended.3 What pity that in our distress for this necessary provision, such scandalous neglect or inattention should creep into our measures! Is there not some remedy to be applied?

This letter will be handed Your Excellency by Mr Buell, who has been employed by this State in the armouring business—happening to be your way, I have thought it may be well to introduce him to Your Excellency—and to recommend him to your notice to be employed in refitting some of the arms lying at Springfield, if you should think proper—I can venture to recommend Mr Buell, from the experience we have had of his fidelity and care, as well as knowledge in his business4—And beg leave to give my opinion in favor of repairing as many of those arms as our finances, and the circumstances of the army will admit.5 I am, with great Truth & Consideration Your Excellency’s Most Obedient and Most humble Servant

Jonth; Trumbull

ALS, DLC:GW. The cover is addressed to GW at Passaic Falls.

1See Circular to the State Executives, 10 November. For the convention of delegates from New York and the New England states held at Hartford, see Alexander McDougall to GW, 30 Oct., and n.5 to that document.

2For clothing at Boston, see Otis & Henley to GW, 25 Oct., and n.3 to that document.

3Trumbull presumably received this intelligence from his eldest son, Jonathan, Jr., who then represented Lebanon in the Connecticut General Assembly (see Conn. Public Records description begins The Public Records of the State of Connecticut . . . with the Journal of the Council of Safety . . . and an Appendix. 18 vols. to date. Hartford, 1894–. description ends , 3:231–32).

4Elisha Buell (c.1762–1842) operated a gunnery in Marlborough, Conn., during and after the war (see Gardner, Small Arms Makers description begins Robert E. Gardner. Small Arms Makers: A directory of fabricators of firearms, edged weapons, crossbows and polearms. New York, 1963. description ends , 29). He served in the Connecticut legislature from 1806 to 1821.

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