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Pictures and Illustrations

Mrs. Catherine Webb (née Hogeboom.)

Letter to Brigadier-General Webb

Letter from John Henry

Letter to George Washington

Letter to George Washington

W. Sargent

John Webb

Letter from John Webb

Joseph Barrell

Sarah Barrell

Letter from Major General Putnam


Editor's Note.

THE student of the history of the American Revolution is apt to find more valuable material in the correspondence and journals of the subordinate officers than in those of the leading actors in that contest. There is a stronger element of personality which lends interest to the often homely records. The winning or losing of a battle, the plan of a campaign, or an appeal to the civil power, are momentous matters; but the record of camp life, the privations and enjoyments of the officers and privates, and the simple routine of army discipline, in and out of a campaign, are of high interest, and give a local color needed to complete the picture. For this reason Dr. W. Seward Webb thought the papers of his grandfather of sufficient value to warrant their publication, and I do not think his opinion was a mistaken one. The record speaks for itself. Without being a great man, General Webb went through the war without once shirking his duty, or failing in what could be expected of him. That he did not do more is easily explained by the circumstances of his capture and long detention as a prisoner of war. He might have done much less than he did, and have won applause. As it was, he sacrificed his fortune, his health and the best years of his life to the patriot cause; and it is fit that some recognition of his service be


made, and in a permanent form. These volumes form such a recognition.

In making acknowledgment for the many courtesies extended to him, the Editor is most indebted to Dr. WM. SEWARD WEBB, to whose initiative and public spirit this publication is due. Not only did he place at my disposal the valuable MSS. in his possession, but he assisted me in securing access to other collections and records, public and private. He has also advised and directed in the matter of illustration, giving a result that few private memorials can equal in richness and rarity.

I am also under obligation to General ALEXANDER S. WEBB, HENRY WALTER WEBB, and GEORGE CREIGHTON WEBB, for materials supplied to me. Mr. W. R. WEBB, of Washington, generously offered me every assistance in tracing the papers of Captain John Webb, but little success attended the search. Mrs. JANE WEBB LAIDLEY, in whose possession are many Webb MSS. kindly permitted me to take copies of what I needed, and gave other aid in many ways.

Miss MARY BARRELL and Mr. CHARLES BARRELL supplied many letters from Joseph Barrell and Silas Deane to Samuel B. Webb and his sister. These letters were supplemented by others in the keeping of Mr. CHARLES C. BARRELL, of York, Me. Mr. H. F. BARRELL, of New Providence, N. J., gave me the fine portrait of Joseph Barrell, by Copley. To Mrs. JOHN W. CHESTER I am indebted for the portrait of Mrs. Samuel B. Webb.

The private collections of Dr. THOMAS ADDIS EMMET, of New York, the late Dr. JOHN S. H. FOGG, of Boston,


and JOHN F. MORRIS, of Hartford, were freely placed at my disposition, and drawn upon as shown in the text. Portraits, which have never before been engraved, were kindly furnished by the late Hon. JOHN JAY, by Mrs. C. H. ADAMS, Miss ISABELLA A. FURMAN, Miss SARAH HUNTINGTON PERKINS, and JONATHAN TRUMBULL.

From the Historical Societies of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts was obtained some valuable material; and the courteous custodian of the Sparks' collections in Harvard University, Mr. JUSTIN WINSOR, gave me access to them. The rich stores of historical manuscripts in the Department of State, Washington, have been examined and liberal extracts used. It is a pleasure to record so generous responses to my questions and searches.



The Correspondance of Samuel Blachley Webb.


NEWBURGH, Jany. 5 1783


Sergeant [Nathan] Parker of the late 5th Connecticut regiment, has brought me the inclosed list of New Levies employed at present in cutting wood. The incorporation of your regiment having taken place since these men were drafted, leaves it uncertain to which regts. they respectively belong. This renders it impracticable to draw provisions for them; the new regulations requiring that the regiments & companies, to which soldiers employed in my department belong, should be named in the provision returns. — I have therefore to request you to inform of the regiments and companies to which the new levies named in the inclosed list are assigned. Your examination would be facilitated did it appear to what regts. they originally belonged: but this the sergeant could not determine — You will much oblige me by an early answer.

I am Sir Yr. most obedt. Servant




GARRISON, WEST POINT 16 January, 1783.


I have attended at the Q. M. Genls. Office upon your business, & have been able to settle but a small part of it: — The Rations of Forage due for the present month I have got in a Bank Note; the certificates of 102 Dollars they can do nothing with at present, as they are improperly given, not specifying the Year the Forage was due; the only way they can be rectified is by procuring the Vouchers the Certificates were given upon, which at present are in Colo. Lutterloh's possession, they expect soon to have all those Accts. in the Q. M. Genls. Office, & be able to distinguish what part of the certificates were given for 1782, for which year they pay the Forage Rations in Bank Notes, for the Years prior to 1782 they will pay nothing but the Specie Certificates. Capt. Webb's Forage Acct also they could not settle, it being necessary in Order for Officers of the L. Dragoons to obtain pay for Forage Rations, that they Certify on Honor they actually kept the No. of Horses the time charged for, and drew no Forage whatever of the Public.

Your Acct., Colo., of Forage must be made out separate for the Year 1782, & your Certificate upon it that you drew no Forage of the Public whatever, for the time charg'd; they require also the Forage Master's Certificate of the Forage receiv'd.

It will be necessary to inclose an Order upon the Q. M. Genl. to pay the Ballance due on settlement of your Accts. to the Person you wish to receive it.

I am, Sir, Your very Obdt. & Humble Servt.



WEST POINT, Feby. 26th, 1783.


I received yours of the 5th instant, shall always endeavour to comply with your directions respecting the Regt., but must confess I could have wished you had been of a different mind about cutting the men's coats short, altho I agree with you that a long coat has a


much more Soldier like appearance than a short one, but uniformity in dress is so essentially necessary to the appearance of Troops that I cant but think they would have a better appearance if they were all short, than part long & part short as is now the case, occasioned by having a number of men from the old 4th Regt incorporated with the 3d.. Several Officers of the Regt. have requested me to give an order to have them cut, but it is a matter which I did not chuse to proceed in especially since you have signified your sentiments to the contrary.

One Day last week Colo. [Francis] Barber of the N. Jersey Line was killed by the falling of a Tree, he is severely lamented by all his acquaintances. There is one month's pay arrived for the Officers in Morris's Notes; the Non Commissd and privates are to receive half a Dollar pr. week in hard money until they have received a months pay.

We have had a great deal of very severe weather but I purpose to have a Stable compleated before the 1st of April. I wou'd wish to hear from you as soon as is convenient, and believe me to be with Sentiments of esteem

Your very Humble Sert.



WEST POINT, Feby. 28th, 1783.


I received yours by Ward Cotton and have by your directions accepted his Brother in his place. My opinion of Sergt. [Strong] Sanford is the same with yours he is a young fellow of Steadiness and attention. I should have no reason to offer against his being appointed Sergt. major if [Edward] Miller was out of the way, or if they were both on a level I should make no hesitation about the matter; but as the case now is, Miller was a Sergt. Majr. in the old 4th a long time, in the third he has been mustered and does duty as such, I would ask whether it is proper to appoint Sanford without


reducing Miller. I wish sincerely that Sanford would be appointed, but will it not be thought a little hard to reduce Miller without giving a reason. I shall wait for further Directions.

I send you enclosed an extract from the Genl. orders of the 24th instant, by which we may learn that our poor Lads are to have no more new Coats. I wish you would write me as soon as possible for the other Regts. are now moddelling & shortening their Coats. I am affraid we shall be a little behind hand.

Capt. Hopkins is desirous of having the Light Infantry Company (I suppose he has mentioned the matter to you) he would be glad to take charge of them immediately.

That you may form something of a Judgment of our prospects of present pay, half pay, or future emoluments of any kind for our services, I send you inclosed a Copy of the report of our Committee at Philadelphia. Colo Brooks thinks our prospects are very slender indeed. I think with you that every honest good Citizen are our Friends, but the honest and good compose but a very small part of the world at this Day. The Bearer is waiting.

I am with sincerity Your very Humble Sert



LITCHFIELD March 10th 1783


Before this time I presume you must have head that Capt Webb is in Arrest on sundry Charges exhibited by the Officers of the Regiment. At his own Request, Col Sheldon assembled the Officers of the Regiment together last Tuesday, when it was proposed to reinstate and restore the Delinquent, but not an officer would consent, & with difficulty they were persuaded to have his Arrest withdrawn on any Consideration whatever. I am not at Liberty to tell you what was decreed by the officers, but this much I would inform you that he is obliged to leave the Regt. & in a little time I will inform you on what Terms. I am extremely sorry for Col. Webb, who appears exceedingly affected, as well as for the Family.


We have no further accounts from N. York respecting a Peace, but all People in that Qr. believe the Period is nigh at hand

Adieu, my Dr. Sir,
& be assured that I am,
most sincerely Yours,

P. S. Dont forget the Gay head Colouring, to forward the Same to Litchfd. by the first Conveyance.


WEST POINT, March 16th, 1783


It is now almost a month since I have been honored with a Line from you. I am anxious to fix some uniform to which we may alter the Coats of the Regt. as it is done in every Regt. in the army except yours. As I have wrote to you before on the subject, I must apologize for troubling you again, & assure you that my repeating it proceeds from a desire of having the Regt. appear reputable.

Inclosed I send you a copy of an Anonymous paper which has been circulated in the army, with the Gen'l Orders in consequence of it, also some resolutions of Congress of the 25th of Jany. last.

Yesterday, according to orders, there was a meeting of the officers. The Commander-in-Chief came among us, and made a most


excellent address; he appeared sensibly agitated; as the writer advises to "suspect the man who should advise to more moderation & longer forbearance." This expression, together with a 2d anonymous paper, which I have not seen, gave reason to suppose that it was a plan laid against his Excellency, as every one who knows him must be sensible that he would recommend moderation. The General having finished his address, retired. Gen'l Gates took the chair; the Business of the Day was conducted with Order, Moderation & Decency. I will send you a copy of the proceedings if I can possibly obtain it, the first opportunity.

In one of your letters you tax me with negligence in writing. I believe you begin to think I am reforming, but if anything I can write, whether it be my own production, or that of others, should merit so much of your attention as will produce a line from you when leisure and opportunity permits, I shall think myself amply rewarded. I am, Dear Colonel, yours sincerely




NEW YORK, 16 March, 1783.


I cannot consistent with my feelings let pass this Opportunity, without testifying the Respect I bear you — It has been a Cause of great Anxiety to our Family, that we have been so long deprived of the Fruits of a Free Communication, but have at length a Prospect of our Grievances being speedily terminated by a Return of Peace, with every concomitant Blessing that is to be derived from its Influence. The Calamities usually attending a State of Warfare have been borne by almost every Citizen within the States, either in a greater or less degree; but when to these are added the piercing Sorrows that arise from the Loss of our dearest Connections in Life, the Burden becomes inexpressibly grievous, and can not be conceived but by those whose Lot it has been to experience its Pangs — Believe me, Dear Aunt, we sympathise with you in your Distress; and Sincerely hope, that as it has pleased the Almighty, in his wise dispensations to visit you with his afflicting hand, he may indue you with that Degree of Fortitude and Resignation as to hold you up from sinking under it's almighty Pressure — We trust the Day is not far distant when we shall be reunited in the Bands of Friendship & Affection, and shall meet to part no more, untill we quit the Stage of Mortality.

I have but just returned from a Jaunt to Morristown & Philada. — Our Friends within those Boundaries are extremely well, in Regard to Health, tho' some I found in very indigent Circumstances — Christr. can scarce procure his Family their daily Bread, He is very Necessitous. His Children without Shoes or Stockings and not a Change of Raiment to put on them — Polly is safely delivered of a Son, which is like to do well — Herself was very low occasioned by a Fall, which was near being fatal to her, tho' am happy to advise you, that she is on the Recovery —

My Father & Mother I left well on Friday. They enjoy much Peace & Tranquility comparatively with what they did when you were there — Those unruly Domesticks who at that Time endangered our Safety, are removed to Such a Distance, as to free us from any dismal Apprehensions in future — Last Summer, they had formed a Conspiracy against our Lives, of which I made a Discovery, on the


Eve of it's being put into Execution, which induced me to take Such Measures as to prevent it's Consequences — The Stratagem Succeeded; for before they had the least knowledge of my intentions, they found themselves secured on board a Vessel of War, in which they took their Departure to the West Indies.

Mr. Justus B. Smith, who has been pleased to offer himself as a Bearer of this Letter, will Deliver this to you; to him I refer you for any Information you may desire respecting the present Situation of Affairs in this Quarter.

It would be a Gratification to us while so unhappy. Separated, to hear frequently from those we esteem, consistent with that principle, I beg Leave to Assure you, that an answer to this Scrawl will be deemed a peculiar favor; which shall prompt our future exertions to oblige —

Accept our best Love & fondest Wishes for your Preservation. Please make my Respects Acceptable to Col. S. B. Webb, Miss Webb, & Miss Duyckinck — I am, Dear Aunt, with invariable Attachment --

Your Affect. Nephew



WEST POINT, March 29th 1783.


The Day after I wrote my last I saw Genl. Huntington and asked him about sending his waggon for your Baggage, he thinks he cannot spare his horses, I thought I would give you the information that you might make provision some other way. We have not yet got Official accounts from our minister in France of the settlement of Peace, but we have it from Cadiz by a servant of the Marquis La Fayette whom he sent to the French minister in Philadelphia with the articles agreed on between all the belligerent Powers.

The price in the contractors store of Spirits is 12/com: Rum 10/ Port wine 9/Loaf sugar 2/3 white Do 1/4 Hyson Tea 30/0 Bohea 10/6.

I am sir with esteem,
Your very Humbl. servt.



LONDON, April 1st, 1783.


I wrote you some Weeks since by the Way of Paris, and as the Letter was sent on under cover by Dr. Franklin, I have no doubt of its coming to your Hands, and refer you to its Contents. I have since that Time been detained by illness at Ghent or should have been able to write you earlier from this place, where I arrived but Two Day's since, and but this Morning was informed by Mr. Hopkins of his intention of Sailing on Sunday next, which, in the unsettled State I still am, prevents my being so particular, as I could wish. I intended to have come over to England immediately on the Signing the Preliminaries of Peace between America and Gr Brittain, but I found that it would give some Jealousy to the Commrs. at Paris and therefore I sacrificed my Wishes & Interest, to their Apprehensions; at length they had no Objection and I quitted Flanders. I have been here for so short a space, that I have almost literally seen nobody, nor come to any resolution, as to my future proceedings; Americans are flocking from all Quarters of Europe to London, as to a Center, and I fear that you will have more Goods in a short Time than you will be able to make remittances for. Mr. Hopkins tells Me, that he has Goods for you; if you send for more, you may do as well, to advise Me of it; as I presume that I can put you into as Good hands as he is capable of doing. I shall remain here no longer than to settle if practicable an old Affair, and to send out my Son, who is now ill in the Country of a Swelling in his Neck, the return, I fear, of that disorder which afflicted him in his Infancy; this is indeed a gloomy reflection, to think that the Son may be as unfortunate in his Health, as the Father in his Fortunes; but I submit & I flatter myself with some degree of Philosophic fortitude To Ills which I can neither prevent, or avoid.

Peace I hope will as effectually set all things right in Our Country, as it has thrown everything into Confusion in this. The Ministers who made the Peace have been found to take their places. The Great Parties which are Three, divide the Nation between them, and render the King a meer Cypher whilst they inveterate to each other, & no one of them, so powerful, as to bear down the other Two, throw every thing into Confusion, by their Contests for power. This is the


political State of this Country, which from the factions of an overbearing Aristocracy, is in danger of some Violent revolution, in favor either of democracy or Monarchy. As soon as I shall have settled the Affairs which more immediately brought Me Over and sent off my Son & Mr. Sebor for America, I shall return to Paris, where I have some hopes of settling my old Affairs in some shape, though not without great Loss; I shall write You again, in a few Days, by a Ship bound for Boston, and may by that time be able to be explicit on several Subjects which I cannot enter on at Present. make my Compliments to the few, who remember Me so far, as to inquire after Me. To Our Sister in particular, and as you will now have many & frequent Opportunities of writing, pray omit none of them; direct your Letters to London under cover to Mr. Fred Wm. Geyer Mercht. London. I cannot take it kind of you to remit Money to another to lay out for you whilst I was in Europe, this is not Treating Me as I have treated you from your youth to this Time, but I am become accustomed to hard Things, yet cannot be insensible under them especially from a Brother; I hope you will not loose by Your Adventure but think it hardly possible that you should gain much by it. if my Advice is of any weight with Our great Men in Connecticut, let them Liquidate, and apportion the public Debt, without Loss of Time, and let each State take its proportion, and manage its own Revenues, the great Object with Congress is to make a Common Purse or Treasury to be supplied by imposts, Duties, &c laid by themselves, and collected & disposed of by Officer of their Appointing independant of the several Legislatures, but if Our Assembly are Wise and mean to be in fact Independt. they will never Submit to a System which will prove as fatal in its Consequences, as that which We have happily opposed; No let each State guard well the Strings of its own Purse, and admit no Officers of Excise, or any Order of Men into it, but what shall be of their own Appointment, & under their Control. Immense Quantities of Goods especially of the Linnen kind are Shipped & shipping for America, and I shall not be surprized to hear that many Articles are below first cost in America. You will therefore do well to be cautioned how You Venture too generally and too deeply. As I have several Letters to write by this Vessel, shall write again in a few Days I bid you Adieu for the present & am
Dr. Brother Yours &c



if you write to France, address to the Care of Docr. Franklin or of Mr. Grand Banker.


WETHERSFIELD, 3d. April, 1783 —


The news of an approaching Peace since I had the Honor of waiting on your Excellency the last week, induces me most earnestly to solicit your permission for Mrs. Bancker to proceed to New York by the shortest rout, I am confident Genll. Washington would have no objection, nor is it probable but your Council would consent were they convened, they haveing once granted her Permission to go in, which was never made use of — oweing to the illness of her Daughter, — the Debts due the Estate of the late Richard Bancker, and which has fallen to me by a conveyance from his daughter, are principaly in the hands of those kind of people now in New York, who will leave it whenever that City is evacuated by the British, — besides there is several Houses and ground Lots which have been made use of by the British Kings staff Officers and which Mrs. Bancker has had assurances she shall receive the Rent for, — I mention these circumstances to shew your Excellency the necessity of Mrs. Banckers being in Town without loss of time, — the Journey Via Dobb's ferry would be extreamely tedious to her in her present weak state of Health, — praying your Excellency to gratify me in my request


I have the honor to be with sincere Friendship & Esteem Your Excellys.,

Most Obed Servt.


WEST POINT, 3 April, 1783.


There is a man just setting off for Wethersfield — General Knox being obliged to go up the river this morning desired me to present his compliments and request the favor of you to send him by the bearer a few garden seeds, if you can spare them without inconvenience. We are pretty well supplied except in the articles of carots colliflower and early peas, of which last we can obtain none within a compass of thirty miles — of course a few will be very acceptable —

The tidings of Peace have no doubt sounded in your ears. The official dispatches are not yet arrived — we are expecting them with the utmost impatience, in order that we may have one good frolic and disperse. What will become of many of our military friends?



WETHERSFIELD, Saturday, 9th May 1783.


I Return'd last Evening from York — after a most fatigueing Journy — the most so of any Journy I ever undertook in my Life — after I left you we found the Ladies much affraid of the Sailors not understanding their Business. we crossed the River, went to Visit Mrs. Huntington's Sister — spent a half hour set out for Colo. Smiths Quarters — He was vastly polite, Attentive & genteel — Next morning we set off hoisted Sails — had not gone far before the Ladies were most thoroughly frightened. Then we was Obliged to row all the


way to York — got there about 3 oClock on Monday — Din'd at Mrs. Moor's, gave the Sergt. a dollar to treat the Lads. I suppose it was enough (by the bye I paid the Entertainment At Smith's Quarters). Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday I was quite laid up with a Cold — my Eyes extremely painful — indeed the whole Time I was in York I was far from well — treated with the utmost politeness — to be short last Monday I was quite ill, I waited on Mrs. B------ monday Evening, told her I shou'd go out the first Oppt. that offer'd. I promised to see her first — but on Tuesday Morng. I got up quite ill went down to see if the Boat was ready, unexpectedly she was going to push off & wou'd not wait for me to take leave of Mrs. B------ indeed I did not think she was up — what will Mrs. B------ think of me; it gives me pain & anxiety tho I cou'd not avoid it, it was the only Oppt. comeing this way, & they wou'd not wait —

I know not but a Judgment followed, for that day I got but Six Miles, how I did wish to be back to see Mrs. B------ it lies with waits on my mind — but you will likely see the Dear Lady before I shall; make a thousand Apologies for me. I was so situated it cou'd not be avoided — the 2d day I got no farther than Lloyds Bay, the 3d day which was on thursday our Election Day cou'd not get even on board the Vessel but was a shore with a Number of Tories — mortified & Chagrind that I was not at hone, but all in vain our prospects dull & gloomy, appearances were for many day disagreeable weather — My Eye extremely bad — altogether My feelings were bad enough — but on Fryday Morng unexpectedly the wind fair, by Ten oClock landed at Millford point, walked thro: the woods to West Haven, then got a Horse to go to New Haven, from New Haven Chauncey got me a fine Horse which carried me home by 1/2 after Nine oClock — So that I made Dispatch the last Day — found Everybody Except Mrs. W------ at Wright's at a grand Ball (I did not go) — I have much to Say, but am too unwell, you must take the will for the Deed — I inclose you the Two Bills for the Salmon. You will see them settled & Write me when Recd. — Richard goes away heavey Hearted on Acct. of Monies — its not in my power at present to help you (I will do all in my power to aid & Assist you) — Broome never left a shilling but is gone on to Boston — His conduct surprises me, has disappointed me beyond measure — Mrs. B------ Expects to see you if it may be agreeable & Convenient. I know not when she


thinks of coming home but you must plan & we will Endeavor to Execute. Do not fail of setting my affair right with Mrs. B------. Do send Jack Chester the doings of York State for the Army. Is General Clinton liberal in His Sentiments about Jauncy, Sherbrook & the Loyalists in general — I find the British here pleased to find so much liberality amongst our Officers — do write me the particulars of the meeting of the Two Commanders, who was there, &c, &c — all the News of the Day — Walker has this moment told me Jack is under arrest. I feel anxious & disagreeable on his Acct. Write me fully on Every Subject.

Yrs Affectionately


I find Mrs. W--- wishes much to see your days of [ ]. I fear it will be sooner than I can leave home. When will it be — do you wish me to fetch Mrs. B--- or how shall we contrive. I am happy to send you the News that Governor Trumbull is our Governor — put in by the Assembly 96 agt. 22 — the assistants as usual. You may tell Genl H[untington] of this — tell Capt Lillee I did not forget him but I was hardly out of doors while in York, & never bo't a farthing for any body Except a pair Gloves and a Hatt for myself & to be honest I lost his Memo. (I hope the worthy Man will forgive me) — The five Years Pay is a Subject of much conversation — I believe the common Soldiers are some of them busy & say if Officers are allow'd five years, why shoud not soldiers be allow'd — I am amazed at the Cursed Spirit of levelism — for its plain the Common Soldier is better than the generous Officer — for the Soldier had not to buy his Clothes, &c, &c — its worth your while to send me all that will help the affair — do be particular in Writing me all the New's —


WETHERSFIELD, 16th May, 1783.


I am quite anxious about our Brother Capt. Webb do not let us Neglect anything we can do — you & I must aid & Assist him being more acquainted with Mankind — more acquainted with Court-Martials — its of consequence to get plenty of Evidences — you may depend they will leave no Stone unturn'd to push him hard — they


will push even where we may not think — do keep a look out I am extremely anxious — I know Tallmadge has much low cunning. He is persevering, He is cool — He is guarded — He has too much influence — he is thought too much of — can I be of Service in collecting Evidences at Horsneck, Stamford, Norwalk — what can be done. I fear he will not be prepar'd — do send me on the Copy of his Arrest — Where is Jack — I have not heard a word from Him since I parted with you — I hear he is confined to the Town of Ridgefield. Sheldon & Hoglen I believe have said what they dare agt. your taking up the affair — Hoglen has said to a number you did give your honor Jack should resign the first of May — Hoglen, Seymor was at Hartford this Election, have been free in their Chit Chat yet guarded — they have been collecting what they could agt. Jack (they say He has talk't & Wrote freely agst. Sheldon since His acknowledgment to Sheldon — that He is unsteady & they know not where to find him — (I believe Tallmage acts cautiously on acct. of Wadsworth's Letter perhaps) Colo Jemmeson [Jameson] told B. Deane He was Sorry for the affair — had He been at Camp He wou'd Endeavor'd to have had it settled — Jemmeson never Call'd upon me going or comeing — you must be guarded agst. the Combination on Every point take Care to out Manoeuver them — I shall rejoice to beat them. they have behaved extremely ill — Heaven grant they may finely be of Service to our good Brother Jack, to make him more Guarded — He has a noble, frank, open, generous way — He is a clever fellow, but like all of us he has his faults — but I believe as few as any young fellow, — I find Benedict his Staunch friend — so I do Colo. St. John — does He wish me to get St. John's Evidence — Benedic is anxious that Jack will fail for want of attention to collect proper Evidences & preparation. — When is it likely He will have his trial? — Where is Jack now? what is the reason he does not write? I think He ought to get Colo. Meigs' Evidence of his being an attentive good officer — I have been told Governor Clinton was knowing to his being an Officer a vigilant one agst. the Cow thieves — the illicit Trader's &c, & has spoken highly of Him — I can only say I feel anxious to have Him not fail for Every attention that can be given & in Season — think all round you — think of Colo Moyaland [Moylan] — & Everything you think will [be] of advantage to Him — I think it would be well for you & me to attend the Court martial tho' the Multiplicity of my


Business makes me shuder at the thoughts of leaving home — let me have as much notice of your grand Celebration of the Peace as Possible — is Governor Clinton like to be new elected? Write me fully all the New's you can I am anxious to hear about Mrs. Bancker — not a word have I heard from her since I left her — How does she expect to get home & when — do you intend to go, or do you wish me to go if it is possible? — your Horses are already in good Order — Willm. is faithful — & they have nothing to do — your Little Mare is in a wretched Situation, She will not recover at best only for a brood Mare — do write me where Morriss's fine Covering Horse is kept I wish to know soon & his Name & terms — & what you think of the Horse, or what Horse do you prefer to him — you'll find my Letter full of Questions — do take some leisure time & minutely answer all as they may be of consequence to me — who has the Care of Camp Hides — what will they contract for — will it not be worth my while to think of it as they can come by Water to my door. will it do for a party to come by Water to your grand Celebration — if we should come we shou'd have full time, so as not to be disappointed at getting there — I forgot to mention that Colo Wm Smith was very genteel & friendly to us at his House — have you seen him since I wish you wou'd tell him I am much Obliged to Him for His Attentions.

I am with Compliments to General Huntington — Knox & all the Circle — your Affectionate Br.



NEW YORK, May 18th, 1783.

I am now set down to write you, though I know of no Oppertunity to send it; Colo. [William S.] Smith has bin in Town some time I have not sean him yet, proble he may be able to forward this. I mean to send to him your two letters, the one forwarded by Mrs. Huntington the Other by Majr. Doughty Cam safe to hand, in the latter you Express a desire to sea me before I leave Town I am Eaquilly ansious to sea you, but do not know what to advise you. You mentioned asking mr. Shearbrook to meeting you with me at Dobs Ferry, he has not calld. on me, though every day Passes the dore, on my one account, from the littel acquaintence, I had know


rite to Expect it; but on yours I think I had. I have not sent him the letter you wrote him as you had Requested him to assist me in indeavering to git the Rents of the Houses, had he a Called as he did, when I was last in town, I should have gave it him, though I don't know if it would have bin in his power to have assisted me. In my Opinyon their is a strange inconsistency in affairs hear, although some people houses hear air Emty, they Cannot git them; ours is Occupied by four retches & some Trupes, they look durty and out of Repair, do not as bad as I Expected to find them. The lot & Dock at the North End of the Town is in Govermen use, they have Repaird & kept the dock in good order — the lot they use as a hay yard would they a low me a Dockage, as they in Justis ourth, it would a mount to sumthing Very Considerable, a nother lot they have in a wood yard, you may Remember to have heard me speake of two lotts we have in the upper end of Quen street, I was agreablely surprised their, they have maid great inproufment in it, one of our lotts is built on, & I am told the house lets for Ł90. I think it best to take no notice of that, as they may take the bilding of befor the Britches [British] leave the Town, I believe the man that has bilt on it, has got a leace of the Vestery, you had best say nothing about it, all I hope will Cum righ bineby, Doct. Baly has & is yet indeavering to git me posesion of the Estate, do not know weathe we shal sucksead or not, he advises me to ask it by memorial of the Commander in Cheif. Major Upham thinks it the most likely to obtain it that way. I most sincearly wish it was determened that I might git out of Town, I am hartly tired, when the Britches mean to Leave it, God only knows, if we may judge from the Common Conversation of the Town, it will not be in many monts. I dont think I shall be able to git a house it is so uncertain to ingage one at a high Rent that I do not know what to do. I wish I could have an our to two Conversation with you with out the Trouble of going to Dobs Ferry, and to ask you to Cum hear without bissoness of the Army, you must be the best Judge, of the propiety of it, if you write me let me know weather you have heard of Polly. I have not heard a word from home since I left it. I fear she will think hard of my Stay, but I wish if possable to do sumthing, I wish if you should not Cum that you would advise me witch way I shall git home, to go from hear by water a lone will be very dissagreable & by land


fatiging & Expensif. I have sean Mr. Abraham Ogden he has promest me to see into the affair in his hands & let me know, he ses the Jentel man did not Call for the letter in answer to the one you wrote him. I dined at Mr Isac Ogden yesterday, he asked Very friendly after you, said he would be glad to sea you, several others have Expresed a wish to sea you.

May 22.

Sience writing the above Richard handed me your letter, in witch you give me hopes of seaing you hear, when I Can be more partickular then I Can in a letter. the affair with J. J. is yet to be sined by you. the Bond giveing is in my name & yours, he behaved Very well, I have got the old Bond of him he told me he seposed I should be able to pay it in a year or two, I have no asshurance yet that I Can have the Houses. som urged me to press it, others think I shall not git them tel they leave the Town, if you should Change your mind as to Cumin in do let me know as soon as you Can. all the world seams Colected hear not mutch difficalty to git in or out the Town, Capt. Bonyon aRived from London yesterday, they air all in Confution their, the definittive Trety not sined yet, the Packit had lain three weeks Read to sail waiting for dispatches & nobody to Give them. I hope we may not be trown in a new sean of Confution, by their new minestry when they Git them, Brother Evert Bancker's son Abraham is Cum to Town. he Caled to sea me as soon as he arived. was Very friendly asshured me of his Regard & hoped their Conduct should always be sutch as to mirrit your and my Regard. Spak very well of you said nothing a bout the Estate, nor gave me rome to say anything about it, he is now gon to Statin Island to sea his Unkel & will be hear again, if you should not like the white in you Cockhaid you have a bit put in as you youst to wear it the black is as the Britches offercers wear them the handkerchifs [illegible] maid air all the fassion, but what will you do with only two, the Buckels it is hardly Possable to tel what is the fassion, if they do not sute you they Can be Changed. the offesers air a most allways in Boots. seldom or neaver wear their under Close alike, white Vest & Nankean Britches, other Jentel man Black Britches. they know Paople out of the lines by their dress being all a like. as to the ladys their heds looks like a hen when her feather air


disturbed. so mutch for fashons & Every thing else tel I sea you & in the mean time believe me to be with asteeme and Regard your mother




To His Excellency Sir Guy Carleton, Knight of the most honorable Order of the Bath, & Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Forces in North America, &c, &c, &c.

Humbly Sheweth:

That Your Memorialist is a Widow & relict of Richard Banker deceased, who died in this City in the year of our Lord one thousand and seven hundred & seventy five.

That Your Memorialist remained in this City possessed as her Property of four several Dwelling houses, a Dock, a Lott of Ground in the Way Yard & one other Lott in St. James's street untill the month of July in the Year of our Lord 1776; That she then removed to New Jersey.

That Your Memorialist's said houses have been rented out by the Vestry in this City & still are rented by them & the rents paid to the City Treasurer.

That your Memorialist's said Dock has been in the possession & occupancy of the King's Troops, who have used the same since they took the possession of this City.

That the Lott of Ground in the Way Yard was formally rented for the use of his Majesty, and ten pounds a year was paid for it, That this Lott also has been possessed by his Majesty's Troops since taking the possession of this City, And that Your Memorialist's other sd. Lott in St. James's street has also been used by his Majesty's said Troops & still is for a Wood Yard.

That thereby your Memorialist has been deprived of the income of her Estate & of the Means of Support.

That your Memorialist chearfully Submits her case to Your Excellency's Generosity, and most humbly hopes as a widow that You will be pleased to grant her Prayer, that she may receive from the


Vestry the rents they have for her said Houses, & that she may have the possession of them restored to her, and also that she may receive rent for her said Dock and Lotts of Land, that have been possessed by his Majesty's sd. Troops, or that you will be pleased to grant such other relief as to Your Excellency shall seem meet — And she as in duty bound will Ever pray, &c.


Colonel Webb presents his Compliments to The Commodore and Captains of His Britannic Majesties Fleet, is much obliged by their polite Invitation to the Ball on the 4th Instant, would do himself the Honor to wait on them, but is under the necessity of returning to West Point on or before that day.

NEW YORK June 2d. 1783.


PHILADELPHIA, June 14, 1783.

An History Painter of Genius & Reputation in England, who has ever been warmly attached to the Cause of America is desirous to paint some of the principal brilliant Actions of our illustrious Commander in Chief. He intends his first performance shall be the Capture of the Hessians at Trenton. To render this piece the more valuable, he has written to request me, if it lays in my power, to procure him a slight sketch of the Country which was the Scene of Action. (This I am promised.)

2d ly — To inform him what is the Ground of the American Standard used at that time, What the figure on it and what the ground &c. of the hessian Colours?

3d ly — The dress of the Hessians taken at that place.

4th — He says, Please to procure for me an approved Sketch of Genl. Washington and the Officers attendant on him at that Action; the Colour of the Genls. Horse.

5. — Inform — whether there were ribbons wore by the Officers of that time, & what their Colours? —


Also such other particulars as any persons Judgment may deem necessary for such a piece; all which I shall be glad to receive as soon as possible; for I want to execute it without loss of time.

No. 4 I apprehend is the most difficult to obtain However I have undertaken to use my best Endeavours to furnish what he requires.

As you were one of the Generals Aids at the Time, I depend much on your Assistance on the present occasion. I take it for granted your Brother or some of the Family have your Portrait and that you can procure me a small sketch of it, either from that, or from the Life, done either with a pencil or in Water Colours, with the Colr. of your regimentals & facing &c.

I flatter myself Col. John Trumbull would readily take it for you on Application.

Can you furnish me with an Authentic History of that days transaction, or of any particulars suitable to the occasion? If so, I must beg it to be soon, as the Painter wishes to proceed in it without loss of Time.

If I had not every reason to believe that the Design will be well executed, I should not put you to any trouble with this request; but as it is, I ask with freedom, and doubt not to meet with your ready Compliance. Please to give Mrs. Morgan's & my best Compliments to your Brother & Sisters, & accept the same yourself — I remain Dr. Sir

Your most humble Servt.




WEST POINT, 26th June, 1783.

The hour of quiting the toils of War, and returning to the domestic Walk, among My fellow Citizens has at length Arrived, I have with care avoided the very painful Sensations which Must have been excited in My breast by taking a formal leave of your Excellency — I cannot however, retire without rendering to your Excellency My Most grateful thanks for your friendship and patronage during the War, particularly that period in which I had the honor of being numbered one of your family.

By the promotion your Excellency Was pleased to honor me with, I have reason to flatter Myself, My Conduct while in your family was acceptable.

A certificate from your Excellency of having been one of your Aids may hereafter be of service to me, Permit me to request it, and to assure your Excellency that I fervently pray the Supreme Governor of the World, may Make you and your Admirable Lady as happy in domestic life, as you have been glorious and successful in a public one.

With perfect esteem and unfeigned Affection, I bid Adieu and am your Excellency's Most obedient Most Huml. Servt.



HEAD QUARTERS, 4th July, 1783.


Agreeable to your request, I enclose to you a Certificate of your having acted in my family as one of my Aids D Camp.


I thank you for the friendly Expressions of Regard & Benevolence which you are pleased to use towards me & Mrs. Washington. May you be attended, in your future Walks of Life, with Health & every Happiness, is the sincere Wish of —

Dear Sir
Your most obedt. &c.

PHILA. 7 July, 1783.


Your Bill on Silas Deane in favor of J. Seagrove for Ł100 Sterling (& drawn above three years Since) is now returned Protested & as Mr. Seagrove is in Havana, you will much oblige me by taking up the Bill as Soon as Possible, the Customary damages of this place is 20 PCt & Cost of Protest & no Interest.

I am Respectfully Your Frd.


Please to let me hear from you by return of Post.


HIGHLANDS, 27th July, 1783.


The dishonorable Spirit which has appeared in your State against the just claims of the Army, has reached a precinct in ours, principally settled from your State. Some civil and military Characters of this State, who are attached to the honor and public faith of the Country, have determined to meet those Skin-flints, on whatever ground they may appear against the public Engagements. You have a Specimen of the Combat in Mr. Loudon's last paper of the 24th Instant.

Independent of the Interest I have in the Question, I own I am very Solicitous to have the public mind properly informed on the Engagements of the Country to the Army. I have been twice to Philadelphia to solicit Redress for it, and in both instances I have succeeded, so far as it was in the power of Congress to give it.


cannot therefore but feel anxious, that the object of so much painful attendance should be finally obtained.

From the present apparent temper of many of the States Eastward of this, they require all the means of Information and Argument we can give them. For these reasons I wish you to be watchful of all the papers publish'd in the other States in Favor of the Army, and to get them republished in yours. The Fishkill paper will not be idle for some time on that interesting subject. The paper of the 24th Instant will give you pleasure, and will claim your attention, as one of the papers is particularly calculated for the Farmers, and I think will have it's Effect in your State. If we fail in ultimately obtaining Justice, it will be our own faults, for certain I am, we have the sensible and honest part of America with us.

Will you be so obliging, as to send a Copy of this by some safe hand to General Parsons. Surely he will give his aid to the good work. I shall take arrangements to the Southward, and have written to our Printers to pay attention to what may appear in other papers, in favor of the Army.

I am Sir, Your humble servant,



BOSTON, 7th August, 1783.


I am happy in congratulating [you] on the Return of Peace, an event wch. I am sure will give you plesure; but shall I add (that I am vex't at the sordid disposition wch. many of our rulers have imbibed with respect to that Justice so manifestly due to those that have fought & bleed to obtain this event. However I have no doubt a better spirit will eventually reign, and, if 'tis only for shame, the wicked determinations of the present day will be avoided.

We are now expecting the Pleasure of a Visit, and shall be happy to see you on this express condition, that you do not entertain a thought of Hetty's returning with you. I am serious; if you come to fetch her you will not be received, (as I always have and always expect to receive you) with a Hearty welcome. She is very well, has recovered surprizeingly, and I now intend to keep her so, & will not part with her, but to a good Husband.


I have been exceedingly unhappy the last week, as my little Sally, (than wch. there is not a prettier slut living) was seized with Convulsion fits, and absolutely dispared of. This was Introductory to the horrid Meazles, wch. has Confin'd her ever since; but, thank Heaven, tho' she is very weak still, yet she is out of Danger & begins to tottle about. Next to that first Affliction, comes the loss of those dear little ones. We shall be exceedingly happy to see Mrs. Banker, Aunt Polly, or any you chuse to bring with you. Pray in your Ans, pr post let me know, when we may expect the pleasure. My Love to brother Jo & Sister Webb & brother Jack, any or all of them would give us pleasure by a Visit desire bro Jo to inform me if he received my Letter with the Agreement made with that Stupid Vilian Gearey, in order to explain the Ł48000

Our loves Attend you



MEDFORD, 13th September, 1783.


I feel disappointed that I have seen so little of you while in Town, and am sorry my Business urges my leaveing you so soon. — I already have recollected several subjects which I wish'd to have conversed with you on — they must be defer'd untill we again have the pleasure of seeing you.

I have concluded to get Five Rings made in memory of my once lovely Eliza, — one for myself — one for her Mother — one for a Sister — one for her Aunt ["Aunt Polly"] and the other for a female friend, [Mrs. Cary] who was intimate with her from Childhood to Death. I would add more but my finances must be consulted, none of them larger than yours, if you think it will answer, rather less — those for myself and Mrs. Bancker I wish to have as neat and good as


can be made for five or Six Guineas each, — the other three I should suppose might be made sufficiently elegant for three or four Guineas each. I am confident no person has a prettier fancy for designs of this kind than yourself, 'tis therefore I take the liberty to request you will the first leisure hour you have, form some proper designs and forward them to me by the first Post. Let them be different. So soon as this is done, I must solicit your further assistance in writeing to your Correspondent in England to have them executed in the neatest manner; for which purpose I will forward you some Hair. We have some old Gold which was given my Dear Eliza — such as lockets, Necklaces, &c &c — I should prefer its being made use of for the Rings to any other — they are very ancient and of no use, — if you think it will answer, I will forward it to you with the Hair. — Be so good as to let me hear from you on the subject by the first conveyance. — My Love attends your Circle — Mrs. Bancker wishes a friendly remembrance — Adieu and believe me

Your affectionate Brother


Mrs. Webb Died November 18th 1781. Aged 23 Years.


NEW YORK 14th October 1783.


I was much disappointed in not meeting you before you left America, the letter you mention to Mrs. Deane having wrote me in Jersey has not reached me. — You


know my situation perfectly — I am now clear of the Army and must seek for some Business that will be both honorable & profitable, on you my Dear Sir I much rely — to you I must look for that advice and assistance which you have taught me to hope for, — Mrs. Bancker says the last conversation she had with you, you desired me to keep myself unconnected with any one, and to move into New York immediately after the Evacuation of the City, in every particular your advice will be strictly attended to, — I have taken a House and shall move in so soon as the British leave this — which probably will be some time in November, and untill I hear from you I shall undertake no other Business than the settling of the late Mr. Bancker's Estate pray think of, and let me hear from you, if you see Mr. Deane remember me affectionately to him, did I know where he was I would write him, he always assured me he would assist me in proportion to his Circumstances after the War, — my future as well as past conduct in life must determine whether I am deserving your and his Friendship and assistance. Mrs. Wadsworth your little family and circle of friends were in Health last week, — Adieu & Believe me with sentiments of Esteem and Friendship Sincerely Yours &c.


The Packet for London Sails this morning, this will go in her, and a Duplicate directed for You in London.



LONDON, Octo. 31st, 1783.


I owe to You, as well as to myself, the following State of Affairs, in which We are both of Us interested. In 1761 I undertook the settlement of Your late Father's Estate, it was a critical period, he had given a most unlimited Credit, and to bad subjects. The Estate owed in New York, about Thirty Thousand pounds, and when the Creditors met & compared their demands they would have willingly compounded for Ten shillings on the pound, this induced them To give every facility in their power, for remittances, and by the sale of Vessels & Cargoes, & the Transfer of Notes the Debts were finally paid, and There remained Visibly a considerable Balance, I say Visibly for more than Two Thousand pounds was due from Chapin, an equal sum from Bingham, One Thousand from S. Nott & others who really never ought to have been credited to the Amount of Ten pounds. The old Securities were changed and taken in the Name of Your late Mother or in mine but this by no means lessened the responsibility of the Debtors. From my first entering into Your Family I appropriated nothing to myself. When I was forced to leave my Country, I left in your Brother's hands every paper, and every Security, that respected Your Family. In 1774 I made out an exact Inventory of everything in my hands, and brought all your Accts. into a State for closing, and when I left America the last Time I gave your Brother a power to Settle the Accts. of the Estate, and that it might be done in Equity, I proposed that the Genl. Assembly should appoint Auditors or referees with full power To do Justice to all parties; Your Brother has not made Use of this Power, for what reason I know not, yet I am told that he pretends that I am a Debtor to Your Family to a large Amount; I pray you to ask him to Shew you the Accounts made Out by Mr. Joyce under my direction. You will then be able to judge for yourself. Before I left America I saw with pain the extravagant course into which Your Brother was going, & I am sorry to learn that he has pursued it, it is a delicate subject but Necessity forces me to say, that I find him disposed to impute his ruin to me, and therefor I must urge you to examine for yourself into the state of his affairs so far as they respect you. Reflect for one Moment that I spent near Ten Years of the


prime of my Life, in the service of Your Family in settling the Accts. & in superintending Your Education; That I secreted nothing, that I left in Your Brother's hands everything of which I was possessed, That I did not bring away with me, One shilling of effects of any kind, how then can I be your Debtor? Mr. Alsop, Mr. Jauncey and others, can Witness to the fidelity, and Address, with which I settled your late Father's Accounts, but I know not how, Your Brother has labored to persuade himself & others, that you were entitled to an immense Fortune and he has lived up to the reality of it, though meerly Ideal. This has involved him in Difficulties and I am sorry to find him disposed, to attribute them to Me, rather than to their real Source. I have met with misfortunes enough from other Quarters without this cutting one of being deemed a Debtor, when I have bestowed Benefits. But I flatter myself that You will do me Justice, examine the Accoumpts, and do yourself Justice and I shall be satisfied, I am willing, I have for years past urged, That Auditors should be appointed, to Settle everything in Equity, why cannot it be done? if they find Me a Debtor, or Defaulter, I must Acct., but how unjust to charge Me, with being one, without the least proof, & when the means for ascertaining the Fact are in Your Brother's power. It gives me extreme pain to Trouble You on this subject, but I think You to be both honest, & brave, and therefore that you will take measures for doing Justice to Yourself, as well as to Me, You must excuse the incorrectness of this Letter for I am very weak and scarcely able to set in my Chair while I write, but am unwilling to miss this [rest is missing.]


