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Letter from General Washington


A Letter from his Excellency General George Washington, in answer to the Letter respecting the obstructing the navigation of the East River, was received and read, and is in the words following, that is to say:

"New-York, August 18, 1776.

"GENTLEMEN: I have been honoured with your letter of the 17th, with the resolution of your honourable body for obstructing the channel betwixt the Grand Battery and Nutten-Island. Having gone into a considerable expense for stopping that of the North River, and such as I am not certain I shall be justified in, and the obstructions there being far from complete, it will not be in my power to engage in the business you propose, or undertake to advance any part of the money which will be necessarily expended in the execution. At the same time give me leave to assure you, gentlemen, that I shall most readily afford you such assistance as may be derived from the labour of the troops here, that can be spared from other service, to facilitate the design, which will be of great importance, if it can be executed. I have been also honoured with your favour and resolution of the same date, and am exceedingly obliged by the ready attention you have paid to my recommendation for the removal of the women and children and infirm persons from this city.

I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, gentlemen, your most humble servant,