Whipple, William (1730-1785) to John Langdon
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00336 Author/Creator: Whipple, William (1730-1785) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 20 May 1776 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 22.5 x 19 cm.
Whipple, a Continental Congressman, discusses the appointment of naval officers with Langdon, Congressman and Continental Naval Agent. Discusses Langdon's suggestion to appoint Captain John Roche, admitting his apprehension that Roche's appointment would "make some uneasiness as there are many Masters of Vessels of good carecter out of employ who perhaps will think themselves neglected." Relates his intention to appoint Captain Thompson (possibly Thomas Thompson) at the first opportunity. Discusses transmitting canvas and guns to Langdon for use in equipping the Continental Navy. Reports that he will address Langdon's request for gunpowder that evening before a congressional committee. Begins writing again 21 May 1776. Relates that Mr. Morris (possibly Robert Morris) "chairman of the secret committee desires you'll buy the Powder & your draught shall be duly paid." Transmits a post (not included) from Colonel Bartlet (possibly Josiah Bartlett) relating "the effect the late resolve of Congress has had in this City no doubt it will have the same in some other places." For a related discussion of the Continental Navy, refer to GLC00194.
Congress established the Continental Navy 13 October 1775. Langdon resigned his Congressional seat in June 1776 to become a Marine agent for Continental prizes and superintended the construction of several ships of war. Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, served as a member of the Continental Congress 1775-1778. Bartlett, also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, served as a member of the Continental Congress 1775, 1776, and 1778.
Philadelphia 20th May 1776
My Dear Sir
Your favor of the 6th inst is now before me. I am glad the money has got safe to hand, the list of officers you mention I suppose has reach'd you before now, I inclos'd one sometime ago, I also gave you my Reasons for disapproving the Person you mention'd for 1st Lieutt, I have no objection to the Mr Roche you mention but am apprehensive his being appointed wod make some uneasiness as there are many Masters of vessels of good Carecter out of our employ who perhaps will think themselves neglected, I shall nominate Captain Thompson the first opportunity, & think it won' t be amiss to appoint such of the warrent or petty officers as you think necessary, as to the other officers I think you may sound [strikeout] such person as you may think proper & know what places they will accept without ingaging them absolutely, the canvas I hope will be soon with you, but I fear it will be sometime before you'll get the Guns, if they are to go from hence I see no prospect of your having them till July, the furnises are at work at Providence, & by what I can learn have made a considerable number. I think it wod be well for you  to take a ride there, you will then be able to Judge of the probability of getting them from thence, & on the earliest notice from you I'll get an order for the first guns that are made after the ships that are building there, are supplied, I shall lay your proposals for purchasing the Powder before the Committee this evening shall also apply for cash you don't mention the sum you shall want, but my application shall be for the round sum 10,000 if that shod not be sufficient let me know seasonably & I'll endeavor you shall be supplyd may 21 The forgoing was wrote last evening to save time I have got an order for the sum above mentiond & shall send it forward in a few days, Mr: Morris chairman of the Secret committee desires you'll buy the Powder & your draught shall be duely paid or the money sent you on the earliest notice no doubt you buy it as cheap as you can, the Highest price that has been given here is 5/ this [Canst:] - I immagine Provisions will be ordered from Cambrige where a large Quantity was left by the Army I shall let you know more of that shortly Col: Bartlet arrivd ye 7th afternoon he writes [inserted: to] you this post by the inclos'd Alarm you'll see the effect the late  Resolve of Congress has had in this City no doubt it will have the same in some other places, by next post will endeavor to send you the farms you mention at present & can only send you one
Jno: Danl: Scherighansen Nants
Jno Langdon Esqr
William Whipple Eq
20 May 1776
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