<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0578

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Marine Committee
Recipient: Isaiah Robinson

Sir

The Navy Board of this State having requested the assistance of the
Continental Navy in defending the Cape May Channel in Delaware Bay so
that the inward and outward bound Trade may not be totally obstructed
by the enemies ships stationed at the mouth of said Bay,

The Brigantine Andrea Doria being now ready for service you are forthwith
to proceed down the Cape May Channel and Co-operate with the two
Gallies sent down by the said Navy Board the Commanders of which will
be instructed to Consult with and be directed by you in pursuing such
measures as may be necessary to secure and defend the said Channel as
well as in any attempt you may think it proper and prudent to make on
such of the enemies Tenders and Vessels as you may judge your force
equal to Cope with, and you will exert your utmost abilities and
address, to take, sink, burn or otherwise destroy, any or all of their
Cruizers you meet with.

You will particularly attend to the business of protecting our Trade and
procuring any American Vessels inward or outward bound to which you can
extend protection or assistance. The Gallies of this state whilst
acting in conjunction with you will be subject to your orders. They
draw little water and have heavy Canon in their Bows which induces us
to think they might be very successfully employed in mollesting and
galling the enemies larger Ships Iying at Anchor in the Road or any
part of the Bay especially by attacking them in the Night. The Gallies
might run into shoal water on the shoals nearest to where the ships
anchored and take such a Station that the large ships could not get
near them, bring the Bow Guns to bear on the Enemy and keep Up a
Constant fireing until they obliged them to weigh Anchor or slip their
Cables. Calm weather will be the best for this sort of business,
because the enemies ships would remain unrnanageable and the Gallies
could Row and do what they pleased. If attacks of this kind are
frequently made and with success they will get tired of Anchoring and
prefer keeping the sea which will give our vessels a better chance of
geting in and out. We would like to have this plan attempted and think
you would do well to go in one of the Gallies on the first Occasion
taking care not to disgust the Captain of her thereby, but you will be
the better able to judge what can be done afterwards. When you find the
service herein recommended does not require your particular attention,
either by means of your taking or destroying the enemies Tenders or by
their quitting the Station. you may then deem these orders to be fully
complyed with and opening the others given you herewith proceed as
therein directed. And as you have a valuable Cargo on board you will
during this service be particularly attentive to the safety of the
Andrea Doria and her Cargo, only exposing her to danger when you are
sensible the true Interest or honor of America requires it.

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.