Primary tabs

Thomas Lynch to General Washington



Philadelphia, November 13, 1775.

MY DEAR SIR: In consequence of your favour by Colonel Reed, I applied to the Chief Justice, who tells me the Supreme Courts were lately held, and that it will be some time before their term will return; that he knows of no capital suit now depending; and that it is very easy for Col˙ Reed to manage matters so as not to let that prevent his return to you. I am sure Mr˙ Chew is so heartily disposed to oblige you and to serve the cause, that nothing in his power will be wanting. I fear, however, that you will be sometime in want of your Secretary, as I did not find him in haste to return, when I mentioned to him what is just now related; he doubtless has many private affairs to transact: the loss must be greatly increased by Mr˙ Randolph' s absence, who, I hear, came to Town last night.

I am happy to inform you that Congress has agreed to every recommendation of the Committee, and have gone beyond it, in allowing the additional pay to the officers. I rejoice at this, but cannot think with patience that pitiful wretches, who stood cavilling with you when entreated to serve the next campaign, should reap the benefit of this addition. They will now be ready enough, but hope you will be able to refuse them, with the contempt they deserve, and to find better in their room. Could not some of the gentlemen at camp enlist the New-England men who have been persuaded to leave you. Frazier told me he could. It would be a capital point to convince the world that it is not necessary to have had officers of that country, in order to raise men there. I can scarce bear their tyranny.

I have a letter, from undoubted authority, that assures me that the destruction of the Parliamentary Army in America will certainly produce peace; and by another, that the seizing Quebeck will produce the same effect. I have no doubt America stands now indebted to her General for the one, and will, before the return of spring, for the other. Mistake me not; I have not altered my rnind a jot since I left you. I mean not to anticipate your determination, but only to approve your design to hover like an eagle over your prey, always ready to pounce upon it when the proper time comes. I have not forgot your proposition relative to that City; I try to pave the way for it, and wait for the season, as you do.

No appearance of peace, unless produced by necessity on the part of the enemy; every human feeling seems to have forsaken them; fear and interest only are listened to.

We hear seven tons of powder are arrived at Rhode-Island, and as many at Portsmouth. I hope it is true, as it will possess us of advantageous grounds, and begin the enemy' s destruction. It is suspected, in England, Howe' s Army will give you the slip, and land at Long-Island, which God of his infinite mercy grant. We wait with impatience to hear of the total reduction of Canada.

Your Virginians, we hear, have drubbed Lord Dunmore, killed and took fifty men, and sunk one of his vessels. May all such villains so perish.

A Mr˙ Richard Hare, brother to the porter brewer, sailed in the transport for Quebeck. As you have or must take him, let me recommend him to your civilities while with you, and to send him to his friends here.

The Articles of War have all the amendments we reported. You will enforce them. You will not now suffer your officers to sweep the parade with the skirts of their coats or bottoms of their trowsers, to cheat or to mess with their


men, to skulk in battle or sneak in quarters; in short, being now paid, they must do their duty, and look as well as act like gentlemen. Do not bate them an ace, my dear General, but depend on every support of your friends here. I have strove to keep two Battalions now raising in the Jerseys, and one here, quite disengaged, that they may be ready, on a call to join you, should those you have desert you. I have not been quite unsuccessful. The winter is our own. Boston will not, during that season, be re-enforced; at least, we have reason to think so.

I want the return I desired from Gates exceedingly. Compliments to him, Lee, Putnam, Mifflin, &c. ' Tis so dark I can' t read this letter over, or I would save you the trouble of deciphering it.

Dear Sir, your most obedient servant,


To General Washington.