George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Clinton, 6 May 1781

Poughkeepsie 6th May 1781

Dear Sir

I enclose your Excellency a Copy of Information delivered by Mr Fish (some Time since at Head Quarters) to Brigr Genl Clinton who writes me that from a variety of concurring Circumstances he has Reason to believe it may be depended upon and adds that no less than four Packets from the Enemy passed through Albany last winter but does not inform me of the Evidence he has of this fact.

Genl Clinton gives me a most disagreable Description of the situation of the Troops at the different Posts in that Quarter for want of Provisions & informs me that his present Dispatches to your Excellency is on that Subject. I sincerely wish the means of giving them an immediate Supply was in my Power; for with him I am apprehensive of consequences of the most serious nature unless they can have speedy Releif—with respect to Meat it is not in the State & any Exertions of mine therefore to procure it would be fruitless. I will send him an impress Warrant for Flour by the Return of the present Messenger who I beg may be directed to call on me: But it may be dangerous to place dependance on what may be procured in that way as those possessed of that Article will use every [   ] to evade the impress. I am Dear Sir with the highest Respect & Esteem Your Excellency’s most Obedt servant

Geo: Clinton

P.S. If can possibly break out I will wait upon your Excellency in the Course of this Week.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Copy of Information given by Mr Fish.

c.4 May 1781

Agreeable to Orders I have been to the Frontier—The Day after my Arival (which was the 29th Aprl) I was called on to see and consult with a Mr Thomas Sherwood and a John Stout (on the 30th that Day) arrived from the Shipping, at Crown point—No Packett as was expected, but on a Plan to seduce the Inhabitants to run into Canada, & to get Intelligence A Part sent into the Scotch Patent, This Party landed in South Bay—I learned from them there was another Party gone into Palmer Town. I further understood by the Inhabitants that there is a large Number of the Soldiers at Saraghtoga waiting to know when there is a Party down and will mutiny and go off or privately slip to them—And likewise that the Grants are ready to garrisson Fort Edward and Skeensborough as soon as the Representatives of the revolted Districts meet to form the Union which will be Tuesday 8th May 1781—That Corpl Schrein Meekes, Gordeneir, Stouten and one whose Name is not known who were sent on a Scout last March to Lake George and South Bay took a Party of the Enemy with a Packet; but were prevailed on to liberate them with the Packet by a Gunia each & two Silk Handkerchiefs.

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