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Whipple, William (1730-1785) to John Langdon

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06518 Author/Creator: Whipple, William (1730-1785) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 November 1776 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 31.5 x 219.3 cm.

Whipple, chairman of the Marine Committee in the Continental Congress, discusses a former request for money submitted by Langdon, naval agent for Continental prizes and supervisor of the construction of several ships. Regarding the money, mentions Langdon's acquaintances Wharton (possibly Samuel Wharton) and Donaldson. Relates that Congress has agreed to increase the Navy by one ship, and requests that Langdon assist in formulating a plan to procure materials such as iron. Discusses obtaining material from France and Spain. Discusses Langdon's financial situation, prize money procured for naval expenditure, and a vessel owned by Mr. Moffatt (possibly John Moffatt, Whipple's father-in-law). Discusses the British capture of Fort Washington, New York and Fort Lee, New Jersey 16 November. In a post script, relates "I had like to have forgot to tel you that Gen. Washington is in Jersey with about 10,000 men several Regiments are on their march to join him & the Militia of this State & Jersey are also mustering & if the Enemys designs are this way you know what country they have to march thro.'" Also mentions his suspicion that some of his previous letters had fallen into British hands.

Langdon served as a Continental Congressman 1775-1776 and as a United States Senator from New Hampshire 1789-1801.

Phila 24th Novr 1776
My Dear Sir,
My last was 16th inst since which I have not been favord with any of yours, whether it is Matrimony or Business of a more lucrative kind, that takes up your time and attention, I am not able to determine but this I must conclude, that it is some object of more importance that is to be found in Philadelphia. - I advis'd you some time ago that I was prepared to answer your draughts for 20,000 dols only one for 3,000 have yet appeared, your friend Wharto sent to me to know if you had given me orders to pay him a sum of money, I shall be glad to get rid of this money as soon as possible & did expect Donaldson would have had orders on me, but he has been a week in town & I have heard nothing of him, on that subject - Congress have determined to increase that Navy 1 Ship of 74 Guns, will be built at Portsmouth I expect in a very few days, to receive orders for that purpose in the mean time I think it wod be advisable to forming some plans for procuring materials Iron I suppose must go from hence, but I don't know how to get it to you unless you send a vessel for it, as no such thing as a vessel is to be had here at any rate, how ever your'll hear more particularly from me on this subject very soon, - I have not yet been able to inform myself what will be allow ye agents for Building ships, that agent for prises will have a commission, - What cargo's can be procured for Europe? Say France or Spain; I am now in the T- Commr & shall obtain orders for as many cargo's as can by procured in your post, I shall also be glad to be [2] inform'd what vessels are to be purchas'd. M:r Moffatt has Brig: which I think it wod be well for him to sell of she was here she wod fetch 2500 to 3000 [struck: £] vessell being in great demand. - As you will have much Public Business in your hands I could wish you wod dispose of some of it to a neighbour of yours who will be unemploy'd this winter & who I think will serve the Public with as much Fidellity as any man whatever. I shod be glad to know that Public money you have in hand or expect form the proceeds of prizes that I may be able to keep you suppli'd with that necessary article, - The newspapers will inform you of the surrender of Fort Washington on the 16th inst we have lost with that post 2000 men with all there Baggage & twenty odd cannon about 30 or 40 of our men were kill'd its said the enemy lost 300 this post being in the hands of the enemy. Fort Lee which is opposite to it on the western side of the river was of no use to us. It therefore was evacuated & is also in the hands of the enemy-these my Dr Sir are misfortunes, tho' I trust not insupportable misfortunes I doubt not with divine assistance we shall soon retrieve, them the enemy now have a large Body [inserted: of men] on this side the River & it is conjectur'd by some that they are coming this way - I hope me next will give you more pleasing intelligence, indeed I could now give you a very good plaistery for this wound, if a certain injunction could be dispenc'd with, but as that cannot be, you must remain in ignorance as to that matter for the present in the meantime be assured that I am with great sincerity
Your friend w whipple.

[3] P.S. I had like to have forgot to tel you that Genl Washington is in Jersey with about 10,000 men several Regiments are on their march to join him & the Militia of this state & Jersey are also mustering & if the Enemys designs are this way you know what country they have to march thro'.

28th nothing new since the foregoing nor have I receiv'd a line from [strikeout].H. since which causes a suspicion that I have lost some letters indeed, there is reason to suspect that the last mail has fallen into enemy's hands, but proper measures are taken to prevent that evil in [text loss] future. W.W.

[address leaf]
John Langdon Esqr
[free frank] New - Hampshire
W: Whipple

Wm. Whipple Esqr
Phil.a 24: Novr

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