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General Washington to Governour Cooke



Cambridge, September 18, 1775.

SIR: Your favours of the 9th, 14th, and 15th inst˙, have been duly received. The readiness of the Committee to co-operate with me in procuring the most authentick intelligence, and despatching Captain Whipple for this purpose, is peculiarly satisfactory, and I flatter myself will be attended not only with success, but the happiest consequences to the publick cause. I should immediately have sent you notice of the paragraph in the Philadelphia papers, which is all the accounts I have of the taking the powder at Bermuda, but I supposed it must have come to your hands before it reached ours. I am inclined to think it sufficient to suspend Captain Whipple' s voyage, at least till further intelligence is procured from Philadelphia; as it is scarce supposable those vessels would leave any quantity behind worth the risk and expense of such a voyage. As this enterprise will therefore be most probably laid aside for the present, it may be proper for Captain Whipple to keep his station a few days longer for the Packet. It must be remembered they generally have long passages, and we are very sure she has not yet arrived at Boston, nor do I find she is expected there. The voyage to Bayonne is what I should approve and recommend. The person sent to Governour Trumbull has not yet called upon me, but the scheme appears so feasible that I should be glad to see it executed. At the same time I must add that I am in some doubt as to the extent of my powers to appropriate the publick moneys here to this purpose. I could wish you would communicate it to the Congress, for which you will have sufficient time, and I make no doubt of their concurrence. In fact, the state of our treasury here at present is so low that it would be impracticable to be of any service to the expedition, if all other objections were obviated. We have no news, either in the camp or from Boston, except a piece of intelligence from the latter, that the enemy are pulling down the south end of the Town in order to continue a work across from river to river.

Your cheerful concurrence with me in publick measures, and zeal for the service, call for my best thanks.


You will please to accept them, and believe me to be, with much truth and esteem, your most obedient servant,


P˙ S. No southern mail arriving last Saturday, we are apprehensive it has again fallen into the enemy' s hands. If it was not attended with too much trouble, should be glad you would cause inquiry to be made. If by any accident the letters are at Providence, you will please to forward them by express.