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Samuel Chase to General Sullivan



Annapolis, December 24, 1776.

DEAR SIR: I thank you for your letter of the 12th November, which I received a few days before the Congress left Philadelphia. I shall with pleasure continue our former correspondence, and wish it was in my power to communicate to you any thing worthy of your notice. Our intelligence from our Army will be sooner known to you than to Congress, and I wish you could drop me a line to gratify my anxiety and to stop false reports.

I perfectly agree with you as to the impropriety of our military system. The several States will forever be influenced by local attachments. I am convinced the nomination to office will, in many instances, be very injudicious. If we expect to succeed in the present war, we must change our mode of conduct. The business of the Congress must be placed in different hands. Distinct and precise departments ought to be established. A gentleman of the military must be of the Board of War.

Our advices from Paris are flattering. I hope America will never submit to the tyrant of Britain. I declare, as an individual, I would rather become a subject of France; but I am afraid all my countrymen are not of my stubborn temper. The sullen, unrelenting monarch of Britain should never lord it over me. I despise, I hate, and wish to destroy him and all such tyrants. I forbear to add. I feel my indignation to rise. Farewell.

Your affectionate and obedient servant,


The Hon˙ John Sullivan, Esq˙, Major-General of the Continental Army.