Letter to Brigadier-General Webb

WEDNESDAY, 11 o'clock
[November 15, 1783.]

A number of Brigadier General Saml. B. Webb's particular and real Friends, present to him their respectful compliments, and inform him that they have possessed themselves of a large Packet addressed to him by his new Title, and which contains the Commission from Congress, to justify the Title, fav'd by Honorable Saml. Huntington. They would further inform the General, that if it should be agreeable to him, and he is disengaged, that a number


of his friends, (perhaps a dozen,) propose to wait on him this evening with the Packet, and with their Compliments of Congratulation on the happy event, and to testify jointly and severally, how much they rejoice in his promotion.

PARIS, December 16, 1783.


Your favor of the 14th of October came to me this Evening. I was unhappy that I could not meet with you before I left America, but such was the critical situation of my affairs in Europe that I had no alternative — come here I must — & here I happily arrived the 15 of September — I have been to London and shall return thear in Jany or early in february — my Idea of your keeping unconnected with any body which you inform me Mrs. Bancker tells you I communicated to her — was limitted to some particular persons who I confidentially named to her as I did not chuse to write on so delicate a subject — but I never had an Idea of your avoiding any other good connection which woud have been absurd in me without haveing some fixed object to propose to you — that of Consul to England was one I thought worthy your attention, and had I have been so fortunate as to have met you at Jersey I should have urged you to have pushed for it — but I do not see as matters have turned out that it wou'd have produced any thing important — for I can not learn that America is makeing any arrangements that will be productive of funds to execute the purposes of Government. I saw Mr. Deane at London; so far from being able to help his friends I fear he wants their help. I thank you for the intelligence from my family. I have never recd a line from Hartford but one from P. Colt since my arrival in Europe and I as much at a loss what is doing in America as what is doing in China. Whether N York will be evacuated this fall or not is rather doubtful here, the State of Markets, I am totally unacquainted with and every subject of France is as well informed as I am.

Be assured Webb of my Esteem & friendship and that I should be happy to assist you — but in what manner I can do it I do not at Present see — I have connections with so many people who have been


attached to me a long time that I am always embarrassed — but no business that they are doing, cou'd I take it from them, wou'd be proper for you — the profits wou'd be small and honor out of the question. If the appointments of consuls take place, that to London will doubtless be worth something besides the advantages in trade arising out of it — but its worth must be calculated from the ability or Willingness of the States to pay & not from a nominal Sallary — but on this subject ignorant as I am of everything that is doing in America I can say nothing with propriety — some public office in New York may possibly be profitable & honorable — but I suppose those are all eagerly sought after by others, & here as in other matters I am uninformed — If I was with you I should never loose any opportunity to serve you, but at this distance and totally ignorant as I am I really do not know I can serve you — I beg you will ask Mrs. Bancker respecting our conversation — as I well remember every word of it & am sure she will, as it affected me to give and I am sure it must her to receive advise pointed & particular as that was, & nothing but my friendship for you wou'd have made me venture on it — but whilst in N York I met with new reasons to give it; & ungratefull as the task was I shou'd have been to blame to have with held it — & have forfeited the title of friend. If you go to Hartford I pray you to call on my family. I have wrote by every opportunity. I have got my affairs here in train & cou'd I hear that my friends are well as I am it wou'd remove much of my anxiety.

I am dear sir with real esteem Your sincere friend & very Hum. Servt.



LONDON, 3d. April, 1784.


I have before me Your Three Letters of the 7th of October last, & of the 1st & 15th of Decemr. & hope that Our Future Correspondance will not be interrupted by a set of Rascals, who for more than Two Years past have laid their hands on almost all the Letters going from, or coming to Me, as lawful plunder; I say I hope, for I am as far from being certain of this, as I am that my Countrymen will enjoy that peace, and prosperity, which they have been promised under


Independence; in short I find my Name again taken up, and from being a poor, distressed, & even despised exile, I have influenced the Councils of this Nation, and directed the late Ministers in their Measures respecting Our Commerce. Every American in Europe professes to believe this fully, that I expect it will for a Time at least be received, & Credited without a question or the Shadow of a doubt in America, & hence my Correspondence may again be pryed into, & intercepted. But from what I have personally suffered, and more especially from the pain which I have given my Friends in this Way I shall be cautious in future, it would be to no purpose to authorize You, or any other Friend of mine, To contradict those reports, for though I sent You proofs of the falsity of those reports, strong as those from holy writ, or mathematical demonstration, it would avail nothing in the present Temper of the Times; it would only tend to do You a disservice by committing You on the Side of a most unpopular cause. The general belief among my Countrymen here, is, that but for the advice, & information which I gave, on my first arrival in this Country, We Should have been admitted by Treaty, & by Acts of Parliament To a Free Commerce with the British West Indies, and with every other part of the British Dominions on the same Terms, as before Our separation from, & Independence on this Nation. The French Ministers, who bear Me mortal hatred, are careful to assert this, to every American, in France, and the Bill brought in, by Mr. Pitt, during his former Administration, but which failed in the House of Commons, serves to confirm this opinion. it is therefore in vain for Me, to attempt to Contradict it, at present, To any, but to a few intimate Friends, & to Them whom it is neither my Interest, or wish to deceive, or mislead, I can with great sincerity affirm, that I am not, nor ever was any way connected, with the late, or with any other Ministers of this Country. the only interview which I ever had, with The late Ministers, was long after that Measure was taken, & the only reason for my asking for an interview, was to persuade them to adopt a different plan, & to lay Our Commerce open, with the West Indies at least for every thing, except the carrying of Sugar, from thence to Europe, this I am confident, would have been adopted, had it not been for the sudden,


& unexpected change of the Ministry. But Mr. Pitt is now premier, & a new parliament, will meet in May, in which he will have a Majority, and at present, The Ministers have power to open the Commerce. if they judge proper, it is given out that they will do it, a short Time will show, what their Measures will be, I do not depend on them. I have seen enough of Politics, before I came to this Country, and of the Temporizing, Time-serving disposition, of Men in power, or wishing to be in, to place no dependance, on anything, & what I have seen here, has helped to confirm My Opinion of the uncertainty, of everything of the kind. But I do not blame my Countrymen for their suspicions of Me, on this subject, they know that I am a Man greatly injured, that I have in effect been ungratefully proscribed, and driven from my Country, and they know that I am not devoid of Passion, & resentment, and the Conclusion which they draw, from thence is natural, and though in the present instance unjust, it would be To no purpose, to attempt To convince them of it at present.

I presume that this Letter, will find You in Virginia and if You have not already done it, I pray You to give Me what Your situation, & prospects are. I cannot long remain in my present Situation, but must attempt something, in this Country, or in America, I prefer The latter, if I can do it with safety, & a prospect of advantage. Shall I join You this Fall, in Virginia, with a Stray Assortment of Goods? if you advise it, & will give Orders, and the Invoice, I will try to do so. since my last Letters to you, I have made a Tour through all the manufacturing Towns, of this Kingdom, & have examined their late & new inventions, & Machines of various kind, of most of them, I have draughts, some of them would not fail of being immensely profitable in America, especially in Virginia. The Mills I formerly mentioned to You I have done nothing about, but they are by no means such as You were told of on Long Island which were built for Ł100. One of those I proposed could not be built for Ł500 in the best of Times or at most, for not much less; but I have since seen Mills, on a New, and different Construction and every way preferable, they are both Corn Mills, & Iron Works, rolling & Slitting Mills worked by a Steam Engine which carries them with an amazing degree of Force, and without any greater interruption or cessation than what You choose. The expence of one of these Engines


that is the first Cost is according to the size of the Engine, from 300 Ł, To 2000 Ł Stg. or even more for very large ones, but I have not been able to ascertain of what size one of them ought to be to carry a certain number of Saws, for there are no Saw Mills in this Country, sawing is all done by hand; I have also models of Mills for manufacturing of Tobacco into Snuffs, for cutting it for smoaking, for making it into Carrotts as the French call it &c, &c. If Peace & good Order are established in Virginia, & You resolve on finally settling in Virginia at Portsmouth I would wish to join You, & to try to do something, in some such way. as there are vast Quantities of good Timber near Portsmouth, I think Saw Mills on the plan which I formerly proposed by Wind, or by Steam Engine must be very profitable, as the first Cost of the Timber will be but trifling, and a ready Market for the Boards &c and the same respecting the Manufacture of Tobacco. besides the emolument To Us individually, nothing would be of more or greater service to the Country, than the introduction of some such Machine. Mr. Barclay the Consul has been with Me, examining my Accts., for some time, but his Instructions are so drawn up, that everything, any way doubtful, must be referred to Congress, hence I despair of ever living, to see a close of them, indeed a close was all I could hope for, since they have not at present, nor are like to have, any thing, for a long Time to come, to pay with. I must therefore Turn, to something for a subsistence, and I would seek it in America, in preference, if it can be done in peace, & quietness. with the Politics of my country, I can have no Temptation to meddle anew. But if anarchy, and Confusion, prevail, & every one, any way obnoxious, is to lye at the Mercy of the Mob, any other Country will be preferable To Me, & I think to You also. But of this, I pray you, to write Me at large, by the first Ship, and inclose Your Letter, To Mr. Fred. Wm. Geyer, Mercht. London. As this Government, will probably give great encouragement To The Trade of Canada, & of Novascotia, to their West Indies especially, and to the Distilleries, and Flour Business, & other Branches in Canada, particularly, could I command any Capital, or enter in any reputable concern, I would sooner try my Fortune there, than in New England under the present situation of Our Government, by this You will see how extremely undetermined I am, and how much I need Your information, & advice, on which I greatly rely. The


public papers will give you the political state of this Country, which for Four Months past, has been as distracted, as Ours can be, and We are now, in the height of Electioneering, and of course in riot, & party confusions, enough almost to make one say, that Liberty, may be bought Too dear, and that "whate'er is best administered, is best." as You are at such a distance, from Connecticut, it is needless to say anything, on my affairs there, farther, than that I have wrote To Mr. J. W[ebb] and proposed a general and summary close, of Our Affairs. I know him to be in unhappy Circumstances, as well as myself, but it is ungenerous in him, to blame me on that Account, he owes it all to himself, & to the extravagance of his Connections. I have directed this Letter, under cover to Col. Oswald at Philada. and hope that it may come safe To hand. with my best Wishes I am my Dear Brother Affectionately


BOSTON, 30 April, 1784.


I was favored with your Letter of 24th March, but by a Multiplicity of Affairs, which, as it happened I was at that time engaged in, I was prevented returning an Answer so speedily as you desired. For this Reason I afterwards thought an Answer might be of no Importance. Decency alone should, however, have induced me to have acknowledged the Favor. I hope you will excuse the Omission.

Some time in the Month of September last, a Gentleman in Connecticutt requested me to give him my Opinion of a Subject, perhaps too much altercated in that State as well as this — The Commutation of half-pay granted by Congress to the Officers of the late Army for Life for full pay during the Term of five years. I did not hesitate to say in Return, that in my Opinion Congress was, in the Nature of their Appointment, the sole Judge of the necessary Means of supporting the late Army raised for the Defence of our Common Rights against the Invasion of Great Britain; and if, upon their own deliberate Councils & the repeated Representations of the Commander in Chief of the Army, they Judge that the Grant of half-pay


for Life was a Measure absolutely necessary for the support of a disciplined Army for the Purpose before mentioned, they had an undoubted Right to make it; and as it was made in Behalf of the United States by their Representative authorized to do it, each State was bound in Justice & Honor to comply with it, even tho' it should seem to any to have been an ill judged Measure; because States & Individual Persons are equally bound to fulfill their Obligations, and it is given as Characteristick of an honest Man that "though he sweareth (or promiseth) to his own hurt he changeth not." I moreover acquainted him, that although I was never pleasd with the Idea of half pay for Life, for Reasons which appeard satisfactory to myself, some of which I freely explaind to him, yet I had always thought, that as the opportunities of the officers of the Army of acquiring moderate Fortunes or making such Provision for their Families as Men generally wish to make, are not equal to those of their Fellow Citizens at home, it would be just & reasonable, that an adequate Compensation should be made to them at, or as soon as conveniently might be after, the End of the War; and that he might therefore conclude, that the Commutation, if it be an adequate Compensation had fully coincided with my Ideas of Justice & Policy.

Nothing was mentioned in his Letter to me, of the Nature or the Proceedings of County Conventions, & therefore I made no observation upon them. I hope it will not be in the Power of any designing Men, by imposing upon credulous tho' well meaning Persons to keep this Country, who may be happy if they will, long in a State of Discord & Animosity. We may see, from the present State of Great Britain, how rapidly such a spirit will drive a Nation to destruction. It is prudent for the People to keep a watchful Eye over the Conduct of all those who are intrusted with publick Affairs. Such attention is the Peoples great Security. But there is Decency & Respect due to Constitutional Authority, and those Men who under any Pretence or by any Means whatever, would lessen the Weight of Government lawfully exercised, must be Enemies to our happy Revolution & the Common Liberty. County Conventions & popular Committees served an excellent Purpose when they were first in Practice. No one therefore needs to regret the share he may then have had in them. But I candidly own it is my opinion, with Deference to the opinions of other men, that as we now have


constitutional & regular Governments and all our Men in Authority depend upon the annual & free Elections of the People, we are Safe without them. To say the least they are become useless. Bodies of Men, under any Denomination whatever, who convene themselves for the Purpose of deliberating upon & adopting Measures which are cognizable by the Legislatures only will, if continued, bring Legislatures to contempt & Dissolution. If the publick Affairs are illy conducted, if dishonest or incapable Men have crept unawares into Government, it is happy for us, that under our American Constitutions the Remedy is at hand, & in the Power of the great Body of the People. Due Circumspection & Wisdom at the next Elections will set all right, without the Aid of any self created Conventions or Societies of Men whatever. While we retain those simple Democracies in all our Towns which are the Basis of our State Constitutions, and make a good Use of them, it appears to me we cannot be enslaved or materially injured. It must however be confessed, that Imperfection attends all human Affairs.

I am Sir Your very humble Servant




I wrote you from this place last October, and again in January, no answer has been received to either — knowing your punctuality in answering letters from your friends (particularly those on Business) I must suppose some accident has happened to them, — I am the more convinced of this, by Mr. Sebor who says he saw a letter directed for me on your table in London. I confess my not hearing from you has given me uneasiness, — an Idle life to me is truly a wretched one, I was brought up in & have a love for business, — my


profession the last Nine years has in no degree given me a disrelish to a Mercantile life, both Inclination and necessity join in urgeing me to be doing something to support myself handsomely — and of prepareing for a future day, — to be unimbarrassed and clear of all connections, I remove'd the first of last Month to this City, to settle the estate of my late Wife, and to be ready to take hold of such business as might offer, — I have had much conversation with our friend Shaler on the subject, — and I believe I may venter to say, that could we get into a respectable line, as Factors we should do business together with pleasure to ourselves and with sattisfaction to our employer's, — to effect this business upon a scale that would be profitable, requires the influence and attention of our friends, 'tis therefore I take the liberty of nameing it to you — and if it meets your approbation to solicit your influence in the Business among your friends in Europe & the West Indies — I have already wrote my Brother-in-Law Mr. Jos. Barrell on the subject who has assured me of his interest in my favor. Mr. Shaler will probably write you on the subject, — and shall it be a matter which you would recommend, I am ready to pay every attention necessary. — On the other hand if you have any other plan in view, in which you have thought of employing me, I am perfectly ready to follow your advice. — Excuse me my Dear sir for being thus troublesome to you, had I not every reason to believe in your Friendship, I should not have taken the liberty, — and I flatter myself I shall ever convince you, — your Friendship and Favors are not bestowed unworthily. Mrs. Bancker joins me in wishing you Health & Happiness — please to present


my Compliments to Mr. Church & Lady — and believe me my Dear Sir very Affectionately Your friend & Most Obed Servt.



BOSTON, 29th June, 1784.


I Received your Letter by Major [Winthrop] Sargent and thank you for the Constitution of the Chamber of Commerce and hope I shall be more successfull in that, than I was in my Efforts to incorporate the Town. Every thing in that affair went on as kindly as I could wish untill the last Tryal, when S. Adams & some of his Creatures (by the help of the most stupid lies) collected such a Number of the Lowest sort as raised a most infamous mob instead of Town Meeting & the vote obtained by mere dint of Noise and confusion against alteration, altho' every Person of Common sense & honesty in the Town, see clearly an alteration absolutely necessary. Mr. Freeman who will deliver this can inform you particulars Respecting this matter, as you know his I say no more than to desire you will shew him civilities wch I know you are disposed to do. I am sorry for the informn. you give me respecting Delancy's affair — if your Government pay in that manner, 'twill not be worth a Journey to Receive it, but more of this when I hear from you again on the Subject, wch I beg you will write upon if anything turns up.

If it lays in my way either to give you business or recommend you to my friends depend upon it I will cheerfully do it.

I wish you would write Jo, and Urge his selling what Estate is in the family way, & lay the Money out in Commutation Notes wch. are selling here at 3/on the pound. I think in this way something


Cleaver might be done, but I hate to write Jo on Money Matters. Business at present is in such a wretched situation that I do but little on my own acct. I do hope a few months will cause a favorable turn. * * *



BOSTON 21 Octo 1784.


* * * The Marquiss is with us, & has been treated with a friendship unknown by the dishonest, & with a Respect that could not be exceeded if he was a Crown'd head, read Adams & Nourse Paper of this day, & depend the description is not in the least exaggerated. I did not draw the Acct., but was one of the Managers of the Entertainment, & the Sole Contriver of Introducg. Gen. Washington, when his health was Drank. The Contrivance was unknown to every one but the Managers, & the Effect was as I conjectured, exceedingly great. Many were the friendly Tears, that involuntarily Started from the Company, & your friend Gen. Huntington was not alone in it. It is remarked by foreigners that for Elegance, good Liquors & decorum, it never was exceeded. I am in Haste for the Marquiss, the Son, & all the great folks Dine with me, & With plenty of the very best Wine, I shall give the Marquiss the Bottle of Satisfaction next to the wall. * * *


[January, 1785.]


The consolidated Notes of Massachusetts are a commodity very ttle in circulation here, so little so indeed that I have not been able to see one since I conversed with You on this subject; and the new emission of that State is but rarely to be met with; the loan office Certificates now and then appear for sale, without any fixed determinate value; should any of the above described species of paper be offered for sale, I am to be informed of it, and You will of course be acquainted with the circumstance.

The final settlements are upon the rise, the present average seems to be somewhere between 2/6 and 2/8.


As to the Securities of this State, such as Treasurer's Notes, Militia Levy Pay, for their services, Barber's Notes, Depreciation, the pay of the year 1781 — state agents Notes, Certificates of Monies borrowed, Loan Office Certificates of this State, (when reduced to a specie value) House and forrage Notes, and certificates of services performed by the Inhabitants — have no standing permanent value, but average about five shillings in the pound. The interest is never computed, but is given in, so that five shilling in the pound only means on the original sum —

Yours sincerely

NEW YORK, 7th March, 1785.


Being one of the citizens of the United States (lately serving in their Army) particularly recommended by His Excellency General Washington in his letter to Congress when he resigned his Command I beg leave through your Excellency to lay before Congress a detail of my Services.

The 22d. of April 1775 I marched for Boston, then a Lieut. of an Independent Company of Light Infantry, the 18th June following I was promoted to the rank of Major and Aid-de-Camp to Major Genl. Putnam, in June 1776 His Excellency General Washington was pleased to make me his Aid-de-Camp and private Secretary with the rank of Lieut. Colonel.

January 1777 was appointed a Colonel, raised a Regiment and continued in service until the disbanding the Army in June 1783 when Congress were pleased to give me the rank of Brigadier General.

I have a wish to continue in the immediate Service of my country, and as there are several offices now


vacant, to which I flatter myself I am competent, I offer myself as a candidate, conscious that my past Services have been faithful and acceptable to my superiors.

With respect & Esteem I have the honor to be your Excellency's Most obedt. Servt.


TO JEREMIAH WADSWORTH. NEW YORK, Wednesday, 9th March, 1785.


Yesterday came to the Election of Secretary at War, which was considerably contested between General Knox and myself, — but Mr. King asserted that General Knox would accept the office with its present salary, this at once brought him in, and if it is agreeable to him, I think the appointment perfectly just, nor would I have entered the lists with him, had not others with less claims than myself been on the nomination — should it so happen that General Knox will not accept, I think I shall carry the point, particularly if I can get Gen. Knox's recommendation — Col. Walker lost all votes, — but his friends brought on the carpet a matter which may prove very beneficial to me and a number of others, — Mr. Munroe from Virginia, mov'd "that as Col Walker was one of the subjects recommended to Congress by the Genls. last letter, that an order might issue in his favor on the Treasurer for paying his final Settlements in Spain, — this brought on a warm debate against any partial step of that kind, — the motion was amended by the words all those that were the subjects


of his Excellency, better, meaning those particularly which had been his Confidential officers — this was committed without a Division. Dr. Holton sent for me last Evening, from him I had the business of yesterday, he appears warmly engaged in my favor, told me, he had not a doubt an office would soon happen for me which would be pleasing — and has promised to keep a look out. — I hope you will write Genl. Knox, if he concludes to accept he will undoubtedly find some office for me, untill I can obtain one from Congress more eligable.

The day you left town Mr. Gouverneur waited on me with the protested Bill of Exchange beg'd for payment, on my Note for Thirty days that he might lodge it in the Bank, — I persuaded him to wait a week or two assuring him I would take it up. — It must be done or I shall be push'd on that and several other matters amounting in all to about Ł400 Currency — I have no friend to apply to on this occasion, whose situation is such that they can assist me, or that I would be willing to ask the favor of — but yourself, this I do from real necessity, not doubting but I shall be able e're long to replace the money, — I told our friend Shaler of the matter yesterday, and he advised me to write you immediately on the subject, — I would propose giving you a Bond for 1,000 Dollars, and (as we are all mortal) puting into your or Mr. Shalers hands — as you may direct, a part or the whole of the public Securities of which I have enclosed a list — The sooner to enable me to repay you this Sum, I shall write my brother, Jos:


(not leting him know that I have any prospect of raising the money from any other quarter) telling him my present distress and urge his immediate exertions for my relief, which I flatter myself will have a good effect, he owes me more than that sum on a private account, I have likewise a note of Thoms. Dennin, for Ł81, lawfull money payable the 26th of next month, which I shall urge the payment of, — If its not disagreeable to you, I wish you would let my Brother know that you are informed of my want of immediate aid, — it will I presume have a good effect, I can scarcely refrain from telling you how painfull it is to me to be thus troublesome to you, and of acknowledgeing the many obligations I am under to you from childhood to the present time, but I know you are sensible I have not an ungratefull heart, — and that you will look more on the actions of your friends than their professions — on this I rest it —

I flatter myself a little pains might induce Dr. Johnson to return again to Congress — it certainly would have a happy effect, this is the time that great and important offices are filling — and Doct Johnson has I believe much more influence than either you or myself knows, the Southern Delegates are vastly fond of him, & I believe he would do more good than any other man from the State; —

Please to make my Compliments acceptable to Mr. Wadsworth and family and believe me

Dear Sir Your Affec friend & obed Servt



List of Public Securities, the property of S. B. Webb. Connecticut State Notes due June 82 & 83 Ł40.13.0.

Ditto ..... ditto . . . do. June 1784 156.15.10 3/4 L M G
Do. ....... do. ..... Do. 1785 156.15.10 3/4
Do. ....... do. ..... do. 1786 170.13. 5
Do. ....... do. ..... do. 1787 170.13. 5
Do. ....... do. ..... do. 1788 138.19. 5
Do. ....... do. ..... do. 1789 138.19. 0
973. 9. 7 1/2
Final Settlement Notes 5704 Dolls @ 6/ 1711. 4. 0
Loan office Certificate 309 Dolls @ 6/ . 90. 0. 0
Ł2774.13. 7 1/2

Lawfull money — Dolls. at 6/---------


NEW YORK, Thursday morng. 9 o'clock 24 March 1785.


I have this moment recd. yours of the 20th instant and am much obliged by your attention, — it is necessary that I should pay off the Debts I before mentioned to you, and was in hopes that my Brother would have assisted me in the business, his answer to me is that he will go to work and do all in his power, so that I suppose, in the course of the Summer I may get something from him. — The public Securities I gave you a list of are all in my own name, save 100 or Ł150, which I took from my officers for debt, at their face — Mr. Shaler will next week take up the protested Bill from Gouveneur, — I don't know that I can do better than to take the money from Jones, leaving the Securities with you, do for me as you may Judge best, and my exertions shall be made to discharge them as early


as possible, should you effect this business the sooner the money reaches me the better. Will it not be necessary to have an assistant Secretary at War? — if Gen'l Knox should think so, — its probable to me Congress would appoint me and altho' the salary might be low, it would put me in a line of promotion, I should have one foot in the Stirrup, it being the hour of the Posts departure prevents my being more particular, please to make my Compls. to Mrs. Wadsworth and family

& believe me very affectionately yr. friend & Obed Servt.

NEW YORK, 22d. May 1785.


A few days since Mr. Carleton got reappointed in the War office, — General Knox had declared to several members of Congress and to me, that he intended the berth for me, provided Carleton should retire, it was supposed he would, but it has proved otherways. General Knox will be the bearer of this and will probably explain to you his reasons for continuing him, for my own part I confess I am not perfectly satisfyed, that he yet means to continue any length of time, and Genl. Knox assures me should that be the case the berth is at my service, — in the mean time however, I think it my duty to be looking out for something else, in which my dear sir I might solicit a continuance of your friendship — Dr. Johnson, Holten and others my friends —


continue to flatter my expectations, — and I have no reason to doubt their good wishes & exertions for me, please to present me with Sentiments of Esteem to Mrs. Wadsworth, & the family, & believe me Dear Sir very faithfully.



CLAVERACK, 8 June, 1785.


It is with great pleasure I comply with my promise of writing to you, and I flatter myself you will be pleased to hear that my Journey thus far has been productive of much amusement; the Country you well know at this season abounds in beauties, and furnishes the mind a useful and pleasing lesson on the infinite goodness, as well as the unbounded power, might, and majesty of the supreme Governor of all things; tho' these have been my amusements in part, they have not my Friend entirely composed my pleasures; I spent two Days with Mr. Banyar's family, and one at Claremont with the Livingstons. I am now at my uncle Ludlows about four miles from the City of Hudson. I arrived here on Sunday last at noon, and found many of the Ladies from that Town in this house invited to dine and spend the Day. There were among them several amiable women, but I cannot refrain mentioning to you the two Miss Olneys, the Eldest is a handsome, lively, chatty girl, and they both sing agreeable. The second cannot be better described than comparing her to Thompson's Livinia, and like Livinia too (poor Girls my heart bleeds for them!) they have seen better Days; their Father reduced by Misfortunes is now in low circumstances, and his Daughters even in their present homely Garb, shew a specimen of that Taste their better days has doubtless afforded them an opportunity to display. I had like to have omitted mentioning that they are from Providence and their Father is a brother to Colonel Olney of Angell's Regiment. You may know the Family. I leave this to morrow morning, the


weather prevents my doing it this Day. You may expect to hear from me soon. Present me affectionately to Fanny, and her Mamma, and believe me Dear Webb, with much esteem, your sincere Friend,


(Remember me.)

LONDON 16th July 1785.


I received Yours by Col. Smith, which is the only Letter of Yours, which has come to my hand for almost Three Years; you can therefore easily judge what has become of those you mention. I have wrote several & one very long one on the Subject of Our Family, & private Affairs, & at the same Time one on the same Subject to your Brother, to which having received no Answer I have for more than Twelve Months past omitted writing; I have indeed, had very little correspondence, in America, though I never more wished for an extensive one, to know if possible the true Situation of Affairs in my Country, for nothing certain can be collected, from the accounts given by those who come from thence, their reports are so extremely various, & discordant. But from the whole, which I can collect, from those concerned in Trade there, & here, Our Commerce is already in the Situation, which in my illfated Letters of 1781, I predicted, that it would and must necessarily be, under independence; and from the high price, of provisions, I fear that our Agriculture is in no better a State for I see by the papers, that Wheat, & consequently Bread, is at least 25 p Ct. dearer in Connecticut, and New York, than in this City. You referr'd Me to Col. Smith for information, but I put no queries To him, except of a private Nature, respecting Your Situation & that of a few other Friends, in whose wellfare, I shall ever feel myself nearly interested; Col Smith, appears to be a polite, & sensible Man, but being in an official Capacity, it would not have been right, or decent in Me, to ask of him, information, on political Subjects. It is not from any desire, or wish, To


engage again, in politics, that I seek for information, but as I must, & that soon, enter on some line, for retreiving my Shipwrecked Fortunes, & as no man has or can have stronger prepossessions, in favor of his Native Country, than those which influence me, I would prefer doing this, in America, if I could do it, with any tolerable prospect of success, & security; But if the reins of Government, are held with so feeble a hand, that the multitude feel no restraint, or next to none, on their passions, & prejudices, the prospect, cannot be a promising one; I speak not of my personal Security, I am under no Apprehensions, on that Acct; But without a firm, & energetic Government, there can be no Security, against the worst, & most extensive of all Evils, Anarchy, which like the Hydra, has Heads sufficient, to devise every kind of mischief, & hands in proportion, to execute. In ordinary commotions in States, or in Wars, between rival powers, Individuals may, with a tolerable share of prudence, remain Secure, may retire under their own roof, & patiently listen to the raging of the Storm, But when Anarchy prevails, nothing is too high and Strong, or so low, & humble, as to escape its Fury. God forbid that my Country should again experience this in any degree, but there are in the Accounts sent, & brought over, but too many dangerous Symptoms, of its approach, and therefore it is, that I am so anxious to know the Truth. Not that I have any view, of entering into any commercial line, in America. I made up my mind, four years since, as to the State in which Our commerce must necessarily be when alienated from this Kingdom, and placed in the State of a foreign, & independant power. What I then predicted, has already arrived, earlier indeed, than what I expected, but so far, as I can form any judgment, on the Subject, the worst is still behind, and the sooner it arrives, the better, for then, & not before, Our affairs will be in the way of mending, though slow; for nothing short of an exchange, of Our present manners, & habits, for those of industry, & rigid Economy, & punctuality in our dealings, can render Us in any degree comfortable at home, & respectable abroad. At present, I am sorry to say it, the american Character is far from being reputable, in any part of the Commercial World. In France, & Holland, all those who during the late War, or since, have had any considerable dealings in America, have failed; since the War, Our Commerce has returned into its old channel, & from Two good reasons. This Country has


the Articles which We want, and its Merchts are willing & able to give a Credit, but not having Our former means, for the making of remittances, those who have given credit here, have already suffered, & must suffer still more, & the late proceedings at Boston, if followed in other parts, of the States, will give the finishing blow to Our character, as a Nation, and to Our credit, as individuals. The Boston resolutions however dressed off, with pretences, speak a language too plain, to be misunderstood; it is nothing less than this, "You British Merchts have given us a credit, & placed a Confidence in Us, which we could not obtain elsewhere. Know ye therefore that unless Your Government will enable Us to pay You, what We owe You, by giving to us commercial privileges, denied to every other, even the most favored Nation, We cannot, & will not pay You;" and many imagine they will succeed by such a conduct, to force, or bully this Country, into a compliance. But they will find themselves in an Error, & that this Government will not give up its Navigation Act, to save a few rash, & credulous Merchants, in this Country, from Bankruptcy, or from the ridiculous threats, of the Bostonians, & others, of stopping any farther Trade, with Great Brittain; I say ridiculous; can any thing be more so, than for a debtor, after having taken of his Creditor Goods, to Five Times the amount, of what he is able to pay, to threaten, that unless he will give him certain indulgencies, & comply with such Terms, as he shall dictate, that he will stop his dealings with him? Since my residence in this Country I have paid a close, & constant attention to the actual State of its trade, & commercial resources, I have been through the manufacturing Towns, & made my Observations, & enquiries with the utmost impartiality, and confess myself astonished to find how very ignorant we have been, & most of Us still are, on this Subject. Even during the late War, when all intercourse with Us, & several other Nations, was suspended very few of the. Manufacturers, felt any inconvenience from it, or suffered materially, the Nailmakers and, one or two other branches excepted, & their Sufferings, were but Temporary, for they soon turned into other branches of manufacture, for which new demands arose; & the manufacturing Towns, without exception increased in the Number of Houses, & inhabitants, during that period, which is the most evident proof, of what I have asserted. And now, although the peace has been of but about two Years standing, the


demand for the manufactures of this Country, has become so great on the Continent of Europe, that exchange is in favor of London, from every City on the Continent; with Paris nearly 10 P Ct., with Amsterdam eight, & with others in proportion, & Silver & Gold never were known to be at so low a price, in this City, as at this Time. From Facts like these, and not from the uninformed declaimers, on Your side of the Water, or the writings of Croakers, on this Side, you will Form a True judgment on this important Subject. Most of our Countrymen, who visit England, return as ignorant of the nature, & extent of its commerce, as when they came out, & not a few of them more so; for during their residence, they generally associate, with disappointed, & disaffected persons here, who constantly exclaim, that the Country is on the verge of final bankruptcy, & ruin. Business, or pleasure, take up their attention, for the latter, they confine themselves to Theaters, Taverns, & Bagnios in London; for the former, they make out Invoices, & apply to Merch'ts for a credit, if they make an excursion to Birmingham, or other of the great manufacturing Towns, one days residence in each, answers their purpose, for their Object is to order the manufactures, not to learn how they are made, or to enquire into the construction, of those ingenious machines, by which they are afforded at so low a rate. My circumstances naturally led me, into a different stile of conduct, I had no Money to purchase with, & though I might have had any credit, I should have asked for, yet I could not, foreseeing as I then did, what has since happened, consistently with honor, have asked for, or received a credit. Therefore I applied myself to acquire, some knowledge of the nature, & oeconomy of their Works, & of the construction of their machines. The Manufacturers, and their Workmen gave me every information, that I wished for, but from the minuteness of my enquiries, & the attention which I paid to every thing, relating to their Works, they became jealous, and immediately after, my leaving them, came to an agreement to admit no more Strangers, into their Manufactories. This way I flatter myself that I have acquired some useful Knowledge. It is not the cheapness of labor, in this Country, as is generally supposed, which ennbles them to manufacture at so cheap a rate, but the use of machines which they have invented to lessen manual operations, & their ingenious division, distribution, & combination of the several parts


of their work. Labor is dearer here than in any part of Europe, & full as dear as it was with Us, before the late War. A common Manufacturer earns from 12/ to 13/ the Week, & the more ingenious, twice as much. The late improvements in the Steam Engine, have opened vast resources; I have seen a Mill for carding & spinning of Cotton which spun near five thousand threads at once, turned by one Wheel put in motion by a Steam engine. A Corn mill, with Ten p[air] Millstones, worked in the same Way, They blow their furnaces, and strike their hammers by this engine, I have carefully studied it, & am intimately acquainted, with the ingenious inventors of it, who are making an immense Fortune by it, & this I wish to introduce into America had I the means of doing it, & could have an exclusive privilege for a certain Number of Years. A Mill might be set up in Boston, or in New York, or Philadelphia to carry Ten pr Stones, at the expence of about Two thousand pounds Sterl'g, & I know of nothing that would turn to greater Account, as with this You may work constantly, Night & Day, & be independant & Free from those Accidents of Floods, Drowths &c to which other Mills are subject, & exposed. Besides which there is no expence for Land Carriage, as the Mill may be erected in the Middle of a Town as well as any where. I am about to form a Company for this purpose, to erect several in different parts of America, if to be done with patents or exclusive privileges, for a certain Term of Time, & have already wrote to several of my Friends in America on the Subject; something of this nature will be infinitely preferable to any thing that can be done in Commerce, situated as it is at present; I am ignorant as to Your Views, or prospects, & therefore lay this but generally before you, for Your reflection, & if succeed in my plan, & You are disposed to be concerned, You will let me know, & to what extent. I have made this Letter so very long, I may almost say voluminous, that I will not add farther than to assure you that I am, & ever shall remain Your affectionate Friend & well wisher


Tuesday Morng., 2d. Augt., 1785.


I was in hopes that our friend Wadsworth's situation


was such, that he could without disadvantage to himself [have] waited a few Months longer for the money I borrowed of him. — you will be convinced how unfortunate it is to me, when I tell you I have no probable means of raising the money at present, but by parting with my public Securities, for almost nothing. They were earned by a Nine years hard and faithful service, and amount to 5,704 18/90 Dollars and at present will sell for only about Ł230 Currcy. — however the money must be paid. While I have a Shilling I will always fullfil my engagements, — 'tis therefore I now enclose them to you with a request that you will advance the money to Col. Wadsworth for me, and if possible give me a chance of again redeeming them, but if this cannot be done, let me know it and I will take them to a Broker, — the particular situation must be my apology for the trouble I give you, its truly painfull to your friend & Most Obed. Servt.


WETHERSFIELD, 13 September, 1785.


Mr. Colburn Barrel, Brother to Joseph is now at my House: unexpectedly He finds His Estate is confiscated here. Which we are all surprised at — but in the Warmth of the Time His being within the British Lines — was sufficient for any fellow that owe'd him five pounds to Get the absentee Act passed against him — I Wish you could Enquire of Cary Ludlow, Mr. Barrel's Character as being a quiet inoffensive Man that He did not bear Arms — send me a


Letter of your own & such Evidences as will Serve him before our General Assembly in October —

I am Dear Brother
Your's affectionately

Mr. Barrel you'll Observe left Boston as a Merchant for London the fall of Octo. 1774 — not a farthing of his Estate is confiscated Even in the great Town — its injurious to the last degree — I shall be happy to have —-------you will notice there's no time lost —

Letter from John Henry


John Henry's respectful Compliments to General Webb, takes the liberty of informing him, the School for Scandal will be performed


on Monday evening, in compliance to the General's wish, which he trusts will plead an excuse for its being done before Hallam's arrival, it being his desire to oblige General Webb in anything in his power, whose great attention to the Theatre lives in his memory with the most Grateful & Respectful remembrance.

Theatre, Saturday morning.


EAST HARTFORD, Jany. 29th, 1786.


I make bold to present you with this hoping it may find you possess'd of the most consummate happiness this Life is capable of enjoying — I send you here enclosed a Letter to the Baron, which if you would be so kind as to forward to that Nobleman I should be glad, or if he is not in New York I would thank you to write his Christian name to me, I have a son born a few Days since which I wish to have Nam'd after the Baron with his Approbation.

I am sir with respect Your most Obednt. humle. Servt.



WETHERSFIELD, 22d. March, 1786


I wrote you a long leter to go on monday last by Capt. Fowler — but he did not go — & the letter not being worth Postage prevented me from forwarding it. — I wish you to examine or enquire what the money of this State can be purchased for — also the prices of the different kinds of this State securities — as there is mony to be made by them — You would be surprized to know the quantity of Final settlements that have been purchased and sent out of this State. — I do not believe that there is one quarter left that was given out to the Troops of this State — which makes me believe that they must rise — tho' I am determin'd that no pleasure shall prevent me from paying every attention to Business in my power this Summer. — You must if in your power come here by the middle of April — If you intend that


anything shall be done with the Estate, which every hour groing worse — & every farthing that can be collected is and that we shall have a work of time to get back — for my part my patience is exausted and the friendship I had almost extinguish'd — for I have since my return seen so much, that I am well convinc'd that [?] will be taken care off — You will oblige me by forwarding all the money in your power, for some engagements I have made which I must comeply with — I think you had better forward me the Interest certificates you have with the Notes. the Certificates I can if sent soon turn them into some thing — tho' I would have you do what you think best. State Notes of this State are selling from 5/ to 6/ on the pound here.

I din'd with our friend Wadsworth yesterday who I find is our sincere friend — I wish you to push those little matters in your hands — would it not be best to sell my Pickering's Notes? The River has been clear this ten days — but the great rise of Water prevents their taking Salmon — I not only told that Miss A[lsop] is to be married — but that Miss W-- in the broadway is in a fair way — I wish her the reward that's due to all Coquets. You must always remember me Affectionately to Aunt P[olly] If I should omit mentioning her Name — & to all the Circle of our friends. I want to have a few hours Conversation with you — our friend Wadsworth and myself on monday were together for some hours — If your Business will permit you to come in April do — I wish you to get Ward's christien name so as I may keep up a correspondence with him which will innable me to know the price of that Market.

Every Collector in this State is now serv'd by the Treasy. which perhaps if you send on your certificate may ennable me to turn them at 13/4 on the pound — but they must be sent immediately — As my Business will oblige me to ride a great deal I wish you to send me a round BR Hatt — If a very convenient opportunity should offer — My Br. & Sister have been very unwell, but are now much better. Have you ever wrote Silas Dean respecting the matter of our Estate — You must excuse my troubling you with two of my scrawls at once — & excuse the many Question's I have put to you — & believe no one has a more Sincere Affection for you than your Br.


I intend if no Business offers to go to Salsbury & Coalchester — at


the first we are Building a new Forge — tho' it will depend entirely on the letters I receive from you.

WETHERSFIELD, Sunday, May 7th, 1786


I wrote you by our mutual friend Shaler on Friday last — I wish you to inform him that I went immediately on to Hartford and saw Capt. Barnard who ses that he has got a Barrell off — mark'd seven Dozen — mark'd N. Shaler — but that there was no case came on board for him — and that the Cask of wine left at his mothers belongs to a person at Hartford — I would write him but I thought my Scralls would not be worth the Postage — my particular compliments to him and hope he arriv'd safe, and had an agreeable passage — I could wish him to write me — respecting the Wine.

Imagine my good Br. my surprize on my return from Middleton to find that Thomas Seymour of Hartford had Attach'd Silas Deane's House for James McEvers for one thousand pounds — I went to Barny [Deane] who seem'd very much surprized — and asked him whether we had not better put on an Attachment — he said it was a very hard matter for him to give advice — tho' apper'd very friendly — I went to John Trumbull and immediately employ'd him as our Attorney — I was with him all day on Friday and Saturday — he seems to think it best for me to lay an Attachment over the one lain on by Seymour — I have acted to the best of my judgment — and have got Trumbull to give me an Attachment this Afternoon — and shall leavy it on all the property of S. Deane I can find — for he owes Broom & Platt — Gassa Vanhorn, E. Miller — Fenix and many others — This will convince you that your presence will be necessary here — I could have wish'd that you had been more attentive to this matter — Indeed there never was a person so completely reached as myself at this period — I hope that my conduct will meet with your approbation — I have a vast deal to say — but I dare not trust it in a letter — let me request you to come here as soon as possible — I shall go part to Salsbury to see if those Farms of ours are not in the name of S D — If they are I shall leavy on them — I also shall send to Coalchester


and examine there. You may see by my letter in what a Situation I am in — & for God's sake come as soon as Business will permit — had I ever so great an inclination to come it is not in my power — I hope you have before this sent me some money — You have made a mistake in the amount of the Finals sent you — I will give you a particular Acct on the opposite side — I could wish Platt to send the price current of this States Paper — No letters for two Stages — My Love to Aunt P — and may the best of Heaven's Blessings attend you is the Sincere wish of your friend and Brother


WETHERSFIELD, 25th June, 1786.


