Springfield 8 April 1780
I inclose a Letter from the Officer commanding at Elisabeth Town respecting Prisoners, should not the Commissary of Prisoners know from Head Quarters whether his Prisoners may have a Flag, before they arrive upon the Lines, as they will be able by staying a Day or two there to collect Intelligence of our Affairs. I am dear Sir, with the greatest Respect—Your Excellencys most Obedt Servant
P.S. I inclose a Letter from D. Burnet about some Boats—I should think best to take the Boat of Kennedys.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Newark Aprl 9 1780
Captain Shipman informs me that there are a Number of Boats upon Passaick River which, as they are under no Guard, may easily be made Use of, to give Intelligence to the Enemy, carry on the London Trade & bring over the Enemy if they should come out, & therefore they are highly dangerous to this Post & worthy the Attention of the Commanding Officers—If the Owners wanted them for their private Use, they might use them in the Days Time if they would bring them & put them under the Care of the Centinel every Night—The Captain desired me to write to you upon this Subject & I think you ought to be informed of every Circumstance, which may affect the Safety of the Inhabitants or the Troops He is willing to take Charge of them, if you think it best to give him Orders to do it—It is I confess a tender Point. Private Property ought not to be touched, unless the Public Safety requires it—You Sir, are to judge of this Matter & if you think, there is Danger in leaving them scattered about in the Manner they are at present, you will without Doubt give Directions concerning them.
Lieutt Tiffany tells me, that he is informed, there is a fine Boat on the other Side of the River suitable for him as a Guard Boat—It is on Capt. Kennedy’s Bern, but it may easily be drawn into the River & in my Opinion it would be best to give him Orders to go & view it & if he thinks it better, than those he has, to take it—Capt. Kennedy is in England & dont want to use it & if it was not so the Public must always be preferred to private Interest—If you have any Public News, I should be much obliged to you for it—Please to present my best Regards to Major Alden & believe me to be with much Esteem dear Sir your most obedient humble Servant.
Cranes Mills April 9th: 1780
The Commissary of prisoners desired me to enform you that he has recieved information from Philadelphia that there is sixty prisoners to be here Wednesday Next, and there is one now in town Wanting to be sent over, he wants your Directions where they shall be put if a flag should not be granted to send them immediately over. I am Sir your Obedient Humble servt