Spy Letters of the American Revolution -- From the Collections of the Clements Library

June 27, 1779 -- George Washington to Benjamin Tallmadge (Page 2 of 3, private)
From the Clinton Collection
Image of letter (June 27, 1779). Click for larger view.

New Windsor June 27th, 1779 / Sir,  / Your letter of yesterday came safe / to my hand, and by the Dragoon who was the / bearer of it I send you Ten guineas for C---r. -- / His successor (whose name I have no desire to be / informed of provided his intelligence is good, & / seasonably transmitted) should endeavor to / his upon some certain mode of conveying his / information quickly, for it is of little avail / to be told of things after they have become / matter of public notoriety, and known to every / body. -- This new agent should communicate / his signature and the private marks by which ge- / nuine papers are to be distinguished from / counterfeits. -- There is a man on York / Island living on or near the North River, of the / name of George Higday who I am told hath / given signal proofs of his attachment to us, & / at the same time stands well with the enemy. -- / If upon inquiry this is found to be the case / (and much caution should be used in investi- / gating the matter, as well as on his own account / as on that of Higday) he will be a fit instrument / to convey intelligence to me while I am on the / west side of the North River, as he is enterprising / and connected with people in Bergen County / who will assist in forming a chain to me, in / any manner they shall agree on. -- / I do not know H--employs, 

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