George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Tallmadge, 24 February 1783

Greenfield Feby 24th 1783


On the 21st inst I had the honor to inform Your Excellency of a successful Attempt against one of the Enemy’s armed Vessels in the Sound. Yesterday I obtained Information that one of the Commissioned Boats from this State had gone over from Norwalk to Long Island after Goods. In Consequence of which I sent out two Boats under Lieut. Pike of the Legion who fell in with her in the Sound, & notwithstanding his being in Commission (which too often served to Cloak their Villany) he searched her, found a Quantity of E. Goods on board, and bro’t her in. She is a fine boat, & had thirteen men on board. I mention this as one instance, among many others which have fallen under my Observation since I have been on this Command, to Evince the Truth of my Observation to the Governor, "that the Commissioned Boats are the principal Supporters of the illicit Trade"; and it adds not a little to the mortification that no summary mode of punishment is provided for such Offenders. The Officer who Commanded this Boat was a Capt. John Ritch from Norwalk.

Inclosed is a Letter recd from C——.

Since writing the above I have recd a Letter from Majr Leavensworth which I have enclosed, & should be glad of Instructions respecting Flaggs which are so frequently passing & repassing the Sound, and stopping at the harbours along the Coast. I have the Honor to be, With the most perfect Regard Sir, Your Excellency’s most Obedt servt

Benja. Tallmadge

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


February 21. 1783


Your favour was handed me on the 16 Instant and note the contents. Coll Thompsons Regmt is removed from Huntington to Springfeild near Jamaica—And his place is in Some measure Supplyed by Coll Crugers Regmt of about 130 men. The whole post at Huntington consists of about 1000 Men—The Enemy are very numerous on L. Island Three parts of them are Cantond from Huntington to Bedford Thers no appearance of any embarcation Whatsoever but the greatest prospect of Peace that ever hath bene, it is the Opponion of all denominations And the Adml Saith that by the first day of June They will all be at Sea, I have enclosed two papers which will give you great Satisfaction I dont doubt—And remain you very Humel Servt

Samuel Culper


New Haven Feb. 24th 1783

Dear Sir

General Burch has given a Flag of Truce to One Conet Parks—of the King American L. Daggoon to come to this town, the Flag was desmissed yesterday morning and Orderd to Return to L. Island after that they went to West Haven, about five miles—and from thence landed at Oaster River; sent for there Wifes and friends my Boats were out last Night fell in with there Boats on the Shore, and soon after found the Men, and brought them back to town, knowing, General Washingtons Orders that no Flag Shall be allowed to come at any other Place but Dobbs Ferry and the Maner in which they have conducted them selves since desmisd thought it My Duty to Stop them till I coud hear from you My Men Claim their Boat as Prize and I think with Propriety, as they can have no reason for standing twenty four Hours after desmisd and Weather very fine I beg your direction if you coud make Business at New Haven Shoud be glad, I know of a number of Gentlemen who wish to Communicate a Matter to you, I had it in Confidence and Cannot inform, I wish for Answer as soon as Posible from you respecting the Flag. I am Sir You Most Obt

Eli Leavenworth

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