On Thursday last I arriv'd here from Boston with Hetty very much fatigued — we brought little Peggy Simpson who is to continue with my Brother — On my arrival at Mr. Barrell's I found the family in great distress on Acct of little Sally's lying at the point of Death — she poor girl died the second day after my arrival — you cannot paint to yourself the distress all, boath Parents, Aunt & the Servants — as to Mr. Barrell he has and is the most reached person on earth he ses he had much rather lost the whole than to have parted with her — during her sickness he never left the house. Nancy his second daughter by his first Wife is in a consumption — they do not expect she will live but a few Weeks — he has two very fine boys by Sally — they are as fine children as you ever saw — It paind him to part with Hetty — the death of Sally prevented my returning so soon as I expected — as our sister B---- was confined for several days to her Bed tho' I left her in good spirits — he comes up here in about thirty days for Hetty — when I would wish to meet you and aunt Polly — they were exceedingly disappointed that she was not come up here. All that as well as this family desire their love to her & you — Our friend Freeman desired to be remember'd to you — he ses that he has wrote you a great many letters to none of which he received an answer. I have got the price current which I shall give you in this letter. When I left town Finals were from 3/ to 3/6 — and I could not find any of the numbers for your State tho I look'd over a vast many thousand. I wish you would write me the particular State of


those matters with you — I shall draw on you in favor of Amos Bull in a few days for a small sum — I wish you would be perticular in mentioning respecting our former plan — Our old friend Miss Howard lives at Mr. T. Russel's — she is, I am told to be married to young Spooner soon — she is fallen off very much — I think its time that the poor girl was married The Great Town is much alter'd from 1780 — Tho' a great number of your friends made enquiry about you — Brattle — Tracy — & many others. I cannot say I think Boston any way to be compared to New York. I saw Winthrop & Ladey, & Kemble & Ladey at Church who appear'd well. Tell our friend Cary Ludlow, Esq., that I made particular enquiery about his servant but could not learn anything about him. please to present my Compliments to him & family & to all our friends that enquire after me. Our certificates for Interest have fallen to eight shillings on the pound which will prevent me from selling any of yours till further orders. our State Notes have fallen to four shillings on the pound — oweing to the Assembly's not laying any Tax of any kind this Session. I hope you have wrote S[ilas] D[eane] Should you see our mutual friend Seagrove I wish you to tell him that I shall send him his gun &c by Hazard who was formerly in your service — I thank him most sincerely for the Use of it, tho' I have only been out with it but three times — I hope that he will pay us a visit before he goes back — tell him that Mr. Barrell & all the family desire to be remember'd to him amongst whom I find he is in great favor with — Hetty desires her love — & thanks you for your last letter — she ses Aunt Polly must come & see her — every one is very much disappointed that she is not here I am shure that they would do everything in their power to make her happy — Give my respects to our friend Shaler — & tell him I have a very fine spanial puppy for him — desire him to give my Compliments to the Lady in Wall street. I wish you to give me the price Current in New York. In the morning I leave this for Coalchester to look at the Farm, I expect to return on Tuesday, when I expect to have a long letter from you. I was very sorry that I was not at home when our friends Messrs Ogden & Hoffman & Ladies were here. May you be completely Happy is the sincere wish of your Affectionate Br.

JOHN W------

P. S. I shall write our mutual friends Shaler & Seagrove by the first private opportunity.



MANOR LIVINGSTON, June 26, [1786].


I observe an Advertisement in the paper requesting the elected Members of the Cincinati to Meet and sign the institution, and as I am a Elected member which Major Farling can tell you and as I cannot attend, I must request you to sign the same for me — if it will answer, or make my excuse as my Br. John is ill, and I cannot leave him. Your Answer by stage will oblige your friend



Colo. Ramsey presents his Compliments to General Webb and wishes to be informed whether the officers today will in general appear in their Uniform & with their side Arms. And, if so whether or no General Webb can with perfect conveniency accommodate Colo. Ramsey with a small Sword.

Friday 11 oClock [4 July, 1786.]


The members of the Society of the Cincinnati of this State will be notified to Assemble at 10 oClock the morning of the 4th July, for the Election of the necessary Officers. The Members elected who have not yet signed the Articles will be desired to attend at 11 oClock at which time they will be received. The Members of other States, who are in Town will be invited by Cards to assist at the Ceremony and to Dine with the Society.

At 10 oClock A M. the old Members will assemble at Corre's where the Election of Officers will be made, this done the Society will enter into the Hall, (where the members belonging to other


States, and those to be received will be already arranged by the Master of Ceremonies, as will also the Spectators) in the following order: —

1t. The Masters of Ceremonies

2d. The Members two & two

3 The Officers of the order two & two

4 The Vice President

5th The President.

The Standard bearer will previously be placed on the right in front of the Steps of the Presidents Seat, and on the Procession's entering, the Standard will Salute and remain droped untill the President shall have taken his Seat — the Officer carrying the Standard will be in the uniform of the late Army with his Swoard at his side & Hat on his head. On the left in front of the Steps, a small table will be placed, on which will be laid the Constitution of the Society, for the received members to sign. The Secretary of the Society will be behind the table, and the Treasurer on the right of the President holding a Cushion covered with White Sattin on which the orders to be received will be laid.

The Vice Treasurer will be on the left of the President holding a Cushion of the same kind on which will be laid the Diploma's of the members to be received.

The Masters of Ceremonies after haveing placed the Assistants and Spectators as under mentioned, will place themselves, One on the right of the Standard Bearer, and the other on the left of the Secretary.

Order of Place.

1t. The Chair of the President opposite to the Entry

2d. The Officers of the order as already prescribed

3 The Vice President on the right of the Treasurer

4 The members of the State Society's on the right & left half circle, leaveing sufficient room for those to be received.

6th The members to be received, in one rank seated opposite the President, & after their reception, on the right & left joining the members from other States, this rank will be given them for this day only

7 The Spectators will be seated on the Benches in the rear of the members.


The Master of Ceremony will be carefull not to admit too many Spectators.

The Ceremony will be opened by a discourse on the origin of the Constitution & of the order, and on the celebration of the Anniversary of the Independence of America.

After this discourse the President will demand the Attention of the Audience to the reading of the Constitution, which will be read by the Secretary — this finished the President will address the members to be received, who will arise from their Seats.


You will be informed by the address which will be read of the motives which have induced this Society to receive you as Brothers and to bind you in a Bond of union with themselves, & while it is reading, the President and members (excepting those who are address'd) remain seated, the Address finished, the President and Members arise, and the President puting on his Hat calls the first member to be received by his Name, the member advances to the foot of the Steps and the President demands, A------ B------ Esqr. Do you desire to be received into this Society. Ansr. Yes

Presdt. Do you promise a strict observance of the rules and Statutes which you have heard read.

Ansr. Yes.

Presdt. In confirmation of what you have promised, you will sign your Name to the Institution of the Society, while you grasp this Standard on which is represented the Confederation by which our Independence was procured.

The Member holds the end of the Standard with his left hand, while he writes his name. Then the Master of Ceremony conducts the member to the first step. The Treasurer presents the orders to the President who takes one and attaches it to the Button hole of the member, with these Words "Receive this Mark as a recompence for your merit, and in remembrance of our glorious Independence." The second or Vice Treasurer presents the Diploma to the President, who opens and presents it to the member, with these Words. "This will shew your title as a member our Society, Imitate the Illustrious Hero Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus whom we have chosen as our Patron — be like him the defender of your Country and a


good Cityzen." Then the President gives his hand to the Member received, and the first Master of Ceremony conducts him to the Vice President & to all the Members of the State, and of the others present, & then to his place on the right of the President, where the first member of the Society was seated.

The reception of the second member will be conducted in like manner, except that the second Master of Ceremony will attend him. After the last member is received, the President & members take off their Hats and take their Seats. The Ceremony will be concluded by an Eulogium on the members who have died dureing the year. This finished — The President and all the Society arise and return in the following order.

1t. The Members of the Society two and two

2d. The members just received

3 The members from other State Society' two & two

4 The Standard of the order after haveing saluted the Presdt

5 The Secretary carrying the Statutes

6th The two Treasurers carrying the Cushions with the vacant orders & Diplomas.

7 The Vice President

8 The President

9 The Masters of Ceremony

The Society will pass into the Council Chamber where the insignary will be deposited, and the Masters of Ceremonies will offer refreshment.


HOLLIS COURT, July 27th, 1786.


The inclosed I need not give any directions respecting its being put in the proper road to meet the owner. you will readily imagine it. The want of an opportunity has at length induced me to impose this task on my friend concious from long taught experience that he would do it with pleasure.

I can say very little to you from this quarter that would be any


ways diverting or Novel — but that I am drudging on in the old way and I may say with propriety, Liveing on anticipation, for where I to suppose the rest of my Days would bear a comparison with these I know not what I would not be tempted to do.

I need not relate to you the state of my Domestic affairs in my family in town you doubtless know all and I assure you my friend that altho I am banished at present the sight of those in this world most dear to me yet I am infinitely more happy than a Month ago saw me.

My Love to Mrs. & Miss Wickham and oblige your troublesome, yet believe me very Sincere friend



NEW YORK, 24th August, [1786].


The train of circumstances which have led to the issue of the dispute between your Brother and Livingston were not fully foreseen — The most of them you have become acquainted with — and there are others that can never be represented. I am however fully persuaded that there is sufficient proof against Mr. Livingston and in favor of your Brother, to convince every unprejudiced person of the crimenallity of the former and the innocence of the latter — On these points every thing in my opinion depends. Whenever the challenge & acceptance come into view there are scarcely two of opinion — Nothing is more common and easy for a man to put his hands in his sides and say trivial as the dispute may be they ought to have fought. By Heaven we are a very contemptible set of beings and so on — They who reason least are the most clear for a solemn appeal — that is for others not for themselves. Your Brother does not appear fully satisfied altho' I think he has abundant reason to be so — Those whose opinions are worth taking acquit him of every possible imputation

I am my Dear Jack
Yours sincerely

P. S. If your brother has any recollection of me, I beg that I may be remembered to him in a favorable manner.



SATURDAY, 2 September, 1786.


As I am compelled to leave Town on Monday and of course shall not be present at the intended interview between you and Mr. Livingston, it may not be improper to mention what passed in consequence of your message to that Gentleman on Wednesday last when I waited on him at Elizabeth Town. I acquainted him that I had a message very interesting to himself and another gentleman which I was directed to deliver in presence of his confidential friend. His reply induced me to communicate to him that you was at that time on Staten Island where you wished to see him on the next morning near the Ferry, opposite to Elizabeth Town Point prepared to give that satisfaction you had once before solicited.

Mr. Livingstone after some other conversation not materially connected with this errand authorized me to acquaint you that he was so indisposed as to render it improper for him to meet you as proposed even if he had resolved upon it — Previous however to his corning to a determination on this point he was obliged to visit New York — Upon his arrival there, which should be on the beginning of next week he would announce it to you and advise with his friend the steps that were proper for him to pursue.

I am, Dear Sir,
Your obt. Servt.

The dispute between General Webb, and William Livingston Junr. Esqr., was terminated at Paules Hook on the 5 Sepr. in a manner that does Credit to the parties, and must we conceive be pleasing to the real friends of both. The distance was agreed upon and the pistols loaded by their Seconds — on a Signal Mr. Livingston reserved his, and addressed General Webb in the following Manner.

Sir "You have missed me — I came here to answer demands you had against me, Had you suppressed that letter, which I never said you had, your life would be a recompense, I cannot ask, — I shall discharge my Pistol in the Air" which he did. — The Seconds declared the Contest Honourably Settled, and to Gen: Webb that he


had ample Satisfaction, and advised the Contending Gentlemen to Reconciliation & Friendship which took place on the ground.



GOSHEN, 13th Sept., 1786.


Yours of the 8th Inst. was this morning delivered to me.

Those trifling Certificates signed by Udney Hay & his Deputies, I wish you'd return immediately, they can be paid here to Collectors till the 1st of Octr.

I beg you'd send me the price of Certificates & whether there is any difference as to price. I can receive some in payment if I was well informed of the Prices.

I am told Continental Certificates signed Fras. Hopkinson Treasurer of Loans & Counter-signed Tho. Smith C. L. O. is but one half the value as some others signed in the like form except some difference as to the Letters annexed to Smith's name. Here no difference is made. I am informed one Boyd a seller of Certificates has mentioned it.

I wrote last evening to Mrs. Wickham desiring her to call on you respecting some Certificates.

I hope I shall be able to set out next week for N York.

I desire you'd read, seal & send the inclosed; one by the Post & the other by Water. I have sued a person at Norwich, a Uriah Waterman. The Cause is to be tried at New London this month I know no Gentleman to write too on the subject. Nehemiah Waterman Junr. is my Agent & Elisha Hyde Esqr. of Norwich my Attorney. The Court may not believe I am detained by the Gout — They may not continue the Cause 'till next Court, but may cast me this & put me to much Expence. I am ignorant of the mode of practice in that Country. If you know of sny Gentleman that will be at the Court I wish you would write that I am with the Gout detained in the Country, & therefore cannot send the necessary papers as no one can get them in N York but myself.


Perhaps your friend a Delegate in Congress from (I think) Wethersfield will write a Letter to some proper person or perhaps a affidavit may be proper to send that I am Here detained. Mr. Walton leaves me a bed here — a proper affidavit may be procured in New York if Necessary.

I am
Sir with great regard
Your most obt. Hum st.


WETHERSFIELD, 1 October, 1786.


I have been trying every thing in my power to raise you the sum you requested but its utterly out of my power. I thought I had made a firm Bargain respecting the Certificates to a Mr. Brace of Harrington — he was to have call'd for them yesterday and paid me fifty pounds Lawfull money — but I suppose he must have purchas'd them for less — as you can have no Idea of the scarcity of money — he was to give me eight shillings — but they have been sold for 7/ — & am apprehensive that I not only disappoint you in the money — but am afraid by the Rascally conduct of some people in this Town & Hartford, that I shall be disappointed in my Carpenters & Joiners — as they have held up that not one in ten of this Country people ever return'd from Georgia that went there — Indeed my Br. every thing to do — & very little to do with — No one has a more sincere desire of serving you than myself — Mr. Barrell, who I expected to have help'd me, has lately heard of the failure of Mr. Van Wagoner in Lisborn who he looses between three & four thousand by — Its the Man that his son Jo. was with — My. Br. Jos. is now at Windham trying to save something for Barrell from Gerry, who my Br. got taken by one of his neighbors — he left us at 2 oClock on Saturday morning; he requested me to beg you to see that old Mr. C. G. Peckham had two barrels shad he had sent to New York — Mr B---- has order'd all his Connecticut Securities sold for Seven shillings; the late conduct of the State of Massachusetts has alarm'd him — the Last Week stopt the Superior Court at Springfield —


there were near 1200 men under Arms for Sloping the Court & near 1000 men under the Command [of] Genl. Shepperd to protect the Court, but the Judge who was afraid of his Carcase adjourn'd the Court to the Mortification of Genl. Shepperd & Party. You may depend that I will spare no pains to serve you — & the moment I raise any money I will write and forward it — Mrs. W-- request her Love to you and aunt P-- the latter she begs will come up with you — Do my Br. in all your letters recollect Aunt P-- I write our mutual friend Seagrove this Post — do request him to write me particularly — Genl Knox past this at 1/2 past 12 oClock well — I shall send our friend Fredrick Jay some white Onions & Mr. Bailey this Week — May the best of Heaven's Blessings attend you is the sincere wish of your Friend & Brother



CHARLESTON, Oct. 30, 1786.


Unforgetful of your civilities to me when at New York, I am not ashamed to request your assistance in endeavouring to recover for me my mulatto boy James who gave me the slip the day I sailed from Philadelphia & who may probably make a Tour to your City. His face is well known to you & requires no description. I will only observe that being accustomed to dress hair & shave, it is probable he may be employed in that occupation & you may get intelligence of him by making inquiry among the powdered gentry. my brother in Law Harry may be of Service in this pursuit & so may the Coachman Stephen who belongs to Hallet: He is very likely to know something of him & may by the offer of a reward be able to discover where he is. the loss of this Boy is a considerable inconvenience to me & I dont know a greater service cod. be done me at present than the obtaining him again. Should you find him out it would be an easy matter to have him secured till the day of Tinker's sailing & then put him on board, with strong advice to watch him narrowly, otherwise he will certainly make his escape, for he is an artful rogue.

we left Philada the 17th of this month & had a quick passage of four days from that town to our Bar. Mrs. Smith is perfectly well


& desires her best compts. to you & the rest of our Long Island party & likewise to Mrs. Wickham, to all of whom I beg mine may be presented.

Should it not be inconvenient, be so good as to inquire whether Hallet has finished my Phaeton and Sulky for which I will send him the money by Tinker. I told him when at N. York that Mr. Goold would pay him when the work was done, but I have found it necessary since to apply that money to other purposes & it will suit me better to make him a remittance as soon as I see the Carriages & know that he has executed faithfully my directions.

Excuse the trouble I give you & believe me Dr. Sir with great regard Your obt. he. Sert.

At all events press Hallet to send the Phaeton, the expences of which are trifling & which I stand in great need of.


BOSTON, 31 Octo. 1786


I wrote you by Major Sumner & inclosed you a State of every oppressive matter of wch. I was the Subject. As truth is cutting, this has produced a rash vote of the Senate, a Copy of wch. with my answer you will find inclosed, & you may be assured I will never lay under the imputation of falsehood from any body whatever, as I always mean to have truth for the foundation for every thing I assert now especially when I attack great men, this in the present case I have in an imminent degree, as it is from their own body I am enabled to prove every thing I have asserted, and in due time it shall be done — in the mean time give your self no concern for your brother's safety, in the power of the Attorney Genl. as I suppose they have not so much as an Idea of prosecution, for they know I am able to demonstrate every thing I have asserted.

We are all well and join in Love to you and Aunt Polly with Dear Sam

Yours Sincerely



SAVANNAH, 11th Decr., 1786.


I hope this will meet you returned from the Eastward and in good health and spirits. I am happy to inform you that we arrived safe at this Town the Sixth Day from the Wharf at New York, all in health. I find everything agreeable beyond Expectation and only want you and a few more of our Friends from the Northward to make us happy. Jack Webb do's not yet appear. I am by no means uneasy as to his safety — as the Weather has been unfavourable for his getting in — besides I think it probable he did not sail so soon as he intended — It is unfortunate the people are not here. — I am torn to pieces by the people here to engage them a preffrence of our Carpenters. — I could employ 100 every Day. — Peace is concluded and firmly Settled between the Indians and this State — and we have five of their Chiefs as hostages. — Jack of course will immediately go on his Land on the River St. Mary's — which I find (since it has been survey'd) is considered as the very best Tract in this State — Majr. Armstrong and Myself will accompany him — Mrs. Bard and Mrs. Pendleton are well — The former intends changing her Name on Thursday Evening Next — I wish you was with us on the Occasion — Permit me to make you acquainted with the Barer (& his Lady) Majr Peirce who go's to Congress from this State — He is a very worthy Fellow, and she an agreeable Lady — When you write to Connecticut give my Love to all our Friends — Write me and give all the News — Political and otherwise — I shall miss no opportunity of letting you hear from Dear Webb, your Devoted and affectionate Friend & Hb. St.


Letter to George Washington

Letter to George Washington


NEW YORK, Jany. 20th, 1787.


We have been honor'd by the receipt of your Excellency's Letter of the 31st of October 1786, directed to the Baron Stuben, our Presdt. So soon as he


arrives in Town we presume he will call a meeting of our State Society and communicate to them the Contents.

In the mean time we cannot omit the present opportunity to acquaint your Excellency with the sentiments which the most distinguished characters in this Society entertain with regard to your desire not to be re-elected President of the General Society. Many of them stand high in good opinion, and all of them are warmly attached to you. Their sentiments will pervade this society, and if regret at so unexpected and unfortunate a circumstance can give weight to arguments which added to those of a similar nature in reply to your circular letter from the different States, — it is to be hoped you will not decline continuing at the head of a Society brought into existence by a glorious event which crowned you with never fadeing Laurels. A Society founded on the most noble principles, whose highest Ambition is to imitate your bright example, would not prematurely be deprived of that ray which for so many years guided our steps in the paths of honor.

Should no internal divisions arise on your retireing, yet Sir, the withdrawing of your patronage will have a most destructive effect on our reputation abroad.

You have exhibited the most noble instance of patriotism that modern history can relate, you glow with affection for your country and must feel interested to promote the honor and dignity of a patriotic band of warriors, who like the arrows in the Eagle's talon, will be respected while united to that head who so oft displayed them in the field of Glory; but, separated


farewell the splendor of Columbia's Eagle in European courts. — At home, luke-warmness will take place of the generous zeal which animates every member. Our funds intended for the most laudable purposes may remain unimproved for want of energy or unanimity, while unheeded flow the Widow's tears, unheard the Orphan's cry: that source whence gladness should flow to brighten the face of sorrow, be choaked up — the noble end of our institution frustrated — Genius of Liberty avert this fate — May that philanthropic spirit which inspires your Excellency to so many acts of public utility induce you to continue the patron of an infant society whose maturer powers shall be one of the many branches, to perpetuate the veneration due to the Savior of his Country.

These Sir are the Sentiments of our Society which we have thought it incumbent on us to apprize you of. I have the honor to be (for & in behalf of the standing Committee) Your Excelly's

Most Obedt & Affec. Humble Servt.
S. B. W[EBB].




I have arriv'd here after a very fatiguing jaunt and can only say I have arriv'd — for Mr. Seagrove who is a member of the Assembly being gone, it has not been in my power to leave this, and of all the places this is to me the most disagreeable — Eastberry would be equally agreeable — there a few gentel people who have been very civil; it would apper more agreeable to me was it not for the work people we have — they are eternally grumbling — sometime's I am


almost ready to curse and quit them — we have 6/ Sterling pr Day for each hand and we find them — I had much rather command a Regt. of Soldiers — our Mutual Friend Seagrove is a member of the Assembly — and is now attending it at Augusta about 120 miles from this — I think this a place that is a fine opening for a young man — and I think its probable that in a few years that my property will be something hansome — as I am a fifth in two hundred thousand Acres on the River St. Mary's — There are many things to make this disagreeable — but there are a number of very genteel people — I was at the last Assembly at which there were thirty eight Ladies — to be sure there were but few that were equal to our Northern Women — It's a custom here to have your Close Carriage or a Faeton whether you have a house or Furniture — you will frequently see their servants almost destitute of Cloathes driving their Carriage's — I believe there are more carriage's in this place than in any place of its bigness in America tho' few that are elegant in any way — Mr. Houston has a number of Brothers — Sir George the oldest — left off keeping a retail shop a few Months since having some property fallen to him by a Death of a Brother — but they are not people of very great property — the one that has Married Miss B---- in New York is not a man of Fortune — Indeed its impossible to judge of men by their being in office in this Country — for almost any person can be a member of Congress — the new Chosen Governor has not been in this Country but three years — should any private opportunity offer I will write you more fully — should a good opportunity offer, You will oblige me by sending me three pr. silk Stockings, Quarter Cask of Cherry Wine — & a 1/4 Cask common Maderia — let them be cas'd — 4 Barrels good Beef — 4 Kegg pickled oysters. — I expected you would have sent the Gun & Tent — My Br. you will oblige me if you will order by the first Vessel bound here by Capt. Tinker in the New York Packet a few Barrels of Beef & Pork & a 1/4 lb. common Bohea Tea — We are in distress for the want of those articles — I wish my Br., if you only ship me two of each — & the Tea — Capt. Tinker can at any time ship them from Charlestown to this — I intended writing you much more but Capt. Latham sails immediately — Remember me Affectionately to all our connections — and my Compliments to all those that think proper to enquire after me — Mrs. Seagrove is well — & requests to be remember'd to you — I am now in the House with her — I will write


you by the first Vessell that sails — I am wishing you happy Your Friend & Br.


P. S. Excuse this scrall I have not time to examine it —


BOSTON, February 18th, 1787


I received your favor of the 11th instant last evening which proves to me that you do not wait, on such occasions, for the etiquett established among the more ceremoneous but less friendly. — I however wrote you in answer to your former favors the instant I had it conveniently in my power.

Considering the facility with which you write, you are, let me tell you, very blamable for not gratifying oftener a Sister who thinks much too highly of your merit — What she possesses is reflected upon your thin vissage & shews it, no doubt, to greater advantage. Barrell says you are a promising young man.

The rebellion is nearly crushed but the seeds of it do and will remain for, God knows what period — From the nature of our Constitution, the people, where little refinement or knowledge is introduced, have embibed principles which nothing but fear will effectually erradicate — This paves the way for standing armies — and they in time of peace in free and Populous Cities are dangerous.

The lovely fair I have not visited since my return — but her enquiries after you have reached me, as have many of your friends Among which believe me sincerely


Recollect me to Doctor Bailey.


GEORGIA — At the Head of the River St. Marys, 16th April, 1787.


I received your friendly Letter dated 25th March & just as I had got on board of the Vessell for this place — I thank you for answering the small Bill — I was oblig'd to do it, or I should not have done it — I had purchased you a Quantity of Peas to send by Latham, but he was oblig'd to stop at Charlestown for several days which prevented my doing it — tho' when I left I requested our Mutual Friend


Seagrove to do it — I have been to View the Lands purchased by our friend Seagrove — and can only say that they exceed my most sanguine expectations. This is a Country I am shure would please you — the Lands are fine — and the Situation and Climate very agreeable — there is only wanting Society to make it the first place in the United States — Should you pay this a Visit the next Winter I am shure you would be pleas'd with it — I mean Savannah. — What made me mention your sending Gin to me was in consequence of What you wrote me before I left Connecticut in that letter you said — if you had have thought of it in Season that I should have had her to have brought with me — I thought it would be agreeable to you, as you did not want her — & your receiving the money for the Sloop Jeny — and some others & I thought it would be a convenient for you to let me have her — God forbid I ever should in any one instance hurt you in the least I am shure — If you will examine my line of conduct heretofore you will find I always was ready & Happy to render you every service in my power — should it not be convenient for you to supply me with the few articles of Cloathing I wrote you for, I request you not to send them — but to be good enough to mention it in your next should it be inconvenient. I thank you for paying attention to the little Commission for our Mutual & worthy Friend Major Berrian — Should you have any Commands in this Country no one will be more happy to serve than myself — I only want a few Negroes to make my Fortune in this Country — and should my friends step forward & assist me at this time, it will be greatfully acknowledg'd by me. — I must request you to Remember me particularly to Aunt Polly, our mutual Friends Mr. & Mrs. Fady Jay, Doct. Bailey, Lady & Family — and to as many more as you think proper — I intend to make this Part of the World Home for the remainder of my Life — I expect I shall be oblig'd to see my friends some time this Summer to get some matters from my Estate — my situation is such as I think my Friends ought to exert themselves to support me — I am fully in opinion that the Farm at Coalchester & the two at Salsbury with the Houses & Forge ought to be Sold — You must before this have received several long Letters from me with a number of News papers — I will not tire your patience with any more of my long scralls, not at least till I hear from you — Accept my best wishes for your Health & Happiness — Its absolutely necessary that I should appear in Character in this Country — and


should you find it convenient to send me the Cloathing I wish you to send such as you may think Fashionable and Genteel — no person is more capable of judging than yourself —

I am Yours Affectionately


Many of my Friends are wishing for you to come to this Country — I hope to God you may come — I could wish If Philip could get me a Pair of Good Fox hounds that you would send them — as they are us'd in this Country to Hunt the Deer — they may afford you some amusement — Is Miss Lispenard Married?


FRIDAY 2 o'clock [May, 1787].


I call'd at your lodgings this morning, but was not fortunate enough to find you at home. I have engaged a party to attend the representation of May day in consequence of your informing me you had reserv'd box No. 2 for me, as the box was probably taken in your name, I'll be much obliged to You to send me an order on the box keeper to receive checks for said box.

with Compts. Dear Sir Your Humble Servt.



NEW YORK, 5th May, 1787.


I have received your letter of the 23rd of April. By that I should suppose several of my late letters have miscarried. However it's probable they have reached you before this. The package from our Brother Jack I gave a gentlemen 6 or 8 days since. He returned it to me last evening, having concluded


not to go. I shall now commit it to the care of Doctor Bond of Philadelphia, a gentleman of distinction in his profession and an old acquaintance of mine. Your attention to him will oblige me.

Major Pierce can give but little information respecting mercantile matters in Georgia. You must depend on information from that quarter from our Brother Jack and Seagrove. Always forward your letters to me. We have opportunities at least [once?] a month by water.

I have not yet been able to learn anything about the trade at Trinidad. I shall make the necessary inquiries and give you personal information.

To-morrow I go to Jersey and shall be back in about a week. Soon after which it is my intention to set off for Wethersfield with Aunt Polly. Colonel Cary is yet in St. Croix and Mr. Lowe talks of going out to him soon. Of this you shall have further information. He may be servicable to you respecting Hydes. I sincerely lament the old doctor's misfortune in the loss of his son. He is cut off in the flower of his age. True 'tis a debt we all must pay, and it fairly astonishes me when I look back eight or ten years and find how many of my acquaintances have been taken off in the prime of life, and at most we cannot remain long, and I sincerely hope we may be prepared for that important event.

Congress are here. Nothing of importance going on. In short they can do nothing. We are truly in a wretched situation, and a total change must (I think) take place before America can be happy or respectable.

The Empress of China, Capt. [John] Green, arrived in port last evening after a passage of four months and


eighteen days from Canton. 'Tis said she has made a great voyage.

I am now to solicit you will put up three or four barrels of shad for myself and several friends that have spoke to me on the subject, as the shad taken in the Connecticut River are much superior to those caught here — and for myself half a barrel of salmon.

Please to remember me affectionately to Sister Webb and other of the friends of

Your affectionate friend and Brother


I have been applied to by several gentlemen from Elizabethtown to write you for the exact dimensions and plan of the steeple in Wethersfield. They want it immediately. If you can oblige them.

The enclosed bonds are to be delivered to Thom. Chester, he giving a receipt to be accountable to Wm. Wickham, Esq. Any further papers he may want will be transmitted him in a few days.


PHILADELPHIA, May 12th 87.


I am here, and — being chosen Secretary to the present General Meeting — in Business up to the Elbows — If you are possessed of a printed Copy of the Bye-Laws of the New York Society, may I request you will be so obliging as to favor me with one, at the earliest Leisure. Perhaps our mutual Friend, Major Pierce, may have to write me; If so, he will afford you a Cover to it by Post.


We had eight States on the Floor this Morning — and on Monday, I hope to see an additional Number — We are apparently, all hot for a Renewal of the old Institution, with some few additions and trifling alterations. The Society must live — and will, if we conduct it with Firmness, Policy and Prudence. A Revolution is not, perhaps, far off. The Cincinnati, in that Case, must si defendendo, become active and important.

General Washington will be among us in a few Hours more — But, entre nous, I could almost wish for the Absence of that illustrious Chief, — whose extreme Prudence & Circumspection (having himself much Fame to lose) may cool our laudable and necessary Ebullition with a few Drops, if not a Torrent, of Cold Water — Let us never lose sight of the rational Liberties of the People; But let us remember That energetic Government is essential to their Security —

I am very sincerely and with great Regard, Dear Webb, Yours


P. S. Will you do me the farther Favour to ask Col. Grayson, if a small box (containing Diplomas) has come to his Hands? They are from Gen'l Washington & I am anxious to forward them to S. Carolina.


TRINIDAD, 17th of May, 1787.


Accident having cast me into this place, I am pleased with the country and its prospects, I have therefore determined to remain here the remainder of my days.

There are a number of strangers who have resorted to this place, and many of them whose characters perhaps are as shattered as their fortunes, and who have brought no recommendation to government, which is of the utmost consequence to a man who intends to live here. Being persuaded of the universal bounty of your character; and knowing that you are personally & well acquainted with the governors of Jersey & Connecticut, I could think of no one, to whom I could resort with so good a prospect of success as to yourself, and more particularly as the last time I had the honour to see you; you politely made me an offer of your attention to my necessities or such


of them as might be in your power to deviate. If therefore you can reconcile it to your own principles of propriety, I shall consider it as a singular favour, if you will solicit Letters of Introduction from both of them; to the governor of this Island, in my behalf. I shall despair of ever meeting with the moment, that will present me with an opportunity of obliterating this obligation — with a benefit of equal consequence to you. — I can only therefore promise you that the remembrance of it shall remain until the last fatal stroke chips it out of this mass — and the patron of gratitude, by the Immediate direction of its guardian angel, shall restamp it on my heart, after it hath been seven times refined and tried in the fire. Should you succeed please to forward them to me as soon as possible. — As Mr. Archibald Gambell has a Vessel in this trade it will present you with an opportunity of forwarding them I have the honor to be Your most obt. & Obliged Hbl. Servant


BOSTON, June 17th, 1787.

Since my return, Dear Sir, from the Country where I was detained much longer than I Intended to have been, your favors of the 20th of May & 2nd of June were handed to me. Your polite intentions to Major Erving he expressed to me yesterday, and lamented the weather was such as prevented him making with you a visit to the several strong grounds and fortifications in the vicinity of New York.

Not long since there was a probability of my visiting your City which I have now altogether given up the idea of, or if I do, it is at a distance from this period. Boston will be my place of residence during the warm season, not of necessity, but of choice, where I shall expect you soon. — Since my return only two days ago, I have not seen Tyler; — from him I shall learn your mischief and I promise you that the most ill natured use possible shall be made of it unless you in person communicate that part of it with which he is unacquainted. — Barrel I see yesterday, who tells me no alteration has taken place at his House. We conversed of you & both wished it had been to you. There is a rage for Politicks and Arms existing in Boston, tho in everything there prevails a violent opposition. Now is your time to visit it. I continue a Spectator in all things and it will be an improvement to have your assistance.


All the artillery of party rage is levelled in the House of Representatives, but insurgency, tho' it bellows loud, is silenced by the well directed fire of two Governmental peices — Sedgwick & Parsons.

Yours adieu



PHILADA., June 30th, '87.


I received your Favour yesterday, and feel anxious to be with you on the 4th of July. If possible I shall be at N. York by that Day — Col. Hamilton, to whom I shewed your Letter, left Phila. this Morning. You can therefore dun him in P'son for the expected Euloguim.

Whoever may be the Bearer of this Sheet, he will have in charge for you 3 Eagles or Orders of the Cincinnati. They belong to the Society, and are to be disposed of. Should any be wanting at your Meeting for honorary or other Members, you wod oblige the Society of disposing of these at 26 Dollars each, the price they cost us. Genl. Van Courtlandt has 4 more likewise, belonging to us — Please to shew him this part of my Letter, as those are also for Sale —

In haste, Adieu! Dear sir


P. S. I'll talk to you hereafter about ye Diploma.


Being a Committee of arrangement for Celebrateing the 4th of July next we have proposed the Society of the Cincinnati to meet at 9 oClock in the morning at the City Hall, and from thence to St. Pauls Church to hear the Oration & Eulogium — as you are to honor us with the Oration, we have thought it our duty to give you this Information. If any other place than that proposed should be more agreeable to you we will with pleasure alter our present plan. An answer by the return of the Post will much oblige us

We are with Esteem Dear Sir Your Most Obed Servts.




BOSTON, July 22nd, 1787.


You talk of setting down either in Georgia, on the Ohio, or else where upon some well chosen Spot, with so much seriousness, that I am led to believe my lecture has been received in earnest, and you are now profiting of its doctrines. I seldom preach, it is true, but I shall be led into the practice of it, if I begin by reclaiming you. This would be the more agreeable, and effected with greater facility, if you would place yourself down by me where I could joine example to precept. And as an incouragement to this if such it is esteemed, I promise to accompany you to Portsmouth, Newberg or Salem. The last place I would of choice avoid for my friends sake. They might put you upon proof of being flesh and blood and you know their mode of determining cases of Suspicion.

"Courting of fortune" I have no more to do with her, than with vice, which I studiously avoid as I wish to have that fickle prostitute at my disposal. Blind, like those she lavishes her favors upon (while we poor D---ls, which know how to Estimate their worth are left destitute), may they be left at the disposal of the Cincinnati who I hope have their Eyes open.

Your Sisters were well last evening and not violently abusive of you. — I endeavoured to place your neglects in the more conspicuous view, with an intention not so much to injure as to supplant you in their esteem. The family prejudices were too firmly fixed to be in the least moved by this kind of proceeding. Little as you may deserve it they are better pleased with your praise than to hear you censured.

Yours adieu



10th of August, BOSTON, 1787.

I have enjoyed, my dear Webb, the pleasure of seeing your friends at Wethersfield and in this town, who all anxiously inquire after you & have long been anticipating a visit. Your Brother Joe & Mrs. Webb paid every civility & attention to Doctor Holten & myself.

Haskell is still here, & with myself paid his compliments to the


Commodore of the French Fleet at this Port who is a very genteel man. The Chevalier Du Quesne & several others of the officers wear the order of the Cincinnati. If you can make it convenient to come here while this fleet continues, you will find some additional amusements perhaps, but indeed & seriously I expect to hear of you at the Road attracted there by our fair water nymph, & upon my honour I think her charms sufficient to invoke in her Train men less in Love than yourself. By my heart Webb I wish you indissolubly tied to the object of your pursuit, because I think she possesses all your affections, & that you are capable of making her happy, but I will drop this subject.

You must not, you will not I am sure, forget occasionally to mention our wishes as to Ohio appointment amongst those gentlemen of Congress with whom you are acquainted — particularly such as may have arrived in York since I left it, & it will be proper to talk a little with Mr. [William] Smith, & I beg of you to present me occasionally as your own propriety of judgment may dictate to him & the other members of Congress to whom I have the honor of being known.

If George Turner is with you, present him my regards; I shall write him on the subject of a small memorandum he enclosed me as soon as I have satisfaction on that point.

Remember me most affectionately to our worthy friend Platt & others who may do me the honor to bear me in mind & believe me,

Ever yours,


One copy per Col. Duer, with my best Respect.


New York, Sunday, 9th September, 1787. Embarked on board Capt. Clark at half past 1 oClock P. M., for N. Haven, in company with Alexander McComb, Daniel McCormick & Mr. Jos: Searight. We had a number of other passengers male & female. The day was


passed chearfully a fine heading breeze from the S. W. brought us to the harbour of New Haven in 9 hours. — We landed and lodged at Brown's tavern.

Monday 10th Sept. 1787. We passed the day viewing the City the Colledge the Library &c &c.

Tuesday 11th. this morning Colo [Richard] Platt Mrs. Lawrence & Miss Bostwic arrived from N. York; they left it on Saturday the 8 Instant.

New Haven, Wednesday 12th, Sept. 1787. Commencement Day at 1 oClock. We joined the Society of the Cincinnati, & fell in by invitation of President Stiles with the procession — went to Church, attended the Ceremonies & again returned at two oClock to the College Yard. — Dined with a number of Gentlemen at Saml. Broome's — the evening both at the City Ball & at that given by the Collegians at the State House — all agreeable & genteel.

Thursday, 13th, 6 oClock. Mr. McComb Mr. McCormick, Mr. Searight and myself took a Coach & arrived at my Brother's in Wethersfield at half past 1 oClock, being 34 Miles; where we dined pass'd the remainder of the day & lodged.

Fryday 14th. Rode to Hartford, dined at Jerre. Wadsworth returned and pass'd the eveng at my Brother's. Mr. Danll Laroy added to our Company.

Saturday, 15th. the Gentlemen before mentioned left us at 6 oClock on their way to New York — spent the day at my Brother's. Jno Moore & Lady with us.

Sunday, 16th. Sept. After Church my Brother Jack & myself rode to Hartford, drank tea at Jerre Wadsworth's in Compy with Mrs. Lawrence, Miss Bostwic, Mr., Mrs & Miss Pintard, Mr & Mrs. Jarvis, Jno.


Livingston, Colo Platt, Mr. Joy & Chevalier Jno Paul Jones —

Monday, 17th Sept., 1787. This day Mr. & Mrs. Jarvis, Mr., Mrs., Miss Pintard, Miss Wadsworth, Miss Bostwic, Colo Platt, Paul Jones, Jno Livingston dined with me at my Brother's.

Tuesday 18th, at Evening went to Hartford and lodged.

Wednesday 19th, intended this mortig to have set of in the Stage for Boston — its being full prevented, spent the day at Hartford & at evening returned to Wethersfield.

Thursday 20th, again returned to Hartford, & on Fryday, 21st, at 4 oClock A. M., my Br. Jack & self set of in the Stage for Boston; rode to Hitchcocks at Suffield to Brakefast 18 M.; to Graves, Palmer & dined — 26 M.; to Mason's of Spencer 28 M. & lodged.

Arrived in Boston Saturday Evening the 22d of September 1787. & continued there, at my Brother in Law, Joseph Barrell's, untill Wed'day the 31st day of October, when Major Webb, Major Haskell, and myself took passage in the Stage, and that night lodged at Mason's Tavern in Spencer 60 Miles from Boston — Started about five oClock on Thursday the 4th October and got to my Brother's in Wethersfield 72 Miles the same evening, continued there untill Monday the 8th of October, when Majr. Haskell, Miss P. Duyckinck and myself set of in the Stage, Dined at New Haven at Mr. Saml Broome's, & at 8 oClock on board Capt Clark.

Tuesday, 9th October, a head Wind about 20 Miles of Hell Gate.


Wednesday, 10th October, 1787 Arrived in New York about one oClock this day.


NEW YORK, 29th October, 1787.


Haveing suffered very materially since the peace by lending my name to others, I had long since entered into a resolution no more to expose myself to such disappointments — In this situation you applied to me, assureing me on the honor of a Gentleman, that if I lent you my note, it should be punctually discharged, and that no inconvenience should arise to me, from this act of friendship. The confidence I placed in you was warranted — my Idea of the sacred regard an old Brother Soldier would pay to his word, never once permitted me to have a doubt; I made no provision for its payment, and was from Town at the Time it became due, and had I not have found a real, disinterested friend in Colo. Platt, my Credit at the Bank must have been ruined; he took it up & on my arrival in Town presented it to me. I shew him your letter, by which both Platt & myself concluded it could not be many days before you would be in Town prepared to discharge the Note. — With this belief I left Town for Boston, from whence I returned a few days since, and to my great surprize found you had not been here, nor taken any measures to discharge the Note. In short Colo Platt in his letter to me says "I shall be obliged tho extremely reluctant, to treat you as a principle, for I will no longer wait for the money" — by this you see


what situation my act of friendship has placed me in. — Let me therefore call on you, as you regard the sacred ties of honor & friendship not to delay a single day, but by some means or other discharge me from my present embarrass'd situation. It is not in my power to pay it, and the consequence of your further delay may be ruinous to both you and my reputation. Let me hear from you immediately, in person I hope, — the Bond you enclosed I shall deliver you. It is of no more use in the present business — than clean paper — I am Sir wishing you Health & Happiness Yr Most Obed Servt



PHILADELPHIA, November 5, '87.


Believe me (if after such Conduct you can) That nothing ever struck into my Feelings or gave me more poignant Concern than the Neglect you complain of. I call God to witness that the Fault proceeds not from me, but from others; that my Disappointments were quite unexpected; and that, when you did me the Favour of your Name, I received it with the purest Intentions to hold my pledged Word sacred and unimpeached. — You shall see Papers to convince you of my Treatment since — Till then suspend any unfavourable Impressions — as such would increase, if possible, the Anxiety, the Torture of my Mind. At this very Moment I feel ashamed at the bare mention of the Subject.

These 6 weeks past I have waited here solely to see a Captn. Towers from Savannah. Every Day during this Period I have looked for him, and therefore did not write you — and this very Day a Gentleman from Charleston tells me he heard there of such a person being about to sail from Savannah. I wait for him under the fullest Assurance of receiving a considerable Sum. — but shall not lose a Moment from looking out other Means.


I hope and intreat that Colonel Platt will wait a Week or ten days longer — when, at farthest, I mean to be in N. York. If sooner provided with the Needful I will not continue here, be assured 24 Hours afterwards.

With great Regard I am Dr. Sir, Your obliged and obedient servant



BOSTON, Decr. 7th, 1787.


We were two days on our passage to Rhode Island & Messrs. Flint & Sargent were nearly the same time from New Port to Providence. I embark'd for the same place thirty hours after they did & arrd. very nearly at the same period.

