George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Stephen Moylan, 7 December 1780

From Colonel Stephen Moylan

Philadelphia December 7th 1780

Dear sir

Colo. Temple had waited on the Board of War & the President of this State, Shewd them the instructions I received from your Excellency respecting the 4th Regiment of Light Dragoons, the former Coud do Nothing, the later has laid the Matter before the Assembly, individuals of which inform me they are disposed to do every thing in their power for recruiting Men and purchasing horses for the Regiment but the finances of the State are in So deplorable a Condition that they do not Know When they will have the Ability to put this will in execution it is reccomended that I shoud remain in this place until Some plan Can be formd for this purpose,1 Lt Col. Temple is now at Lancaster from whom I have this day received a Letter, in which he Says that his private Affairs are in Such a Situation from being four years absent as absolutely requires his presence, I shall take the Liberty of giveing him a furlough When Major Fauntleroy joins Subject to an immediate recall, Shoud your Excellency disapprove of My having given him leave of absence.2

two ships are arrived from L’Orient, the last in 36 days brings An Account that Capt. Jones had Saild from that port the 7th Octr the day after he met a most violent gale of wind in which his vessel was totaly dismasted, but he got back to L’orient by good fortune and great exertions, the vessel which had the clothing for the Army on board got Safe in, and Saild again in Company with the one arrived here yesterday. God Send her safe the Ariel Cannot be ready until the middle or later end of November.3

Mr Lawrence is in the tower, Lord Geo. Germaine and Lord Stormont were to wait on him, proposed Several questions to which he woud give no Answer he is denied the use of pen ink and paper, but otherwise well treated4—it is believed that the Count d’Estaing will have the Command in the West Indies.5 I have the honor to be Dear sir Your Most Obliged H. St

Stephen Moylan

ALS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys docketed this letter: “No Ansr Necessary.”

1See GW to Moylan, 27 November. Moylan’s regiment provided supply challenges for officials at its winter quarters in Lancaster, Pa. (see Christian Wirtz to Joseph Reed, 12 Dec., in Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 8:653–54).

2Lt. Col. Benjamin Temple’s letter to Moylan has not been identified (see also source note above).

3One ship recently arrived in Philadelphia from Lorient, France, apparently reported erroneously to expect the arrival of John Paul Jones. The ship with the more accurate report of Jones being forced back to port has not been identified (see Lafayette to GW, 4 Dec., and notes 4 and 5 to that document).

4For the capture of Henry Laurens while sailing to Europe as a congressional agent, see GW to Samuel Huntington, 15 Oct. (third letter), and n.1 to that document. Lord George Germain and David Murray, sixth Viscount Stormont, among others, had questioned Laurens on 6 October. Laurens, imprisoned in the Tower of London, was denied permission to converse with any person, deprived “of the use of Pen & Ink,” and prohibited from sending or receiving letters (Laurens Papers description begins Philip M. Hamer et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Laurens. 16 vols. Columbia, S.C., 1968–2003. description ends , 15:340–42, quote on 342).

5Vice Admiral d’Estaing’s command kept him in Europe (see Dull, French Navy description begins Jonathan R. Dull. The French Navy and American Independence: A Study of Arms and Diplomacy, 1774-1787. Princeton, 1975. description ends , 205).

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