« PředchozíPokračovat »
perfectly safe now; and if it is, it seems hardly right that she should not contribute a man to an army of 40,000 and an army too on which was to depend the decision of all our rights. Lord Howe's fleet has not yet arrived. The first division sailed five days before he did, but report says it was scattered by a storm. This seems probable, as Lord Howe had a long passage.
The other two divisions were not sailed when he came away. I do not expect his army will be here and fit for action till the middle or last of August; in the meantime, if Mercer's camp could be formed with the expedition it merits, it might be possible to attack the present force from the Jersey side of Staten Island, and get rid of that beforehand; the militia go in freely, considering they leave their harvest to rot in the field.
I have received no letter this week, which lays me under great anxiety. I shall leave this place about the IIth of next month. Give my love to Mrs. Eppes, and tell her that when both you and Patty fail to write me, I think I shall not be unreasonable in insisting she shall.
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 5, 1776. Dear Page,—I am sorry to hear that the Indians have commenced war, but greatly pleased you have been so decisive on that head. Nothing will reduce those wretches so soon as pushing the war into the
From a copy courteously furnished by Mr. Cassius F. Lee, of Alexandria, Va.
heart of their country. But I would not stop there. I would never cease pursuing them while one of them remained on this side the Mississippi. So unprovoked an attack & so treacherous a one should never be forgiven while one of them remains near enough to do us injury. The Congress having had reason to suspect the Six nations intended war, instructed their commissioners to declare to them peremptorily that if they chose to go to war with us, they should be at liberty to remove their families out of our settlements, but to remember that they should not only never more return to their dwellings on any terms but that we would never cease pursuing them with war while one remained on the face of the earth; & moreover, to avoid equivocation, to let them know they must recall their young men from Canada, or we should consider them as acting against us nationally. This decisive declaration produced an equally decisive act on their part; they have recalled their young men, & are stirring themselves with anxiety to keep their people quiet, so that the storm we apprehended to be brewing there it is hoped is blown over. Colo. Lee being unable to attend here till the 20th inst I am under the painful necessity of putting off my departure, notwithstanding the unfavorable situation of Mrs Jefferson's health. We have had hopes till to-day of receiving an authentication of the next year's delegation, but are disappointed. I know not who should have sent it, the Governor, or President of Convention : but certainly somebody should have done it. What will be the consequence I know not. We cannot be admitted to take our seat on any precedent or the spirit of any precedent yet set! According to the standing rules not only an authentic copy will be required, but it must be entered in the journals verbatim that it may there appear we have right to sit. This seems the more necessary as the quorum is then to be reduced. Some of the newspapers indeed mention that on such a day such & such gentlemen were appointed to serve for the next year, but could newspaper evidence be received. They could not furnish the form of the appointment, not yet that quorum is to be admitted.
Ld. Howe is recruiting fast. Forty odd ships arrived the other day, & others at other times. It is questionable whether our recruits come in so speedily as his. Several valuable West Indian men have been taken & brought in lately, & the spirit of privateering is gaining ground fast. No news from Ticonderoga. I enclose you (to amuse your curiosity) the form of the prayer substituted in the room of the prayer for the King by Mr. Duché, chaplain to the Congress. I think by making it so general as to take in Conventions, assemblies, &c., it might be used instead of that for the parliament. Adieu.
TO FRANCIS EPPES.
PhilADELPHIA, Aug. 9th, 1776. DEAR SIR, -As Col. Harrison was about to have some things packed, I set out upon the execution of your glass commission, and was surprised to find that the price.
* From Randall's Life of Jefferson, 11, 584.
the whole glass stores of the city could not make out anything like what you desired. I therefore did what I thought would be best, imagining you wanted the number you mentioned at any event, and that not being able to get them of that form, you would take them of any other. I therefore got 4 pint cans, ios; 2 quart do. 8s; and six half-pint tumblers, 6s., all of double flint. So that there still remains in my hands £4 16s., Pennsylva currcy.
Your teckle is not yet come. It seems the man who had promised to sell it to the gentleman I employed to get it, now raises some difficulties either to get off others which he calls the set, or to enhance
However, the gentleman still expects it, and I am after him every day for it. Our galleys at New York have had a smart engagement with the men-of-war which went up the river ; it is believed the enemy suffered a good deal. The galleys are much injured, though we lost but two men. The commander writes us word he retired, that he might go and give them another drubbing, which in plain English meant, I suppose, that he was obliged to retire. Gen. Washington commends the behavior of the men much. They lay pretty close to the enemy, and two of the galleys were exposed to the broadside of their ships almost the whole time. The damage done them proves they were in a warm situation. Madison (of the college) and
and one Johnson, of Augusta, were coming passengers in the New York Packet; they were attacked by one of our armed vessels, and nothing but the intervention of night prevented the packet being taken. She is arrived at New York, and they permitted to come. In a letter by them, we have intelligence that the French ministry is changed, the pacific men turned out, and those who are for war, with the Duke de Choiseul at their head, are taken in. We have also the king's speech on the prorogation of parliament, declaring he will see it out with us to the bitter end.
The South Carolina army with Clinton Sr., arrived at Staten Island last week, one of their transports, with 5 companies of Highlanders, having first fallen into General Lee's hands. They now make Lord Howe 12,000 strong. With this force he is preparing to attack. He is embarking his cannon; has launched 8 galleys, and formed his men-of-war into line of battle. From these circumstances, it is believed the attack of New York will be within three or four days. They expect with the utmost confidence to carry it, and they consider our army but as a rude undisciplined rabble. I hope they will find it a Bunker's Hill rabble. Notwithstanding these appearances of attack, there are some who believe, and with appearance of reason, that these measures are taken by the enemy to secure themselves and not to attack us. A little time will shew. General Arnold (a fine sailor) has undertaken to command our fleet on the lakes. The enemy are fortifying Oswego, and I believe our army there, when recovered from their sickness, will find they have lost a good campaign, though they have had no battle of moment.