George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 15 December 1780

From Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Hartford Decemr 15th 1780


Would acquaint your Excellency, we have just receivd Intelligence from New York, by three different ways & in such a manner, that we have great Reason to think the Enemy are meditating a Blow against this State—The traitorous Arnold, it is sayd, is prepareing to come out with three or four british Regiments in order to penetrate into the Country, and it is very probable it will be by the way of Kingsbridge—’Tis certain considerable preparations & movements are makeing for some notable Attempt—Think it my Duty to give you this early Intelligence; that your Excellency may take such Measures, as you may judge requisite thereon.1

We have upon this Occasion put our Militia, on the sea Coast, in Readiness—and have ordered one thousand Men forthwith to march to the western Frontiers—You are sensible the great Advantage it will be to have a sufficient Body of regular disciplined Troops for the Militia to form under & cooperate with—Doubt not therefore You will think it necessary & expedient & will readely afford all the Assistance in your Power from the Continental Army, upon this Emergency, especially if the Enemy should move out in Force against us—whatever Intelligence further may come to hand, relative to this Movement, shall take Care forthwith to forward and must request your Excellency to do the like2—And am with due Respects Your Excellencys most Obedt humble Servant

Jonth; Trumbull

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, Ct: Trumbull Papers. “⅌ Chain of Expresses to go Night & Day” is written on the cover of the LS.

1The sources of this erroneous intelligence have not been identified, but a soldier on furlough heard while in Fredericksburg, N.Y., on 18 Dec. “that there was a fleet off of Fairfield [Conn.] with 4000 Troops commanded by the Infamus Arnold” (Greenman, Diary description begins Robert C. Bray and Paul E. Bushnell, eds. Diary of a Common Soldier in the American Revolution, 1775-1783: An Annotated Edition of the Military Journal of Jeremiah Greenman. DeKalb, Ill., 1978. description ends , 188–89).

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