On December 14, 1776, George Washington sent this letter to Brigadier General James Ewing at Trenton Ferry. Concerned about a possible British advance across the Delaware River, Washington provides strategies for the defense of the troops. Ewing is to spare no expense to procure a spy to send across the river to learn the location and movements of the enemy. Ewing not only obeyed Washington's instructions, but began raiding the British. George Lewis transcribed the majority of this letter; however Washington added the final paragraphs in his own hand. A copy notes this letter circulated to Mercer, Stephen, and Stirling.



December 14, 1776



  • Written - United States


Ink, laid paper, residue from red wax seal


Overall (open): 12 7/8 in. x 16 1/2 in. (32.7 cm x 41.91 cm)
Other (closed (silking)): 12 7/8 in. x 8 1/4 in. (32.7 cm x 20.96 cm)
Other (closed (image)): 12 7/8 in. x 8 in. (32.7 cm x 20.32 cm)


Purchase, 1913


Fourth page (verso when closed), center, perpendicular to letter's text, in brown ink: To Brigad Genl Ewing / [mutilated]


Second page (left side when open), bottom right, in brown ink: Yr Most Obt Servt / Go Washington

Object Number



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