Thomas Whiting to Wythe, 22 November 1777

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‎Thomas Whiting wrote to George Wythe in 1777, during the American Revolution, estimating expenses for the Virginia navy in the coming year for the House of Delegates.

Whiting was from Hampton, Virginia, and was appointed by the Provincial Convention of Virginia in 1776 to the newly-created Navy Board, serving as First Commissioner (chairman) for the duration of its existence.[1] Also appointed Commissioners of Admiralty in 1776 were John Hutchings, Champion Travis, Thomas Newton, Jr. and George Webb.[2]

This letter is reprinted in Naval Documents of the American Revolution (1996), cited as being held by the Library of Virginia, in Richmond.[3][4]

Letter text, 22 November 1777

Page 572



Williamsburg 22d. Nov: 1777.

I have the honour to inclose you an estimate of the probable expence of the Navy for the ensuing Year agreeable to the resolution of your house.—I am [&c.]

Thomo. Whiting 1st.. Comr.

An Estimate of the probable expence of the Navy for the ensuing Year.—

Pay of 1300 men & their officers for one Year £69,500.. ..
Provisions & Liquors for Ditto 35,500.. ..

Page 573

Pay of the Commissioners, Clerks &c 2000.. ..
Four Vessells building at the Chickahomany Yard 60,000.. ..
Wear & Tear for one Year, rigging, Sails &c 15,000.. ..
Medecines &c. 500.. ..
  £182,500.. ..
Certified by Order of the Navy Board Nov: 22d. 1777.—
Thomo. Whiting 1st.. Comr.

L, Vi, Miscellaneous Naval Papers. Addressed: "The honble George Wythe/Speaker of the House of/Delegates." Docketed: "Letter from the Commissioners/of the Navy inclosing/estimate of the expences of the Navy for the/Current Year./Nov: 24th 1777."


  1. Charles Oscar Paullin, The Navy of the American Revolution: Its Administration, Its Policy, and Its Achievements (Cleveland, OH: Burrows Brothers, 1906), 398-399.
  2. Philip A. Bruce, ed., Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 1, no. 1 (July 1893), 64, citing a supplement to the Virginia Gazette, July 5, 1776.
  3. ‎Michael J. Crawford, ed., Naval Documents of the American Revolution, vol. 10, pt. 2, American Theatre Oct. 1, 1777-Dec. 31, 1777; European Theatre, Oct. 1, 1777-Dec. 31, 1777 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1996), 572-573.
  4. Virginia General Assembly, House of Delegates, Speaker, Executive communications, Letter and estimate, 1777 November 22. Accession 36912. State government records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.

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