It was not until the 30th ulto. that I arrived here. Mr. Barrel and your friends are all well, except Freeman, who has been very near making personally an experiment of his Doctrinal points — He is nearly now recovered & will then, I suppose, be in a Blissful State. Your Sister & I agree much better than you do with me, because it is generally upon a subject we converse that she admires — Judge whether you deserve it, when not a line has been written either to her or myself since you left Town. She was very much disappointed in not receiving one by me. Believe me, when I tell you that I will not make excuses for you, because you deserve none. It is a privilege that you are even permitted to write to so amiable a female & nothing but the relation you stand in could authorize it. Even she says you are a sad young man. — I agree. — It is of your gallantries however we complain. You know I am no latitudinarian upon this subject.

Yours in haste


Khone will give you this. Do you recollect him.


NEW YORK, Decr. 30th 1787


Your Letter by the last Post was received, and your Orders respecting the muff has been attended to, but hitherto without Effect.


Kitty has the charge of the Business, and is as industrious in the pursuit as the nature of her other more momentous Concerns will admit.

I sincerely congratulate you and your good Family on the Event which is likely to take place in a little Time. I have conversed freely with the General on the subject, and have found him candid and generous as I expected — he has declared his Attachment for Kitty [Hogeboom] in the most unequivocal Terms, and his most serious and honorable Intentions. I can therefore have no doubt, but that in due time a Union will take place, and from my Intimate Knowledge of the Man, I have every reason to believe that she will be a very happy Wife.

This I believe will be accompanied with a Letter from him to you on the Subject, which I flatter myself will be satisfactory to the Family, and to which for particulars, I must refer you to.

I have received a Letter from Mr. Hogeboom which I should have answered but by the Interruption of Company I must defer to another Post. I beg you will make my best Respects to him and Mrs. Hogeboom — tell them I most sincerely congratulate them on [the] pleasing Prospect of seeing their Daughter happily united to a Man of Worth, who in the estimation of all his Friends possesses every Qualification to make a woman happy.

I cannot close this Letter without observing that this Gentleman is a Native of Connecticut, of genteel Connections, pleasing Person, agreeable manners, and as far as I can understand in independent Circumstances; he has been regularly brought up in a Compting house, but is at present in no Business except that of settling the Estate left him by his late Wife. He is about 32 years of age — thus endeth the first Lesson.

Wishing you the Compliments of the Season, I am your etc.

N [or W] POPHAM.


NEW YORK, SUNDAY 13 January, 1788.


* * * We were made Joyfull by last evenings Post on the news of Connecticut haveing adopted the new


Constitution, but a dampness is thrown on our spirits by information that the Convention of Massachusetts are much divided, should that state reject it we are ruined, on them depends every thing, every Federal Man in this City looks up to your State for our political salvation, for, say they, if Massachusetts Connecticut and New Hampshire accept it, tolerably unanimous, this state dare not refuse, but on the Contrary should they reject, the anti-federal Junto here will increase and come forward. The fact is that the sense & property here are universally in favor. This City are very unanimous — but we have as you have before heard four or five characters violently opposed, none however whose influence is to be feared but Govr. Clinton's. His has been astonishingly great in the back county's, but is undoubtedly daily lessening. The Legislature is now sitting at Poughkeepsie — 80 miles up the river. What they will do we are at a loss to determine. That they will appoint a Convention we haven't a doubt, but suppose the antifederalists will be for delaying its meeting to as distant a period as possible. However, as I said before, almost everything depends on your state. — I wish in your next you would dip a little into this subject, let me know how the convention proceeds & what the prospects are. God forbid that Adams should have much influence among you. We have in the Press a Pamphlet written by Colo. Hamilton under the Signature of Publius on the subject of a Federal Government, which I will send you by the first conveyance. He is undoubtedly one of the most sensible men in America, tho: yet not much more than Thirty years old — we have no late


arrivals from Europe, but several ships are daily expected, when 'tis probable we shall know whether peace is [to] continue. I think a War in Europe would be advantageous to our Politics, tho: our commercial regulations are so bad (or rather the want of any general regulations) that I am fearfull the Mercantile Interest would not be able to take the advantages which would be presented to us.

Present me affectionately to Sally & Hetty in which Aunt Polly joins, Yr. friend & Br.


W. Sargent


MONDAY, 14th Jany., 1788 — BOSTON.

"SAMUEL! SAMUEL! where art thou?" Twice my good sir have I wrote to you of late, & come at you without a word of Reply — are you so much engaged at the Corner that you cannot spare a Moment for your Friend? Well I wish you happy & you know I have given it as my Sentiment that there is the Source Whence are to be your Felicities, — how are the good Ladies, do write me, for I feel myself (independent of your Worship) affectionately interested in the Welfare of that whole Family. — I regreted very much that in my late Visit at York we could not pass together some of our Time with them — when I am next with you I hope it will be otherwise — This is to be about the middle of February & perhaps sooner — however it will depend upon General St. Clair from whom I shall hear previous to my Journey, as he has promised to write me from New York — Is he there?

I shall be well pleased to be situated near you — you know the Quarters I should like & I will ask you to look out for me — tis not probable that I shall remain in York longer than two Weeks at most.

Accompanying of this are six Maps which I request you will dispose of agreeable to the List here annexed — Don't forget that I mean them as a Compliment — so that if you meet with the names in your List of Subscribers you must observe that what I now send on has nothing to do with the Business.


I saw your Brother Barrell yesterday who desires of me to write Platt concerning the Indents on our Certificates paid for Shares in the Ohio Company — Will you be so obliging as to tell Platt that the Subscribers generally would be very glad to receive them at this Time as they can now negotiate them to great Advantage. If he will forward Cutler's, May's, Jackson's, Downer's maps & mine, I will response for them to him.

I am your affectionate


Maps for Sam B. Webb, Genl. Knox, St. John, Thomas Hutchins Esqr., Richard Platt — Sebastain Bauman, & tell him, if you please, that I have hunted after his d--d old torn Book ten thousand Times more than it ever was worth & also ask him to fix a Price to it — for he has said more on this Subject than I would for his whole Library.


BOSTON, 6th Feby., 1788


Joy to you & all men, this day about 5 o'clock the Convention finished their Sessions & have adopted the Constitution 187 yeas 168 Nays Majority 19 & considering we have at least 80 Shays men & some more as bad as you or I ever wish any men to be, Set it down it is equal to a Unanimous Vote in any other State This is General Joy — In particular I have to inform you yesterday Sally gave me a very fine Boy whose Name will be George if my parson pleases — Sally is very extraordinary well she & Kitty gives love to you & Aunt Polly.

I am in haste & hence only the foregoing very excellent news to communicate M. Fra Cabot & my bro. are present & my Good parson they all send Compliments to Gen. Webb.





Was I to write you a Letter as long as you deserve, I must devote


more time to you than I can spare from my good Father whose stay with me is very short and the whole of that must be engrossed by business, I have snatched a few moments from the busy scene to devote to you, to thank you for your kind remembrance of me, and to assure you of my regard; secluded from all my former acquaintance, and even my retirement broke in upon by misfortune, you must even consider yourself as performing a Deed of Charity to write me. I shall ever remember your polite and friendly Attention to me. Well Webb are you most married? My Father has dropt some Hints about a certain young Lady at Claverack — a very handsome Girl, tho' I am informed that she is not sound in the Toes — get her sound that she may last, for it is the devil to be unwifed. We are looking anxiously towards Boston for the Fate of the federal Constitution, we daily see many fine sensible performances from that Convention and I doubt not that the wisdom as well as the Property of the State are in favor of it, but unfortunately every Blockhead and Bankrupt in the State has as good a Vote as a better Man. Should Massachusetts adopt the Constitution, Rhode Island and New Hampshire will follow the Example. the Judge tells me that New York will adopt it. God send it success — present me to my friends, you know them, and to Miss H------ when you see her. I am

my dear Webb,
yours sincerely

TOASTS, 16 February 1788.

1st. The Constitution — May it prove the Solid Fabrick of American Liberty, Prosperity and Glory.

2nd. The Federal Convention — may their Virtue, Wisdom and Firmness be deeply Engraven on the Hearts of their Countrymen.

3. The State of Delawar.

4. The State of Pensilvania.

5. The State of New Jersey.

6. The State of Connecticut.


7. The State of Georgia.

8. The State of Massachusetts.

9. May the Patriotic Declarations of the Minorities of Connecticut, and Massachusetts, serve as an Example throughout the Union.

10. The Friends of the Constitution throughout the States.

11. The State of New York: may it soon become an Additional Pillar to the New Roof.

12th. Union to The States, and Confusion to its Enemies.

13. General Washington: may his Wisdom, and Virtue preside in the Councils of his Country.

Mrs. Catherine Webb (née Hogeboom.)


NEW YORK, 17th February, 1788.

The letter which accompanies this will convince you I have not been remiss in writeing; I did not send it to the office, intending Major Popham should have committed it to the care of Mr. Rensaler; he left town without my knowledge, and on Wednesday Evening we received the pleaseing intelligence that Massachusetts had ratifyed the new Constitution. Your humble servant was one of a Committee to conduct the celebration of that important event; this will, I trust apologize for leting a second Post pass, without my letter. On Thursday the usual marks of Joyfull approbation were given by fireing of Cannon, displaying a Standard, form'd for the occasion &c, &c, and yesterday the principle Gentlemen of the Town & members of Congress dined together at the Coffee-house, — the consequence is, that I am afflicted with a bad cold and Head-Ache. Were you here I am persuaded you would call me a Rake — this on great occasions, where the mind is seriously engaged will sometimes be the case, but I have't a doubt, my fair friend will make every


allowance, — probably both your and my future happiness is depending upon the issue of this business, — however it is not my intention to enter into a political correspondence with my Petticoat Philosopher. * * *



Wednesday 20th of Feby. [1788], late at night.

I thank you, my Dear Webb, for your polite friendly & affectionate Favor & shall (be assured) call on you upon the first Moment of my Arrival. — I will not be so soon as I had intended, as I am under the Necessity of attending the Ohio Meeting in Providence the first Wednesday of March, from which Place I will begin my Journey — so that you may expect me very soon after we have finished our Business there if the River be open —

I hope you will not forget to promote the Interests of our Friend C--t--r as A--m--y has resigned — I know you are very capable of it — being form'd for [torn] as well as soft Persuasion.

Adieu believe me your affectionate


I find amongst my Maps one with Col. Duer's Name on it which leads me to suspect I omitted sending him one to your Care — how is it?



CLAVERACK, February 28, 1788.


I arrived here on Wednesday last and have spent my life since that in a continued round of dancing and disipation. I could wish you was here to partake of my pleasure and the Company of a certain lady whose behaviour has been so extreamely kind that it never will be in my power to cancel the obligations she has conferd upon me. if you was not well acquainted I should undertake to comment, but even that would be the hight of presumption in my feeble feather, since the pen of a Hamilton or a Chancellor would be competent to the task. She is truly noble, and if you are pious and accomplish your undertaking, if you dont spend your time attended with extrem happiness in a connection with her you ought to be dam'd into an Eternity of Eternities. I now set out for Albany accompanied with a number of fine girls from Hudson. I have followed your example, and paid some attention to indifferent individuals — dame fame has got it in the mouth of her extensive trumpet and make no doubt but the next news you hear concerning me is that I am engaged to Miss Olney. your's joins with me in presenting our best respects to you pray give my love to the Miss Rutsens when ever you see them. I cant inform you any thing concerning the old affair yet, as I did not stop at Poughkeepsie longer than the Stage changed horses. adieu. I am my dear Friend

Yours &c., &c.,



NEW YORK, 9th March, 1788.


I am favor'd with yours of the 1st Inst. and shall pay it the attention you wish — Mr. Livingston is out of Town, the moment he returns I will see him, there will be no difficulty about exchangeing paper for Specie, if he will allow the discount, which is from 6 to 8 pr. Ct. — the moment I can get it, it shall be forwarded by


Pease or Hyde. — Your apples were yesterday ship'd in the Schooner Sally, Benj. M Olmsted Master — Out of three Barrels, they are reduced to two, should you have occasion for more they can be procured. — Our harbour has been fill'd with Ice for ten days past in such a manner that it has been impossible for Vessells to move with safety, and 'tis said that the Sound is yet full of Ice, so that Olmsted may not sail for several days, — I intended sending you a super Excellent Barrell of Cyder, but the weather is such that the Man who promised it has not been in Town; if he brings it & Tis such as I wish you to Bottle, & make satisfaction of, I will send it by the first Vessel; otherwise you will hear no more of it. Murry repeatedly promised & several times afterwards told me he had wrote you about Geary's business, & the last time I call'd on him he shew me his letter to Fish, which he supposed was all that was necessary.

I congratulate you & my dear Sister on the arrival of (to this troublesome world — ) my young Nephew — I hope he may live to be a blessing to you both & do much good in his day & generation. If he follows the steps of his Father he will help to populate the Wilds of America, & do all he can to please the Ladies. O New-Hampshire, you have (perhaps unintentionally) done us much injury. — Anti-federalists lift their heads, — had they adjourned only to April it would not have been much — but they will now be in the rear of several States, whom we fear will pattern after them. — This City is true — but the Country wants mending; — we are busy — so are the Anti's — an eastern paper says Capt. Kendric was safe at the Cape de Verds — good luck to


him — my Love to all and believe me Affectionately Yours


Remember me to our mutual friend Haskell, I intend writing him by the first good conveyance.


NEW YORK, Sunday 27th April 1788.

* * * This week we expect much noise and bustle thro: the City, with Electioneering, and May-Day moveing, we shall be in complete confusion, — no more Mobing I hope, for in the last year your Hum. Servt. was so beat and bruised that he was confined to his room for four days. — The Governor & his party will probably meet with a great mortification, the great body of Cityzens are much displeased with his political sentiments and Conduct. * * *



NEW YORK, 27th April, 1788.


Enclosed you have an order drew in your favor by Colonel Richard Platt on Messrs Jonas Adams & Co for 302 24/90 Dollars equal to Ł120.18 Currency, for which I gave Ł92.0. — this I must have done or given the same exchange for Crowns and light Gold, which would have differed you one pR Ct. more. It will undoubtedly be paid at the time due. — I have likewise enclosed for your information the Statement of money's received from Capt. Greene on your account, by which you'll


observe this last order leaves a ballance due me of 45/3 Currency. Mr. Livingston and myself shall make a final Settlement of the business so soon as he hears from Capt. Green — when the remaining ballance is received I will forward it to you by the first Stage. Our Election for the State Convention begins on Tuesday, and probably will continue untill Saturday, we have a Foedral & an AntiFoedral Ticket exhibited — but there is not a doubt we carry the Foedral ticket in the City four to one, and I am happy to add that in the other County's we have flattering prospects; some are unanimous against us, but we think we have a good chance of getting at least an equal number of Foederalists for the Convention; and of these we shall boast all the good Sense and Shineing Abilities, the Anti's cannot boast of a Single great Character on their side which will probably be a member — in short equal bets are now taken that this State adopt the New Constitution. I am not however very Sanguine, that it will be done by the first Convention — amazeing exertions are made both for & against it. I enclose you our Foedral ticket, the Characters I think must please you. — the Govr. is at the head of the other, — I likewise send you a small Pamphlet written by John Jay about ten days since and which has had a most astonishing influence in converting Antifoedralists, to a knowledge and belief that the New Constitution was their only political Salvation.

Your Hudson Strawberry Vines are at Mr. Pintard's — but no Vessel in Port bound to Boston. I hope one may soon offer; but should it prove too late, Capt. Ricketts says he will, with pleasure, furnish you in the


Fall. My Love to Sally and Hetty, I hope to see them and you, some time this Summer. — I flatter myself your Son Joe, will whenever he returns come in the Packets to this port; he will be better accommodated — and as he had never been here, it will be pleaseing to him. I have met with several Gentlemen who have seen him in Europe, & all speak in pleaseing terms of his manners & understanding. Remember me to my friend Haskell; if time I intend writeing by this conveyance; if not he shall soon hear from his friend & Yr. Affect. Br.


Foedral List of the City of New York, for the Convention of June 17th 1788.

John Jay — Secretary of foreign affairs.

Richard Morris, Chief Justice of the State.

John Sloss Hobart — Second Judge.

Robert R. Livingston — Chancellor of the State.

James Duane, Mayor of the City.

Alexander Hamilton

    } eminent Attorney's.
Richard Harrison

Isaac Roosevelt

    } respectable Merchant's.
Nicholas Low


NEW YORK, Sunday, 4th May, 1788.

* * * Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were days on which every one laid aside their usual business, and paid their whole attention to the important business before them. All was conducted with perfect order and regularity; it was not a contested Election.


The friends to an Energetic Federal Government were so unanimous, that no danger was to be apprehended, — a small attempt was made by the Governor's expireing party, on the first day, after which we heard no more of them. Out of about 3,000 Votes, I much doubt if they have two Hundred, and from every information we haven't a doubt, this State will do as they ought. — Heaven grant they may! it will undoubtedly be a means of preventing civil discord. * * *



BOSTON, 4th May, 1788.


* * * * * * * * *

I wish exceedingly your State may adopt the New Constitution with a good Grace, for do it they must, by fair means or foul. I wish you may, and have but little fear that you will, carry your Federal List, but as to good sense & sound Argument, of what avail can they be to the wilfully and wickedly Ignorant, Antis, for if amongst them there are men of any Abilities, who are they but Interested selfish men, or of desperate fortunes; and if this Country is to be govern'd by such, how much worse will be our boasted Independance than our former Subjection; but for my part I am of the opinion Honor & Justice will prevail, and the time is at hand when the Man of Humanity will have nothing but Pity for the wretched Antis, whose remorse & Shagreen, will be a sufficient punishment for all their Vilainy. The Pamphlet wrote by Mr. Jay is Excellent. I sent it immediately to the press and a part of it was published in the Centinel of Wednesday last as a choice Morsel. * * *



NEW YORK, 11th May, 1788.


I thank you for your favor of the 4th Instant which


came to hand by the Thursday post; you may depend I shall not loose sight of the discount I have given for the money remitted you from Greene, nor has Livingston (his Agent) intimatted but that he will allow it; — but we differ respecting the General settlement. He says he cannot on mercantile principles settle it on the footing I have proposed (which are those communicated by you to me,) and on my part I think them perfectly just. — The truth I believe is, that he has written to Green & waits his answer, for he says "in a few days I will give you my Idea's & come to a final Settlement." — Could I see Green myself I haven't a doubt I should persuade him to do that which I think is right, — Livingston I believe an honest good Man, but at the same time is a close hand in mercantile transactions, & as an Agent probably is more particular than he would be in his own business; — however considering what you have said to me I am determined to close with them on some terms or other — whenever they are ready, in about ten days I am agoing for Albany & the Northern parts of this State in pursuit of some of my property & probably may be gone for a Month. The moment of my return shall be announced to you. Livingston's Debt is secure, and I believe by a turn which I have offered to make I shall have to pay you the money; of this when I again write you. You have no Idea of Electioneering business — with you 'tis all fair & quiet, but with us, 'tis all confusion — parties for different sides appear publicly — and sometimes blows ensue, but in our late Election for delegates for Convention we Foedral folks were so unanimous in this City that the Governor's party of Antis shew themselves


only the first day — and were so very weak that we only heard from them afterwards by hand-Bills a number of which from both parties were in circulation. — I enclose you one (said to be written by Colo. Hamilton) to shew you how plainly we speak of our Governor. In the great contested Election before the Revolution, between the Livingston's & Delancy's — they could jointly muster only abt. 2700 Votes; on the present occasion we have between 2900 & 3,000 — out of which we calculate the Anti's may have short of 400 — & from all the information yet obtained we Judge about 37 Foedral Members of Convention, the whole number is 65 — but no certainty, the Votes cannot be counted untill the last Tuesday of this Month, — we must accept the Constitution, & I hope we shall do it with good grace.

You cannot in the United States have a Signature to an Obligation more secure than Richd. Platt, he has a handsome property & in no way of risking a shillings loss, — but accumulating it daily.

I shall pay a visit to Mr. Gardoqui to-morrow; if any Seeds you shall have them — Cape Jessame I must apply to my friend Cary for, he lives 20 Miles from Town. my Love to Sally Hetty & the Children — Aunt Polly I saw yesterday she is well & desires to be remembered, with your friend & Brother



POUGHKEEPSIE, June 8th, 1788.


I came here on Sunday evening about 7 oClock — It is impossible to tell how the Convention will adopt the constitution yet, but things


have a very gloomy aspect — The antifederalists appear devoid of reason and deaf to the most energetic arguments — The convention have done very little since I have been here. They have just finished their amendments, which if inserted, these wise antifederalists think will render it very nearly a perfect system — Tomorrow I expect to hear much debating, as they will again begin to deliberate upon the constitution with the proposed amendments — Mr. Rensellaer & Baron Steuben have just come to this place & have brought the account of the fray which happened at Albany the 4th of July, the particulars of which I have not yet learn't — But it seems that it was occasioned by the rejoicing of the federalists after hearing of the adoption of the Constitution by Virginia — There are several wounded on both sides — I have got into a house with anti's where I can hardly speak without opposition — I this morning delivered the newspapers to Col. Hamilton, who used me very politely — I every day visit the federal Hall — The anti's here are easily distinguished, by their walking in bodies & by their confused countenances. — Next friday I shall be able I think to give you an account of the speakers, and effect of the debates.

I am Sir with due respect
Your friend & humble Servt.


POUGHKEEPSIE, June 14th 1788.


The important decisive question would have been put this morning, had not the eloquent Hamilton and Mr. Jay pleaded the postponement (at least till to-morrow) of a question the most serious and interesting ever known to the people of America. — But alas, for the ignorance of many of the antifederalists, notwithstanding the most energetic argument and the clearest demonstrations for the adoption of the Constitution, urged by the two Gentlemen above mentioned, they are regardless of the fatal Consequences resulting from a rejection of it; if Congress should receive it, as such, — Mr. Hamilton appeared to be much impressed with a sense of this important crisis, and while he exerted every faculty to show them the


improbability that their adoption would be accepted, entreated them to be very deliberate & cool, in determining perhaps not only the fate of the present, but of many generations. — Mr. Gilbert Livingston seemed to coincide with Mr. Hamilton, and moved likewise for a postponement of the question, although Mr. Lansing and one or two others used every effort, but happily in vain, that the question might be brought forward immediately. The debates this Morning were opened by Mr. Smith, who spoke a considerable time, but I think to little purpose. — He appears to be willing to rest upon an uncertainty, for he cannot be certain that the manner in which they mean to adopt the Constitution will be esteemed as a ratification. — He was followed by the honorable Mr. Jay who after a long controversy about a comparison made by himself, silenced his opponent. — He was succeeded again by Mr. Harrison who in elegant language & with becoming modesty pointed out our critical situation — After Mr. Harrison had spoken the question which I have before spoken of was brought forward, to prevent the decision of which Mr. Hamilton the american Cicero arose — Several Gentlemen have told me that Mr. Jones is very much terrified — this day he was absent on account of sickness, his Son told me, though I conjecture political sickness. To morrow Sir, the fate of this state & perhaps of all America will be be determined. I tremble at the thought of intestine commotion. And if this manner of ratification should not be valid; may Heaven prevent that fellow Citizens & countrymen should bathe their swords in each others blood — Give my love to the family — I remain Sir

with great respect Your friend & hble Servt.



MONDAY, 30 June, 1788.


My distressed state, both of body and mind, have prevented my writing & acknowledging the receipt of yours of the 18th; I have every day resolved to write, but found myself Too weak, and too much affected, when I took up my pen, to proceed. I have wished, & hoped from day, to day, to find myself more at ease in my mind,


and for some relaxation of my disorders, for I wished to state my case simply, but somewhat, at large to your Lordship; but I am still incapable of doing this, my fever has been almost constant, & increasing & leaving Me, untill I am but just able to walk my room. Three days since I walk'd as far as the bird cage walk, & accidentally met with Mr. Irwin, who relieved my then extreme want; for the rest Mr. Wilkinson has cheifly assisted me. As to pecuniary matters, my friend Bancroft is in distress, and involv'd in vexatious Law-suits, with Men who depend principally on this circumstance, for success against him; he has besides this, a family to support, yet such is his Friendship that he has repeatedly assisted me, with a part, of what he had; this my Lord, is a brief state of my situation as to money matters. I get but little rest at night, for my coughing is almost, incessant, and my night Sweats, which but lately affected Me, are profuse, so that I have scarcely a thread of my Linnen dry in the morning. My Appetite is gone, I have not ate anything solid, for more than Ten days. Fruit, a poached egg, or an egg beat up in milk, warm from the cow with Sugar, Nutmeg, & some spirit in it, have been my sole nourishment, nor has my Stomach been, at all Times been able to bear even these, And I have frequent cold, & aguish turns of shivering. excuse me my Lord, for being thus particular, I wish, and it is what I owe to Truth, & to your Lordship, to lay my case, simply and without exaggeration, or coloring, before you, that You may judge, if I am obstinate, in declining, I may say, in refusing to go on Shipboard, under these circumstances, & with a Mind distracted, with reflections on the past, the present, & the probable future; In a word my Lord I may be carried, on toward, where want of Fruit, of Milk, of Vegetables, in a word of proper attendance, and of everything proper for a sick person, with heat, & calms on the passage, and violent Equinoctial Gales on the coast, which are almost certain, at this Season, (These, which I do not color too highly,) must cut short my Voyage, & prevent my ever landing in America, although the Ship, may go safe, & To persons in health it may be supportable. But my Physician, is in favor of the Voyage. My Lord when a Physician has a patient, whose disorder baffles him, he recommends to him a Short voyage, to sea, or the Watering places, or in short any where, to get him out of the way and off his hands. I have been to sea enough


to know, what it is in general, & how it affects me, even when in full Health, and with a mind, at ease. I rely more my Lord, on my Friend Bancrofts Opinion, than on that of almost any Physician, tho' it is now many years, since he practised. He knows my habits, & Temper, from long intimacy; he has in his own mind, given up all thoughts, of my embarking, in my present State, and untill I can recover some degree of Strength, proportionate to the voyage. Mr. Irwin does not think himself authorized, to assist me, out of Your Lordships bounty, in any way, but in procuring a passage for Me, to America, of which I have said enough. My wish is to remove to some healthy spot in the Country, for a few Weeks, & until I can, in some degree become a little stronger, & more capable of undergoing the fatigue of a Voyage; and in the meantime, I may hear from my Brother, to whom, I wrote some time since. But if there is no alternative left Me, but to embark in my present Situation, or to suffer the last extremities here, my case is indeed a hard one; I have said enough, perhaps Too much; but on this Subject, I ought on every account, to speak my mind freely, I have done so, and hope that Your Lordship will not take it amiss, when you reflect on my pressing distresses, both of body, & mind. Those of the former bear hard on Me, very hard indeed, and those of the latter are such, as I cannot describe, they push me at Times, To the verge of absolute distraction. I cannot add more, than my most respectful Complts., To Lady Sheffeild, and To assure your Lordship

I am &c



POUGHKEEPSIE, Thursday morning, June 26th, 1788.

* * * I cannot my friend but congratulate you on the news of New-Hampshire haveing adopted the New Constitution, Nine States have now agreed & I fondly hope this will no longer obstinately persue measures which will ultimately tend to their dishonor and ruin —


The question now is, whether this State are able and choose to remain out of the Union, for the Government will immediately be put in Execution, And the further opposition of Anti-federal's may ruin the peace & happiness of the State. — My Compliments to the Doctor. By your Brother I have sent him the productions of Hamilton in two Volumes, under the Signature of Publius; they will, I trust, be usefull and pleasing to him, I hope he will strongly recommend them to the serious perusal of your Pappa. * * *

POUGHKEEPSIE, Thursday eveng., 26th June, 1788.

* * We have been entertained for upwards of two hours this morning by Colonel Hamilton in one of the most elegant speeches I ever heard. He is indeed one of the most remarkable genius's of the Age, his Political knowledge exceeds, I believe, any Man in our Country, and his Oratorial abilities has pleased his friends and surprized his Enemies. * * *


NEW YORK, July 1st, 1788.


* * * What will be our situation some Months hence God only knows, for we have not the most distant prospect that our Convention will adopt the New Constitution. I left them on Saturday — and am sorry to say they remain as at first, 46 Anti-federal & 19 of our side, they have been fairly beat out of the field of Argument by a Jay — a Hamilton & a Livingston, and


have taken upon themselves to work out of doors. The Governor — Judge Yates, Mr. Smith & Mr. Lansing, Mayor of Albany, are leaders of their party & have their troops (a set of ignorant Dutchmen) under perfect command, — in short knowing their strength in Convention they begin to grow abusive. — But here we scarcely know an Anti, — we are making immense preparations for celebrateing the 9th State (New Hampshire) — we have put it of untill next week on Acct. of interfereing with the necessary rejoicing the 4th Inst. — and because our Ship — The Hamilton will not be ready before — she is 25 feet keel & Commodore Nichollson is to command her, you will hear enough of this hereafter in the Newspapers — I will not write you again — Company prevents at present — Kiss Sally & Hetty for me & believe me Dr. Barrell

Yrs. Affectionately


4 o'Clock Wednesday morng. I Congratulate you my Dr. Br. on the Joyfull news of Virginia adopting the Constitution this day week — 98 in favor & 78 against. We Recd. the Intelligence by Colo. D. Henly who arrived in town abt. 1 o'Clock this morng. — We have just fired a salute of ten Guns & all our Bells are now ringing. — Pease waits & I have no time to add. Our express has gone to Poughkeepsie & will be there by 2 o'Clock this day. We hope it may have the desired affect, but I doubt.


NEW YORK, Wednesday, 6 o'Clock,
2d. July, 1788.

* * * This morning at 2 oClock an Express arrived from Virginia with the important news of that State haveing adopted the proposed Constitution; at the dawning of the day all the Bells of the City began and Rung for four hours, at the Sun's riseing we were saluted with Ten Twenty four pounders which made noise sufficient to awaken the most drowsy, in short the whole day has been devoted to amusements; and altho my Ancle prevents my rambling much abroad, I have had a circle at my room, & to prevent their further intrusion while writeing you I have closed my front Windows. — On Fryday the 4th we are to have an Oration in St. Paul's Church, and your Hum Servt. Master of Ceremonies, how I shall make out I know not, on that subject I may write you when more at leisure. * * *

NEW YORK, Sunday, 6th July, 1788.

My last was forwarded you the 3d. by the Thursday's Mail, together with the Magazines, for May and June; since which I am favored with yours of the 29th ultimo. My Ancle is getting well slowly; it will take time and requires patience. I was under the necessity of useing it on the 4th Instant more than was agreeable, We had a very agreeable day, much noise and great procession, Colo Duer delivered an Oration to the Society of the Cincinnati at St. Paul's Church, which will be printed in a few days, & I will send it for your perusal. — You are gratified e're this in the knowledge of


Virginia having agreed to the New Constitution. I hope this State will no longer be blinded to their own Interest; however, little is to be expected from the obstinacy of the Anti-federal Characters now at Poughkeepsie; — if they do not adopt it, 'tis more than probable there will be a separation of the State. However I yet hope they may act wisely. * * *

NEW YORK, July 13th, 1788.

* * * The adoption of the New Constitution by Virginia gave me very great pleasure, and we fondly hoped it would be a sufficient inducement for this State to give up all further opposition; but the accounts by last evening's Post are very unfavorable, and you can have no Idea of the rage of the Inhabitants of this City. — Should they not adopt it in a few days, a Resolution will pass for the New Congress to meet at Philadelphia, which will be a fatal stroke to our Commerce & when it will end God only knows. — The Southern District are determined on a Separation to join the union, and I do not believe the life of the Governor & his party would be safe in this place. — I hope they will prevent this gloomy prospect, by acting like rational beings, have the public weal, and not private emolument at heart, — you must excuse my mentioning this subject, it is a serious one, & gives us much uneasiness, however let us hope for the best. * * *

NEW YORK, Sunday, 20th July, 1788.

* * * I thank you my dear Girl for your friendly caution to me, and you may rely I shall pay it due attention. The Gov. has rendered himself extreamly


obnoxious to the Inhabitants of this City, so much so, that they have lost all respect for him. However I shall be cautious not to render myself the personal enemy of him or any other Character; — God mend his ways. There is indeed a great prospect that the Convention will adopt the Constitution in such a manner that Congress will receive us into the Union, — it is devoutly to be wished and it is my most ardent prayer. Wednesday this week a Grand procession takes place in this City, before which I hope we shall hear from Poughkeepsie that all is as we could wish; it will add greatly to the pleasures of the day, the whole expence will amount to 8 or ten thousand pounds. It would give me great pleasure was you here.

NEW YORK, July 25th, 1788.

Major Popham sets off in half an hour for Albany. I cannot let pass so safe a conveyance without a line, tho' want of time will make me concise. — To the Major I must refer you for the particulars of our display the day before yesterday, it was the most brilliant ever seen in America, and probably few of the oldest City's in Europe ever excelled in a procession of the kind, — a full description of it will soon be published, but it will be impossible for the pen of fancy itself to do it perfect justice. The day ended to the great sattisfaction of the Cityzens and a vast number of Strangers from the Neighboring States. * * *

NEW YORK, Sunday, 27th July, 1788.

* * * The Mail brought us the pleaseing intelligence of our Convention at Poughkeepsie haveing


agreed to adopt the New Constitution. — It was received with unusual marks of Joy; every Class of Citizens turned out, Bells rang — Cannon fired, fireworks were displayed and the federal Ship (which is now posted in the Broad-Way near Bowling Green) was handsomely illuminated, the whole night was spent in loud acclamation of Joy, and continued untill past 8 o'clock this morning — indeed I was afraid that Sunday would not bring them to their usual steadiness. The whole however passed over without anything improper takeing place, untill about two in the morning, Mr. Greenleaf, the Printer, has insulted the City at large by several impertinent publications, — and during the time of their moveing round in a body, they stop'd at the house where he keeps his printing press — they broke into the house & I am told destroyed his Types; he fled, — This is the only instance in which the least unjustifiable act has been committed & I trust we shall hear no more of it. * * *



NEW YORK, 7th Septr. 1788.


I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your obligeing favor of the 15th of August, which would have been answered immediately, but that I waited the promised letter from Major Turner, which came to hand the 1st Inst. dated Eleven days after you wrote, and to my great surprise I found he had parted with the Certificate which he had promised you, for me, and which I had persuaded Coll. Platt to accept of as security on


terms, which Major Turner himself acknowledged, were much more generous than he could reasonably expect, — he now writes to me about a protested Bill, his frequent disappointments and further expectations of Certificates & remittances from the Southward. — I sent his letter to Coll. Platt, which produced the enclosed from him to me, it requires no comment, the last act of Major Turner respecting the Certificate, has indeed made Coll. Platt extremely displeased, and I think not without just cause, 'tis therefore I am under the absolute necessity of requesting you to demand immediate payment from Major Turner. — I am persuaded in my own mind I could yet prevail on Coll. Platt to act with his former proposed generosity, provided the Certificate or other ample security was lodged in his hands, and am willing to make the attempt, provided you can prevail on Major Turner to put it immediately into your hands for me, — I am truly sorry that his conduct militates so much against the principles, which I had ever supposed would govern him. — I am under the necessity of requesting you will without further delay do the needful for my security, if time I will answer Majr. Turner's letter, I heartily wish he may do that which will reinstate him to the good opinion of his former friends.

Congress have not yet decided the question where the new Government are to meet, I am fearful this delay will give new spirits to the enemies of the Constitution, and that it may operate very unfavorably.

I am Dear Sir with sentiments of esteem Your friend & Most Obedt. Servt.




NEW YORK, 11th September, 1788.

As I have an hour's leisure to spare, I shall with pleasure devote it to my absent friend. A description of our parties to the Seabass Banks I would before have given you, had it entered my mind that you could have been amused by it. It is enough that you request it. — The objects on these excusions are amusement, relaxation from business and change of Air. We are twelve in number, mostly gentlemen of Congress, on Board a Rhode Island Packet, which are beautiful Vessels, with elegant accommodations. — We take with us our fishing geer and fowling pieces, generally leave the City with the evening tide, run down to Sandy-Hook, and at day light the next morning proceed to Sea about 30 Miles from the light house, and all hands (that are not Sea-sick) go to fishing. In two or three hours we take a sufficient quantity to last us for two days. — If the weather is good, we run in shore and land on the beach, and amuse ourselves with killing Snipe, which are plenty and very fine eating, towards evening we again embark and run into Sandyhook, where we anchor for the night, — as it is easy, and not always safe to be anchored in the ocean. The next day we proceed to the same amusement, or Sail to any other place as the company may agree. When tired we make the best of our way to the City. — If the weather is good, we have an awning over the quarter Deck during our whole excursion, and when not engaged in fishing, we amuse ourselves with Cards, Singing, &c. Our first excursion lasted only three days and was vastly pleasant, — but our last was far


otherways. While on the banks the Sea run so rough that half the party were excessively Sea-sick — and staying too long out, ran a great risk of being lost — a heavy thunder storm, and very severe squall of wind struck us when 20 Miles at Sea, we had no alternative but that of carrying a great press of Sail to gain the Hook or of risking being drove off the Coast. The former was determined on, when from 7 in the Eveng. to 1 oClock we were beating against a Sea that ran at least 50 feet high — but our vessel being good and well man'd we at length reach'd our port within the Hook, and rode the night with two Anchors ahead, pitching our Bowsprit under untill near twelve oClock the next day, when the Gale abated and we were willing to make the best of our way for the Town, — this I believe has cured us from any more parties of this kind, this year; indeed it is too late in the Season. We are this Month constantly in danger of heavy Gales. — You would however be delighted to see us on the Bank. Sometimes there is not less than 40 Sail, many of employed taking fish for the Market, while the rest are parties of pleasure, or invalids taking the Sea air for their health. Some parties are composed of Ladies and Gentleman, but these I never join, for however fond of the Society of your Sex, I never wish to be with them at Sea. Few but are so frightened and Sea-sick as to render their friends about them very uneasy. * * *

It has long been a matter of doubt where the new Government would commence its operations. It was yesterday determined in Congress, that this City should be the place, and the first Wednesday in March next, is determined for their meeting. This resolution is


favorable to the wishes of many, in which I have found myself interested, as it may tend to my future benefit.

NEW YORK, Thursday, 16th October, 1788.

I returned to town too late last evening to write you for this day's post, but I am informed by Major P. that himself and Lady, with Miss P. Ludlow, embark for Claverack to-morrow. By them I shall send you the three last Magazines, together with No. 2 to complete your sett. On Sunday we cross'd the ferry after sunset, and in half an hour after set forward on our Journey by Moon-light, arrived at Hempsted about 9 in the evening where business detained us too long to pursue our Journey that night. At the dawn of day Monday morning we were again on the Road, and stop'd to Brake-fast at a place call'd South, about 10 o'Clock, when unexpectedly we got track of the Man we were in pursuit of. We then changed our course across the Island and by Eleven came to a tavern on the Brushy plains where we seized a scoundrel, who had made off much in our debt, It was fortunate, as we must have lost our Money had we waited half a day longer. He was on his way to the East end of the Island, from thence to cross to New London & Sail for West-Indies. Tho' he ought to have been punished, rather than he should be brought back, we received our demands and let him off.

Our business being at an end, and our horses requiring rest, we pass'd the remainder of the day in shooting Grouse, and at day light yesterday morng we set of for town — The day was windy and disagreeable, but we got to the ferry, 44 Miles, abt. 3 oClock in the


afternoon, and could not get over until near nine oClock at night. — Our business on the Island is a Secret, nor should I have mentioned it to you but that I flatter myself an acct. of my little excursions, and my pursuits, in them are interesting to you.

In Company last Night with Jno. Livingston he said he was lately at Claverack, and was happy enough to be taken for me by Miss Hogeboom, we laugh'd a little on the subject, — tho I made no enquiries, for fear of observation. — It is not new — we have often been call'd for each other on the Street, and at the Dancing Assemblies, when both in the room the mistake has more than once been made. * * *



New York, Thursday, Dec. 18th, 1788. Sailed at XI this morning for New Port on Board Capt Browne, in the Hancock Packet, Mrs. Parsons myself and Servant the only passengers. At 6 oClock in the Eveng came to Anchor under Norwalk Islands

Fryday, Decr., 19th. Weigh'd Anchor at 10 oClock and stood for the passage between the Islands & the Main, wind heading & Snowing hard came too again, having gone about 3 Miles from N. York. — At half past 3 oClock P. M. a light Breeze from the N. West; weigh'd Anchor and stood on our course with a moderate Breeze all night; at day light in the morning of the 20th off New London — Wind about N. Took the passage of Fisher's Island Sound, half past 9 came up with Watch-hill 45 Miles from New Port. The Wind


light & heads. Some appearances of a Snow Storm. At 6 in the Evening arrived at New Port, wind and tide being ahead prevented our proceeding for Providence.

New Port, Sunday, 21st Decr.. The coldest day we have had the Season, & the Wind very violent from the North West, which renders it impossible for any of the Packets to Sail. At 1 oClock set off by land in a Chaise for Providence. Arrived at Bristol ferry about 1, and in Crossing came near sinking; before we could reach the opposite shore the Boat was half full of water the sails & Rigging full of Ice. Walk'd up to Bristol Town, hired another Chaise and proceeded to the ferry 1 Mile short of Providence, the Boat being on the opposite Shore and aground — they could not cross, — hired 8 Men and launch'd a Scow which was 30 feet from the Water, got over and arrived at Providence at Eleven oClock. Sup'd, hired a Stage and set of for Boston, at 4 oClock & arrived in Town at half past One on Monday the 22d Dec. excessively fatigued, having been without Sleep since I left New-Port, and but once undress'd since I left New York.

Boston, Tuesday 23d, & Wednesday 24th. At my Br.. Mr. Joseph Barrell's and on Thursday morng. at half past 5 oClock Christmass Day, took passage in the Stage in Compy. with Saml Broome for New York; arrived at Pease's in Worcester, half past 4 oClock in the Evening.

Dec. 26th. Rode to Spencer and met the Stage from Hartford, from thence to Brookfield and Dined — Arrived at Graves' of Palmer abt. half past 7 in the Evening, and put up for the night. This day walked from


Spencer to Brookfield — ten Miles — a very Mountainous Country.

Saturday, 27th Dec., 1788. At Seven set of from Graves of Palmer, and rode to Parson's Springfield, 14 Miles, to Breakfast; from thence to my Brother's Jos. Webb's in Wethersfield where arrived about 7 in the Eveng.

Sunday, 28th Dec. Spent the day with my Brother & family at Wethersfield.

Monday 29. Set of at 8 oClock this morning in the Stage for New York; arrived at Browne in New Haven at 6 in the Eveng & lodged.

Tuesday, 30 Decr. 1788. Set of at 7 oClock from New Haven, Dined at Penfields in Fairfield at 12, arrived at Webb's of Stamford at 7 in the Eveng. & lodged.

Wednesday 31st. Brakefasted at the Wid. Havi-lands in Rye; Dined at Hoyt's Kingsbridge and arrived in New York half past 6 oClock in the Eveng.


SAVANNAH, 2d. January, 1789.


I am now to reply to your favour of the 10th November last, covering a Copy of my receipt to Joseph. Inclosed I send you what I suppose will answer the purpose. I wish you to send me the Original by return of Schermerhorn. I am sorry to tell you that your Brother Jack do's not yet appear here. I hope he did not sail so soon as you expected, otherwise he must have had a long passage, but as there has not been any very severe weather on our Coast I do not apprehend the least danger — We have had of late Foggy thick weather, which has prevented Vessels coming in, and is more than probable his case. The Letter herewith I wrote in September


last with intention of then sending it, but it was neglected. I now send it with no other view than if Jack has changed his mind and remains with you this winter, that you will give him some good advice. — What I have said is in confidence and from motives of real friendship towards him. You may rely notwithstanding Jack's imprudence I shall always Act towards him as you or Jos. would — but believe me it is necessary — his unguarded stile of talking of People should be checked — otherwise he will bring ruin on himself and make his friends miserable. I have never mentioned these matters to any one but yourself and shall not. I am happy to find our friend Joseph is in a likely way of settling his affairs — Give my Love to him and his Dear Good little Wife & the Children. The Indians have been quiet for some weeks past. — I think they wish peace, and that we shall have it in the Spring. What news is there about the Spaniards giving up our Negro's who have taken shelter in Florida — we are told Congress has some thing on this head from the Court of Spain — let us know what it is.

