George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Caleb Brewster, 14 February 1781

Fairfield February 14th 1781


My appointment on the 6th Inst. was frustrated untill the 9th (by bad weather) when I cros’d, & from information found I could not accomplish my business without endangering particular persons, as there were several crews of Reffugees scattered in the town, which made it impossible for me to see the persons I wish’d.

I thought it most prudent to return immediately, and take with me an additional boat when I cros’d again, both for my own safety, & to annoy them if they fell in my way. On the 12th at night I cros’d again with three boats, & effected my purpose, & on the morning following just as we were embarking to return I discover’d a boat rowing from the eastward I lay concealed till she came opposite to me when I detach’d one of my boats in pursuit; she discovering our Strength immediately came on shore, and prov’d to be a cruising Reffugee boat carrying Eight men, a list of their names & characters I have the honor to inclose to your Excellency.

The interest of my country induces me to inform your Excellency that there is a constant communication kept up (for trade and intelligence) by the enemy boats, bringing over goods & takeing provisions in return, & in such force that renders it impossible, & many times makes it dangerous for me to transact my business with my present command. An addition of one or two boats will make my appointments certain, & when not on command should be able to keep the coast clear from any interprise they could form. I am with Respect your Excellency’s most Humble Servant

Caleb Brewster

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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