Revolutionary War-dated LS signed “Go: Washington,” one page, 8 x 11, July 16, 1780. Letter to Elias Dayton, sent from Washington's "Head Quarters, Bergen Country," in full: "I have rec'd both your favors of the 15th answering the arrival of Admiral Greaves, which is rather an unlucky circumstance—I have only to desire you to endeavour to ascertain his force exactly, and to gain a knowledge of what preparations they are making for defence of the harbour, and where they seem disposed to dispute the passage. You mention a talk in New York of a further embarkation to the West Indies. Be pleased to direct your Emissaries to enquire into the matter, and if they find it serious, endeavour to procure an account of the Numbers—Convoy—and when expected to sail—I have not yet learned the force which has arrived at Rhode Island with Monsieur de Ternay." In very good to fine condition, with edge toning from prior display, and professional archival reinforcement on the reverse of the horizontal fold above Washington's signature.
Writing from Elizabethtown, New Jersey, on July 15th, Dayton had enclosed 'the New York paper of yesterday, which announced the arrival of the British fleet under Admiral Graves,' noting that 'the fleet consists of one of 90 guns three 74 and four 64 under A. Graves.' He followed up later that day with a more distinct idea of the fleet, naming its six ships, their commanders, and the number of guns on each one. He then noted: 'Admiral Graves has demanded 1000 Seamen immediately the new york merchants have agreed to furnish them. It was reported that the great part of the army was to leave New york to go to the west Indies, & that this would soon have taken place, if the arrival of the french fleet does not prevent it.'
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.