As the new government of the United States will soon take place, and of course all appointments be made, it behoves us all to look round and try what we can get. I am advised by all my friends this way to offer for the Collectorship of the Import for Georgia — and have little doubt of being Nominated by our Senators to Congress — But this alone will not do. It will also be necessary to have as many friends as possible in the Senate. I shall therefore make no apology, but at once ask your aid in this Business with your friends — I know you can serve me very essentialy — and have not a doubt you will do it, — Gen Wayne will (I doubt not) be one of our senators in Congress — Write me as soon as you can, and send me a list of all the Senators in the New England & Middle States; also your advice and Ideas on the Business. Genl Washington


President, and John Adams, Vice, says all the People in Georgia. Our Legislature meets on Tuesday next at Augusta, for which place I set off To-morrow with Mrs. Seagrove who joins me in best regards — wishing you all possible happiness I remain

Unalterably your Friend & Hble Ser.


John Webb


SAVANNAH, 22d. January, 1789.


I arriv'd here last Tuesday from Charlestown after an agreeable passage of eighteen hours — and found things in a better situation than I expected — The markets tolerable good — My Sloop will sail in seven or eight days I hope for New York, I am promis'd a very handsome freight — I am made happy this evening on my friend Mrs. Few's acct, as well as her worthy familys that Colo. Few is elected with Colo. Gunn our Senator — Please to remember me to them — this you may depend on as it came by Mr. John Houston this evening from Augusta — also Major Pendleton wrote it to his Wife — I saw Mr. Green this evening who is well and in good Spirits — Please to remember me to your worthy friend Colo Platt & to all the circle of our Friends — Please to let my friends know that I am safe in this Port — I should be more particular in this letter, but as I send it by Charlestown God only knows when it will reach you — by my Sloop you may depend on receiving the amount off — accept of my sincere thanks for your friendly and polite attention while I was with you — We have had a severe winter — much more so than I ever experienced before — but now have delightful Weather, and nothing is wanted to make this Country a heavenly Winter Country — but the Circle that you have in New York — But — But -------------I must confess I had rather live in New York or Boston with one hundred pounds, than to live here with as many thousands — Tell Mrs. F---- that I hope I may be the happy one to give her the agreeable news — I would give you the Price current, but by my Ship you shall have all the news. Tomorrow evening I spend the evening with all the Bells — & Beaux in this place — at a Mr. Habersham's — But it will not bear to be mention'd the same hour with your parties — I wish you to have made &


sent me a pair of brown common Breeches as you and my brother had made in New York — The first Pees I will send you — May God Bless you & never send you to a Sickly country to mend your fortune is the most fervant Prayer of your Affectionate Brother.



SAVANNAH, 22d. Feby., 1789.


I am now to reply to your favour of the 21st ult. by Burtram. Receive my warmest acknowledgement for your friendship & attention toward me in my views for the Collectorship — do my dear fellow Canvis for me among the Senators — I have wrote Doct. Johnson but am not so intimate with Mr. Elsworth to take that freedom — use your influence with them for me, as also with the more Eastward folks. There will be four Candidates for that office from Georgia — so that it must be determined by a Vote of the Senate — the Bearer Colo. Few will nominate me with the others. Our other Senator [James Gunn] I expect on [no?] Friendship from; I despise the Man as altogether unworthy of the appointment he has — and as I warmly opposed him in hope of getting in Genl Wayne — I know he will wish to disappoint me. His Man will be a Wretch who now fills the Office of Collectorship at this place — his Name is Ruben Wilkinson — he is from our back Woods low and illiterate as possible, but served our Honorable Senator Gunn in geting him Votes at the Election, by which he is bound to him. Majr. Wm. Pierce & Majr. John Habersham are also for it — A beast a sot Villain & Drunkard — a Wm. Gibbons Senr. brings up the rear. I have wrote all my friends that I can think of to remember me. I know your regard, therefore will not say a word more on the business. I found Jack Webb here on my return about a Week past from Augusta. He is well. I expect him every moment to Dinner — I am sorry I said anything to you about him, as I find it has given you much uneass. The Letter aluded to contained a detail of some imprudences of


Jacks in his loose stile of Conversation by which he risqued involving himself in trouble, beside making Enemy's of several Family's here who allways paid great attention to him. I do not class myself among the number for as I well know him, and that if he did anything improper it was not from a want of Goodness of heart — but from an unguarded Levity in his conversation, — therefore I was ever prepared to overlook — not only so, but to advise a contrary conduct — which I have often done, and received the fullest promises of a reform. The intent of my Letter was that you might be able to talk with him fully before his return. It gives me exceeding pain to tell you that he has turned many here against him — He finds a change, and this I fear will sour his temper against this Country and all in it. In conversation with him yesterday I could discover he meant to quit Georgia — he has offered his Lands for sale and if he continues his resolution I shall purchase as much from a View of his not suffring by coming here as any thing else. Let what will happen my hand and heart will ever be ready to assist him as I would my Brother — in which light I have allways viewed & treated him. I receive a great treat in your frequent present of the Newspapers — continue it my friend and if any expence I will cheerfully pay. If I could visit York for a few Months and bustle about among my old acquaintances I think I should stand a good chance. In case I loose the Collector's Office there is other appointments under the New Governt. which may answer. I hope you have some object in view for yourself — now is the time my dear fellow for you to fix.

Inclosed is a line for Jo which deliver, Write me a long letter — write under cover to Danl. Hall Esqr in Charleston, if no Vessel for this. — Tell me all the Political as well as private News. Mrs. Seagrove is well and requests to join in best respects and wishes for your health and happiness. refering to the Bearer Colo. Few for all the News I remain, Dear Webb,

Your Affect. Devoted Friend & Servt.




MARCH 14, 1789.


It was a Maxim with a great Man that friends should see each other but seldom if they wish'd to preserve their friendship entire; this is a Speculation too much refined for the comprehension of my Capacity, and so little does it comport with my sentiments that were I always with my friend Genl. Webb I should risque being cloy'd with his Society.

Our friends in this quarter are well and in high Spirits — A CHANGE IN ADMINISTRATION is the cry in Claverack and its Neighbourhood — Col. H. has taken a very active part in favour of Judge Yates from which circumstance much is expected — I believe old Clinton the sinner will get ousted — Columbia County is five Weeks gone with Electioneering sickness — and I have reason to believe that on the last Tuesday in April next she will be delivering of 2,000 clear Votes for Judge Y[ates].

Pray how are you at N York — your City must be fill'd with scenes of dissipation — the round of Balls — Concerts — Routs — and Assemblies must be continual — and it would seem as if those pleasures would soon cloy but experience must evince to the contrary — the men of pleasure pant after pastime and if it can be denominated diversions, — the insipidity of it is no objection — for my own part I have established my quarters in the very heartstrings of Coke upon Littleton — in applying myself close to him, I can in the end acquire competent and honl. fame it will be easy to define the Boundary's of my wishes —

I shall be with you next April Court — Miss I and Ca. [Catherine] have requested me to present their coms. to you —

I am, D Sir,
With sentiments of Esteem Yours sincerely,


NEW YORK, Sunday 22d March, 1789.

By last post I received a letter from K. K. V[an] R[enssalaer]. Altho. my correspondents are already


too numerous, I shall answer him by this conveyance. He tells me your Pappa has taken a decided and active part in favor of Judge Yates — I hope 'tis true, his influence in Columbia is great, and I am fully persuaded that we can have no Peace nor political happiness, untill Mr. Clinton retires from the Administration. — If he ever had any Claims on his Country he is amply paid. I most fervently wish we may be successfull in our efforts in favor of Judge Yates. * * *



NEW YORK, Sunday 22nd. March, 1789.


I am favored with your letter of ye 14th Instant, it gives me great pleasure to find the great people of Columbia are in opinion with us, respecting a change in the Administration, and I havent a doubt if the Northern Counties exert themselves we shall have the pleasure of hearing Judge Yates announced our Governor. — it adds much to my satisfaction to hear that our friend Col. Hogeboom has thrown his influence into the scale, but wishes alone will not answer, you well know the art and cunning of Clinton and his party, and that they are using every possible exertion for his reelection. We must work double tides to defeat them. In this quarter we have nothing to fear. He is most heartily despised except by a few Sycophants whom he has put in office and their dependants "whose price of office has been obedience to their chief." There is a series of letters now published in


Child's daily paper which are worthy your attention. They have taken up his line of conduct from a period previous to the commencement of the late war, and will be brot down to the present time & as those letters will contain incontrovertible facts, they will have a just influence, wherever they are read.

Congress have not yet made a quorum, to open the Votes for President and Vice-President, but 'tis daily expected they will be able to proceed on that necessary and important business, — the City is gay and lively, a vast number of strangers with us, and next week or the week after the theatre will open, but believe me I am heartily tired of this round of Dissipation. If my business would permit I had rather pass my time in a pleasant country Village, at least nine months out of twelve. Having a number of letters to write by the different Mails, must be my apology for haste & inaccuracy.

Please to present me with sentiments of esteem to the Miss H's, to Doctor & Lady, and Mr. Ludlow's family.

I am dear Sir your friend
& most obed. Servt.


[CLAVERACK], 2 April, 1789.


I received your polite letter pr. Stage for which I sincerely thank you. I shall be with you about the 20th of this Month and will communicate thousand things that I cannot for want of leisure advise you of at present. the object of my dropg. these lines to you is


with a View to obtain from N. York as early as possible the news, who is declaring Representative in Congress for Columbia district &c. Judge Silvester and Mat. Adgate were the two Candidates. I will be much obliged to you when the Canvassors next Tuesday meet at the Secretary's office to obtain an exact account how many Votes have been taken in the great district to which Columbia belongs and in particular the 8 districts in this County and how the Votes are divided — let me know if you please, who are appointed to represent the other districts in this State.

I send you love from one & sincerely cordial good wishes from many.

Yours D Sir,



NEW YORK, Sunday, 19th April, 1789.

Tomorrow Mr. Adams, the Vice-President enters the City, and towards the close of the week we expect the great Washington. On that occasion the City will be illuminated, great display of fire-works, and other demonstrations of Joy, and marks of Affection will be exhibited, — an acct. of which I will hereafter give you. * * *

NEW YORK, Sunday, 26th April, 1789.

On Thursday last the Great Washington arrived here. The whole City of all descriptions were out to meet him, and in all my life, I never saw such unfeigned Joy in every countenance, for the particulars of his reception I must refer you to your Brother.

NEW YORK, Sunday, 3d. May, 1789.

* * * I had forgot to mention to you that on Thursday last the Presdt-General was publickly sworn, &


announced from the Balcony of the Federal Hall, — I had the honor of being appointed, by the Committee of Congress, one of the Masters of Ceremony. I accompanied the Presdt. from his lodgings to the Senate room, from thence to St. Paul's Church and back to his House, thro' the surrounding shouts of Joy, of the greatest concourse of Citizens, that I ever beheld. — In the evening we had a very brilliant display of fire Works. * * *



PHIL., 18th May, 1789.


Had it not been for the fear of laughter I certainly should have return'd to New York last evening. When I had been taught to expect a bowling green road and most excellent Inns, judge my surprize to find the roads so deep & cut to pieces that the wheels sunk to Hubbs almost every trip; so that with all our dilligence we could not get but forty seven Miles & nothing to eat but what would poison the Devil. All the way from New York to Prince Town to say nothing of the Ferrys (which are Infamous & extravagent) the roads are Intollerable, and altho' in the general pretty level, yet there are hills wch. would be respectable even in the Neighbourhood of Horse Neck. From Prince Town to Trenton, they are not so bad. From Trenton to Phil., they are delightful and the County the whole way charming in Prospect. We road 50 miles to day & were in Town before 5 o'Clock, but then We were in the Carriage at 5 in the morning. I've Orderd Chickens & Asparagus for Supper, for upon my first entrance into this City Tavern I saw fifty Chickens, big enough, and crying, come toast me, and I always love to attend to every call that is agreeable to me. I am not determined, but expect to be with you by Wednesday next at furthest, perhaps Monday, but this depends on Circumstances. * * *




CLAVERACK, 25 May, 1789.


Yesterday I accidently obtained very direct information that the Clintonians had made formidable preparations to make void the Poll of the Election for Govr. of the Town of Livingston. Three objections have come to my knowledge. First that the paper on which the names of Govrs. are written is marked — second that one of the days of the Election only two inspectors attended the Poll — Third the Poll was removed from one place to another — As to the first objection I conceive it of so little consequence I shall pass it with only this single observation that in the Poll Enclosure of the town of Claverack are some of the same kind which were not forced on any persons by any Landlords but voluntarily given in to the Inspectors and by them received without hesitation, as they were in the Town of Livingston where I attended the greater part of one day neither are the paper tickets or the paper marked for the design of the Elections as will appear on Inspection — As to the second objection I have not had it in my power to make sufficient enquiry to satisfy myself relative to the fact cannot however believe it true; for the Inspectors of the Poll are Persons who well know the necessity of having a majority of the Board to proceed regularly to Business and I sincerely believe they have not neglected — At all events the Enclosure will come agreeably to the Act before the Gentln. Canvassers — I am inclined to believe that the greatest dependence is placed on the third objection and hence therefore made some small preparations to meet them on their own ground for this purpose I have obtained and send you the enclosed depositions which I think may be very properly made use of on condition any motion is made to vacate town of Livingston Poll on the third objection . . . Should the removal of the Poll from one place to another be a sufficient objection against the opening of the Enclosure of the town of Livingston the same objection will hold good against the Polls of Canaan and Hills Dale and on the most favorable construction we can possibly place ourselves the Majority against Judge Yates in the towns of Canaan and Hills Dale will over balance the majority of Votes in favor of Judge Yates in the Town of Livingston more than one hundred, so that should they establish a principle of oversetting the Proceedings


of the Inspectors of the Town of Livingston for removing the Poll I think the enclosed depositions will come forward very properly and they will be caught in their own snare. Would it not therefore be very proper to request one of the Gentlemen canvassers in whom you can confide to insist on opening the Poll of the Manor of Livingston, where they take up the Poll of Columbia County, previous to opening the Polls of Canaan and Hills Dale and should you imagine the enclosured depositions sufficiently forcibly if the Town of Livingston Poll be made void have the enclosed immediately after introduced. Unless objections are made to the Poll of the Town of Livingston I could not wish the enclosed depositions to be laid before the Board except you judge a very great advantage can be derived from their introduction.

William Powers Esquire who is one of the deponents was supervisor of the Town of Canaan and he feels disposed to have it remain in silence that he hath made the deposition. Should you not therefore have occasion to introduce them before the board, could wish you to retain them in perfect security until the next stage after the canvassers have done and then enclose them all to me. Major Phelps of the Town of Hillsdale was an inspector and in the same situation with William Powers Esquire — Could wish you to consider them delicately situated as they both were principal agents in having the Polls removed and should they be the means of having the Polls lost the Freeholders & Inhabitants of their Towns will never forgive them — Should their depositions be unnecessary I am determined to destroy them in their presence to convince them I am not enclined to do them any injury. Should you think them of any advantage to the cause they are willing to have them made a proper use of. In order to make good the depositions in every respect, Mr Bay although he is a warm Clintonian cannot but do justly when called upon respecting the character of William Powers Esquire & also that he is supervisor of Canaan, neither can he say but David Pratt Esquire & Major Beriah Phelps are men of strict truth — he can likewise will testify to the hand writing of Stephen Hogeboom Esqr. who hath taken the deposition. I am informed Mr. Bay hath depositions respecting the Poll of the Town of Livingston. I am convinced that he [is] not informed of the enclosed nor any expectations of any of the likeness — the Clintonians have been very secret and perhaps will


allways keep so but if Mr Bay discovers that he can possibly destroy the Poll of the Town of Livingston he will do it with great eagerness. Mr Bay may be asked some questions by some of the canvassers if put in their minds. Whether he hath not been informed by People of Canaan and even of the Inspectors of the removal of their Poll Whether it is not publicly known in the County of Columbia that they did remove the same of Hills Dale. He may also be asked whether he hath not got some money depending on the majority of the County of Columbia if he hath not got a hat or hats depending on the County & on the state in Wagers or Betts —

I suggest these questions because it appears to me that Publick good alone could not influence Mr. Bay to conduct quite so zealously in the business. He hath decided against the Poll of Livingston before he left Claverack — In the Town of Kinderhook the Poll was removed I imagine however the majority for Judge Yates is so small no objections will be made — On the whole should the Poll of the Town of Livingston be made void and the other Polls all remain the majority in the County of Columbia would be for Clinton considerably; should all the Polls remain a majority would be for Yates; should the Polls of the Town of Livingston Canaan & Hills dale be vacated it would give a greater majority for Yates; could the Polls of Canaan and Hills Dale be destroyed and the Poll of the Town of Livingston saved, the County of Columbia would give a majority of 500 for Yates. By consulting with some of the gentlemen canvassers you will be able to determine the most prudent measure to be pursued I am extremely solicitous for the Election of Judge Yates Genl. Schuyler & Mr Douw I am also anxious that Mr Bay may be frustrated in his intention I am willing every Freeholders vote should be counted but I cannot tamely submit to see secret underhand Catilinarian or even C--t--n plottings and Machinations. If I inform you that since two OClock P. M. Yesterday I have rode in a waggon five and thirty miles, wrote the enclosed depositions and am now hastened by the stage man you will require no other apology for my giving you my ideas in so inaccurate and confused a manner or for any inaccuracies Bad writing &c whatsoever.

All friends are well Adieu


Inform some of the Canvassers that in examining the Ballots they


will find George Clinton's name with Lt. Govr. after it & if they are not carefull may Count it for Govr. this is the case on some tickets where his name is first mentioned and some where not —


3 June [1789].


I would wish to see the Contrast — for this purpose I would wish for a Box that I may have the company of a few friends — one of which I hope you will be — a Box on the otherside from the President not a stage Box nor a remote one — will you do me the favor to secure one such a Box & advise me

Your friend



NEW YORK, SUNDAY, 7th June 1789.

* * * The appointments under the New Government are to be made by my old Patron General Washington, and I am a candidate for an office that will be permanent and honorable, and have the assureances of friendship from our President; but at the same time there are many others on the list. — My wish is an office that may enable me to reside in this State & at present I have the most flattering expectations — To accomplish this business all my friends advise my being on the Spot, — and they have convinced me of the propriety of their advice. The business may be done in a week, or it may be delayed for a Month, in short all is uncertain. * * *

I had forgot to mention in the former part of my


letter, that it was in Idea, to give me an appointment which would oblige me to go to Europe, and was it not for my friendship for you, it is probable it might have been agreeable to me, but as the matter now stands it cannot meet my wishes, — nor will I hear of it. * * *

NEW YORK, SUNDAY, 21st June, 1789.

I must be here on the anniversary of Independence, — and I have no desire of being obliged to be with you, for so short a period, as I must should I leave home before the 4th July; for on that day the Society of the Cincinnati have their annual meeting, — and your humble servant being one of the officers, and Master of Ceremony for the day, cannot with propriety be absent. * *


NEW YORK, 24th June, 1789.


I thank you for your letter by my Brother Major Webb, which I should have answered without delay, had I not have gone to Connecticut with Mr. Barrell — Major Berrian has this moment call'd on me and waits only for this letter to proceed to Philadelphia. I have only time to say that my Attorney in Albany informs me, there is no prospect of collecting the Bond, as the Man has already thrown it into Chancery, declareing a fraud, — I know not the particulars, I hope by this you have obtained the 100 Dollars you mentioned, — and I must add that Mr. Turner cannot much longer expect lenity, I have known of several payments he has


received from the Southward — which from time to time he had written me should be appropriated to me, excuse the hurry I am in, if any money for me, be good enough to send it by Major Berrian and if your leisure permits, I will thank you to give me a statement of the lottery business, and what the money is now worth, I am dear Sir

Your Obliged friend
& Most Hume. Servt.


LONDON, June 25th, 1789.


Altho no man can more sincerely rejoice on your once more receiving The highest honors, in the power of my country to confer, I still should not have Thought myself justified in requesting the least degree of your attention to me, or To any concern of mine, were not the public justice, & I may add, the honor of my Country in some degree interested. It is now more than Ten Years since I have solicited and urged for an examination of my conduct, & a settlement of my Accounts, whilst in the service of Congress. I have long since despaired of obtaining either. But a new system of Government being formed & you by the unanimous voice of my Countrymen, chosen to preside, my hopes are revived, & it gives me some degree of confidence that I shall no longer solicit in vain. No length of Time, can of itself cancel an obligation, much less efface from a feeling mind, Those sensations which must ever rise in it, under certain circumstances. Though reduced to the extreme of poverty, & To an infirm & precarious state of health, by what I have suffered, I shall regard the past as of little consideration, if I can now obtain what I have so long since requested. I will not Trespass farther on your Time, Col. Wadsworth is in possession of the state of my case, past & present, & to him take The Liberty To refer you & am with The most sincere respect

Sir yours &c S D



JUNE 29th, 1789.


I was flattered some months since, that I should have had the pleasure of seeing you in London before This, & of giving you personally the history of my past, & the state of my present situation, hoping that I should be able thereby to convince you of the extreme injustice which I have suffered, & to interest you from your well known principles of justice, & humanity, in my favor, but in this I am disappointed by your being called on to act a more important part in the great council of the united states. Tho' disappointed in those expectations, I am led to form much greater, on this event, & such as are not confined to the personal Interest of so unimportant an individual as myself, but extending to my Country at large. In my Letters to Col. Wadsworth & to my Brother which will accompany this, I have stated my situation, & the grounds for what I now sollicit, so fully, that I will not Trouble You with a repetition of any part in This, having requested of them to make you acquainted with the Substance of my Letters on this Subject. It is now almost Ten years I have sollicited for an impartial enquiry into my conduct whilst in the service of my Country, and for a settlement of my Accompts, that justice might be done To my Fortune, as well as To my Character, unfortunately, I hitherto have been unsuccessful. You can easily imagine without my attempting to describe, what I must have suffered during so a long a period of anxiety, & distress, I hope it is now drawing To a close. I have at no Time sollicited for favor, or indulgence from The late Congress, but for justice, & it is all I ask at present; If I have in any instance betrayed or been unfaithful in the Trust reposed in me by my Country, let it be made to appear, Justice to the public calls for it, as well as justice to an individual, and I once more present my case, before the Tribunal of my Country for a fair, & full examination. I have been so long habituated to poverty That I can bear it, however reluctantly, but injustice to my character, is unsupportable. I will trespass no farther on your Time, but refer you to my Friends above named, & am with the most perfect respect,

Yours, &c., &c.,
S. D.



LONDON June 24th, 1789.


On the receipt of your Letter, which you may perhaps recollect your writing me from Paris, I had no expectation of a renewal of our correspondence, or any hopes of success, if attempted by me. Mr. Sayre Told That you enquired after me, & expressed a wish for my return, this leads me to hope that the surmises, & suggestions propagated against me, having never been in the most remote degree substantiated, may be dissipated & that any error in Judgment, which is the utmost any one can charge me with is fully expiated by what I have suffered. I flatter myself from my recollection of your former way of thinking, when I enjoyed some share of your good opinion & confidence, that this must be the case with you, & on this ground I now address you on a subject of the most interesting nature, to myself & Family, as well as in some degree To The public. It is now more than ten years since insinuations were thrown out, that I was a defaulter in my pecuniary Transactions, whilst in the service of my Country. And you must recollect that from that time, I omitted nothing in my power, to bring those insinuations to a direct, & specific charge, that I might meet it, & that the public might from a fair, & impartial examination have the means of coming at the Truth. I have been unsuccessful, and for a long time since have despaired of ever being otherways, until the present attempts to form a new, & efficient, & I hope permanent system of Govt., have revived my hopes, so far at least as to expect that this subject may be taken up, examined, & decided on; & I now once more most earnestly sollicit your influance to have this done; Distressed as I am, & have long since been in my circumstances, I form no expectations of a pecuniary nature, from the enquiry; I wish to have the Ballance which has been so long due to me, settled, & acknowledged. This will be a satisfaction to my Family, to my son in particular, and it will be hard to be refused the opportunity of doing this, when I have nothing else left in my power to give them. I have wrote a long Letter to my Brother, which will be communicated to Col. Wadsworth to whom I shall write by the present opportunity, & take the Liberty of referring you to them, if disposed to lend your interest to bring this question


to a conclusion and will trespass no farther on your time, but to assure You that I am with much respect

Yours &c &c



June 25th 1789.


I have wrote to my Brother, & requested him to show You my Lettr. but as you may not be in Hartford at the Time of its arrival, I cannot let the earliest opportunity pass unimproved, to return you my thanks for your kind remembrance of an old Friend. I should have taken a passage in Capt. Davis for Boston, but that Gentleman taking his Family out with him prevented me, and as he may be expected back in a few weeks I shall wait his return. My Brother must have conversed with you on the general plan which I have in contemplation, & mean to pursue if local circumstances answer my expectations, & that can be known to any degree of certainty, only by examining them on the spot. I have come to a resolution, long since, never to interest myself in any way in the politics of any Country, so far as take an active part, should I have ever so fair an invitation, of which indeed there is no probability. I am extremely sollicitous to have my accompts which lay for so many years unnoticed by the late Congress, examined, & settled. Not that I expect ever to receive the Ballance due to me, this I have long dispaired of; But that it may be fully known, & ascertained for the satisfaction of the public at large, & of my friends, & family in particular if I have justly merited the treatment I have met with, or any part of it; I am confident that your love of justice, independant of other considerations, is Too sincere & ardent to leave me under the necessity of saying more on this subject I most ardently wish you success in the department into which you have now entered, equall to your utmost wishes, & I can pray for nothing more honorable To you, or more beneficial to them.

I am &c &c



NEW YORK, Sunday, 6th September, 1789.

* * * My expectations of an Office is in the Judiciary line, and it has been expected for more than three weeks past that Congress would have completed the System, till when no appointments can take place; but it may be ten days to come, before they get thro: it. I wait for this before I proceed for Connecticut, as it may be necessary I should be on the spot. Indeed my dear Girl I am extreamly anxious, and believe me when I declare it is more on your account, than my own. I ever have had a roveing disposition, but since my acquaintance and intimacy with you, this is done away, and my first and greatest object now, is to fix myself down for domestic ease and tranquility; 'tis therefor I have been obliged to decline one or two proposals from the President, and have been apprehensive, that he was displeas'd, — but in an interview I had with him yesterday evening, my fears on that had are done away. — All I can say is, that if I am disappointed, it will not be oweing to a want of disposition in the President to serve me, or from any misconduct of my own. To time I must leave the event, and shall endeavor to keep a contented mind, happen what may. * * *

NEW YORK, Sunday, 20th September, 1789.

I wrote you my dear Kitty on Wednesday last in the greatest anxiety of mind, in that situation not disposed to trouble you with sentiments, which might tend to a depression of your Spirits. In my last I mentioned to you that I was from town Monday and tuesday. The


morning I left town, Major Sumner, an old friend of mine (and a Man much esteemed by all that knew him) arrived from Georgia, not so indisposed but that he dined on Monday night with a large company, and was in tolerable spirits. That evening he retired to the City tavern to sleep, was taken with a Chilly fit, and deprived of his Senses.

Colo. Platt and myself were his particular friends, but did not get to town untill near 8 oClock on tuesday evening. — and poor Sumner died at half past 5 oClock Wednesday morning, without knowing either of us. We Sat with him untill he was no more. His death was occasioned by eating a poison Dolphin on his passage from Georgia to this place. — There was only five Months difference in our ages, and we had been intimate friends from an early period in the late War — we buried him with military honors, and paid the last tribute of friendship. * * *

NEW YORK Wednesday 1 oClock A. M. 23d. Sept 1789.

* * * On Monday evening I accompanied your two Sisters to the Theatre, where they appeared much pleased with the play, call'd the Wonder a Woman keeps a Secret, and the Farce of the old Maid, which is very laughable — and this day we are to see a Man ascend in a Balloon. I wish he may meet with no accident. The weather is delightfully clear and fine; he is to go up at two oClock, and if we return in Season I will give you some account of it. * * *

Half past four oClock — we have just returned — the


Balloon caught fire & burnt, so that we were much disappointed. * * *

NEW YORK, Sunday, 27th September, 1789.

* * * Both [your sisters] of them and the two Miss Watkins's spent the last evening with me very sociably, and tomorrow night, if the weather is favorable, we are agoing to the Theatre, to see the Comedy called the School for Libertines, Or a Word to the wise, and the Comic Opera of the Poor Soldier, when it is probable their risible faculties will be greatly exerted.

I am sorry to tell you, my dear friend, that I have failed in the appointment which I expected. It was determined yesterday. The President sent for me and fully convinced me of the necessity he was under of giveing it to my friend Colo. Smith, Son-in-law to the Vice President, — at the same time giveing me the most flattering assureances of his disposition to serve me, on some future occasion should any thing offer which would be acceptable. I was obliged to acquiess with a good grace, tho: I confess to you my disappointment was great, and yet was it not for my Love and esteem for you, I should not care anything for it, — An Idea was again conveyed to me of going abroad, when I was obliged to tell the President, candidly, that no appointment of that kind could meet my wishes.



[October, 1789.]


I am glad to hear you are ill, because you had no business to go out with the Commodore: you had better have come & work'd for


me gratis. I have had an amazing Deal to do — and in the morn'g I got up sick, but work has cured me, & so it would you — I feel very decently to what I have done for some Days past. I hope you will repent of your folly & when you do (but not till then) I wish you may get well, but if instead of staying home when sick you chuse to go out with your father in Law, you may die & be damn'd & I'll charge you to the Commodore — I thank you for the News — I have no gilt paper I send you the best I have — good Night — come & see me to-morrow morn'g as soon as you can —

God bless you


BOSTON 8th Oct. 1789.

* * * You know I have a considerable Sum in indents, and as you are intimate with Mr. Hamilton, the man to whom we look for the resurrection of Public Credit, I wish you would find out his Ideas upon that matter, and whether he purposes to do any thing about them in his plan, wch. no doubt he will lay before Congress at their next Session; and if any thing, what I can then judge whether I had least dispose of them at the present price, or purchase more; do attend to this matter and inform me as soon as you can. * * *

BOSTON, 1st Novem., 1789.


For the last 10 days we have done nothing but prepare for, and enjoy the Visit of the best of Men. I am sure after this 'Twill be needless to mention His majesty the President, who does in a wonderful manner unite all Hearts in sincere respect. To give you a detail of our proceedings would be only repeating the Accots. already published, but I am persuaded both [William] Jackson & [Tobias] Lear, will inform you, that every attention that was paid, appeard to be, and I have no doubt was, the Effusions of the Heart.

I had the Honor with M. Breeck & Dr. Eustice to be appointed a Committee from the Town to wait on the good Man at Worcester, to make Arrangements for his Entrance into Town; and we were determined to go in Taste, in a Coach & 4 Horses (Breeck's &


mine) 2 Postilions & a servant on Horse back. We were received with that politeness, and dignity, wch. marks every action of that Illustrious Character. After settleing our business, we set off for Boston and arrived in 9 hours & half and timely Effectually to Arrange the Procession. I am told His Majesty was much pleased with the order & regularity of the procession, saying it could not been better had a Soldier been posted by every Citizen to keep them in order. I have had the further Honor to dine with him in Fanuel Hall, & at Governor Bowdoin's, who was so polite as to suffer me to send a Bishop of the Satisfaction Wine, wch. I had reserved as you know hoping for the Honor of his Drinking it at my House; but this was impossible & as it is clearly the last time we expect to be Honored by so great & so good a man, I made the request to Mr. Bowdoin who very politely Accepted it, and informed His Majesty the Circumstances, giving full Credit for my Attention; In the Evening of this day We were honord at the Assembly by his Presence; the Hall was elegantly decorated, behind his majesty was hung my handsomest Tapestry & before him as a Carpet the other. He was seated on a Crimson Settee with the Vice President, our Governor and Governor Bowdoin, the Ladies were very handsomely dressed, and every one strove here as well as every where else, who should pay the most respect. We had a very pretty Desert for Supper with 3 fine Cakes (one for each set) at 150#163;. The next morning at 8 oClock he left us attended by a number of Gentlemen in Carriages & on horseback. I had the honor with my worthy Parson to be the only Carriage that was at his lodgings before he set off. We were there 10 minuits before 8, knowing that would do; the others came 10 minuits after wch. we knew would not. The Ladies were most of them decorated at the Assembly with Sashes and Caps (Martha's was a Cap and thought it brilliant) with G. W. & various Devices on. Therefore Hetty and my daughter Hannah (who made her first appearance) were a tollerable good likeness of the Man himself with the Trophies of War under his feet & the Olive Branch of Peace in his hand, above Justice Crowning him with a Wreath of Laurel & the Motto "Virtue rewarded." On one of the Trophies the name Washington in gold letters. His Majesty while here went to the Manufactory of Sail Cloath, and was exceedingly pleased. The spining for this Manufactory is done by a number of Girls who


were dressed clean, and in general are likely. His Majesty made him self merry on this Occasion, telling the overseer he believed he collected the prettiest girls in Boston. The Card Manufactory he also visited, and as every thing that promises advantage to America must be pleasing to our friends there can be no doubt he was pleased.

My Nephew (who sails to morrow for Demmerary) informs me your name is with his to a Bond for Duties on Pepper to the amount of 100 Dollars due the 22 Inst. This bond I will see discharged, let me know if 'tis expected at the Day; 'twas under the old government.

I have got the things from Bunons, and I wish the Hudson Strawberries had been with them, but I fear I never shall have them, the Apples & Cyder I depend on by return of Barnard.

Sally, Kitty, Hannah & Mr. N. B. jun. who are present desire their love to you. We all should have been glad to have seen you at the time His Majesty was here; nevertheless We shall be glad to see you. We are all sick with Colds wch we term Washington Colds, owing in great measure to the stopg. on the Neck by our little great man. I had rather have one of his Virtues thann all his Colds collected, but I will compound if he is not indisposed himself.

Remember me to all enquiring friends not forgetting Colo Smith in a particular manner.

I am Yr friend & Bro



NEW YORK, Sunday, 15th Novr., 1789.

* * * General Washington returned to Town on friday from his Eastern tour. It was his intention to have crossed the Country to Albany, but hearing of the great fall of Snow their had been to the Northward he was anxious to get back, and therefore persued the most direct rout. I am glad of it, — it may expedit my Journey to Clavrack, and that is what now most


occupies my mind, and I yet flatter myself it will be before Christmas, but so uncertain is every human event, that I dare promise nothing, as a certainty. * * *

NEW YORK, Wednesday Evening, 26th Nov'r, 1789.

* * * Tomorrow, being Thanksgiveing, our Danceing Assembly is, this evening, to which I am prepared to go, (haveing only returned to my room to see your letter & answer it) — The President & Lady and of course all the great folks of the City attend. We shall have a Crowded brilliant room, last night there was the fullest house at the Theatre ever known, oweing to the President and Lady being there, and its being previously known.* * *



WETHERSFIELD, 6th December, 1789.


I received your friendly letter of the 22d November — The bridle & saddle with the blankets came safe to hand, I thank you for sending them, — also in sending the things by Capt. Barnard who has not as yet arrived — The seen with S[ilas] D[eane] is clos'd, and from the want of attention to our matters with him our attachments are loss't. — I have been with Mr. John Trumbull, our Council, who advises us to bring a Petition to the House of Assembly, praying that the Lands absolutely received for my or our Fathers Debts may be given to us, & sais he has not a doubt but the Petition will be granted. — We must have you here, as Trumbull & Edwards will want to see us previous to presenting the Petition. — To give you any Idea of our situation without our worthy brother will be needless as you can judge. * * *

Tomorrow or on Monday I leave this with the Stock for my


Vessell for New London, which is bound to the West Indies I expect to return here by Thursday.

My Sister with the Children desire their Love to you & Aunt Jay — They wish very much to see you boath.

On your way here, you had better call on Mr. Edwards who is our friend & has many friends in the house of Assembly — I thank Colo Smith & you for the Dog, and will pay him greater attention for the giver's sake.

May perfect Happiness here and hereafter be your Lott sais your affectionate Brother


NEW YORK, Decr. 9th, 1789.


The Objects of your going to Boston, are 1st To try to extend Barrell's Loan of 60,000 Dolls due in May next for 1 or 2 Years, on the Same terms it now exists — if he will not on these terms, ask him if he will on any terms & what?

2ndly, To know if he will reloan us the sum which becomes due in Jany next — how long & on what terms? whatever his Discision is, you will please communicate immediately, holding him committed 'till our answer shall arrive.

3rdly, To Receive of the Collector at Boston 4000 Dolls. (Gold if to be had) & vest it instantly in facilities at from 3/6 to 4/9; & if these are not to be had in a moment, vest it in Finals or Loan office at from 7/ to 8/ — Whatever you purchase, transmit by Post — write me by every post & by all means be home again by 30th December Inst.

Call immediately on Capt. Joseph Crocker & ask him what he has done for me — if he has purchased or made any Contracts for my acct. aid him with your money, to the fulfillment of one or both and act in Concert with him in all things: perhaps it will be best to get him to make all your Enquiries & purchases, as you may alarm them. I rely on your skill & Exertion & command you to be successfull.

I am your affectionate friend & Servt.


P. S. As Mr. Jonas Addoms is my man, you will consult him, &


act together with him in such manner as you think fit — but your money must first be vested & next let his come in — for I think the field is large enough for both of you, & Talk with him before you see Crocker or even Barrell — You may confide in him just as in me

Yours &c
Dec. 10th, '89.


NEW YORK, Dec'r 16th, 1789.


At the Request of Kitty, I take the Liberty now to account, through you, to the family for her not returning to Claverack with Mrs. Ludlow, as was intended, and why (her Indisposition) was used to Mrs. Ludlow as a reason for her delay.

Shortly after Kitty's arrival with me in this City, she attracted the notice of Gen'l Webb in a more than usual degree; and as the General was always considered rather as one of our family, he had frequent, daily, nay, hourly opportunities of conversing with & admiring the native Simplicity of our little friend without a suspicion of a serious Intention —

A few days however, before Mrs. Ludlow came to town, I began to suspect that the General's pointed attentions, and Solicitude to please, might have a dangerous effect on the susceptible Heart of a Girl unhacknied in the ways of Love, and in the end terminate in a final separation, to the Injury of her health and destruction of her happiness. —

I communicated my Ideas on this Subject to Polly, who, I found, had viewed matters in the same light; and as we conceived ourselves the Guardians of her Happiness, determined on her returning with the first favorable opportunity; particularly as we could not with propriety exclude the General from the house, or deny Kitty the Pleasure which she appeared to take in his Company —

When Mrs. Ludlow came to town, the opportunity offered which we looked for, and Arrangements were accordingly made for an Embarkation, which Polly easily discovered to be a very unpleasant Circumstance to both parties. Intimately acquainted with General


Webb's Character as a Man of Honor, and solicitous for the Happiness of our young friend, I for the first time, assumed the Father, and took upon me to converse seriously with Kitty on the subject; in which interview, after setting the matter in a clear point of view, I proposed that she should push the General to an explanation the evening previous to her intended departure; and if she should, from such explanation, have reason to believe that he was serious in his Intentions, that I should insist on her spending the winter with me, and trust to female Invention for a plausible excuse — but if she found him evasive in his Conduct, or undecided in his Intentions, that then she should by all means fly from his presence as from a Pestilence — and seek the Restoration of her Health and Happiness in the arms of her Parents.

For the particular event of this Interview, I must refer you to her letter; all that I can add is, that they seemed better pleased with each other than before, and, of course, I laid an Embargo on her, at least for a few months longer.

In this business I intend you to be persuaded, and to assure the family, that nothing but a sincere Regard to the Happiness of Kitty, has been my motive, and that I look forward to an event which will I am persuaded, meet the approbation of her friends, when they consider that it will, in all human probability, compleat the Happiness of one in whose prosperity we are all interested —

With our best Compliments to your Wife and the good family, I
am Dear Doctor, Your most ob'd't,


BOSTON Thursday 17th December 1789.

My last to you dear Kitty was from New York dated Wednesday evening the 9th Inst. the afternoon of the 10th I embarked for New Port, haveing passed Hell-Gate that evening the Wind headed and we came to Anchor about ten Miles from New York, early in


the morning of the 11th we made Sail and stood into the Sound, the Wind came round to the North-east, and by 1 oClock blew a heavy Gale, and so thick and Hazy we could not see the length of the Vessel, we were in the utmost danger the whole day of being cast away, — but fortunately about Sun set the fog cleared so that we discovered the land and ran into Oyster Bay, a harbour of Long Island about forty Miles west from New York, her we rode out the remainder of the Gale. Saturday morng the 12th the wind Shifted to the North-west and blew as heavy as the day before, — but this being fair, we again put to see under easy Sail, and in ten hours, ran One Hundred and ten Miles when night comeing on, prudence dictated our comeing to Anchor at Stoneington a harbour on the Connecticut Shore, here we continued untill Sunday morning the 13th and again proceeded on our passage at 3 oClock P. M. we grounded a few Miles below Providence, I was immediately conveyed in a Boat to that Town, hired a Coach and at Sunset, sat of for Boston, and arrived at my Brothers at 2 oClock Monday morning the 14th Inst. without haveing had four hours quiet Sleep from the time I left New York, indeed I never was more fatigued, but at present am perfectly well, and attending to the business I came on. * * *


BOSTON, 31t. Jany., 1790.


Yours of the 24th came to hand yesterday by the post wch. arrived at 11 oClock at noon, instead of 6 in the evening, and am very much obliged by the Report of the Secretary [Hamilton]. I wish you to


make it a Rule to send me every thing of this kind as early as possible, the expence I will chearfully pay.

Last evening and this morning I have carefully read the report, and altho: I do most heartily approve the Honorable principles upon wch. it seems predicated, and observe the great trouble wch. the Secretary must have been at, and the Ingenuity he has display'd, yet I cannot say either of the proposals meets my entire Acceptation, but nevertheless, what ever the Majority of the Creditors agree to, I certainly shall Accept of. But if I may Hazzard an opinion, I think with submission to his better judgment (this is inter nos,) If he had confined his proposals to two only, viz. his first to fund 2/3ds at 6 p Cent and pay the other third in Western Land; or 2ndly, to fund the whole at 5 pr Cent not irrideemable at any rate, but redeemable by Congress whenever they could provide funds at a less Interest, I am apprehensive, there is not a single Creditor of Government but what would chearfully have accepted of one or other of these offers, and firmly believe the Government would have been more benifited by these than any other of the plans. I am told the Holders with you, are content with 4 p Cent; but I have my doubts whether a Majority of the Creditors will be content with it; and I have heard with astonishment that some Gentn. from this quarter in Congress think of 3 pr Cent. Should such an Idea gain ground, and be adopted by Congress I would stake all the property I hold in the funds they never would get 1/4 the Debt subscribed for anew. I'm sure for myself I would trust to the Chapter of Accidents, before I would subscribe a farthing, at the present moment. I like the 2d. proposal best — to fund the whole at 4 PCent and received (?) in Lands at 20 Cents Pr. Acre 15 Dollars & 80 Cents in lieu of the 2 PCent out and out, because I think with proper management those lands might be turn'd to the full Value of the 2 PCent. And altho' I am inclined to think Interest may be so reduced as that the United States, with a Hamilton at the head of the Treasury, may within 20 years procure any sum they may want even from ourselves at 4 PCent, yet I am full of opinion any direct attempt to lessen it in the present instance, will by no means have any tendency towards it; and my opinion is, if congress were to say outright we will give you Ł5. 19s 11d PCent, and no more, 'twould be as real a breach of the Public Faith, as if they should say, We will


give you 4 or 3 or 2 PCent and no more. But at the same time there can be no impeachment of faith or honor, in any proposales they are pleased to make. In this light I look upon the proposales of Mr. Hamilton, whose principles will bear the Scrutiny, and will command respect, even if his proposales should be rejected. The few words wch he says against a discrimination, would convince a man of honor an sence, as much as if he had wrote a Vol. His proposale of borrowing 12 million Dollars, and the manner of appropriateing them, strikes me as a very advantageous proposale for the Government, as no doubt much of the Debt might be purchaised by the Government at an under rate, wch. I hold, upon the Noble Principles of Hamilton, a very desierable object. The Tables of Annuities I do not understand, or if I do, I do not like them. If I understand, 'tis thus: if for my child of one year old I put in 100 Dollars, if he arrives to the age of 21 years he will ever after be entitled to 23 Dolls 453/1000 Pr. Ann; but if he dies prior to that age, the 100 Dollars are lost. Now I am told Annuities in London may be had thus: if I deposite 100 dolls for such a Child, upon his arriving to that age he will forever after receive 100 Dollars Pr. Ann. Again, on two lives, my age is 50 my sons is 25, upon these two I find an Annuity 17 30/100 Pr. Ann to the longest liver, but does it mean that one of the two must be dead, before the Annuity is payable? The Tontine I cannot for my life suppose will ever find a single subscriber. For, to bring it to the Class in wch. I am, immediately upon subscribeing 200 Dolls, I am intitled to 10 714/1000 Pr. An wch. is 5 and about 3/8 Pr. Cent; and if I die tomorrow I loose the 200 Dollars; and should I live 20 Years the Interest would be only about 13 PCent. Now I am sure 'tis better for me to receive my 6 Pr. Cent while I live, and leave my Principle to my children (and you know I have some and expe,ct to have more to take what I can leave), than to deposit in Tontines. Had it been upon the principles of the one in London, wch. you lately published in your papers, I think I should have subscribed one third of my Demand & Divided it amongst the Children. Mr. Hamilton in his proposales where he means to make the funds irredeemable, except but by the payment of one Dollar or there abouts per Cent more than the present Interest, means undoubtedly to give an Advantage to the Creditor, but his Ideas in that particular are by no means pleaseing this way. The word Irredeemable is not


relished, and I've heard none yet mentioned his opinion but what thought the United States had an undoubted right to Lower the Interest when ever it was in their power; and there are very few in this Country (where the Best Security cannot procure money at 6 per Cent) who will be persuaded that to have their property at 4 PCent Irredeemable, is a favor. I confess for myself I never expect to see the day that Money in this Country will be less than that. But for the present I've done with the Report, and shall only repeat what I've before said, that it appears clearly to me to be actuated by the noblest principles.

