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Edmund Pendleton to Richard Henry Lee



Williamsburgh, October 15, 1775.

DEAR SIR: I have by express your obliging favour of the 5th. We were, in some sort, prepared for the disagreeable intelligence of the small hopes of an accommodation, by reports and papers here, intimating the same thing. Colonel Corbin has a letter from a hand, connected in some manner with Administration, that the plan was to withdraw all troops, and send men of war and cutters to put a stop to all foreign trade, and that with each other, and so starve us into submission. If this is the case, perhaps Shuldham may not bring troops. Our affairs may, perhaps, take another turn, when the Congress Petition and the Virginia Representation against Lord Dunmore reaches the people there. These furious measures seem to have been suddenly adopted on the arrival of Lady Dunmore, no doubt with cargoes of aggravating letters and misrepresentations from our hero, and just after some fears of Administration respecting the Spaniards were quieted by their loss among the Algerines; whatever be our state, I hope we shall meet it with fortitude. Had we arms and ammunition, it would give vigour to our measures. We hourly hoped to hear of the arrival of the necessaries, but now fear we shall be defeated. A villain has given Lord Dunmore information of it, and he has six or seven tenders flying out for it about the capes. What can such a parricide deserve? We have been sitting a month, and yet see no hopes of a recess; we are thin, and some present unwell. Colonel Thomas is among the healthy. Nine Companies of Regulars are here, and seem very clever men; others we hear are ready, and only wait to collect arms. Lord Dunmore' s forces are only one hundred and sixty as yet, intrenched at Gosport, and supported by the ships drawn up before that and Norfolk. I have heard of no attempt of his, since seizing the printer, and a ship with flour from Baltimore, except sending a party to Sleepy Hole in pursuit of some powder we had there, which he missed about three hours. Most of the inhabitants of Norfolk, except tories, have moved out their families and valuable effects. Lord Dunmore, it is said, is much afraid of the riflemen, and has all his vessels caulked up on the sides, above men' s height; however, they may perhaps pay him a visit ere long. The good news relative to General Schuyler came as a reviving cordial after the other; nothing has yet happened more important, in my opinion, than this event, if completed, as I hope it is before now. Pray


present my affectionate compliments to your worthy brethren and the ladies.

I am, with great regard, your affectionate and obedient servant,


To Richard Henry Lee, Esq˙, of Virginia, now at Philadelphia.