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Washington, George (1732-1799) to William Alexander

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06193 Author/Creator: Washington, George (1732-1799) Place Written: Fishkill, New York Type: Letter signed Date: 6 October 1778 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket : free frank ; 22.3 x 19.6 cm.

Remarks upon the importance of information received from spies. "Every minutiae should have a place in our collection: for things of a seemingly triffling nature when conjoined with others of a more serious cast may lead to very valuable conclusions." States that what the British are foraging and amassing in New Jersey may tell them something about their plans. Asks him to collect information about this and other circumstances that may help ascertain the British movements.

Signer of the U.S. Constitution.

William Alexander was British Lord Stirling who sided with the colonies during the Revolutionary War.

Head Quarters Fish Kill, 6th Octr. 1778.
My Lord. I had just now the honor of your letters of the 4th and 5th Inst.
As we are often obliged to reason on the designs of the enemy, from the appearances which come under our own observation, or are drawn from our spies we cannot be too attentive to those things which may afford us new light. Every minutiae should have a place in our collection; for things of a seemingly triffling nature when conjoined with others of a more serious cast may lead to very valuable conclusions. The particular kind of forage &c. which the enemy are now amassing in Jersey may have a tendency this way - Whether it is long or short - such as is usually stored in their magazines for the winter; or provided as subsistence in sea voyages.
[2] You will endeavour, my Lord, with as much expedition as possible to ascertain these matters of information, as well as to collect such other circumstances and facts as may be useful to inform our judgment as to their designs or destination.
I am, my Lord,
Your Lordships
Most Obd. Servt.

P.S. You will be pleased to forward the enclosed to D Griffith
Major Genl. Lord Stirling
[address leaf]
(public service)
Major General Lord. Stirling
Go: Washington
From Genl. Washington
Octobr: 6: 1778

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