I shall now attend to your Letter, and first must express my surprize that there is as you inform me, a Stagnation to Speculations in the funds and that both finals & Indents had fallen. Nor can I upon the present Prospect account for Indents and finals differing 25 PCent in price, as they are exactly the same except the Interest in finals, wch. are now but 12 Pr. cent better. But then, as I observe, Interest is to be cast on the Debt to Jany 91. upon wch. no Interest is allowed, and the Indents Issued & the Interest due I find by the Secretary are held upon the same principle. But at any rate if the prospect is so very fair for the Lowering the Interest, how comes it that the principle is not quick when at the Lowest rate it will neat 10 PCent; and at the present tis 15 PrCent. There is something in the Nature of our funds wch. Puts Sr. Isaac Newton who could count the Stars upon a Level with every chucklehead, who can scarcely count his fingers and toes. I am not at present Anxious to Loan my property in the funds, nor will I at present do it; and the 4 Pr. Cent I mentioned, unless you should find it worth your while with Platt's Security as you before hinted when you shall [have] 20 M at 3 1/2, as you proposed; and as I find this New Loan will be work of time. I desire you will get the Large Certificate cast up as I before mentioned into Lesser sums, & send them to me by the first safe hand. If none offers by the post after this, send them by Hyde who is a careful man. Don't fail, as I expect to have a use for them within 3 Weeks or a Month at furthest. Appleton has not apply'd to me since. I am sorry you cannot find a good likeness of His Majesty [Washington]. Mrs. Andrews now lies very ill with Measles. I hope by to morrow she will be better, but at present she is dangerous. I've been confined the week past


with a cold, nor have I been to meeting this day, but one reason Mr. Clark did not preach at home. I had given up the Idea of sending you any butter because I heard Cap. Barnard last trip was loaded with Butter. I will look out for some & send wth. the Arrack, wch. I will take care shall not be washed like New York Milk. Don't fail sending the Congressional Register of the present Session as fast as they come out, for unless we have the News as early as others 'tis not worth a groat. Sally, Hetty, &c, send their Love to you. We are all pretty well. My best Complimts to Colo. Smith, Platt, &c. If you look among the Letters I sent you some long time ago respecting Soderstrom's Matters I think you will find a Letter of his where he acknowledges the money lent a Debt of Honor.

A man delivered me two fountain glasses for wch. I paid him 12d. They are not the sort I wanted; those sort are plenty here but good for nothing — the other sort or none.

I am Yr friend & bro

Letter from John Webb


Stamford, Feb'y 22, 1790.


This comes from your Aged Grandsire who is now in his 90th year — I am well (as I hope you are) only lame with my right leg — but is better than it has been — as I am in difficult circumstances should take it a favor if you would pay me a Visit as soon as you could make convenience serve — am badly in it for cloathing — particularly a great coat — for when money is due me I can't get it — friends are well as common — I remain as usual

Your affectionate

N. B. I am told that some are going to try to overset the bill of sale given for this place.


New York Sunday morng 7th March 1790.

* * * I cannot hesitate a moment in gratifying my


friend with my Miniature, I have one by me taken by Mr. Peale of Philadelphia in February 1779. — It was then pronounced one of his best likenesses, but eleven years makes a material change in the face, particularly in a Soldier's, exposed afterwards to several long and severe Campaigns, — Such as it is, it is yours and shall be handed you whenever we meet, or sent before, in case a convenient Opportunity offers. I have frequently regreted not geting yours taken in Town, it would have been a pleaseing gratification to me to have had it by me. Whenever a good Painter can be obtained I shall claim your sitting for it, and at the same time if you pleas he shall endeavor a greater likeness of your friend. * * *



NEW YORK Sunday 14th March 1790.


At 6 oClock last evening I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 7th Inst. in consequence of which I went immediately in persuit of State paper, and after much pains have purchased 8742 16/100 Dollars at South Carolina State Debt 5/ drawing an Interest of 7 pr. Cent, and have drawn on you for the amount being 2185 dollars 50 Cents bearing date the 15th of the Month payable 45 days after Sight, the Paper I shall enclose, as I suppose my Bill will be sent to Boston by this Post — I tried all I could to get 20,000 but could get no more at that price, this State's paper has


been for some time past the same as Continental Viz from 7/4 to 7/6 and I see no reason why all other State paper (Rhode Island excepted) should not be the same price, indeed I believe it will in a few days, as the funding System goes on well, — and we have not a doubt, the Secretary's Plan will be fully adopted, excepting some Variation respecting the Interest, — the members have such a variety of opinions on that subject that it is impossible to judge how it will be finally settled, — the Tontine Scheme is rejected, — that however, I think is no matter of consequence.

I have got the following proposition in writeing and the Man is held firmly committed, for my final answer on or before the first day of April next. Viz. I do engage to deliver to S. B. Webb, 20,000 Dollars of the State Debt of South Carolina, at the rate of 6/8 on the pound. payable on delivery, the delivery to be, at the end of 90 days from tomorrow, being the 15th March, say on the 12th day of June next.

Again 10,000 Dollars of North Carolina State Debt, with at least 6 years Interest due, at 6 pr. Cent for these four Months Credit from tomorrow, at 8/ on 20/ — and in payment for the 20,000 of South Carolina, and the 10,000 of North Carolina, Continental Certificates will be received in payment at 8/ Indents at 6/ on the Ł, — or Cash.

I cannot but think these propositions are very advantages, — if you think so you must enable me to complete the Bargain, — I expect to hear from you on the subject by the returning post — which will be here on Saturday evening the 27th of the Month, — recollect payment is to be made here.


The Bond from Colo. Platt and myself bears date the 13th of March 1790. — and shall be sent you by the first private conveyance.

So soon as I receive your answer to the above propositions, I shall go to Albany, and probably be absent three Weeks, had it not have been for this business I should have gone the next week.

My Love to Sally Hetty and Hannah I wish much to see them all, Kiss them and the little Folks for your friend & Brother

N. B. A Man out orders to purchase at 5/ — payment the same as the 8742 — to be sent by next post, or staid my hand.


CLAVERACK, 15 March, 1790.


By an Act Entitled "an Act for providing the enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States" I observe, that the Marshall of each respective District hath authority to nominate an Assistant or assistants. — The object therefore of this letter is to request you to call on the Marshall of the District of New York and mention to him Capt. Peter B. Ten Broeck, of Claverack, as a suitable person for Assistant in this Northern Department. — Capt. Ten Broeck having during the last war been employed in enumerating the Inhabitants of this County hath some Idea of the business. — He expects he can easily enumerate all the Inhabitants of the Counties of Columbia and Albany and is very desirous that the Marshall appoint him as Assistant — He would also request that the Marshall would constitute him a Deputy over some District including Columbia County. — He hath acted as Deputy-Sheriff for some years, is well acquainted with the Business and will procure necessary sureties. — If you will mention this to the Marshall obtain his answer Write to me pr. mail respecting the prospects & greatly oblige me.


All friends are in usual health. Cannot yet determine whether I can go with you to Balls Town will if I can.

I am yours &cb


BOSTON, 20th March, 1790.


I have this evening the pleasure of yr. favor of the 14th Pr. Post, with the So. Carolina paper inclosed, your order for wch. shall meet due honor. I am sorry I was so late in my application on this business, but I applyd the moment I knew any thing could be done, and had you informed me timely I should have made a deep lunge. I wish you may be able to get more at 5/; and if not, I am thankful for this. The proposale you have hold of, for the 30 m Dollars may be a good speck; to me it would be a safe one as I have the option of paying for the State in Continental, but as my Idea was rather to increase than exchange, I could wish the price was nearer 5/ than it is; 6/8 for So. Carolina seems high considering the price they have been sold at, and I have an engagement now for the delivery of a q'ty at 6/ the middle of May, and others have contracted at a much lower rate. The North Carolina at 8/ with 6 years Interest due is about equal to indents at 6/, but considering it was Sunday the only time you had to look about you, I think you have done well even for the Liberal City of New York. Upon the whole I wish you to close the Bargain upon better terms if you can, and perhaps you may, but if not do it upon the terms mentiond, only I should prefer the time of payment should be fixed for the middle of July for the whole 30 m. My reasons for this time are, I shall in all probability be in Cash from the Pacific Ocean by then, and if before I may be obliged to sell Conti. to pay for it, I leave it to you and whatever you do I will comply wth. * * *

BOSTON, 28th March, 1790.


I received your favor of 21st by Post. by M. Skinner I expect the papers you promised I am not astonished that paper does not rise, when Congress are an eternity doing what ought to be done at once,


and must be done and honestly too. 'Tis easy to conclude that fund, wch. had no more stability than the Navy should be still fluctuating; while day after day is spent in debating upon Negro petitions, to raise all blood, without a possibility of doing any good, unless they go Contrary to the Constitution. God knows I hate the Slave Trade, and wish it at an end but I've no Idea that even an Act of humanity should violate the Constitution and while we are thus triffling, foreigners will come in and purchase at a Low price. * * *

BOSTON, 21st April, 1790.


I should have wrote you by the last post, but was confined with the fashionable disorder wch. rages here with uncommon violence; When His Majesty [Washington] paid us a visit you know we were all taken down upon his departure with the Influenza; and upon Mr. Lears visit, we are again disordered. The cause of the first, the pain of parting with the man we love so well; the cause of the second may be the bad news he brought, for Mr. Lear was the first that inform'd us of the Non-assumption, wch. news has been, I believe I may say, reprobated by every person without exception, but the few who hate the present Government. And I have been surprized to find some who condemn the little deed with the most accrimony, to be men without a single shilling in any of the funds. For myself as an individual I have no fears from Congress. I did hope their manly, honorable, and enlarged Conduct this Session would have fixed their names high amongst the worthies of the earth, and given such a foundation for the Public Credit, that this Country would to the later Generations have had cause to bless them; and I had not an idea that they could be swayed by the paltry local Idea of the permanent seat of Government, so far as to give up the shadow of a vote in a business of so much more importance. 'Tis no matter if there be never a permanent seat for a Government without Public faith, or Public Credit. If the Object is only to collect money enough to pay themselves, let them remove from State to State and let each State where they sit pay the expence. I feel mortified, that such Ideas as I now hint have taken hold in many minds; surely that there is the least foundation for it,


will forever remain in the list of misfortunes, upon our first setting out, for myself I have no doubt more damage will be done the Government by it, than Madison, with his Abilities an hundred fold will ever in his future life do good. But when envy gets into the heart of a man in power it works like the flames of Hell. I am disappointed I acknowledge, but I've no doubt I shall make a handsome sum by it; for should they rise with out assuming, and fund the Domestick debt, the one will rise and the other greatly fall. I mean to sell out and buy in. For if the Government continues, so sure as the Sun shines, congress must and will Assume the State debts; and if the Government does not continue, we shall have another, altho in the mean time we become the laugh of the Antis, — and I acknowlege I am mortified they have so much room to laugh. But eventually I am sure all will be right, that is, they must pay. I am only sorry they do it with a bad Grace; after forreigners have lost confidence in our honor. * * *



PHILADELPHIA, May 19th, 1790.


I have this moment heard of an opportunity of transmitting to your friendly care the copy of the contract for the President of the United States. I have taken the liberty to leave to your kindness the trouble of sealing the packet, as you will observe it contains a note to the President, which you will be so obliging as to retain or reject, as shall appear most respectful in your better judgment. Shall I likewise trouble you with copies for Colonel Humphrey's, Mr. Lear and Major Jackson? The two former gentlemen, with the President, subscribed at Alexandria, in Virginia.

Major Jackson's copy is already paid for.

I have the honor to forward by this conveyance your own copy, and respectfully entreat you will instruct Beny & Rogers, my publishers in New York, with respect to the subscribers your friendship procured for me. The printed list will ascertain the number.

With the best wishes fur your health, which I hope is established.

I am Dear Sir, Your most respectful and obedient ser'v,




BOSTON 27th May 1790.


I have just received yours of 23, Pr. post, so I find you dispare of the Assumption of the States Debts this Session. Such has been my Ideas ever since the last tryal. I am sorry, exceedingly so, Congress make such work of funding the Debt, and doing what they must do before any Credit will be due the United States. I think with you the Plann proposed by the Secretary, take it altogether, is better than the Congress will make it. Mr. Addoms, being on the Return for New York, I take the opportunity to inclose the Bond of Mess Platt & Constable, that you may be ready to exchange bonds and take the Certificates when ever they say the word; but if the State debts are not assumed I wish this matter may be delayed as long as the prospect increases of their riseing. You will observe there is 3 years Interest due on these Certificates up to Jany last. As soon as you finish the business, get the Certificates 5 of 10 m. each & 5 of 1000 each & send them by the very first private safe hand afterwards.

You are unpardonable — 2 letters I received from you while the president was ill, and you did not mention it. Surely if you had been awake, and written twenty message Cards to your friends you ought in every one of them to have mention'd this important matter. God Long preserve his precious life, and give him that happiness in this life which none but the good can enjoy; for the next I've no fears for him; for I expect to go to Heaven myself. But I have not, nor never Can do any good compared to his. Do not again omit anything that respects that good man when you write to your friend & Brother.

BOSTON, 3d June, 1790.


I've this moment received yours of 30th Ulto and observe the contents and find you are detemined to sell the funds if at 9/; wch. from the Accts there & the price here 9/ will be obtained, if you have done it, and can buy, as I am told you can, So. Carolina at & under 4/, I shall be glad you will lay every farthing out in that; and if any loss on this transaction, I will bear the whole. Nay further, if you can purchaise 20 m. more of Continental at 9/& upward, make both


contracts for my Accot, & I will send on the Certificates. I wish to God Congress w'd Act like men, and Assume or have done with the Idea, for it keeps the Continent in a Continued ferment, and injures more than Assumeing will benefit. Let the Loan of 55 m, continue 2 mos. that is till the 27th of July. The Bill of mine was for Ł700 L My. at 60 days; before the time expires I will tell you how to pay it.

I wish you would mention when you write the price of different papers. The Brokers here tell me 'tis for So Carolina 3/6 Cash & 4/ Credit of 60 days.

Sally is in bed; she brought another fine boy on tuesday last. He has the Lungs of Stentor & is now useing them; both he and his Mother are perfectly well. Hetty is well also. They all send Love, &c. &c. I expect the Ship Columbia in all this Month; she was to sail in all Jany, but I give them 10 days in Feby. She will be loaded with Bohea. Kendrick in the Sloop will tarry ano. season on the Coast & has prospect of something Clearer. My Compts. To Colo Platt and all friends. I'll depend on the Cyder in future

The post waits I expect my Son Jo every day.

BOSTON, 13th June, 1790.


Your favors of 3d & 8th Ins I've received, in both of wch. you seem surprized at my having given up the Idea of Assumption of the State Debts, and express your riseing hopes on that subject. But Letters from our delegates in Congress, received by last post, seem to speak a different language, and intimates that local principles, wch. ever were and ever will be dispised by great minds, have so far got into Congress that we must expect they will do many things wch. they themselves in the hour of reflection, will Condemn most heartily. Will it be believed in future that Virginia & Pensilvania have cudled up a bargain, and the former to obtain a point wch. they ought to be ashamed of, have engaged to gratifye the Latter at the expence of the Union, and to remove Congress into a situation the most humiliateing, if they can reflect on what has past already. And that the Latter, because the Senate have acted for them selves and not agreed to the darling Object, will now oppose tooth and nail, the Assumption of debt wch. they owe, if they owe any? But


so it is, and should the Senate (as you seem to intimate) reject the funding Bill, because they cannot obtain the Assumption and in Consequence the Congress should rise after the expence of so much time and money, if the People should be quiet under such conduct, judge you the figure they will cut in the eyes of the world.

I observe you have sold the funds at 9/3 and you say the Accot is open'd Barrell, Platt & Webb. I do not understand your meaning. My Idea was the funds should be negociated, and the profits if any divided between us one half to my Accot. But as you State the Accot 'twill be only 3ds. Explain your meaning in your next. hope you have purchaised in So Carolina paper, if at 4/ or a little higher; and if you have exceeded the Amt of what you have in your hands I will furnish more, as I am confident let Congress kick as they please for the present, they will be obliged to Assume eventually; and thank God, I can live another year without any Interest. And if the Government continues, they will pay Interest afterwards. I expect you keep me inform'd from time to time when you purchaise & when you sell on an Accot. I sent my last by Mr. Barrett as I was too late for the mail, he promised to deliver it immediately, your next I expect will be an Answer to it Why dont you say something about Peggy's going to Bethlehem. I wish you would make a point of sending there and see the earliest hour they can take her, and the sooner the better for she has no time to loose. Do attend to this as we all are anxious for it. We expect the Columbia in all this month. Many people here say the Duties of her Cargo ought to be remitted as the first Adventure of the kind, and was commenced before the formation of the present government. I wish you would sound round amongst the members, and propose it from yourself not from us; and if there is any prospects of success in an honorable way, We shall apply. Adieu. Compts. to Colo Platt, &c, &c.

BOSTON, 15th June, 1790.


Yours of the 10th at hand by this Evg. post. I am sorry my Letter was not timely for you to procure the So Carolina paper at 3/9, as you say it was but a few days past. I hope however you will yet be


able to get it at 4/, as by this post I've proposales for an exche. of Indents for that paper, wishing my determination at what rate I would exchange. I've said Indents at 7/3; So Carolina at 4/, and I'm to wait an Answer by the post. I hate the word Assumption, and I am sure tis very improperly used by Congress, as it ought to be Resume. What a Rascal should I be if I contended 12 mos. whether I would comply wth the Contract you made for Me, for the paper I am to have in August. I wish I was rid of the Bargain with all my heart, but yet I mean to stand by it, without a contest about Assumption and 'tis in my opinion exactly the same. you are my agent in the bussiness, and the Several States were agents for the Continent, the only difference the Continent have the power & the States cannot compel. You are on the spot, and if the Idea of Resumption should rise, and you could contract for any q'ty So Carolina at 4/, to pay in Continental at 9/3, or as much more as you can obtain, you may exche. say from 20 to 30 m Dolls in Conti.; but if no resumption, then let it alone.

I wish Congress were Actuated by some thing more important than a final Residence. Unless they mean their etirnal abode, then tis important. But altho they will all finally meet in Heaven yet I do not suppose they will go in a body, or all arrive the same time. adieu We are all well.

Yr friend &c

How is No Carolina?


PROVIDENCE, June 19, 1790.


Having given up the Idea of remaining in Vermont, and received my papers from there, I enclose you all the documents you delivered me relative to your Lands, & wish on receipt of them you would deliver the bearer my obligation for them.

I am sorry that Every Exertion of mine was ineffectual to do you the service you requested — but I did not spare Either pain, post, or enquiry to effectuate your wishes. It must, as I have reiterated to you rest on the Decision of Congress in the Event of the


Recognition of that Territory as a separate State, and it hath ever been my opinion that Lands under your Claims must be compensated for. The applications to me have been so numerous from various quarters to Act as an Agent where the Field may be opened, that I am induced from my knowledge as to the Ancient Locations of that Country, to give every assistance in my power to Claimants — However dangerous the task.

I am, Sir,
With Esteem, your obd't Servt,

P. S. In the Execution of this business I went once myself & sent my Clerk at another time to terminate the business. What I actually did, and Expended in this business (abstracted from my Fees of office) was Ł30, L. M. As nothing Effectual could be done, I leave it with you to give me what reward you think proper for my writing, &c, &c, &c.

The distance from Bennington is about 90 miles, but some other business relation to another Claim in Addison, lessened your expense.


BOSTON, 22d. June, 1790.


Your favors of the 16th & 18th are before — the latter by Mr. Barrett, I received last evening, and I thank you for the Newspapers, and more especially the likeness of his Majesty, [Washington] which every one that has seen, esteems, as I do, a most excellent likeness indeed. I observe what you say of Assumption, or as I think more properly resumption. Such have been the very trifling of Congress on this important Matter that the unprejudiced begin to think their aim is to help the Speculators, altho they pretend to be against them. If the Idea of resumption should yet be alive, & you and Colo. Platt thinks 'twill obtain, I shall have no objection to purchaise So Carolina even at 4/. Use your judgment and discretion, and I will be content. I suppose the Sennate think they must act a little like the House, or they never would think of seperateing Principle and Interest. They had better sink the Western land, in the sea, than


heir reputation. I observe what you say of Peggy; for Gods use your possibles to get her a birth as soon as can be. If you should have an appointment for here or else where and have it in your power o appoint a Clerk under you, I wish you would reserve the place for my bro Theodore who is capable, and will be thankful for small things if he cannot obtain large; and here or else where you may depend on my friendship; but as everything is so much better in point of bussiness at New York, I think if I was you I should prefer N. Y. * * *
J. B.


CLAVERACK, the 7th Augt., 1790.


I am greatly Disappointed in Some purchases I had for Soldiers lands, I do not Expect to get the one half. Some Patents are already granted to others for the Land Sold to me. I have Sent you with this Letter by Capt. Hathaway Seven Deeds which I am in hopes are mostly good, and also a power of attorney for you to get the patents and Call on Capt. Hathaway for the amount of the money they Cost and Send the Patents to me by him on his Return. The two Deeds which includes a Right of Henry Lyck are not acknowledged as the Evidences are Diseased, and where he is I do not know — perhaps you may meet with Some Difficulty to get that Patent, but I look upon myself Safe for that Right. With Respect of his Selling ye others I Did Consult with Capt. Connelly when I was at New York, wheather a patent might be obtained in a like Case; he give it as his opinion that it might. I wish you would Call on him at Mr. Strong's with my Complements to give his Information to the goodness of the Different Lots or townships in which they Lay.

Our family joins in their best Compts. to you & am Sir

Your most Obt. Hum. Servt.




BOSTON, 15th August, 1790.


Yours of the 8th I received seasonably & should have answered it by the last post, but 'twas impossible to try if any thing could be done in the purchaise you desired of Finals 11/ and Indents 6/8. The next morning I try'd with several brokers, but nothing was to be done, as they were quick at 11/9 & 12/ & 7/ to 7/2, indeed 'tis not possible to do anything cleaver in this way here upon a pinch, as they are speedily alarmed, & no great sums at markets. I am sorry you were obliged at sell at 11/3, especially as they rose so directly but I am content because I know you did the best in your power. I wish by the first private safe hand you would send me on the So. & No. Carolina you have purchaised, as I've more than once had an oppo. of moveing that property to Advantage and mean to do it before the time of subscribing to the Loan expires. I wish you would keep me inform'd of the rise of paper in consequence of Application of the Secretary of the Treasury to lay out the Million dollars, & let me know the best time to sell to him 10 m as I find my Voyage to the Northwest Coast has been murdered by Clumsiness, &c., and I shall want some money to provide a Stock to set my Son at work. Had Colo Platt sent an express for this bussiness before the post something would have been done, as 2 or 3 of the Brokers were pressing me the day before to contract to deliver in 30 days any sum at 11/. When you quote the price of No. Carolina paper do you mean at the face, or the Interest to be Cast as principle? I observe you have interested me in 2 more tickets; let me know when they draw some capital prize. As to Mr. Goodrich, I wish you to give such orders in this matter as you would for your self; at the same time always wish any Acco't of mine left to men rather than the Law, only you will endeavour the men are honest. The instructions I have already given on this Matter, are all I have to give; therefore the sooner it is settled the better. Do also respecting Shurtleff as you think best. Take him in the Federal Court if the sum is large eno'; but if he is in Goal as I've heard, and cannot pay, to what purpose shall he be sued? You will make the Loan to Colo. Platt convenient to him not exceeding 6 weeks or two months. * * * *

I am Yr friend, &c.,




BOSTON 24th. Sept 1790.

You are now just setting out in life, and the experience I have had of your Fidelity and Industry, has induced me to prevail with the Owners of the Columbia to place you in a situation, which many young Men would rejoice to be in, and which I hope and believe if the voyage is conducted with prudence and attention, will give you property sufficient to introduce you into Bussiness, & lay a foundation for future Employ but remember you are a young man, & that Modesty is one of the brightest ornaments of youth, and is always respected in every Stage of life. You will therefore do well to be exceedingly circumspect in all your deportment in life, more especially on this voyage, which in all probability will be a long one; & if any difference or misunderstanding takes place between you & the officers, it will undoubtedly embitter the remainder of the voyage, & may be very prejudicial to the whole concern. Watch therefore with the greatest caution the first rising of temper, and make it a rule if any thing displeases, that you do not reply untill your passion is cooled; for when people are so closely confined as you must expect to be in so long a voyage 'tis the height of prudence to put up with an Injury rather than by resenting it increase it ten fold. We depend much on your vigilence, and we rely altho' you are so farr from your employers, yet that you will bear in mind the time will come when we shall see you face to face, & should you then (as we have no doubt you will) give us a faithful account of all transactions, & prove to us you have done your duty, I think 'tis needless to tell you, you may depend on future employ, and support, and remember your own Character & good Conduct is the only thing to give you a footing in life & if well supported will undoubtedly yield you more satisfaction, than any property gaind unjustly possibly can. A word to the wise is sufficient, I shall not therefore add further, than to caution you to observe the greatest prudence & temperance in your Conduct respecting your own person, and oeconomy & preseverance respecting the Interest of the Concerned, & remember as there is no person on earth however contemptable but what may do you an Injury, that a condescending carriage to the


meanest person on board the ship or the most contemptable native of the Country where you traffick can do you no harm, but may do you service. If you continue by your honesty & vigilence to deserve recommendation, depend on my friendship, but if (as is too often the Case) you forget yourself and your benefactors, and conduct in such a manner as shall make me ashamed of the recommendations I have so largely given I shall take no further notice of you, & you will probably turn out instead of an honour a disgrace to human nature. But in firm relyance on your continuing in the paths of virtue, and exerting yourself to increase my esteem, I sincerely wish you the blessing of Heaven and happy & successful Voyage & am for self and the owners of the Columbia

Your assured friends.

We agree for your Encouragement to allow you ten Dollars Pr Month to Commence the first of September instant and one and a half PCent on the Cargo on the close of the voyage at Boston.

J. BARRELL for himself & owners.


NEW YORK Wednesday Afternoon 20 Oct 1790.

My last was by the mail on Monday which I suppose you have received this morning. Since in town I have constantly engaged in business and I am happy in informing you the sale of my lands was much to my satisfaction, and that I have purchased at a very low rate the whole save one allotment which was but very indifferent — this business has prevented my attending to the several memorandums, for the family, the whole executed so that I can bring the things with me by Hathaways next trip — he sails from this tomorrow and 'tis probable I may send by him some chairs and tables, as it will be more convenient for him to take them now than hereafter. Should I send them I hope care may be taken in carting them from Hudson that they are


not scratched. — I shall write you by him, tell your Pappa I shall send the 3 pieces of linen he requested & shall with pleasure attend to any further commands he may have, — likewise inform him Wheat is selling at 7/6 but generally supposed it will again fall, flaxseed 5/, and firkins butter quiet at 10d — that which is made at our own dairy & can be recommended as good & clean 1/.

We have been unfortunate in the Amboy Lottery my own Ticketts all Blanks, one of yours and mine a 4 dollar prize, your Mother's, Mrs. Wimple's & William's Blanks, and only 2 prizes of 4 dollars each, in the 6 Company ticketts, — your tickett a Blank. I am anxious to hear from you. I wait the arrival of the post this evening, when I shall again resume my pen —

20 Minutes past 8 o'Clock, I have my dear Kitty been sitting in the post office from half past 6 to the present moment waiting the stage, which has just arrived, and I have the pleasure of your letter of the 17th As the mail closes Immediately I have not time to add, but my love to the family and friends, — your saying nothing of your health leads me to believe you are well, which adds to the happiness of your Affectionate



NEW YORK, Decr. 8th 1790.


Colonel Smith took passage in the last Packet for England & previously resigned his office of Marshall — that is to say, he informed the President of his intended departure, and I think without doubt he will appoint a Successor — if you think it any object worthy


your notice you will of course make your application to the President immediately.

I hear nothing from you about Certificates nor of Pompey — the latter you should return; and the former, I think you should not lose sight of.

With Compliments to Mrs. Webb, I am Dr. Sir, Your friend & obed. Servt.



WETHERSFIELD, 6th March, 1791, Sunday Even'g.


The Three Simpson Causes have been tried determined and finished — so that I suppose I shall not be plagued with a federal Court.

The Causes was finished yesterday — they Amount I suppose to the property attached so that neither Beekman Son or Gould, or Daniel Phenix will have any left after Simpson's Attachment — I realy have the Blue Devils bad enough — my family left by this Judgment without a House or home. My friend Mr. A — in a few Week's will put me back to that old disagreeable mansion — Lothrop was faithful and did his Every Endeavor to persuade Mr. A — Phenix — & Gould — but all to no purpose — Oh my Dear friend what is to be done to making a final settlement — Dare you say another word in my favor — before all is too late I am really ashamed to say a word to you on the Subject But my family you love — & — you are the only One — that can work out my Deliverance — Accept my most unfeigned thanks for your every attention — I am with Compliments —

Yr. Friend and Hl. Servt.


I have the same securities by me that was sent by Lathrop and I suppose I shall have Liberty to offer them if closed before this month Ends — Pray Write or tell me freely and friendly what must be done.



NEW YORK, March 16, 1791.


I only arrived here only yesterday & have not had time to Talk or consult with Judge Hogeboom, about the Election. Mr. Bay I have seen & had a small Conversation with him. I proposed a Meeting with our members this Evening, but I believe it cannot be had. Bay says that Last year they did promise Mr. Adgate to support him as Senator this year; he, Bay, says he would have no objections to Support Walter provided Mr. Adgate will resign. How matters will go I know not, but I depend upon your Support. I will try to see our members. If I can, I wish for no Contest; but if we must have it I am prepared for the worst.

No News in town. You will observe by the papers that [in] the last appointments made in Philadephia, some persons who were entitled to be preferred have as usual been Neglected — Present my best Respects to Mrs. Webb & your Br. Jack.

I shall see you soon I hope. I am Dr. General Your true Friend.



PHILA., March 18th, 1791.


I recd. your Favr. enclosing Col. Griffin's Note, for which he has paid me two hundred & fifty nine & a half Dollars in full. Col. Platt is here; — shall pay the money as you direct.

Mr. Addoms recd. the letter enclosing Conveyances of Soldiers Rights: we paid a heavy postage on it. Early Application was made for the Warrants, but through the multiplicity of Business in the Office yours could not be attended to: — they have lately informed Mr. A. that your Powers are defective, as they only authorize to transfer to the Surveyor General of New York: for this Reason it will be necessary to send him a new Power authorizing him to receive the Warrants from the War Office, & generally to do everything respecting that Business which you could if you were personally present. Notwithstanding our being in Partnership the Power had best be in his name only, as the former is —

I am, Sir, Your very Hum. Servt.




NEW YORK, March 29, 1791.


Since my last I have Seen and conversed with Judge Hogeboom & Van Ness. They both appear to have a wish to Support my Brother Walter, but consider themselves in part bound to Adgate. What effect it will have upon their exertions on Adgate's favor I know not, I only sincerely regret that two such gentlemen are opposed to us, when they must know, that the Senators of the State government are the only persons who represent the Landed interest, and they being both proprietors of Lands cannot have great faith in such a representative as Adgate. I shall depend upon your influence to advise & keep things upon their proper poise. I shall also depend upon your influence to forward our plan of Electing Walter. Our friends North of Columbia will exert themselves in our favor and all fair methods will be essayed — no news in Town. two Ships from this port to London lost on the English Coast. Our old Friend Franks is in this town in his Way to Boston, he has the appointment of Inspector to the Troops to be raised, with 3 Dollrs. Pr Day — a strange appointment. There is Six Gentlemen named by the President to receive the Subscriptions to the national Bank but not one farther North than Jersey and every thing in like manner. Many applications for appointments in the Mint, but I suppose the President will give his Choice favors to his Choice Patomack friends. — I wish to see a Change. I shall be with you the next Week. Mr. Hogeboom left this on Sunday last — I beg my respects to Mrs. Webb & Vroman family. — Fish begs to be remembered.

I am Dr. Sir Your Sincere friend



24 Miles from Hudson, Wednesday
Morng. 11 oClock, 12th, Oct. 1791.

Very unexpectedly yesterday when I arrived at Hudson I found a small Providence sloop bound to


New York, we set off from the Wharf at half past 4 oclock, and anchored about ten opposite Chancellor Livingstons, — this mornings tide we came to this place the wind yet a head, we shall probably lie here untill 4 o'Clock in the Afternoon, should the wind come to the Northward 'tis probable we may reach New York, but otherways it will take us three or four days, — you shall hear from me by the first post after my arrival there, I hope you will be attentive to your health and follow the Doctrs. directions, send to Mr. Goodrich and desire him if any letters come from the Northward for me, to forward them by Post to New York, — I shall make every possible dispatch with my business, to return to Claverack as soon as possible, I am exceedingly anxious to be with you. Tell Philips to be attentive to my Horses, as I have immediate occasion for them on my return, should you think of anything wanting, not mentioned in the memorandum, you will note it in your letters, — and when Capt. Edmunds gets up, send Phillips down with the Chair to see if any thing for us, and let him ask Edmund if he did not bring some papers for me from Col. Platt his last trip, — Remember me Affectionately to all the family, and believe me my dear Kitty yours

Most Sincerely,

I shall stay and Dine with General & John Rensalear & then go on Board.



NEW YORK, Jany. 15th, 1792.


I have snatch'd a Moment's Time as the Stage leaves this early in the Morning to acknowledge the receipt of your two Letters. — The last I was extremely happy to receive as Mr. Bancker had presented a Memorial in which Colo McKinstry & yourself are mentioned in Praying for Directions from the Legislature. It contains I think a reflection in my Opinion on his Character — I have made good Use of your Letter with the Northern Members — Melancthon Smith is on the Committee to report upon his Memorial. — It will be favourable no doubt — But what Provisions they will make I know not — I am now going to see Lester & Foot who are on with him — They report Tomorrow. I wish you or Ten Broeck would come down immediately — Hogeboom, I have drawn a Petition for. — It has been read, with two or three others, they millitate against him much — A little Fewell out Doors would do the Business. Remember me to Mrs. Webb — I write this at the Stage House — I am

Yours in Haste


P. S. Col. North at my Elbow wishes to know how the sleighing is?


NEW YORK, Jany. 20, 1792.


I am now to acknowledge the Receipt of your favor of the 15 Int. my Confinement with an inflamation in my Eyes preventd. the answer sooner. The day before yesterday the Committee to whom was referd. the memorial of Mr. Bancker reported, that they had examined the report and found the facts stated in the Memorial true & that Mr. B. had merited the thanks of the House for his fidelity and that a Law should be brought in to direct him What line to pursue in the future. Mr. Lush carefull guarded that in the report No names should be mentioned. I hope you will keep my name, entirely out of sight, as Mr. B & myself are not good friends. The letter of Mr. Hogeboom directed to myself & the other Members of our County I


gave to Ford & Coffin, the latter of whom tells me he had written a Letter to Mr. Hogeboom & that he is entirely mistaken as to his Ideas about the business, how he can make that appear he best knows, but Mr. Ford and he consult together; I am not of their Conclave. I am just inform[ed] that Sam Jones has brought in a Bill in Senate, which will render the business of administration on the Estate of Deceased Soldiers much more dificult & perhaps altogether fruitless. * * *

I sincerely congratulate you on the birth of a Daughter, & I hope Mrs. Webb is perfectly recovered.

I wish you many happy returns of the Season —

I shall from time to time give you Notice of what is going forward — I am Dr. Sir with true Esteem Your Hble Servt.


I beg my Compliments to Doctor Vroman & family tell him I have not seen so beautiful child in this City as his. Remember me to Mr. Hogeboom & family.




The Plot is now Come out. the Morning you left us Colo. Burr declared himself a Candidate, for the Govr. & Judge Yates declared his intentions of declining his pretentions to the Government which created much confusion to his friends here. Last Night there was a Meeting of many of the Northern Members, by whom it was agreed that Judge Jay should be the Candidate for Governor, which he has Consented too — and that Stephen Renselear should be the Lieut Governor thus you see the Horses are started for the Government. I tell you as a friend that I feel a mortification in the evident Neglect of our family, You will be able to Judge what Convultions this will thro the State in.

Yesterday a Joint Resolution was Sent — to our House from the Senate ordering the Treasurer not to pay any of the Claims that the Westchester people have against the State for damages done their farms till further orders of the legislature, thus you see that all the doors are shut — at present —


Dont determine hastily about the Gov. & Lt. Gov. I will write you by Monday Stage. I am Dr. Sir Your friend



NEW YORK, Feby. 12th, 1792.


Nothing has as yet been done in our Business — You have heard no doubt of Yates's Resignation — I was present when he delivered it to the Meeting at Farmer's Hall in this City. At first I was not a little surprised — But our Politicks have taken a different Turn, and I hope for the better, if it is not too late — Mr. Jay is come forward as a Candidate for Governor — It meets with the Unanimous Approbation of all with us — The Patroon is in Nomination for the Lieut. Governor's Place — Old Governor Cortlandt is roil'd and intends to opposite him — Clinton's Party will support him — Jay will carry almost all West Chester, and in my Opinion, will have a decided Majority in the Southern District — Every thing now depends on your Exertions to the Northward — The Friends of Yates in the Legislature seem determined & Unanimous in Support of Jay — Mr. Burr is also held up as a Candidate for Governor — He and his Friends are both in Earnest — But I cannot conceive his Interest a Powerful One — Indeed I am at a Loss to determine whether he will prove most injurious to Clinton or Jay — You should lose no Time in making Interest, Clinton & Burr have both started Expresses to every part of the State.

I hope Mrs. Webb & the little Lady lately arrived are in perfect Health — Present our best Respects to her — Please to remember me to your Father-in-Law & Capt. Ten Broeck — Our Friend the Treasurer shall be carefully Watched by

Yours Most sincerely



NEW YORK, March 4th, '92.


I have yours of the 23rd ulto & observe it's Contents — The 1050 Dollars Nominal No. Cara. Bills reduce by scale at 620 for one,


which makes them of little or no value. I will hold them till further Orders. 6 p Cts are from 24/ to 25/ — 3 Do from 14/ to 14/4, Deferr'd 14/10 to 15/, — Finals 20 to 21/6, & 13/6 to 14/ for the Int. due thereon prior to Jany. 1st 1788. New York shares are a prize at 50 pCt. advance & will continue so till our New Bank obtains a Charter or untill the 1st May next at which time it will be stript of its Dividend of 7 pCt. — But it is Still a very doubtful matter whether our new Bank will get a Charter — if it does I will push in for you, to the Extent of your money in my hands — Beyond 50 pCt I would not advise you to go — I am Sorry you did not enter in the Albany Bank.

The Livingstons have all joined the Clintonian Party against Jay & the Citizens are divided — I do not know which party is strongest, but I have no doubt but Jay's is — Duer & myself who have worked on all former Occasions, in the present Case remain idle, tho' we wish Jay Success — Nic Low & Richd Harrison & Rufus King are the Champions of Jay — and as they are all Federal Men & loaded with the Honors of the Government, let them work, as they have the Watch — Dont you join in this Creed with Duer, Giles and myself? I know if you was here you would add to our Number — Write me whenever anything turns up —

With Compliments to Mrs. Webb & your Brother Jack if with you & best wishes for you all I am Dr. Sir

Your Obed Servt.

Dont buy 6 pCt. at more than 24/ — if you do there is no Chance of getting much by them — 3 pCt. at 14/ — & Deferr'd at 14/6 — no higher — if you do, you will labor in vain.


NEW YORK, Mch 17, 1792.


Capt. Ten Brocke delivered me your favor with the Bundle of orders. With all of which I will do the best I can for you. They have not been presented as yet, owing to Bancker's being absolutely engaged in the Land office for these last two days past.

There is a Law which has had its second reading to direct the reasons about Certificates for Military services. I will send you the Law by Ten Brocke. I now stand so fair with Mr. B. that I believe I can do you a friendship if any person can.


March 18, Sunday evening.

Your favor of the 15th I received this moment. I shall attend to every particular, the matter of Duer is almost come to a [point]. To-morrow he is to meet his creditors, but be assured his failure will ruin very many.

I am, Sincerely & Aff'ly Yours,



NEW YORK, SUNDAY, 6 oClock P. M. March 24, 1792.


The law authorizing the Treasurer to pay certain Military Certificates passd. our House on Thursday last. it now Contemplates that all orders Certifyed by a Judge or Justice and properly drawn & Signed shall be paid if presented on or before the 1 May, and after that time all orders must be signed & Certifyed before a Supreme Judge of the County Court — he first being fully Certifyed that all is right — the Orders sent down to me come within the first Clause of this Law and as soon as it pass'd the usual forms I will present your Orders for payment which Bancker assures me he will Pay — a Bond Man in all those cases is Necessary, which you shall not want while I am in town — The Albany Bank Bill pass'd our House yesterday the Capital to be one Hundred Thousand Pounds the State to take fifty Shares and also yesterday the Hudson Petition for liberty to bring in a Law of Incorporation was read and the prayer of the Petition grant'd, which will (I hope) toMorrow be Read I am in great hopes that State will be interested, and advance from their Abundant Coffers the immediate Money for the 50 Shares Contemplated in your Articles of Agreement — I make no doubt but it is certain Policy of this State to encourage the rising growth of that small but industrious City, all will be done by the Members of our Country.

I am in two Much haste to say More at present. the post Just agoing by Ten Broeck (if I have time) I will write you fully.



Mr. Duer is in Goal, & Mr. Bush, Pintard and Mr. Knox gone off and all in Confution.



NEW YORK April 4. 1792.


The Law is pass'd by which all the Certificates you sent me down will be valid, and all your purchase after this date must be acknowledged before a Judge of the Supreme Court — or Inferior, and the person selling must be in the presence of the Judge who must be well satisfied that he has a good right to sell —

The Hudson Bank Bill has had its Second Reading, & I hope to Morrow will be Committed to the Whole House when I make no doubt but it will pass and from what I can learn from the Senate it will pass there, the only fear I have is want of time had the friends of this Measure Sent it down sooner it would certainly have become a Law, and I am in full hopes from a late Conversation I have had with some persons in power that the State will take its proprotion & pay the Money — let me hear from you if I can purchase Shares and at what Rate — tell Doctor Vroman that their is no Certificates for Claims on forfeited Estates to be purchased; the holders have exchanged them all for 6 pCents.

Platts Brothers Young Arnold and four More dealers in Stock have failed Since Monday last.

Yours Sincerely



NEW YORK, April 15th 1792.


Amongst the Sons of misfortune who are totally ruined by Duer, McComb & Whipps, I am to be ranked — I wish you will come down as soon as convenient & See me — I have in hand stock, to face my Note, to you — This is right & just, as I conceive your money lodged in my hands, as if deposited in Bank subject to your draft at pleasure — The like is the case with Seargent, Giles, Cincinnati & Ohio Funds, which are Sacred in my hands. The Calamity is so general that 'Tis impossible to tell you who will or can Stand — I think it


my Duty to come to a full Stop, & this Event will take place tomorrow — This my old friend is all I can tell you at present & yours

Sincerely & affectionately



NEW YORK Sunday 29th April 1792.

