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Letter to General Washington


A draft of a Letter to his Excellency General Washington was read and approved of, and is in the words following, that is to say:

"White Plains, July 16, 1776.

"SIR: We cannot but express our satisfaction at the unremitted attention which your Excellency manifests to the interests of this State. We see the force of your observations, and have taken and shall continue to take every measure which we conceive most conducive to defeat the designs of our enemy. This will in part appear from the enclosed Resolutions.

"We are extremely sorry that the low state of our finances reduces us to the necessity of applying to your Excellency for a loan, which it may perhaps be inconvenient for you to make, but we shall take the earliest care to replace what nothing but urgent necessity would have induced us to borrow.

"As our Troops are but ill supplied with ammunition, we hope that your Excellency will order them an immediate supply, as part of them are already in motion, as well as direct the Commissary-General to take the necessary steps for their subsistence. New levies, who have never seen service, will, without doubt, require a commander of some experience; such a one we trust your Excellency will supply as soon as possible.

"Our apprehensions of an attempt on the part of our enemies to cut off the communication between the city and country, by landing above King' s Bridge, makes us wish to have some force ready to bang on their rear, in case such a step should be taken; for which reason we have not only called out all the force we could possibly collect, (exclusive of that which may probably be wanted in the frontier Counties,) but would take the liberty, if it should meet your Excellency' s approbation, to suggest the same idea to Governour Trumbull, who, by forming a camp at Byram River, of six thousand men, might render any designs which the enemy may have to land above King' s Bridge extremely hazardous.

"We have just been informed that the ships which sailed this morning, have anchored about ten or twelve miles below Fort Montgomery; we have great reason to believe that they design to pass it, and burn our shipping at Poughkeepsie. We shall be happy to cooperate with your Excellency in every measure which may tend to secure the liberty of America, which we conceive to be nearly connected with the preservation of this State.

"We remain, with the greatest respect, your Excellency' s most obedient servant. By order.

"To His Excellency General Washington."

"P˙ S˙ We have this moment heard that the Phoenix is aground in Haverstraw Bay, and have some reason to believe it."

Ordered, That a copy thereof be engrossed, signed by the President, and, together with a copy of the Resolutions for calling out one-fourth of the Militia of the Counties of Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange, be immediately transmitted.