<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0577

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Marine Committee
Recipient: Benjamin Dunn

Sir

The Navy Board of this State having made application for the Assistance of
Such Continental Cruizers as can with propriety be employed to defend
the Cape May Channel in Delaware Bay against the enemies Ships and
tenders now mollesting the trade at the
Capes,1 We have thought proper in
complyance with their request to order the Andrea Doria, Surprize,
& Fly2 on this service. You are
therefore to proceed soon as it is possible with the Sloop Surprize
under your Command down the Cape May Channel until you join the Andrea
Doria, where you will put yourself under the command of your Senior
officer Captain Isaiah Robinson and in conjunction with him and the
Gallies of this State exert your utmost abilities to secure the
communication between this City and the Sea by means of that Channel,
You must to the utmost of your power protect and assist all American
Vessels inward or outward bound, and you are also to exert your utmost
abilities and address to take, Sink, burn or destroy any or all of the
enemies Ships that may come in your way.

When this service does not require your further attention consult your
senior officer, and with his concurrence you may open the other orders
given you herewith and proceed upon the execution of them. Remember
there is a Cargo on board the Surprize and you will be careful not to
expose it unnecessarilly to risque of being lost or taken.

We are Sir, Your hble servants

Notes:

Letter book, Marine Committee Letter Book, Marine Committee Miscellaneous
Papers, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,
Washington, D.C.

1 The Pennsylvania Navy Board made this request in an April 17 letter to the
Marine Committee. Pa. Archives, 2d ser. 1:133. The Navy Board’s
origins and functions are described in John W. Jackson, The
Pennsylvania Navy, 1775 – 1781: The Defense of the Delaware (New
Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1974), ch. 7.

2 On this day the Marine Committee also wrote a letter to Capt. Elisha
Warner, commander of the Fly, ordering him to join with the Andrew
Doria and Surprise “for the purpose of securing a Communication &
passage between this City and the Sea and to protect and assist all
American vessels inward and outward bound as well as to oppose the
enemy all in their power.” PCC Miscellaneous Papers, Marine Committee
Letter Book, fols. 6849; and Paullin, Marine Committee Letters, 1:97 – 98.