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Letter from Edmund Pendleton to Richard Henry Lee



Caroline, April 8, 1776.

DEAR SIR: On Friday last General Lee arrived safe in Williamsburgh, in a very rainy day, and much fatigued. We consider him as a valuable acquisition, and esteem it a favour in Congress to spare him to this department, where most people here think the gentry who found Boston too hot for them, will come, and be joined by the much-talked-of powerful force from Europe. However, I am not of that opinion, and think they either mean a descent upon some other part of New-England they like better, or, perhaps, by dividing our Army, may purpose to return to Boston with greater advantage, or else to go to Halifax, and wait for the season to go up to Quebeck. General Lee thinks if they come here, they will certainly make Williamsburgh their object; and on that supposition he is going to intrench it. I hear, since I came away, he has ordered all the battalions from their stations to that place, which has made the people in town very happy, but I fear will be very alarming to other parts, particularly the Northern Neck, who were before uneasy on the appearance of tenders in Potomack and Rappahannock.

It was mentioned in Committee before I came away, it would be proper to request our Delegates to transmit all publick proceedings of Congress, to be laid before the Convention at their meeting. They will probably have written on the subject, but I mention it lest they should from hurry overlook it.

I have seen your resolves about reprisals. Is it considered as a law we are now to execute, by granting commissions? or must we wait for a confirmation by our Convention? Elections are coming on. It seems Colonel Francis and Mr˙ Carter are left out, by the bulk of the freeholders being absent, and not expecting a contest.

I am, dear sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To Richard Henry Lee, Esq˙, at Philadelphia.