Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3

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Author: Robert R. Livingston

From Robert R. Livingston.*

Trenton, 22 June, 1780.

DEAR SIR,

My anxiety for the supplies of the army has brought me to this place, in order that I might satisfy myself as to the quantity on hand, and the means of forwarding them. General Knox has communicated to me your Excellency’s orders on this subject. Nothing short of them would, I am fully persuaded, be of sufficient force to produce the desired effect; and the knowledge of them will, in a great measure, render the execution of them unnecessary. Impressed with this idea, I have been long laboring to bring Congress to assume the power which will enable them to call forth the resources of the States, but unhappily without effect. However, I hope much from their pressing and reiterated demands.

What principally induced me to trouble your Excellency at this time, is an apprehension which I, in common with many other gentlemen, entertain of the propriety of leaving the command at West Point in the hands of General Howe. Having no personal acquaintance with him, I can have no prejudices, but the gentlemen from the southward by no means speak so favorably of him as I could wish. But in this, I conceive, that as yet he has had no opportunity of acquiring a military character. But confidence, which is so necessary to inspire courage, especially in militia, will, I fear, be wanting in him. If I might presume so far, I should beg leave to submit it to your Excellency, whether this post might not be most safely confided to General Arnold, whose courage is undoubted, who is the favorite of our militia, and who will agree perfectly with our Governor.

Your Excellency will not consider this as designed to convey the most distant reflection on General Howe, of whom I know nothing but by report, which may very possibly be ill grounded; but, if the most distant doubt remains, in a matter of so much moment, I conceive it should be removed. I make no other apology for the liberty I take, than the motive that suggests it, which has before now induced your Excellency to pardon an interference in matters to which I was no more competent than the present. This hasty letter is written while the express waits, whom I am unwilling to detain longer than while I declare the respect and esteem with which I am, your Excellency’s

Most obedient and humble servant,

ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.

* At this time a Delegate in Congress from New York.

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Chicago: Robert R. Livingston, "From Robert R. Livingston," Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3 in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, ed. Jared Sparks (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1853), 1–2. Original Sources, accessed December 2, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q91UVHBBBYF5VG4.

MLA: Livingston, Robert R. "From Robert R. Livingston." Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3, in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, edited by Jared Sparks, Vol. 3, Freeport, NY, Books for Libraries Press, 1853, pp. 1–2. Original Sources. 2 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q91UVHBBBYF5VG4.

Harvard: Livingston, RR, 'From Robert R. Livingston' in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3. cited in 1853, Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, ed. , Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, NY, pp.1–2. Original Sources, retrieved 2 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Q91UVHBBBYF5VG4.