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it operate and draw as many as possible together, which will be a great discouragement to the enemy, by showing that the popular spirit is at such a height; and at the same time it will inspire the people themselves with confidence in their own strength, by discovering to every individual the zeal and spirit of his neighbors. But after they have been collected a few days, I would have the greater part of them dismissed, as not being immediately wanted, desiring them to hold themselves in readiness for any sudden call, and concerting signals with them, at the appearance of which they are to fly to arms.



No expression of personal politeness to me, can be acceptable, accompanied by reflections on the representatives of a free people, under whose authority I have the honor to act.

The delicacy I have observed, in refraining from every thing offensive in this way, entitled me to expect a similar treatment from you. I have not indulged myself in invectives against the present rulers of Great Britain, in the course of our correspondence; nor will I, even now, avail myself of so fruitful a theme.


Alluding to severe strictures, made by Sir William Howe, in a polite letter.


With a mixture of surprise and astonishment, I have read with attention the sentiments you * have submitted to my perusal. Be assured, no occurrence, in the course of the war, has given me more painful sensations, than your information of there being such ideas existing in the army, as you have expressed, and I must view with abhorrence, and reprehend with severity.

For the present, the communication of them will .rest in my own bosom, unless some further agitation of the matter shall make a disclosure necessary.

I am much at a loss, to conceive what part of my conduct could have given encouragement to an address, which to me seems big with the greatest mischiefs that can befall my country. If I am not deceived in the knowledge of myself, you could not have found a person, to whom your schemes are more disagreeable.

At the same time, in justice to my own feelings, I must add, that no man possesses a more sincere wish to see ample justice done to the army, than I do ; and, as far as my powers and influence, in a Constitutional way, extend, they shall be employed, to the utmost of my abilities, to effect it, should there be any occasion.

* Col. Lewis Nicola, who had suggested the thought of the Army's purpose to make the Commander-in-chief a King.

Let me conjure you, then, if you have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, and never communicate, as from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of the like nature.



I very much admire the patriotic spirit of the ladies of Philadelphia, and shall, with great pleasure, give them my advice, as to the application of their benevolent and generous donation to the soldiers of the army.



I cannot forbear taking the earliest moment, to express the high sense I entertain, of the patriotic exertions of the ladies of Maryland in favor of the army.


Amidst all the distress and sufferings of the army, from whatever sources they have arisen, it must be a consolation to our virtuous countrywomen, that they have never been accused of withholding their most zealous efforts, to support the cause we are engaged in, and encourage those who are defending them in the field.

* A hundred thousand pounds, to be laid out according to Wash ington's directions.

The army do not want gratitude, nor do they misplace it in this instance.

It embellishes the American character with a new trait, by proving, that the love of country is blended with those softer domestic virtues, which have always been allowed to be more peculiarly your own.

You have not acquired admiration, in your own country only; it is paid to you abroad, and, you will learn with pleasure, by a part of your own sex, whose female accomplishments have attained their highest perfection, and who, from the commencement, have been the patronesses of American liberty.



Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties, than that of which the notification was transmitted by your* order, and received on the fourteenth day of the present month.

On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years;-a retreat, which was rendered, every day,

* Congress.

.more necessary as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time.

On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust, to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken, in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens, a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature, and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.

In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver is, that it has been my faithful study, to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is, that if, in accepting this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof, of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity, as well as disinclination, for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and its consequences be judged by my country, with some share of the partiality with which they originated.


I am sensible, that I am embarking, with the voice of the people, and a good name of my own, on

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