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Henry, Patrick (1736-1799) to Richard H. Lee

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05626 Author/Creator: Henry, Patrick (1736-1799) Place Written: Williamsburg, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 5 April 1778 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 22.2 x 17.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Warning Lee that he is being accused of aiding Tory schemes to "discard" Washington. Knows these accusations are false since Lee would never "attempt any thing not evidently calculated to serve the cause of Whiggism." Also expresses disgust at the possible appointment of John Moore, and hopes Hawkins is retained in his current post. Also states "Gilmour I think ought to be dealt with but the power of the Executive will not reach so far as the seizing papers." Signed twice, once on docket. Harris is possibly Philemon Hawkins.

Background Information: Richard Henry Lee served in the Virginia House of Delegates and in both the United States House and Senate.

Full Transcript: Wmsburgh Apl. 5th 1778

your Letter from Belleview came to hand my dear Sir by the last post, & I assure you I wish - all your Letters may be as long. ...As usual I am in great Hurry & seize a moment by this Messenger to tell you that the Necessity of adopting rigorous measures in the Comissariate induced [inserted: me] to appoint Hawkins, over whom I exerted all my personal Influence & with great Difficulty got him to undertake the Business. He has given one half his Salary which appears at first view large To an able Hand Rd. Morris who is a [struck: very good] fine accountant & man of Fortune. I am really shocked at the Managem.t of Congress in this Department. John Moore's Appointmt: gave me the [inserted: most] painfull feelings. Good God! Our Fate committed to a man wholly unable to [inserted: perform] the Task assigned him! Raw inexperienced, without Weight Consequence or Acquaintance with men or Business: called into Action at a Time when distinguished talents only can Save the Army from perishing. I tell you, & I grieve at it Congress will loose the Respect Due
- but I forbear. 'Tis my Business to exert all my powers for the comon Good. I must not be depended on for any thing in that Line if Hawkins is rejected by Congress. If he is continued pray supply him with plenty [2] of money. He is really superior to any one in that Way, & of established Credit to any Amount. I've advanced much Money & published repeated orders [struck: illegible] [inserted: for] the March of the new [Levy's] & on rect. of yours have addressed the continental Officers on the subject; But there's great Langor among them. I've sought for good Hands to set out on the recruiting Business you mention & will make an Effort, & by the success of that shall judge if any thing can be done. Gilmour I think ought to be dealt with but the power of the Executive will not reach so far as the seizing papers. 'Tis indeed too much cramped: However will think further on the subject__ I am really so harrassed by the great Load of Continental Business thrown on me lately that I am ready to sink under my Burden, & have thoughts of taking that Rest that will I doubt soon become necessary. For my strength will not suffice.___ You are again [illegible] by a certain set who have drawn in others - who say that you are engaged in a Scheme to discard Gl Washington. I know you too well to suppose you attempt any thing not evidently calculated to serve the Cause of Whiggism. To dismiss the Genl. would not [illegible]: &c. But it is yr. Fate to suffer the constant Attacks of disguised Torys who take this Measure to lessen you. Farewell my dear Friend. In praying for yr. Welfare, I pray for that of my country to which yr. life & service are of the last moment.
I am in great Haste
Yr. affec
P. Henry


[docket]
P. Henry
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People: Henry, Patrick, 1736-1799
Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryLoyalistWhigs

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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