Your letter of Thursday my Dear Kitty came to hand by the Mail last evening. At the time you was writeing it, we were steering our course with a fine leading Breeze, and came to the Wharf at 1 oClock the same day, haveing had a passage of Forty Eight Hours, and I am pleased in telling you, that the Instant I saw Colo. Platt, he handed me all my Money. — He possesses the same friendship and Integrity that I ever supposed him to have; — but you cannot conceive how much I feel for him, reduced in a single day from a fortune of Fifty or Sixty thousand Pounds, to a Situation so as not to pay more than three or four shillings on the pound to his Creditors. Macombe is perhaps the most consumate Villian that ever America knew — he received property the day before he Shut up, to the amount of three or four Hundred thousand Dollars, when he knew he must fail, and at the Same time pledging himself he was perfectly safe. — Of this or any other [of] his property he has yet rendered no Acct. He is Snug in Goal, and I hope he may be kept there


untill he is anihilated — I have lost by other people nearly Two Hundred pounds, but I think myself fortunate to come off so well. Had any money been placed in many other hands whom I thought perfectly safe I should never have got one Shilling of it. Every body laments Platt's misfortunes, his Character has rather gained than lost since his failure, I am assisting in the arrrangement of his affairs.


Joseph Barrell


BOSTON, 3d May, 1792.


Your favor of the 23d Ulto came to hand by the post, by wch I observe the business that calls you to New York. Of all that have suffered by the Whipzonian folly, there is none I am so sorry for as your friend Platt. As farr as Ive been informed his Conduct has not been stained with any dishonest act, and his Character will be respected, altho' his property has been so shamefully destroyed. I hope however he will yet Collect from the wreck, something important, and enjoy a quiet conscience with a Competency if not a redundancy. I am no otherways affected by the Wild career of those mad Speculators, than by the fall of Stocks, as I have some more on hand that I intend to keep. However I've no doubt they will soon find their Value, and I never wish them to arrive at their late crazy price. I sent to Colo. Platt, some of those Carolina Certificates wch you purchaised of Mr. Hughes for me. I wish if he has not done it, you would get them from him, and get Mr. Hughes to exchange them for good ones, or pay the present value of them in money. If Colo. Platt has received the pay from Hughes, receive it of him. I wrote to Mr. Hardy thro' our friend Mr. McCormick concerning some Georgia paper he carried on to fund for me, and wch he entered in his own name, and promised to transferr to me as soon as the Certificates came to hand, wch were daily expected when Jo was in N York, & since wch I have heard nothing from him.


Converse with him Mr. McCormick on the Subject, and inform me the State of the Matter. My best respects to Mr. McCormick & inform him till yesterday I never received the Apple Trees he was kind eno to send me. They appear to be very good ones, and tomorrow I shall plant them on the Hill, known to you by the name of Cobble Hill. Ive 60 Acres there wch I shall add to, and make 130 of very choice land. My Celler is Dry and I am proceeding to build an elegant house, and have already set out near 800 Trees upon the ground.

Sally continues yet confined to her Chamber, but she has good spirits, and a prospect of getting about again. The rest of the family are well and join in Love for you & yours Jo has applyd several times to the Treasury on your matters, and at last finds one of them has been paid, and for the rest no such names are found in the Mass line. he will send them on to Jack by Mr. Pomroy on Monday.

Yr friend & Bro



WORCESTER, July 17th 1792.

I arrived at this place yesterday afternoon in company with your friend Jos. Webb & Wife & other social passengers, and this morning we intended to set off for Asburnham, 25 miles from this, to view the sources of Miller's River, & to trace such communications from thence to this Town as the situation of the country will admit, but the rain of the morning will detain us 'till fair weather. Let me hear from you, our Friends, & the news of the BIGG TOWN [Boston], as frequent as you please. Direct for me at Barker's Tavern or Mr. Pain's in this place. On my return from Asburnham you shall hear from me again. Adieu




CLAVERACK, 6th August, 1792.
State of New York.


By yesterdays Mail I received your letter of the 30th of July, enclosing one from Major Turner to you, under date of the 23d. of July, together with his statement of our Account, this letter and accounts renders it necessary for me to recapitulate the whole transaction between us.

The 5th May 1787 Major Turner call'd on me at my quarters in New York, and informed me he was in great distress for about Ł230, that if he could obtain it, he could purchase Certificates at a depreciated rate, and pay a debt of Six or Seven Hundred pounds. He then observed — If I would lend him my Note for Ninety days it would answer his purpose, I made many objections, declaring it would be out of my power, in case of accident to him, to raise the Money when the Note became due, — he continued extremely urgent, laying his hand to his Breast, he made the following declaration "General Webb if you will favor me on the present occasion you will lay me under infinite obligations, and relieve me from a state of real distress, and I pledge myself on the sacred honor of a Brother Soldier, that the note shall be faithfully discharged and returned to your hands, by or before it becomes due." In this situation having the greatest confidence, in his honor and Friendship, I signed a note for Ł237 payable Ninety days after date. Very soon after this I heard he had procured Certificates with my note, that instead of applying them in the Manner he had Mentioned, he


had immediately sold them to Mr. Hammond for less than he gave for them, and went immediately for Philadelphia — before the day of payment came I informed him by letter that my Note loaned him, was in the Banks, and that I was not in a situation to take it up, and therefore urged his immediate attention, that my Credit (for a friendly act done him) might not Suffer, — in answer to which he writes me under date of the 24th of July 1787. "Accept my thanks for the information respecting My Note, I shall pay it proper attention, and not loose a moment to set out for New York." The next letter I received from him is under date of the 6th August in which he makes many apologies, tells me "of losses, crosses and disappointments, Speaks of his poignant feelings &c. &c. and then proceeds to say May I venture to hope that, in case of the worst, Colonel Platt has not actually paid away this Note — but only lodged it for collection? at any rate Dear Sir, will you as an additional favor, endeavor to get the enclosed Bond discounted on the best terms you can, and out of it pay a third of the Note, which I understand the Bank will receive, it receiving my Note for the remainder."

The Bond alluded to is the one of Duncan's for Ł100. I offered it for Ł75 but could get nothing for it, as Duncan was then doubtful — and it was intimated that the land which Major Turner had sold to Duncan was disputed property.

In this situation, — something must be immediately done or my Credit at the Bank, and with my friends, totally ruined, I made an accomodation at 3 pr. cent pr. Month, which was then customary by the Brokers


in New York (for Major Turner and of which he had Notice) on Ł237 until the 5th day of Novr. 1788 — during which time, you Sir well knew the repeated promises of Major Turner to settle with me, particularly by a South Carolina Certificate which you mention in a letter to me of the 14th July, 1788. This was agreed to be received and to Allow Major Turner twelve Months to redeem it, — but strange to tell, before my letter in answer, could reach you, Notwithstanding Major Turner's promise this Certificate of Ł900 Sterling he, Major Turner had appropriated to other purposes: of this you inform me in your next letter in which you say "I believe the Certificate irritrievably gone." this conduct needs no comment. — In one of your letters you inform me Major Turner says I shall be no looser, that he feels himself wretched &c., &c. Now Sir, that you may have a full Idea of the business, and of my real loss, for this Act of truly disinterested friendship (for I assure you on my honor I never received, nor ask'd him one farthing for the loan of My Note) — The 5th day of November, 1788, I paid for the principal Ł237, and for the legal Int. 20 14 8 Making the sum Ł257 14 8. the whole exclusive of the 3 pr. Cent Monthly Interest that alone from Augt. 1787 to Novr. 1788, Amounts on the Sum of Ł237 to Ł106 12 6. At this period say Novr. 1788 I was obliged to take up my Note or suffer Myself to be prosecuted for it, — a thing which had never happened to me for any debt of my own, — to avoid so disagreeable an event I took part of my Certificates, which were Issued by John Peirce, in my own name for my services as [torn] in the Army and sold so much of them at 4/ on pound as


to raise the sum of Ł257 14 8 — these Certificates would have been by me, as all my others were, until the funding System took place, when they were of full Value, had it not have been for this Note loaned Major Turner, having never had occasion to dispose of any of them, for any debt of my own. — here then was a loss of 16/ on the pound, amounting to 514 dollars at least.

Respecting the Bond of John Duncan, it was in the hands of Major Sill an Attorney in Albany, and prosecuted by him for & in the name of Major Turner and by Major Turner's express Orders, — Duncan was soon after taken and committed to Albany Goal, whether at the suit of Major Turner, or not, I am unable to say, — Judgment was obtained on this and many other suits while Duncan was in Goal, Most of them previous Judgments to the one of Major Turner's, and had his Estate been sold by Execution all would have been swallowed before it came to Major Turner's Judgment, and the money would have been totally lost.

In this situation the Creditors met and agreed to let Duncan out of Goal, upon Condition that he would pay a part, and secured his Estate in the hands of trustee's for the benefit of all his Creditors. — of this I was sometime afterwards informed, and as the Bond was assigned to me, Major Turner's lawyer in Albany wrote me the situation and strongly recommended my agreeing to this, as the only probable means of securing the Debt — the business was adjusted as you will see by the enclosed Copy of my receipt to Mr. Gilchrist, as agent for Major Turner, — and on the 1st day of April 1791. I received from Watson and Greenleaf Ł84. out of which I paid Major Sills' costs being Ł27


7 4. leaving in my hands Ł56 12 8. — The Ł84 and Duncan's new Bond of [torn] in all Ł158. includes the Int. on the old Bond of Ł100, and Majr. [torn] costs of prosecution, which the law allows him to take from the first Money's collected, it was therefore I paid it out of the Ł84. recd. of Watson and Greenleaf.

I sent the New Bond of Ł74 to E. C. Goodrich, Esqr. Attorney in Claverack, he had Judgment entered up, &c. &c. and I paid him his Costs amounting Ł6 16 3. — the old Bond was assigned to me as part security for the loan of my Note, the new one of Ł74 I hold on the same footing, and shall keep it until Majr. Turner make a settlement with me, when I shall be ready to give it up to Major Turner as his property.

Soon after this transaction old Mr. Duncan died; his son (who has the Character of an honest Man) came to N. York and called a meeting of his Fathers Creditors, it was unanimously agreed that the surest way of obtaining payment, was to give Young Duncan a few years to close the business — I do not recollect the exact period, but I believe 4 or five years from that period, and thus it now remains, the Bonds on Interest and the whole Estate secured.

The Eagles he alludes to I received, two of which I have sold, and the third is now by me, however I have no objection of passing them to his Credits whenever he will come to an honorable settlement and pay me the just balance due me, Altho I have not recd. the money for those two which I sold. 3 at 25 Dols. is Ł30 Currency.

His checking my Agents from receiving any more of his Salary, was of a piece with his other Conduct


since I first loaned him my Note, an Act of disinterested friendship which I have paid severely for — and if the crime of ingratitude is to be added, it will compleat the scene — I shall state the account and enclose it, by which you will see there is a large balance now due me — what my agents Commissions and postage amount to I know not, nor have I paid your Agency & postage, the postage from you & Major Turner to me has been considerable & the same between Major Sill & Mr. Goodrich, besides two Journeys I made from New York to Albany on the business.

You will please to Note when I answered Major Turners letter last December, I had not my papers by me, the Account of Hazard & Addoms was transmitted to Colo. Platt, who gave it me this Spring, — they charge me for postage and Commissions 11 Dollars & 74 cents, part of it however may be for obtaining land Warrants from the War Office. Nor had I by me at that time the receipt from the Executors of Major Sill, or Mr. Goodrich — this will account for the [torn] statement I then made, & I have since supposed that Major Turner — had returned to the Western Country — I should have wrote him early in the Spring.

I am extremely sorry my Dear Sir that I am under the necessity of giving You so much trouble, and as Major Turner has been a Brother Officer, the same principal that has governed me in this transaction, still operates — Tis therefore I now authorize you to leave the matter, after a full statement, showing this letter & relating what you know of the business, to some good man or men, and on Majr. Turners paying you such a balance as they may think just & honorable to


give him a Discharge in full — I have no objection of leaving it to Mr. Pettitt — but take into Consideration Duncans Bond of Ł74 now in my hands, which I would dispose of at a loss, as it is yet uncertain whether the Estate will be sufficient to pay all the Debts — Should Majr. Turner refuse this, be Kind enough to put this letter & all the Papers concerning the business, into the hands of Jared Ingersoll Esqr. Councellor at Law, and request him to bring it to a speedy and legal Decision, — if Majr. Turners & your letters, my receipts for the costs, and Colo. Platts testimony on the subject are required, Mr. Ingersoll can inform me & I will transmit them to him, if you receive the balance after deducting your charges please to transmit [torn] to James Watson Esqr. Mercht. in New York for me — wishing to hear from you on the subject I am very Dear Your obliged friend

& Most obedt. Servt.


P. S. I am not positive whether the legal Interest of 7 pr. Cent amounting to Ł20 14 8 should stand charged when the 3 pr. Cent is allowed, I should never have continued to have paid this 3 P.Cent, so long, had it not [torn] from a constant expectation, Majr. Turner would have [torn] and taken up the Note, you are not unacquainted of his repeated promises. — a copy of Colo. Platts receipt of the 5th of Novr. 1788 is herewith enclosed.





Your old Friend General Saml. B. Webb requested me to enclose the within order to you, and to request you to receive the certificates or money for the within order, and to forward it or them to him by the way of New York to Claverack in sd. State, directing your letter to the care of Messr. James Watson & Greenlief Merchants in New York — & he would take it as a particular favour done him — and if in his power he would be happy to render you any service — as will Your most Obed. & Very Hum Sert.



BOSTON, 18th Feby, 1793.


Your favr. of the 4th June is before me, and I think with you 'tis a long time since I wrote to or heard from you. Hannah did propose to pay you a visit when she was at Wethersfield, but her tarry there was so long I could not spare her from home longer. Jo will write you the fate of your Soldiers orders which he says bro Jack knew in the time, that none of them have been paid and most of them were good for nothing.

I did as you desired send to Teneriff for a pipe of wine which arrived some time ago, & Jo will ship by Barnard for New York agreeable to your request. The Cost of it is below, & as I am in very great want of Money I wish you to send it as soon as possible. I also inclose your Accot, and you cannot do me a greater favor than to pay the Baln as I never wanted money more than at present, having several very large sums to pay, and nothing to pay with but Bank Shares, the Low price of which would be distinction to any obliged now to sell out. I shall be glad also you would inform me what is done with the State Notes you deliverd Mr. Wickham, when he will pay, or whether never. I am exceedingly disappointed you have done nothing with Vander Heyden, or Shurtleff. Jack writes


me the Lawyer demands pay for keeping the papers. I wish you would see they are delivered to Jack who will put them into an honest Lawyers hands if he can find one. Do assist him that if possible I may have those Matters settled. You promised to enquire about Dick Vander Heyden & find out whether he shipped goods to his brother or any else on his own Accot. as that fellow now owes me Ł2000. and I should be very glad to get it or a part of it. I shall remove to pleasant Hill in all April. My house there is in forwardness. There I shall be glad to see you and your better self to whom give my love in which Kitty & Sally Webb joins as does my Daughter &c.

I am Dear Sam
Yours Sincerely


NEW YORK, 20 Sept., 1793.


I have taken the first opportunity since my arrival here, to find the flints you wanted which are not of the kind I intended — they being all expended, and the London Oyl which are held in good repute, wishing most sincerely that they may find you in health Suited to the Sports of the field, which your grounds offer in such abundance.

We have little news here tho several arrivals. Among which are two french Store Ships bound of St. Pierres, but finding the place in possession of the English they bore up for New York. The fever in Philadelphia has rather decreased and in this place (except a few Strangers who brought it with them, and were soon put to Governors Island) may be said never to have been. Precautions are full taken respecting the admission of people from Jersey and I have no doubt but they with the Coldness of the Weather will protect N. York from any danger of Infection.

Mr. Genet is still here working in private some favorite Scheme, and publishing as if from different places news calculated to answer his purposes.


Have the Goodness to present my Respectfull Compt. to Mrs. Webb, and the family your Neighbours to the Major if with you and accept my best thanks for your friendship & hospitality believing me to be Dear Sir

Your Very Humb. Servant



ALBANY, Feby 5th, 1794.


I received your kind favour of the 5th. Mr. Spencer for want I suppose of a convenient opportunity has not yet introduced me to your worthy friend — His petition has not been presented & the temper of the House is not very favorable to requests of that nature — Indeed I do not hesitate to acknowledge that from the present view of the matter I cannot do less than to give my vote against them —

It was a real disappointment to me that I could not reach Claverack at evening to enjoy your company & hospitality — shall miss no opportunity of doing it as there are but few persons in the world for whom I have an equal regard — Your congratulations are always acceptable because I am sure they are cordial — I must regret the deficiency of snow which threatens to rob me of the pleasure of a visit from you here.

I am with much Regard Your friend & Hub Servt.



CLAVERACK, 18 May, 1794.


Your letter of the 14th Instant came to hand by yesterday post and in compliance with your request I do


certify that, you did not say that you believed the President of the United States was Bribed by British Gold — but at the same time it is a duty I owe myself & my friends, to relate the Substance of a Conversation that passed between you and me, & which I repeated to you in South Street in the hearing of Genl Clarkson, and which you in his presence, acknowledged was true.

Viz: You railed with great Violence against the President and the Secretary of the Treasury, call the President an Aristocrat, which you declared was fully evinced by his Nomination to Offices of importance, Men of Aristocratic Principles, and combated with warmth every argument which I used in their defence, from an Attack which appeared to me ill-founded and unjustifiable, — and in conclusion asked me "Do you know what has been attempted by British Gold in France" — my answer was I did — on which you said "You believed or you should not be Surprized, if the same Game was playing with the Officers of our Government," or words to that effect, — this you said with much Warmth.

Differing with you pointedly in this Idea, and almost every other, that was advanced in the course of this conversation, — feeling hurt to find my old friend so totally changed in sentiments respecting Characters dear to me & to our Country in General — I communicated what had passed between us to Several, who were formerly, and I believe now are our mutual friends — not with a design to do you an injury, but that they might if possible convince you, of what, they as well as myself conceived to be an erronious opinion.


I am Sorry Sir that you should have had so much trouble about the business — I have not seen what you say, your friends thought it most advisable for you to publish in Greenleafs paper — I presume it will agree with the foregoing relation of facts, from which every man must draw his own conclusion.

I am dear Sir wishing you peace and happiness, and with Compliments to your family

Your Most Obed. Servt.


P. S. Not knowing what you have published in Mr. Greenleafs paper I shall send to my friend [James Watson] in N York a Copy of your letter to me, and likewise a copy of this.


NEW YORK, January 20th, 1795.


I am favored with your letter of the 15th Instant — Mr. Burr will doubtless attend Court and to the business you mention — You must give me leave however to decline interfering any further as Counsel in this action — More than one person has mentioned to me that you had thrown the blame of bringing you into this scrape upon me — To correct this mistake in you, which operates much to my disadvantage permit me to remind you that if you are liable in the present suit which is brought upon the Judgment, you are so in consequence of Mispleading or wrong pleading in the former Action — Now in this Action you will recollect that the late William S. Livingston was your Attorney, and that I knew nothing of it until the Cause was ready for Argument — I knew no more of the pleadings nor had I any more agency in drawing the pleadings or advising them than the Cham of Tartary — When this action was commenced on the Judgment I immediately saw that an advantage would be attempted to be taken of the pleadings in the former suit — Upon this subject


however I am of opinion and ever have been that the law is not as the plantiff contends — But in this I may very probably be mistaken for I pretend not to infallibility on these occasions — Since the commencing however of the last action I can not accuse myself of any inattention to your Interests. — Besides attending Court very frequently for the argument in this City I once at a very great loss of time attended the Court at Albany upon this, and no other business — At present the action is in very safe and able hands, and as I believe the merits are with you I hope it will terminate in Such a way as that law and Justice may not appear, as they sometimes do, — at variance with each other.

Before I conclude you will permit me to mention another matter which gives me some concern — Mr. Carey Ludlow tells me you informed him that I had advised you as administrator to pay a bond debt in preference to a Judgment Creditor — I can assure you that you must have misapprehended me very much indeed if anything which dropped from me was construed by you into advice of that kind — Amid the host of Lawyers with whom this State abounds I do not believe one would be found ignorant enough to have advised an executor or administrator to Such a Measure I do not know to this day what Judgments are against you — Our conversation about your affairs have always been general & very loose — nor indeed was I made acquainted with them at all until they were involved in many difficulties from which you are not yet extricated — I have one request to make which is that you will be so obliging as to shew this letter to those to whom you have Spoken respecting my agency in this matter — I wish you many happy Years, and am very respectfully

Your very obedient Servant



NEW YORK, February 1795.


Coll Burr not coming to Town I was obliged on wednesday last to argue your Cause alone. Considering the Importance of the Question, I would have wished to have employed Counsel to assist me, but not having permission for this purpose, I did not think proper to


take the Liberty — As the Court have risen without giving their Opinion should it be against You (which I yet flatter myself it will not) you will inevitably have to pay the whole Debt out of your own pocket.

As far as this business respects Myself I have been so fortunate as to obtain from the late Mr. Livingston's office the papers in the former Suit in which he filed a demurrer. by these papers I find that as early as March 1790 I advised in writing that you should make oath — that you had fully administered and apply for leave to withdraw the demurrer and Plead what we call plene administravit.

I also find that you accordingly made this oath and that Mr. Livingston gave notice to Mr. Ludlow that he should move for leave to withdraw the demurrer — what prevented the Motion from being made I know not — not being the Attorney in the Cause: had this been done you would at present have had no difficulty to contend with.

I understand there are other Judgments against you, which the Parties are reviving probably with a view to charge you with the debt, of those however I know nothing but from hearsay.

I am Sir

respectfully your obedt Servant



ANCRAM, Feby 14, 1795.


Yesterday I Recd. a Letter from your Brother at Wethersfield — He Complains very much of your silence, not having heard from Jack, or yourself he says for a long time. He had his Farm Works at New Hartford compleatly Stockd. and has Recd. all his Money. I hope he & his amiable family will be able to again live in that affluence that they have been accustomed too.

Pray dear General tell what I am to do about Tom. I have written by the post to Killian the day after I left you, and since that I hear he has been at Claverack, but I have had no answer. I wish to know what he has said at Claverack about the boy, and whether you can learn what he intends to do about him — I shall also write to Mr. Ludlow to know what he has heard him say.


I have heard no news. I see by the Hudson Paper that some of our County people are again going to support the Chief Justice — I hope we shall not have such Commotions as last Election. I would rather be without a Governor than one upon such terms. Pray let us all join in one Man that will support the Laws & the union & I believe Yates will do his best. What the Politics of New York is I know not having Recd no Letter from their since I saw you. I wish sincerely that such a coalition could be made by the parties in our State that we all should unite in the Man that I have described. I am sure the family at Caverack, and our family aided by the Gentlemen of the County Could do much in bringing about such a union, that this distracted County could again have peace. This to yourself

I beg my best Respects to Mrs. Webb.

I am Dr. General Your Hb. Servt.



NEW YORK July 24th 1795.


Our Town meeting of Saturday last was indeed a farcical affair — it was an anonymous call but known to be put in the papers by P. R. Livingston — The friends to good order however determined to attend, and it was presumed there would be a majority sufficient to prevent violent measures from being adopted. Among the rest I was there — . It must be observed that our Demagogues always fix their meetings at the hour of Twelve in order to take in all the Mechanics & Labourers — over whom alone they have influence and who in public meetings have a great advantage as they are not afraid of a black eye or broken head — a great number of the respectable part of the Inhabitants attended — Colo. Smith & Comodore Nicolson were Candidates for the Chair — Smith took it — Mr. Hamilton & Livingston severally attempted to speak, & each party insisted upon their Orator speaking first — so neither of them could be heard — it was however generally understood that one side wanted the


Treaty should be read & discussed — whilst the other insisted upon putting at once the simple question all you that disapprove the Treaty say Aye — both sides were vociferous and it soon became all confusion. P. Livingston then got a speaking Trumpet & bawled out for those against the Treaty to draw off. I then run up into the Gallery on purpose to judge of the numbers & saw evidently that he had with him but few of the respectable Inhabitants — & not a majority even of the lower class — he then got a flag on a long pole & proposed to go and burn the Treaty a number went with him paraded down to the battery & round the dock — and as is always the case collected a large Mob with which he returned to the meeting They then became riotous & threw Stones They attempted to put the question if a committee should be appointed to draft resolutions — but they could not carry it — on which P. Livingstons brother pulled a paper out of his pocket & read off a number of names — without any vote & then said a Commee was appointed to report on Monday and so they finished — On Monday they had it all to themselves — for none but them attended — An Evening or two ago our chamber of Commerce met and passed a set of resolutions expressive of their confidence in the Executive &c, &c. — Smith was fool enough to be with them on Monday and in the chair — I have not met yet with a single Globe — so as you can get one at N. Haven shall look no further — I thank you for your care of [ ] you will let me know what money I may owe you — I thank you too my dear Webb for your civility to my friend Lassemont (?) — he is a worthy clever fellow — I love him very much — I have been going to the Northward these two Months, but cant get away — I now have hopes of being able to set out soon —

Mrs. Walker joins me in a thousand civil things to Mrs. Webb and Sally. — you will take your share of them and believe me

Very sincerely Ys.




NEW YORK, Jany 14, 1796.


Yours of the 7th I have recd with pleasure; you have seen ere this Mr. Jay's Speech, & this day's advertiser presents you the Answer of both branches; they are marked with federalism & I had the Honor to propose the insertion of the words "invariably" & "uniform" which were carried 11 to 7. My own feelings would have carried me further but not being on the Committee to prepare the Answer, & an unwillingness to excite and stir up the old Embers of Party, repressed me — However the Answer is explicit & full —

I have seen B. Livingston he says he has written to you — & that your presence is unnecessary. This is true, in any other point of view than as it may lead to a Compromise, & in that view if convenient to you, he thinks it may be well to come down. Mr. Watson received your expressions of Friendship with a lively Sensibility. The Poetry you allude to I have seen. Your intended visit to Mrs. Spencer affords me pleasure She must be somewhat Solitary, & my Friends will view her as thrown on the District, while I am affording my Mite to improve our Situation as a People. Your Father in Law I am afraid is beyond the point of Reformation, I fear an ancient deep rooted & inveterate dislike to our national compact, has such a hold of him that my Efforts are in vain, however they shall be exercised — remember me to Mrs. Webb & all our friends.

Yours sincerely


P. S. Mr. & Mrs. Penfield beg to be remembered to you & Mrs. Webb most affecty.


NEW YORK, March 13th 1796.


Your agreeable favor of the 6th is recd. for which accept my warmest thanks — It is true that in my absence to Philadelphia, Mr. Jones had influence enough to carry thro the Senate a proposition to annex Columbia to the Middle District, & before my return it became a Law — tho it does not take place until 1st Jany 1797 so that at the next Election, we vote with the Eastern District as usual; this


Measure I abominate, & had I been present would have zealously opposed. Our Federal Friends in the Senate save one did oppose it, but the defalcation of Jones & Judge Strong enabled them to succeed — thanks to Heaven, it will I trust be repealed before another Election at least it shall be attempted —

I hear Genl Rensselaer's Name mentioned as Senator; I have the Greatest Esteem for him personally, but do not hesitate to predict, that if he is bro't forward as a Candidate, the other Party will succeed — for God's sake dissuade him from the Measure.

In my judgment, Mr. Savage will be a successful Candidate, & we ought to take him up — Judge Silverton if he will permit his name to be used, will inevitably succeed.

Let our Adversaries meet, we ought to keep aloof, & profit by their squabble for Candidates — alone as a Party, we shall fail in our assembly Ticket, & good Policy suggests that we take up some of the least exceptionable of the other party —

Judge Ford is appointed first judge, Wheaton a judge & Cantine an Assistant — Holdrige & Curtiss are displaced as justices Never, General, have we had, so great a Stake as at the next Election the Electors for President & Vice President are then to be appointed — a Senator also — Cautious then indeed ought we to be, & none but the most popular should be taken up — the Legislature will rise in a fortnight, I long to see you & my other Friends as Mr. Gilbert says. the Papers will inform you of our proceedings & how a certain Mr. Williams, Secretary of the Demo. Society begged Pardon of the House for exciting commotion in the Bar of the Assembly on Tuesday last — these are the fruits of democracy — My respects to Mrs. Webb Doc. Vroman & family.

Yours sincerely


At the next Election Columbia two
Rensselaer two
& Washington one} Senators.


WETHERSFIELD, Sunday Evening, 28th aug. 1796.


I wrote you last Thursday Evening to go by the Fryday Mail —


which letter will tell you how anxious all the family have been to hear the particular's from Br Jack. — but he ought to have been here on our Audit — but unfortunately its again off partly by Hetty's Death — & they not being ready on their side, — on Fryday Evening Brother Jack arrived & handed me your Letter of the 25th, with the two politeness & Friendship of Parson Clark and Parson Morse whose civility on the occasion I shall never forget. I have just sent them down to our amiable & worthy friends the Chesters, who will be charm'd with them — Hetty was lovely from her childhood truly good & amiable, truly may the family feel a void in the loss of so charming a female. How much Mrs Webb & I have regretted the loss of her & have thot extreemly hard of her — of you and our Boston friends for keeping her so long from us. I felt Interested more than common — being left her nearest friend & protector by the Request both of our Dear father & Mother.

I confess I felt more than Brother for her — I took the utmost Pains in her Education I love her sincerely. So may I say I did all my Brothers & Sisters on their being early left Orphans. Then I was in large Business and Money Enough — and never happier than when I could make my Brothers & sisters so. When I reflect what I then was & what influence I then had, & what good I trust I did to mankind — I feel myself now of no Consequence.

I feel anxious for my Dear Mrs. Webb & her Dear little amiable family — I sometimes resolve to sell what little I have & move back in some New Lands & be forgotten by my old Friends, but when I think of the delicate feeble Make of my Mrs W---- one of the Best of heavens beings — the Education of my family, I am little short of distracted — Here I am settled in a most charming delightful little Town with a circle of choice friends, But in no Business of any consequence except my New Hartford Fan Works — Oh Barrell This World is not worth living for — its a world of trouble & vexation anxiety & disappointments — those that expect happiness here are fools — Yet there is degrees — some better & some worse But who can you point too & say He's a happy Man — No not one. — as to a Wife & Children its scarcely possible for a Man to be happier than myself except my anxiety how to support them as they ought to be.


I wish sometimes I had gone into Trade. But after the world of it that I have done — to be stript by Continental Money was too bad — as for Economy I trust no one can boast of a better family — & my Dear friend now let me urge you to Ride to Wethersfield Vissit your sincere friend Webb & Chester — Colo Chester & Wife — myself & Wife will accompany you back & endeavor to comfort you and make you as happy as we can — depend upon it if I can any ways render service to heal & make happy it will give me more pleasure than I can possibly Express — Mrs. Barrell attended Church with us to day We put up a Bill — she behaves decent & a most sincere & hearty mourner with us — she longs to See you & Hannah thinks She cou'd be of service at this time — I say but little on the Subject one way or the other The Situation is too delicate at least to write about — however more of this at another time — She feels anxious about you all — about her Children indeed she is really a distressed Object tho we all treat her with all the Civility & politeness that we are Masters there is her home there is her husband there is her Children — there & there abouts she has spent about 25 Years of her life I cant but think you will find this Jaunt of amazing advantage to her — We have been friendly & chatted on the duties of Man & Wife — & that Each must endeavor to make Each other Happiness — or instead of Blessing — Hell fellow's — But to return to your Letter so soon as the things arrive I shall Deliver them to our Dear Mrs. Webb who will be happy to fulfill your wish in every Point. Of course Jacks Daughter Mary who really is a charming deal little girl will not be forgotten — I really long to see your delightful Seat — I hear so much about it — that I shall not rest untill I Visit you — remember to your Dear Son Jos. & Wife. tell him I have hardly forgiven him in cheating me out of the Visit I Expected — Write me as often as you Can — says

your anxious & afflicted Broth


Mrs. W. says I have not sent my love to Hannah. she knows I love her Enough — & would not scold too much at such seeming Neglect — pray Kiss her for Mrs. Webb. & me — I beg her to come & spend some time & make us happy again as she did before.



ALBANY, March 12, 1797.


Yours of the 9th duly came to hand, & it gives me pain to be obliged in candour to tell you, that the Appointment of Comptroller has taken such a turn as entirely to preclude a hope of bringing your Name forward with Success the only Candidates now remaining & between whom the appointment suspends are Genl. Armstrong & Saml. Jones, the latter you will judge without my Information, will not meet with my support in opposition to the former which of them will be eventually appointed it would require a prophetic spirit to pronounce; which of them in every point of view is superior all impartial & candid men cannot for a moment hesitate to declare.

That my Friendship for you, my regard & respect for your acquirements, & I may say my warm and fixed attachment for your person, founded on a pretty long and intimate acquaintance, would give you the preference if it depended on me alone, I trust you will believe — but the utter impossibility of gaining over to my way of thinking any member of the Council has led me to reflect on other Persons, & among those Genl. Armstrong stands conspicuous — I am sure you will not, cannot blame me — & that our old habits of esteem, & regard will never be diminished, by this want of success on your part.

As to the other object I mean the Onandago Commissioners, I I fear I shall be equally unsuccessful your name has been mentioned, but some malignant Star for ever presides, they must (say the Webster People) be Lawyers — hence Laymen are all to be excluded. —

There is another object tho' not of much pecuniary advantage in which I can serve you, I mean the Superintendance of Roads; they are to have the trifling Sum of 16/ pr day can you be prevailed on from motives of public good to accept the appointment? if you will, let me know in Season.

I have seen Judge Richardson who acknowledges the note to be justly due, & unpaid — he says a pretty punctual payment may be expected —

I enclose you two Letters one for Mr. Bay & the other for Mr. Goodrich, please to read them & the contents & then deliver between us. I want Evidence in my power of the Actual delivery of them — I hear with pleasure that I may expect you up soon, I hope


you will not be prevented from any circumstances contained in this Believe me to be thro all vicissitudes your unalterable Friend &

Obedt. Servt.


P. S. I cannot conjecture the Reasons, you have not delivered my Letter to P. B. T. B. no matter. Do as you judge fit perhaps a personal remonstrance from you may have the effect to still his venomous tongue

— I feel vexed with him.


ALBANY, March 17, 1797


The die is cast and old Jones is appointed Comptroller, I wash my hands of it — & may those who have contributed to his appointment, live to regret it — & may the just indignation of honest men & Whigs, settle on the head of the Political Proteus.

The onondago Commissioners are Judge Yates, Vincent Matthews & James Kent. their appointment was unavoidable.

We shall adjourn in a fortnight, for which thank God.

believe me yours


3 October, 1797.


The Broach I now present you is a memento of the Loss of your excellent Aunt Hetty, who is represented in it as takeing her last leave of you. I trust your feeling mind will never forget the many obligations you are under to her for her extreme care and kindness; she has left this World, and returned you to a Father who dearly loves you; and remember, if your future life is conducted by Virtue


the time will certainly come, when you shall again be introduced to her society, in that world where another separation cannot commence, but where virtue meet its last reward, such conduct will also secure to you in this life, all that is worth possessing, the Approbation of your own mind & the esteem of all good men, & will also more closely endear you to the love of

Your Affectionate Father,



ALBANY, Feby 12th, 1798.


I avail myself of the opportunity by Capt. T. Brouk to drop you a line. for three days past I have been confined to my Room, with an inflamed & swollen face — however I am now so far over it as this day to attend in my place.

Mr. T. Brouk tells me you have been meditating a trip up & was to come with him; what hindered? — be assured your Company would afford many of us the most sincere satisfaction — I hope you will soon be up, if you can come up so as to return on Saturday I will accompany you down.

I have very little relative to the Treasurer appointment it will not very soon take place — I understand Phil. Rensselaer is out of the way — but that influence is still alive & active for Daniel Hale those who do not relish that mode of doing business, are I suspect many of them committed for Mr. McLellan — The Doc. can inform you of the State of this Business — one thing I beg you to be assured of, that on no occasion, when I could serve you, will you find me deficient but reflect, that by the Constitution this Bill must originate with the Assembly, & our concurrence is in fact matter of form there never was nor ever will be a new man proposed by but in cases of evident &. manifest impropriety — I am interrupted & must conclude.

Yours sincerely


Present my best respects to Mrs. Webb & the Judges Family.



PLEASANT HILL, 15th March, 1800.


You was certainly right, my surprize at the receipt of a Letter from you, could hardly be exceeded, had it been from the Dead — but the fault is not on my side — I am sorry to hear of the Ill state of health you have been obliged to endure; Trouble is a natural attendant on man while on this side of the Grave, but we have no reason to complain, when a virtuous conduct will assuredly introduce us into a future State, where superior happiness will exclude it for ever. I am glad to hear you are on the recovery, and to find altho you have been obliged to part with half your lungs, you have not been intierly useless in your day & generation; the means of introduceing into life seven children in a few years, is what few people can brag of, who have been able to retain the whole of their lungs untouched, and if we may judge of the cause by the effects, it is natural to conclude, milk and Slops are not unwholesome I am glad you are now able to walk and ride, and eat, you say nothing of drinking, and if you lost that faculty when a Demijohn is on the Table, you are altered in deed. In the course of the summer perhaps a ride this farr might do you good, if you think so, and will try I will introduce you to one of the pleasantest Hills in this world, and if the falling in of the left side should crook you a little, you have this consolation, that the loss of t'other half your lungs could not make you less than you was possessing them entier, for Ive heard you discribed as that General Webb, that makes no shadow in the sun, but however alterd you may be in body, if you retain a pure mind and will bring Mrs. Webb with you, whose beauties will abundantly hide your defects, youl find a hearty welcome, and altho the last of the Satisfaction was drank by the best man in the world, who lately departed for heaven, yet we have plenty remaining, good enough for us sinners.

Your brother-in-Law dined with us this day, and I hoped for that pleasure from the Uncle, but he was ingaged, they will both be successful I expect in the business they came upon.

Mary Webb is here as pretty and innocent as ever, her heart I trust


is so firmly attached to the Brieze of Casenova, that the flirts nor Boreas's of Boston will be able to shake, but yet you know the young hearts of pretty Girls are not always the most firm.

Can you tell me where M Peter Hughes now resides, the person from whom you purchased South Carolina Certificates for me a long time since. I wish to know as some of them are those that the State will not fund, at more than 4/ to the pound, and they were warranted genuine. Pray inform me in this Matter, also his situation as to prosperity. * * * * *

Your friend &


CHARLESTOWN, March 17th, 1800.


I wrote you yesterday two sheets of paper, but so freely of past scenes that upon reading it this morning I think it most prudent not to send it but commit it to the flames — and if ever we meet I will relate all that has past the last seven years. — Many painful things have I seen and felt — but they are past and gone for ever. At present I enjoy more happiness than ever I expected to — our family is large, as Mr. Joy his Wife and child and two Servants have resided here ever since last July. — Mina Barrell lives with me constantly and is a good Girl — Mary Webb is here at present, we all love her very much; we are a cheerful Circle — and want nothing but my dear friends near me — I wish you enjoy'd as great a share of health as myself — I hope you will entirely recover. — I felt the keenest sorrow for your ill state and never expected you woud have lived untill this day — I hope it will be the means of preparing you for that blest Heaven where all sorrows have an end — what a Consolation is that my dear Brother — and that we shall meet those dear friends that are gone before. I daily think of poor Hetty — who died while I was on a visit to my Brother Jos. I was wretched to think I should have been absent — perhaps it was for the best — I returned as soon as my Brother coud wait on me home, and was received kindly by all — and have lived much more happy than I ever expected to — I had fully intended to have gone to see you — but the unforseen


Misfortunes of her death made it necessary I should be at home — I have endeavour'd to please all in my power and in a great measure have succeeded much beyond my expectations considering things were in that state owing wholly to false and base Servants which I dismissed imediately and have done prudently, so that I fear no longer but what I can please — I have Seven Sons liveing, one lost; and one daughter that is now five years old. My youngest is a Boy of two years named after Doctor Thomas Bulfinch which you must have remember'd — my son John Simpson is in Carolina with his Uncle William Simpson is in very good Buissness — he has [been] absent one year this very month — he writes me very affectionately and has ever been a dutiful Son. His Sister Peggy is in a poor state of health — lives within five Miles of this place I visit her often, and love her sincerely. I pity her cruel Situation to have something very genteel left by her Uncle in London — then her Aunt Winslow died soon after and left her Seven hundred pounds sterling and some Cloaths, all which Jonathan Simpson has spent and I cannot get from him Sufficient to pay her Board. — Was she like other young Ladies I would have her with me, but she is a little deranged — at times her nerves are very weak — but she continues to love me with the greatest affection. — she is now twenty one years old — how rapidly does time pass away — soon shall we be gone for ever — I long to embrace you and your dear littel ones and shall not give up that pleasure of one day going to see you and my good Sister whom I shall never forget — I have wrote you repeatedly but believe the letters never reach'd you — as you would I am sure have answer'd them — do my dear Brother try this fall and Come and see us, and one of the most beautiful Situation in the World — ride slow — and but a little way in a day. I shall expect it. I am sorry that Mr. Hogeboom wont stay longer with us — write me soon and assure me that you have not forgot a Sister that loves you tenderly. I am call'd — must close my letter — adieu. May every blessing attend you prays your ever

Affectionate Sister,




YORK, 24th Octor, 1800.


