My Dear Sir, Groton 6th September 1779
I hear they clamour loudly against you at Boston, but from my experiences of your former conduct have no doubt you will finally rise triumphant over your enemies & receive the approbation of the candid. I leave my animadissions [admonitions?] on the blunders of those that formed the Penobscot Expedition for the present, tho’ must say a small decernment [sic] must discover out that to lie in danger in such a river for any period to gain the Enemy —- an opportunity to land a superior fleet to intercept & block them in — I am sensible you have made a great sacrifice of the prime of your days in the service of the United American States without any emoluments, I have always been happy when in my power to show you even civility & never pretend friendship but when it is real- inclos’d [sic] is my bill on Mess’rs Jarvis & Russell for one thousand pounds, make such use of it as you please & repay me when cons—- [page torn]
Ardent wish of your faithfull & affectionate friend
Capt. Dudley Saltonstall Tho. Mumford
As Mumford writes, many Massachusetts residents placed the blame for the Penobscot Expedition failure on Saltonstall before the court-martial began.
Thomas Mumford (1728–1799) and Dudley Saltonstall both hailed from Connecticut and shared family connections. Mumford, a New London merchant was involved in Connecticut politics and privateering. Rebecca Saltonstall was Thomas’ sister-in-law and Dudley’s sister. Another sister, Elizabeth, married Silas Deane, who served as Connecticut’s delegate to the Continental Congress and served as the first foreign diplomat to France. Deane was instrumental in getting Saltonstall appointed in the fledgling Continental Navy and recommending him for various ship commands. Deane brokered the alliance that brought France into the Revolutionary War and enlisted French soldiers of war, including LaFayette, to fight in the American Revolution.