George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Bernard Hubley, Jr., 28 December 1780

From Captain Bernard Hubley, Jr.

Block House at Dobbs’s Ferry [N.Y.]
Decer 28th 1780

Dear General

The 21st Instant, in the Evening, a Schooner, under the sanction of a Flag, came to Anchor, partly opposite the Block House, the Commander of the Vessel, having his Instructions, from Governor Robison,1 to carry a few Families, residing at Sinksink, to New York, in the Morning, of the 22d he proceeded on his way, up the River, as far, as I could learn to where Captn Wells, Commander, of the Guard Boats, was station’d; on the 25th about 2, or 3, OClock, P.M. the Schooner, on her passage to New York, arrived here, with the Two Families, on Board, a Guard, was sent along, by Captn Wells, in order, to protect them; the Officer, Commanding the Escort, inform’d me, that Col: Humphreys, was with Captn Wells, & purpos’d calling at this Post, in the Evening, likewise that he, (Col. Humphreys), was desirous, I would send a small party of Men, a board of the Vessel, (for the purpose,) to remain till Morning, Col: Humphreys, with Captn Wells, arrived here, about the dusk of Evening, (their stay whilst here was short,) they gave me to understand, they were going down the River, & would return to this Post, some time in the Night, or at the breaking of day, (Our conversation chiefly tended upon Flags, going & coming, from one party, to the other, & as I have no Instructions concerning them, Col. Humphreys, said, that he would acquaint your Excellency, thereof, when returnd to Head Quarters,) before their departure from this, we concluded the watch word should be success, the Wind being very high all Night, & succeeding day.

Provissions pretty scarce a board of the Vessel, & Passengers, sickly; made me withdraw the Guard, on the 27th in the Morning, & gave the Comma⟨nder⟩ of the Vessel, leave to proceed on his way to New York, a few hours after, I sent word to one Captn Blanch a Resident, at Gloster,2 to dispatch a party of his Men, down the River, Side, as far as would seem prudent, & endeavour to find out whether Col. Humphr⟨eys⟩ & party, with Boats, or any of them, was to be heard of, but the Messenger, who I dispatch’d with th⟨e⟩ Letter, return’d with it, acquainted me, that he was inform’d Captn Blanch, had set out in the Morning upon a Scout for two days, No account of Col. Humphreys, & Party, as yet, I am under apprehension they are either lost, or made Prisoners, of War; Col: Humphreys, had with him, Two Whale Boats, & one Barge, those that went with him, are Captn Wells, Lieut. Hart, Ensign Gebss, Mr Buchanan, Mr McQuire, Twenty Four Non Commisd Officers, & Privates, and one Servant, belonging to Col: Humphry⟨s⟩.3 I Am Dear General Your most Obedient Humble Servt

Berd Hubley Captn Commandg

ALS, DLC:GW. “⅌ Express” is written on the cover.

1Hubley refers to British major general James Robertson, the military governor of New York.

2Hubley means Closter, New Jersey.

3John Buchanan was superintendent of boats at West Point, and Dennis McQuire was a pilot. “Lieut. Hart” was Jonathan Heart, recently promoted to captain. “Gebss” has not been identified. For the mission of GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys, see GW to Roger Welles, 13 Dec., and to Humphreys, 23 Dec.; see also Joseph Edes to William Heath, 28 Dec., in MHi: Heath Papers.

Index Entries