As I think you may wish to know how I got home — for if it answers no other purpose than a temporary amusement by calling off your mind from brooding over your dissapointments, and for a moment forgeting Georgy Concerns, with the baseness of pretended friends, it may not be mispent time in me, to inform you my journey was much less fatigue than I supposed it would, when I left your house; for tho the roads were in some places muddy, deep and heavy, yet upon the whole, they were less so than I expected to find them; so that I got to Salem in good dinner time, bated my horse, calld on Mrs. Plummer, who was then suffering under excrutiating spasms, and could not see company — made a light repast at the Eagle Tavern — lookd at Lady Gill & gallant, and Joggd on at the moderate rate of 5 miles the hour — reach'd Rowly soon after sunsett, saw my horse well tended — bespoke your supper, boild bread & milet with the addition of a glass brandy, and just sat down to partake of it, when the trampling of horses, & noisy mirth of blustering men, anouncd the arrival of thirty troopers, who it seems had agreed to meet and regail themselves for the evening, in clamorous singing and turbulent carousing. — Retired to a hard bed between 9 & 10, slept notwithstanding the confusion in the house, and soon after day break, was creeping on for Newberry, meaning there to breakfast; — but so it happend with me, most haste least speed. For after passing Newberry bridge I misd my baggage, & wheeld suddenly about, returned to my hosts, having trotted backed 4 miles which made a difference of eight miles against me all which I submitted to, with Philosophical resignation; cherrish'd and regaled my horse & my Chinese companions with corn and water, swallowed a pint brandyd milch, with a moderate quantity of bread, by way of breakfast — paid my reckoning, saw my luggage safely stowed, and again took my departure, and again repassed Newberry old town bridge for the third time within three hours, but to the honor of the toleman be it spoken, he would not suffer me to pay the third tax, saying, you have passed the bridge three times this morning, but I will not exact three tolls — pass on & a good journey to you. — I then pushed forward, soon reached


Newberry Port, called on Mr Pike & Frothingham — saw neither of them — made a short visit to our unfortunate Nancy, found her encircled with little sedentary Misses, read a letter from Sandy, filled with good advice to his Sister, which I endeavor to inculcate, and with the sudden impulse of the moment left her to ponder on the folly of his Uncle, and wrap herself up in her own superior wisdom. — I wish any device would be hit on to rescue her from impending ruin on herself, and entailing disgrace on her connections. — Think on this brother, and say what part I shall take, for I am not by any means aiming to shift my neck out the collar, but am willing to leave it with you to say what I ought to do — for from my soul I pitty her, and feel distressed on her account. I then crossed Newbury ferry and troting on at the old Jogg of 5 miles the hour arrived at Sandborns in a good dinner time, refreshed my horse & passengers with corn and water, and myself with boiled pork & fowls, vegetables & eggs — Here it was amusing to see the effect the sight of Lady Gill & gallant had on the surrounding spectators; all spoke with astonishment & admiration of their beauty, and the Majesty of their strut with the melody of their Cone (?) — Thus refreshed we moved forward met my son Sewall with the good News of family & connections well that morning, wch lightned my heart and gave a spur to my mind, in the strength of which, without any event worthy notice, between sun set & dark reachd Portsmouth ferry, found passengers waiting and the boat just ready to depart — did not see Capt. Martin but sent your letter by the ferry man's son, who with the promise of Dents engagd it should be deliverd that evening. — Crossd the river with considerable difficulty, and not without danger, owing to the rapidity of the tyde, which aided by the wind at full tides always makes strong currents on the ebb — landed in gloomy darkness and moved slowly home with trembling fear, met my family with open arms and smiling faces to welcome home the old man after a three weeks absence from his rural retreat. So much for my journey from Pleasant Hill, which I rejoice at having accomplished with so much more satisfaction than I expected at leaving York, for it was with reluctance I undertook it, and nothing but the fear of being laughed at as a coward animated me with courage to undertake it. Thus do I see that courage is the product of fear — the fear of being tho't a Coward makes men brave. — I long thought it


originated in pride and was once told by a man who had given incontestable proofs of bravery, "that pride was only another name for courage," but upon a retrospect of my own conduct in life, I rather think my courage has proceeded as much from fear, as pride. I recollect this moment how I felt the first time I heard the thundering cannons roar in anger — It was fear that then induced me to call out, why dont we push on & drive those french rascles from their post? and not stand here to be shot at — it was fear which obliged me to do my duty as a subaltern officer at that time — it was fear which compel'd me to the field to defend myself against Capt John Malcolm — it was fear when I perceived the blood-thirsty assassin to take my life, which obliged me to incapacitate him by runing him thro the sword arm — it was fear of being wretched which obliged me to give him his life unasked after he had endeavored by the most unfair means to take mine. It was fear which compeld me to meet my friend Jo Billings — to receive his fire — discharge my pistol in the air, and thus give him his life when it was apparent I had it at my disposal. It was fear mingled with pride when a swaggering Lieutenant [I think of the Boreas] at Hallifax, who had treated Capt. Hector McNeil with over bearing supercillious conduct which led me to tell him publicly he had not behaved like a gentleman and when he laid his hand to his sword, to lay my hand on mine, saying, I wear a sword also, and was to be found at Pontact, when he thot proper to call on me — he never calld, and I was not sorry. It was the fear of Disgracing my country, when contrary to the advice of F. Waldo, John Gould and a west country gentleman, Mr. Jeffry, three passengers in the stage from Bath to London, I refused to let a highwayman rob us. It was fear, with not a little pride, which led me to tell a famous Commander of a privateer out of the River Thames, a Cap Dyer, who had behaved himself to me in a large company at King George 2d funeral, with an affrontive haughtiness not to be put up with — upon grasping his sword and saying Do you know who I am? I answered No, nor do I care who you are, I am sure you are no gentleman — but if you've a mind to know who I am, this is no time to enquire, — call at Mr. Gibson's round Court Strand and you'll find me ready to give the satisfaction which a gentleman cannot refuse — This blusterer did not call for which I was also glad — I could mention a Lt. Rogers of the British Navy, as he calld himself, a famous


highwayman who was taken & hanged about the time of my leaving London, pretended swordsmen with some others besides Gen. S. who after threatening did not think proper to meet your brother — these mightey swagerers, after having done many valiant acts, & obtained the reputation of men of courage, choose rather to let me sleep in a whole skin, than to resent affronts after they had in a manner challengd me. In short my dear brother I dont think this matter of Courage deserves so great a reputation as many are disposd to give it; for could it be sifted properly, thoroughly investigated, it would be found to proceed more from fear than pride — perhaps always with a mixture of both, or from a thirst of what is calld glory, another word for pride — or from a desire of power — an avoricious grasping after riches, wch is a mixture of all I've mentiond, and comprehends the whole in ev'ry view which ought to be taken of it — Read the life of Alexander the Macedonian murdered — Cesar's, Pompeys, and Herroes of Greece & Rome, with all the mighty conquerers of Nations, those dreadful men killers — those scourges of Humanity — do this, and see if you can make any thing better of this so much boasted courage — For if there be anything merritorious in it, I shall be glad to come in for a share. — But at present, I see nothing but what ought to humble me to the level of all men, and prevent my glorying over any. Courage is not heard in the terrible roaring of the Lyon, nor seen in the ferocious bounce of the Tyger — true courage is calm, firm, sedate, undisturb'd at the noisy bustle of dangerous bullys — it pursues invariably the trac of duty, and is found only in the man fearing to do wrong — Clitus had more of it than Alexr., and Cesar had not less than Cato — the self murderer can lay no claim to it more than the Bravo or Assassin of the Illuminati nor do I think Buonapart in all his mighty victories has exhibted even the shadow of it. But me thinks I hear you say what a curious disquisition of courage is this? What led Nat into it? What has it to do with the simple narration of an uninteresting Journey from Charlestown to York? It must be as he said at first seting out, to amuse me, to call off my mind from disagreeable subjects, that I might forget the baseness of pretended friends and the ingratitude of men. If this be his design there is nothing bad in it, and as it has answered this end, I won't chide him for his nonsense, nor laugh at him for his folly, nor think it mistaken


kindness, but will put the most candid construction it will bear; and if I don't tell him so, will think he meant well, tho he might have spared at least half the egotism with which his letter is filled, for what have I to do with his rediculous duels, or ambitious quarrels? But poor fellow he condems himself & I wont add to his punishment. I forgot the parsly roots, the peppers, and some other little matters in the gardning line you promisd to give. — Do let Mr. Stephinsons know I feel with gratitude his attention of fruit at several times, and the six pears put into my hand at parting were tho't by my Wife and daughters the best they had ever tasted — they wish to send them a few scions, when seasonable for grafting, that we may never forget him when regaleing on that delicious fruit — I meant to take from him, how to prune & manage the grape vine in the fall & spring, but like myself, I forgot that also.

I hope Betsy behaves to your acceptance, and that when she does not, you will send her home, that we may correct & form her conduct more uprightly — she's a cheerful sprightly girl, tho now & then too apt to wander into the paths of dissipation without thinking, like most young girls, whether they will lead; tho upon the whole I believe she has as good a mind as any of her sex with no greater advantages.

I could wish to have spent more time with your lively boys — but the bugbears of my mind, the deep roads, approaching wet cold season, with a thousand other imaginary evils which constantly haunt old folks, and hypocondriac mortals are never freed from — all these wrought so powerfully with me as to oblige my departure.

I hope Mr. Joy and Lady are returned to the hill with every advantage they promised themselves from the salubrious waters of Saratoga — May they long live to enjoy the blessings which health and riches are calculated to bestow, added to the caressing endearments of a fond Parent and affectionate friends — My respects to them, and the old Lady, who you sometimes call your Wife, with best wishes to our amiable neice the agreeable accomplished Miss Wilhelmina. I hope you will consent to let Henry make a tour to York before you consign him to Business.

I think you have a good prospect of increasing comfort in Charles — he is a fine tempered agreeable young gentleman and bids fair to make a handsome figure in the mercantile walk of life, which I think is what you aim at.


I hope Sarah Ann had a surfeit of pins & buttons and is now thriving under the nutricious food of harmless Cows milch. Kiss the little fondler for her Uncle as often as she pleases her parents — I almost long to press in my arms that more than perfect mass of animated wax your little totler Hannah — tell them they are very near to

Your affectionate brother,



GENEVA, Jan'y 12th, 1801.


After a separation, and I may add a silence, of twenty years, will it be considered as an intrusion on your time for an old Friend & Brother Soldier, deprived of doing it otherwise, to pay his respects to you by Letter for the purpose of enquiring after your Health and the state of your Family, of giving you some account of his own, which he has the vanity to believe will not be altogether uninteresting, and in fine, of renewing an acquaintance and friendship which was begun & maintained with so much ardor while opportunity permitted? I feel that it will not, & therefore have taken up my pen to do so. When we were lads together you were a citizen of Connecticut, & I of the State of Maryland, and at that time neither you nor myself entertained an Idea that we should become citizens of the same State.

Fortune, however, has so decreed it, and I heartily wish that while she was in the humor of conferring her favors on me that she had extended them so far as to have fixed us in the same neighborhood. But, even as it is, I derive much consolation from the hope that we shall again have the pleasure of meeting before we quit the stage of human Life. Having a family of eight children, five Daughters and three Sons, to provide for, and foreseeing that, by remaining in the Old World, my estate, which during my life could make them all comfortable, would by being divided into 8 parts be just sufficient to make them all discontented, I determined to turn my attention to some new & florishing Country. For this purpose I prevailed on a few of my chosen friends to accompany me, about 18 months ago, to this country, and believing that we saw openings


for the emolument of our Families in it, which no other country on the continent possessed, we all resolved to return to Maryland, dispose of our property with all possible expedition and remove with our Families to settle in the Genesee. This resolution I have able to carry first into effect, though I am just informed one of my friends with a numerous family also is now on the road and will probably reach us in the course of this week. On the 10th of November I took up my line of march with my Family, consisting of about 40 in two coaches, three wagons and on several Saddle Horses, making our cavalry in number about 25, and were fortunate enough to reach our Destined home on the 13th of December without any material accident on the road, and all in good Health & Spirits, tho' I must confess after a more tedious and fatiguing journey that I had ever contemplated, and rendered peculiarly so from the lateness of the season in which we performed it.

A few days after we commenced our journey we had some very cold weather That produced smart frosts, and when we entered the wilderness we found the roads in such a state, that while the horses were lame perhaps four steps out of five, the carriages and waggons wheels were up to their Hubs in the mud with a crust of 2 or 3 inches to be torn thro'. This prevented us from gaining more with every exertion than 3, 4 or 5 miles a day; and thus our journey, which, at a proper season, might have with great ease been accomplished in 14 or 15 days, was protracted to a most immoderate length. Untiring energy and perseverence have brought us thro' and we are now blest with the prospect of an ample compensation for all our troubles in getting here.

A brother of mine with a number of other friends made an exit to this country last summer with views similar to my own. They were delighted with the country, made considerable purchases, and are now busied in making arrangements to remove their Families this coming spring and summer. While here, my brother informed me he met with an old acquaintance of mine in your brother John, who I think acted during the Campaigne of '81, as an aid-de-camp to Gen'l Howe (Sergeant was the other aid).

My brother tells me he was on the same business with himself, but was not certain whether or not he had made or would make an establishment here. I have heard since my arrival in this country that


your brother intimated that you had a wish to pay a visit to this country (I presume on a party of pleasure). This has awakened my hopes & expectations; for, believe me, My Dear Gen'l, that no earthly event would give me more pleasure than to have an opportunity of embracing you at my own house, and the pleasure of your lady's and Family's Company, to pass a few weeks with us. A journey from your residence to this place might readily be performed in four days, and at a good sleighing season would be, I think, a very pleasing one, especially as you would find probably most excellent Stays on the road at the houses of our old military friends, Cochran, Walker, &c. Let me then entreat you, as the season for sleighing now presents itself, to step with Mrs. Webb & Family into a sleigh and make us the most wished for visit. Our house is very roomy & commodious and Mrs. Fitzhugh and my daughters beg me to assure your lady and any others accompanying her that nothing shall be wanting on their part to render the visit as agreeable as possible. While you and myself (leaving the Ladies for a few days at a time to themselves), might make little excursions into the country to view the various delightful situations, both water and forest, whose — I must indulge the hope, tho' I will say no more on the subject. I cannot close my Letter without touching on the political situation of our country and yet at this era of political paroxysm when party feuds & animosities have been carried so far as to tear up by the roots friendships that had before stood the test of ages & to threaten the very existence of all social happiness, it may be a dangerous topic to touch on; the more so I am ignorant what course of politicks you have pursued, or to what degree of madness your pulse under the prevailing influence may have beaten. I will, nevertheless, venture to observe that as the issue of this late electioneering struggle has been the choice of Thomas Jefferson for our President, and as this choice is made by a majority of our countrymen, I am content, the more so, as I believe he will make a good President, and grievously disappoint the most violent of his partizans. Mr. Jefferson is a man of too much virtue and good sense to attempt any material change in a system which was adopted by our late beloved Washington, and has been since steadily pursued by Mr. Adams, and which has preserved our country in peace and prosperity for 12 years, during which period almost the


whole civilized world has been deluged in blood, and this too in defiance of the repeated attempts of France & England by open threats and secret intrigues to draw us into the vortex of their ruinous convulsions. I say Mr. J. will have too much prudence to attempt any serious change in this system, and unless he does, his red-hot partizans will be dreadfully disappointed. For my own part I must confess I should have been pleased if Mr. Adams had continued another term, when like his illustrious predecessor, he would probably have made a voluntary retreat, and in his retirement have enjoyed the pleasing reflection that having devoted 30 years of his Life to his country's service, so long as he was a candidate for her favor she had the gratitude to bestow it. To the general rage for party spirit I think the State Government to have not been far behind its people, and in my opinion they have degenerated much from their wonted dignity in stooping to pass local & partial laws to answer party purposes. I, however, live in hopes that the wisdom & moderation for which the American People have until lately been famed, will 'ere long again resume their reign, and that the State Government with their Central Government, like the Planets revolving round their common Sun, acting and acted upon according to their respective weights and distances, will produce that beautiful equilibrium on which our Constitution is founded, and which I doubt not it will exhibit to the world some day in a degree of perfection unexampled, but in the Planetary System itself. To this end ought every good American's wishes and exertions be directed, but now here let me stop.

For two reasons, first, that I should wear out your patience, and secondly, that I should lose the opportunity of sending in my Letter by Mr. Bogart, who informed me last evening that he should this morning start for the very town where you resided & the hour which he fixed for his departure is at hand.

Let me then conclude with repeating the instructions made in the early part of my Letter, that you will not fail to take advantage of the present season to visit us.

Offering the respects of Mrs. Fitzhugh & the young Ladies to your Lady and Family, & begging to assure you of the highest respect and esteem, with which I regard you,

I am Dear Sir, Your aff'c Friend, &c.



P. S. Excuse the above scrawl produced by Blindness and Haste. My eyes which you recollect were bad in the night when young, have now got worse, both day & night. So much that I never venture out without the arm of a Friend or Servant to attend me.


CHARLESTOWN PLEASANT HILL [Jan or Feb.] 29th, 1802.


When I reflect on your long very long silence to a Sister that you was once so fond of I can scarcely realize that you are in the Land of the liveing. But now and then, I hear from you and your amiable family that your health is better — but not able to travel such a long journey as you must to see me — I forgive all past neglect and have sit down to write you and convince you that I am the same affectionate Sister that I was when we lived together, that I am very anxious for you in the frail state you are in. I hope and pray that your Life may be long preserv'd to your Wife and Children. I wish much to embrace you all and if ever I go to see my Brother Jos again you may depend on my reaching as far as Claverack — where I hear you are happily situated; and if you retained half the love for me that I bear you, I should long ere this have received letters from some one of your family. at times I am inclined to think, you must have heard something against me prevented your writing me but as I am uncertain what the cause is, I will not conjecture any but let the matter rest untill I am so happy as to see you — am confident If I could convince you my Conduct is without reproach among those that are acquainted with me — I have gone through many painful scenes. Many dear Children I have buried — the last lovely daughter died last September — just enter'd her Seventh year, and was a great sufferer, she died in fits; and out of five I have but one liveing which is Peggy Simpson who is lost to me. She resides five Miles in the Country in a worthy family I visit her as frequently as I can, and do all in my power to make her days happy. Her Brother Jack Simpson resides in Carolina and is doing very well, and I have


Six other Sons by Mr. Barrell. Charles the eldest is just Eighteen, lives in Boston with Mr. May, a hardware Mercht, a respectable Man. Henry the Second is Sixteen, goes next week to Mr. Stephen Higginson Mercht. — and George the third is at home with us at present waiting only for a good place. Sam and John are at Andover School twenty miles from here, both prepareing for College. Thus I have been particular as you are so far distant and know littel of my family. Mr. Jos Barrells Widow and four Children resides here; Mina Barrell also, but she I suppose will soon be married, as she had a very genteel offer. The next time I write I shall be allow'd to tell his name — at present I must be Silent on the subject. — She is a charming girl and will make the Man happy I dare say — Her Brother William is in the West Indies doing very well — As to Mr. Barrell and myself we enjoy a great share of health and my spirits are as good as ever and but few enjoy the rational pleasures of Life more than we. — We work while Mr. B. reads — but we mix but littel with the gay World, and did your family and my other Brothers live near I should be much happier. — I hope and pray that your health may soon be such as to come and see us — you would be received with open Arms by your old friends. Lucy Brown — Now Mrs. Derby, and her Sister Nancy Lane, often enquire after you as you was so great a favourite of Jonathan Freeman their late Father. I still lament his early death — What a lovely Man he was. And our good Doctor Bulfinch died a few days past much beloved — I expect every moment Mr. and Mrs. Joy, our Son and daughter, therefore must bid you adieu.

That you must soon write me or if your health wont permit, your good Wife must answer this — Mr. Barrell joins me in love to you all

Your ever affectionate Sister


and my littel Tom of five years sends his love to Uncle Sam.


CLAVERACK, Oct. 9, 1805.

I am galled upon, my dear Sir, to write to you from the House of your distressed Brother surrounded by the most afflicted Family I ever saw — Mrs. Webb who on Sunday evening was in excellent


health and spirits, at nine o'clock on Monday morning was a corpse. She retired to bed on Monday Evening and slept as usual until about one o'clock, when she expressed to the General her apprehensions, who instantly sent for Mrs. Strong (who usually officiates on such Occasions), Drs. Bayard and Malcolm. Until between Seven and Eight in the morning there was the fairest Prospect of a safe Delivery. Both the Physicians repeatedly assured your Brother that every Thing progressed according to their Wishes. Suddenly Symptoms appeared which made it necessary to extract the child by means of instruments.

The Operation was performed with Expedition and judgment. But human means could not save her. She lived about Twenty Minutes, then suddenly exclaimed, "I have seen my God I am going to Heaven take care of my children," and instantly died. The funeral was attended on Tuesday at five o'clock. A most appropriate Prayer was made at the House by Mr. Sampson and the Church Service was performed at the grave. Mr. Hess was requested Permission to deliver a Sermon upon this affecting Subject on Sunday next.

Your Brother conducts himself like a man and a Christian. Altho his Bursts of grief are sometimes so immoderate as to alarm his friends in the Presence of his Children he imposes an equal Temper upon his mind and acts with great Propriety as their Comforter & friend.

Believe me my friend this Scene was too much even for a stranger to bear — I pray God that your Brother may not sink under his affliction. Heaven grant he may long remain with us, a Blessing to his Children and Friends. All the distressed man is able to request of me is to ask of you & Mrs. Barrell your Sympathy and your Prayers.

With much Truth
In haste I am Yr. Sincere friend,

Sarah Barrell


WETHERSFIELD, December 9th, 1805.


Your most effectionate letter I received of the 23d of November, and fully entended to have answered it by the next Mail; but we have all been so unhappy on the account of Mrs. Elias Morgan who


has the nervous fever, and now lies dangerously Ill — has three physicians. Sister Webb has been there ten or twelve days, and Harriott. Brother is there much of his time very anxious for her and her children, three of them Ill with the same fever but they are not so bad as Sally, she is quite deranged. Her Husband is not yet return'd from the West Indies, but is expected every hour — what distress he must feel, to find his family in the utmost confusion, she has talkd much of him but now wanders upon other subjects — so you see my dear Brother, you are not alone the most wretched being, but we are all miserable at present. Your friends all feel for you very much, and wish it was in our power to visit you, and convince you how very dear you were to us — we have shed many tears for you and your dear Motherless babes — I thank God that your health is better. I ardently pray that you may be continued to them, many years — you see how little dependence there is on youth and a good constitution. Your dear Kitty, I thought, woud out live you many years; yet she then was on the brink of the Grave while her aged Father lives — who we all supposed must die. How misterious and wonderful are the ways of Providence. We cannot fathom them, his ways are not our ways nor his thoughts like our — but when we reach the heavenly World, all these things that now perplex us will be explaind to our satisfaction, let us without delay prepare for so long a journey which must come, and may suddenly — and if we are ready to meet our Saviour what joy shall we feel to be released from this World of sorrow and disappointment, few at our age have had a greater share, and I can say with you except my children, I have no pleasure in life — but for their sakes we ought not to give way to grief and Sorrow, for that will injure the mind as well as the body, it will cast a gloom upon all your actions, and that woud make your dear children unhappy and greatly injure their young minds which are chearful and gay. — Do keep up your spirits — and not dwell on past melancholy scenes. Nothing can restore your friend from the Grave, but remember Legions of Angels cannot keep her there for God has said she shall rise again at the Judgment day. Then shall we meet our dear friends that are gone before and be eternally happy. Let those gracious promises give us consolation, in this day of affliction; let us consider in the day of adversity and live like Christians, that must go hence to be no more seen in this


vain World. Your friend Mr. Hosmer, called here a few moments when he came, and promised to visit us, but he returned sooner than we expected — therefore had not wrote you which we fully entinded I was very uneasy for fear you woud think we neglected you, I assure you my dear Brother nothing was further from our thoughts — Colonel Chester and his good Wife grieve for you, and desire to be tenderly rememberd also Mr. Marsh and all your friends pity you. I last evening recived letters from Boston, Mrs. joy was greatly affected and says she thinks much of you in your lonely situation desired her love when I wrote you she saw the death in the paper — but desired I woud write her particulars — but I dare not as she is near being confind herself and perhaps it might injure her. my Son Charles writ me that he and Henry have some thoughts of paying us a visit this winter, and if they should perhaps we may reach as far as Claverack I long to see you and your dear Maria who I think of much and her Sisters I am surprized that my Brother John has not been to see you its in his power to leave home, but Brother Jos has had Masons here besides many other things, he feels as a Brother, and says the moment he can leave his family you shall see him — do write me soon again for I am very anxious for you my love to all the Children my dear little Thomas joins me sincerely — my regards to Mrs. Thomas I hope she will remain with you and comfort you prays your affectionate Sister

if faithful Betsy is with you do remember me to her.


WETHERSFIELD March 28th 1806

I heard with great affliction My dear Br of the death of my beloved Sister and wished to offer you some consolation, at least to write and assure you how sincerely I sympathised with you how much I thought of you, and the dear children, in your distress, but was prevented, not long after the Melancholy Tidings come my dear Sally was taken so ill, seized with the Nervous fever, my time was devoted to her during her distressing sickness. she did not expect


to recover from the first, but greatly grieved her husbands absence, the dear little Harriet was sick with the same fever, it was a distressing scene — I shall not attempt to paint my sufferings at the time, nor my sorrow for the loss of this dear child, but you who know how deserving she was of my fondest affections, how ameable, how dutiful, how affectionate, she was, can form some Idea how great my loss is. Heaven is just, and it becomes us to bow in humble submission to its decrees. Let us profit by our afflictions, and prepare to follow our dear departed friends. yet a little while and our sun will also set, god grant we may meet in happiness to part no more, Assure dear Maria and all the dear children that their Aunt Webb loves them, and pities them, knowing they have lost one of the best of Mothers I want to see you but whether I am to enjoy such a pleasure is very uncertain. your Brother has been very desirous of paying you a visit, and laments it that he has been prevented, be assured want of affection and feeling for you has not been the cause he has great care upon his hands, great difficulties to get through. indeed his lines are very hard, he designs to write to you by the bearer Mr. Bowles, we are all in usual health and you are often spoken of by your friends of my family who sincerely lament with you the loss you sustain. there are many of our acquaintance who call upon you, and I beg you will more frequently let us know particularly how you do and of your family. the season is uncommonly severe, and the family so large I have retired to write you these hasty few lines so receive them as a proof of the continued affection of your
friend and Sister A WEBB.




Permit me to introduce to your Acquaintance Genl Saml Webb, — a Gentleman to whose friendship & Urbanity of manners I am much indebted during my Residence in this part of the Country.

It is I trust more than Sufficient to say that Genl Webb was the friend & companion of our much lamented General George Washington during the whole of the Revolution.


Any attention that the Vacation of business will permit you to show Genl Webb during his stay in York with confer a lasting obligation on

Yr. friend



CLAVERACK Fryday 15th August 1806.


Your letter of the 1st Instant was handed me at the Post Office in Hudson yesterday, it must have lain over one post in Wethersfield, I am surprized when you tell me you have received no answer to your two last letters to me, — positively I have received no letter from you, since you was here, that I did not immediately answer, — and I could not account for your long silence, but supposed you had gone to Boston — I have not received a line from you nor Brother Joseph for more than four Months, and from Jack not since the unfortunate October last, nor shall I ever write him again untill I hear from him, — You tell me you propose paying me a Visit in September with your Son Samuel, it is what I much wish for, indeed Sally had you have known my situation I think you would have passed the summer with me, I am melancholly alone, — though surrounded with children and Domestics there is a mighty Void about my dwelling, for the last Ten Months I have not had, nor do I ever again expect one pleasant hour, my health is very bad my mind almost uniformly on the rack, — and life itself only desirable on account of my little orphans, — come so soon as you possibly can, — I have no friend, no Brother or Sister near me, — the three Sisters of my Dear Kitty are living at a


distance from me, — in short there is not a person to whom I can unbend, not one who can give me consolation under affliction, — the Stage from Hartford now runs regular, come so soon as you can, bring with you as many of your friends as you can, they will add to my comfort, — my love to Br. Jos Sister Webb their Children your Children, Col. Chester and family, tell them I long to see them all, I wish they would devote a few days to me, — I do not believe I shall ever see them on this side of the grave unless they come to this Village, — every moment the Stage is expected from Hudson, — I have only time to say, I shall look out for you every Stage, and the sooner you come the more welcome to your afflicted Brother



CLAVERACK Fryday 19th September 1806.


I wrote you about four weeks ago in answer to your friendly letter of the first of August, in which I informed you I should expect you here so soon as Commencement was over, as that happened last week, I looked out for your arrival in yesterdays Stage, and of course was much disappointed in not seeing you, but fondly hope you will be here on Thursday next, expecting the return of the Stage from Hudson every moment, I have no time to be particular, — remember Affectionately to all our friends, — my health is but so so — I have four white & two black Children with the Hooping Cough, and two of the Whites with the fever


& Ague, however — I flatter myself they are on the minding hand, — my sister in law Mrs Thomas has been with us about a Month, will probably be gone for Salem before your arrival — I could have wished you had arrived before she left us. — I am in haste sincerely Yr. friend &



CLAVERACK Friday 12th December 1806.


Five weeks have now elapsed since you left me, and not a line have I had from you or one of the family, — I expected none from Brother Jack for haveing (to appearances) laid aside every Idea of Gratitude for past favours and Brotherly affection and continuing to hold property not his own he perhaps wishes not to see me. I cannot but hope he has at times some feelings of conscience left, if so time may mend him, which I pray God may be the case.

You left us the 7th of Nov, the 14th I had a relapse, a violent heat where I had before uncaped a blood vessel ensued and I was seriously apprehensive the raising of blood would again commence, since which I have not left my house but once and then took cold and am again confined, but presume fast on the mending hand. I have been forbid writing or you would before have heard from me. It is recommended that I write but little now — I am apprehensive all my intended jaunt to Wethersfield this winter is at an end. We


have now beautiful Sliding, and at least from 250 to 300 are passing daily — indeed I should enjoy myself comfortably with my little flock around the fireside, did I but possess that greatest of Blessings Health.

Mrs. Thomas arrived here the Monday after you left us, was much disappointed in not meeting you, — her Democratic Husband has gone to Congress, and she passes as much of her time with us, as she can spare from her aged and infirm Mother, they both passed the day here yesterday and desired a kind remembrance to you. —

I have taken Maria from her School this Winter, for a Companion to me, and to aid in taking care of her younger Brothers and Sisters, she is now setting by me and joins in Love to you, in which the other Children unite, remember us affectionately to our Dear Brother & Sister & family, and fail not of tendering my warmest esteem to my good Old friend & companion Col Chester his Lady and family, and remember me to all who may enquire for your Affectionate Brother —


I am fatigued with writeing, and can scarcely read what I have wrote, if you have wrote me by the last Mail, the letter must be in Office at Hudson — Maria misses the long Red Cloak in her Rides, you can easily forward it by Stage in the Trunk Faithful Betsy comes in and desires to be remembered.




WETHERSD. 17th April, 1767.


Your mamma who for some time past pleased herself with ye. thoughts of making you a visit in Boston, is now so very ill, that I think it proper to send for you, & accordingly Mr. Robbins will wait on you with this. As it may be uncertain when you will be able to Return to Boston again, judge it best for you to leave none of your things behind — as you will do well to set out on the receiving of this, whatever Bills are unsettled & unpaid, desire the Ladys you Lodge with to Collect & send up & and the Money shall be sent down by ye. Post. — Dear Sally I fear this Lettr. & ye. Messenger will greatly alarm you — labor therefore to be calm, hope the best, & be resign'd to the will of Heaven; I am but a poor Comforter in a Case like this which so nearly affects me, but you must Remember your Dear Mamma has been very Low & Dangerous before this & God has in Mercy spared her. The same God is still able to do it, in him may we put Our Trust, hope & Confidence, with full Belief that The Judge of all ye. Earth will do right. May we humble ourselves before him in a truly penitent Manner for all our sins & may he in great Mercy, the greatest of Temporal, & almost of Spiritual Mercys, restore her to health, & to be as usual the richest & most invaluable of Blessings to her Family; This is my prayer, my wish, & hope, & that we may all be ready for that important Hour which is hastening on us, & which we shall none of us escape.

I am in haste your affecte. Parent & Friend




WETHERSD. 29 May, 1768.


JOS: return'd last Evening to my Double satisfaction, in giving me his Company, but more especially by informing me of your safe arrival at Boston & agreeable reception. I feel happy in Thinking you are so happily provided for at the present, & doubt not you will make so wise an improvement of the advantages now in your hands as to give both pleasure, & pride to all your Friends; no one can claim a greater share, than myself; as not only your Guardian but providential Parent. I hinted in my last that I should be somewhat more particular in my future Letters. The distraction of my Mind is such, that this will not be one of them, but as unconnected as you please. — I believe that in abt. three weeks I shall be in Boston, at least if Affairs do not alter with me which I do not much expect. — Your Lettr. I must thank you for, your Friends are in usual Health. I suppose Joseph will write, so shall say no more on that Head, only that I have the misfortune not to recover any intelligence from poor Jack, as Joseph didn't return that Way, conclude he is not worse or should have heard. By no means omit Reading & Writing. They are two great essentials in Life, & render your sex so much more agreeable as they are uncommon; for other pursuits, as well as Rules for conduct, refer you to what I have before written, but more especially to that prudence & good Sense of which I know you to be Mistress, & of which I doubt not you will make the best use. — I am with commendg. you to the Blessings of Heav'n your

Most Affectionate Parent & Friend



WD. 19 June, 1768.


I wrote you by Dean. May who engag'd to call on you & by whom I expect an answer.

You are continually on my mind, & I feel myself so far interested in whatever affects your future Happiness in Life that I often fear least I should neglect saying everything which may be of service to you. — You are now at a most critical & important Period of Life,


just entering on a Journey, in which there are a Thousand by Roads that lead to Ruin, & but one Path that leads to the wish'd for Stage of true Happiness. When those of your age have parents living, they seem to be free from much of that Care & Circumspection which are now needful in you, as the Parents Naturally take it upon them; but you, having by Providence been deprived of these Guards & Directors, are particularly call'd upon to exert all the knowledge & Ability with which you are bless'd to take care of, & direct your own Conduct in the best Manner. — As you are now endeavouring a a more than common Education & are consequently under more than common Advantages, you must Remember the World will expect something more than Common from you, & you ought by no means to disappoint them but pursue with the utmost Diligence every kind of Learning which is either useful or Amiable in Life. Reading is the first Art which we naturally attempt, yet good, proper & intelligible Readers are but scarce, especially among those of your sex, but as you are already a very considerable good Reader, let me recommend to you a few Rules by which you may receive very considerable Advantage. — Ever labor, fully to understand the fine sense of what you read; learn to pronouce the most Difficult words, with propriety, to do which, observe how persons of a good Education speak them; Never read in haste, but with moderation, & emphasis suited to the Subject, whether grave or gay, trifling or important, observing your stops, as you proceed. I would recommend to you to begin the Bible, & read with attention, a Chapter or two every Day, carrying in your mind the History as well as the useful & all important Precepts, laid down in it. This I conceive is no common attainment (exclusive of religious Consequences), to be Master of the Scripture History, precepts &c., & it highly recommends a Person to every wise Judicious observer, & what no one that has had a good Education ought to be difficult in. As for other Books, would recommend but few. Romances, & still fewer plays — Mr. Addison, Pope, Young & Harvey & Thompson, are with many more the best of Authors, — & their Works are most desiring to be read on every Acct., both for Language & Sense — in short no Book where the Language is indecent, or the Subject trifling, ought to claim your present Attention. As to some other things in your Education shall write on them hereafter as Leisure & opportunity admit, in None of them


think me trifling, or impertinent, as it proceeds from the deep concern I have for your welfare, & the Joy I propose to myself, in seeing you Mistress of such Accomplishments as shall one Day render you agreeable & useful in Life, & an honor to the Family; I am, commending you to Heaven's best & Richest Blessings, your most affectionate Parent & Friend


P. S. Friends, except your Grandfather, in health — he has the Rheumatism.


WETHERSD. 24 Apl. 1769.


I wrote you Pr. last post and sent you Fifteen pounds in Cash which hope you recd.

No person of late comes from Boston but tells of your great unwillingness to return. This looks a little unaccountable, as your Friends are all here, and for my own part am not conscious of treating you, so that you have reason to wish to be from under my Care; if I have, should be glad to know it, since it has been far, very far, from my thought, & my conduct I have ever endeavoured should be more like that of a Brother wishing well to, and tenderly loving a Sister, than otherways. If there are other Reasons, I think the Relation I stand in toward you requires my being acquainted with them. Our Family is in extreme want, & has long been so of some good overseer, and unless we can have one, I am determined to break up Housekeeping since my Cares within Doors, and my Distraction without is too much for me. Now, I flattered myself that you would return this Spring & be of great service to me in ye. oversight and management of the Family, and let me add of service to yourself too, for the Female with ever so many gay Accomplishments of a Fashionable Lady that has never learnt the OEconomy and Management of a Family, may be very agreeable at a Ball, or on a party of pleasure but will never do well in Life. Family Scenes are what ev'ry Young Lady ought to be familiar & acquainted with; otherways when settled let their Fortunes be ever so great, their affairs at least will


forever be ill-timed, & in Disorder, and probably what is worse occasion, a swift reduction of her Husband's Interest.

Your Brother Joseph or I shall be down in a Month from this Time, when the Affair of your returning can be determined. Your Brother Saml. had the misfortune to split his left hand to pieces by the bursting of a Gunn last week, and has lost his Left Thumb; he is here and likely to do well tho very lame. I need not tell you what Trouble it gives me, as it cannot be helped, and am quite happy it is no worse. My poor Jesse is lame, but hope he will recover. The rest of the Family are well and wishing you all happiness this world affords, am with the greatest sincerity, your Affectionate parent, Guardian and Friend.




This will be handed to you by your Brother with whom impatiently expect your Return. I hear the Smallpox is broke out afresh very brief in the Town — desire you therefore to be exceedingly careful of yourself, for your Brother having had it, will not probably act with so much Caution as is necessary for one exposed. Your Trunks you will ship by the first Vessel coming up this River. Have nothing material but what your Brother can acquaint you of. I lately saw a Young Lady with a head dress'd or rather metamorphos'd into the present taste. If yours has had the same Distemper, I beg you would reduce it to a state of Native simplicity on your Return or positively I shall not know you, and be most shockingly Disappointed to have to begin an acquaintance, instead of the Pleasure of meeting one so Dear to me after so long an Absence.

I shall probably meet you at New London, as I am most anxiously sollicitous for your Return in safety, and flatter myself often, with the pleasing Idea, of the future happiness & satisfaction I shall enjoy in your Converse & Behavior. Our prospects of future felicity in this World are too generally fallacious. Heav'n grant this may be as real, & permanent, as I wish, & it is in your power to make it. I am your most Affectionate Parent & Friend.





Inclos'd I sent you Six pounds 6/6 L My. and intended to have wrote you particularly but Time will not admit. I hope You are careful how You spend, unnecessarily, yet at the same Time you must be sensible, that your Expences in Time must Amount to a Sum worthy serious Consideration. Examine your own Inclination, and weigh every circumstance attending, as on the best advice, you are dispos'd to make a Tryal of the West Indies this Winter, by way of Experiment, I shall be ready to provide you with something to make a little Business at first I say a little at first for it is by no means adviseable in any engagements to begin large at first, nor venture considerably before a person is well acquainted. I believe a Young Man acquainted with Accts. & that has good Friends here, and behaves prudently, has as fair an Opening that Way, or perhaps the fairest of any at present. I shall choose you To Determine by the beginning of Next Week as I must Order my Fall Concerns Accordingly.

Your affectionate parent,


WETHERSFIELD, Dec. 21st, 1772.


I somewhat expected to have seen you at N. London before you sailed, but arrived the Day after. hope this may find you, at your port, safe and in Health & to good Sales, of your Cargo, have nothing new since your departure worth transmitting, but must repeat, some part of what I have already said, which on so important a Subject, can hardly be deemed impertinant or Useless, in particular, that you by no means lay yourself open to be taken into Difficulties either in Trade, or in Frolic by the designing Sharpers, with which those places swarm, where you now are like to be concerned, in Business, in particular, remember the caution I gave you to guard against a particular person, who being your Countryman, & of Specious appearance, & practised in the Artifice of taking in Young Men


as the saying is; is peculiarly dangerous & I am credibly informed that both he & his partner as well as his Friends here, are in failing Circumstances; that his Friends in N. L. are low, & in Difficulties I am certain. Wherefore no Credit, must be given to that Comy. on any Conditions whatever. As your Orders are to dispatch the Schooner immediately, you will expose yourself by giving any Credit for your Goods. In the next place the Short Time of Your stay ought every Moment to be improved in doing your Business to the greatest advantage and informing yourself so thoroughly of the State of the Markets at the Island, that so on your Return you may be able to give so good an Acct as to be certain of further employ to do which by all means attend to your Pen & ink, and Minute down the Prices Currt & whither likely to fall or rise, & the general Opinion of Men of Judgment respecting Them, by this means you may be almost certain of Business again, & perhaps by that very means lay the Foundation of your ease & affluence in Life. I am, Wishing you the best of Blessings

Your Affectionate parent


P. S. Capt. Riley is now waiting only [ ] Wind, Friends are all well remember & inquire whether [ ] News has been in the late Hurricane of your [ ] The Sloop may be thus described about Thirty tons her Stern Low & rather drooping, her Mast New, Sheathed, Tobacco & Onions her Cargo painted black with white swivel ports, it is not impossible but some News may be of her on some of the Keys or Maroon Islands drove on Shore for I have long since dispaired of her being in Safety anywhere, & to know where & how She was Lost might be some little satisfaction. This comes by Captain Henderson who I think can, and will befriend you if you apply to him

Yours as before

S. D.

Write by every Opportunity and accustom yourself to write with care and to keep both your Accts and Letters in handsome order.



JAMAICA, KINGSTOWN, 12 January, 1773.


I wrote you from ye. Mole St. Nicholas, via Rhode Island, ye. 7th Inst. I then inform'd you that Capt. Wadsworth had arriv'd there, & intended for St. Macks: I shall (by his Advice) when sold here beat into St. Macks, — & suppose he will have sugars ready for me, so that I need not detain ye. Vessel. Am sorry to inform you that I have come to bad Markets. I have landed my Tobacco, & try'd ye. Markets. The most I have been offer'd as yet is 12/6 Curry. shall keep it on hand till just before I sail & then sell it for what I can get. Pork had I 500 Barrels I could sell it in two days time for Ł5 5 Curry. Beef is slow sail but believe will answer. Sheep in demand & sells at 9. 10 & 11d.

I landed my horses Monday Evening & should have sold them in a weeks time had they been in order. I have sold six — two of yours & four of Mr. Deane's. The pair of Browns although in fine order will not I fear fetch more than Ł40 & was they four or five years old would fetch Ł60 immediately. Shall hold them up a few days longer — have only one bundle of hay & 20 Bushs. Oats left. Lumber is very low — Capt. Sage got Ł5 10 for his, but was better staves than yours. Shall write ev'ry oppy. & inform you of my proceedings. Have nothing more to mention at present. My best respects wait on Mr. Alsop & family. Am wt. Esteem Sir your most Hum. Servt.




KINGSTOWN, JAMAICA, 23 January, 1773.


I wrote you last week by Capt. Giles Sage, who sail'd the 16th Inst. from Port Royal. I then wrote you the Situation of my Horses & what I had sold. Since which have Recd. a Letter from Capt. Burnham, he arrived at Montego Bay ye. 7th Inst. and desires me to inform you of it, & gives me acct. sales of his horses. His Letter is dated ye. 15th Inst. — & says he has sold twenty one Horses which will turn out about Ł33 pr. head. But the other that are on hand expect to meet with very dull sale for them, for all of them are now very sick with the Distemper, & likely some will die, Provisions are much as usual. Pork Ł5. M. Beef Ł4. Cod fish very dull. Cheese no sale at all, & expect to loose the whole of it. Lamp Oyl Ł8 pr. Barrel. Staves very dull, can't sell them. Shingles 35/. He likewise desires me to inform you that there is no prospect of his selling the sloop. — Beef is very dull sale here 50/ occasioned by a Cargo of Irish Beef arriving here last week. I had nine Barrels & 3 half ones left on hand, which I have this day ship'd round to him by Capt. Malbone's Boat, as the freight will cost nothing, & the price is so much higher I tho't it best. In my letter by Capt. Sage I mentioned that I tho't I could not get more than Ł40 for yr. pair of Browns. I held them up till the hay was out & have now sold them for that. Had they been five year old, I might have had Ł60 or Ł70 for them. The Black Stallion which I acquainted you was very sick, I sold last Monday for Ł20, and he died yesterday, he was so weak when I sold him that


he fell down when the boy was leading him up. I have four Horses left on hand, two of yours, one of Mr. Deane's & Lemuel Smith's. When I shall get rid of yours I know not; the black horse bot. at New London is so old, no person will look at him. Robinson Mumford has offer'd me Ł18. 0. 0. for him — was I certain of my pay, I believe I should take it. The other is that crooked leg'd Colt, which no man has ever ask'd the price of, nor desir'd to see rode, but must make the best of them. Tobacco I cant get 18/ for, I know not what best to do with, whether to leave it in the hands of Mr. Thomas Dolbeare, or sell it for what I can get — the most I have been offer'd was 12/6. I would do that which I thought most pleasing to you. But am really at a loss. I am sure it's very safe in the hands of Mr. Dolbeare, but am not certain whether it will not be more advantageous to sell it for what it will fetch. Expect to sail from here in a week at the farthest for ye. mole, as I hear Capt. Wadsworth has not gone to St Macks, there is no such thing as getting a sugar drogers pass. I have made enquiry. Staves lie now on ye. wharf, cannot sell them as yet for more than Ł4 m. but mean to keep them till ye. last in hopes of getting more. Dubloons grow more scarce here than formerly & not one in ten but what have been taken down to ye. w't you mentioned to me. But shall endeavor to carry no other money with me from here but Dubloons and Pistols. Half Joe's pass for Ł2. 15. My Best respects wait on Mrs. Alsop & family —

Am Sr. your most Humble Servt.




MOLE ST NICHOLAS February 11, 1773.


I wrote you from this on my passage down for Jamaica, and from there by Capt. Giles Sage, in both I acquainted you the situation my Horses &c. I made all dispatch possible from there & arriv'd here yesterday morn: when here on my passage down, I inform'd you that I should by Capt. Wadsworth's advice return into the Bite of Lugan. But Recd. a Letter from him just before I sail'd in which he acquainted me that he should not be there, and advised me to proceed immediately here — since which unexpectedly he has gone there in a schooner came out consigned him — Had I known it would have been much better for me, sugars & molasses are both much higher here than Common — no less than 38 sail of Englishmen now a loading here Sugars 36 Livers, Molasses 25 Dolls. Capt. Wadsworth is hourly expected here, so shall purchase nothing till he arrives. Have enclos'd you acct. Sales of my Horses — and price Current in Jamaica & this place Could not get no Intelligence of Markets at Pencecola, nor ye. Missisipa. Capt. Goodrich in the Sloop bound to the Missisipa touch'd in here & has gone for Jamaica. Hope to be with you in a fortnight or less after this comes to hand, & am with my best Respects to all my friends,

Your most Dutifull Son




MOLE ST NICHOLAS, December 21, 1773.


I arrived here on the 8th Inst after a short (tho: Ruff) Passage of twelve Days — Sold my Horses for 500 Livers pr. head payd. in five weeks, which was beyond my Expectation. But luckily for me there was no Horses here & every Port on this Island is shut against Englishmen. I heard from the Cape a few days since by a Droger who tells me there is not an English Vessel there. I enquired particular for Capt. Atwell — was told he was not there, and that he could not get in should he attempt. — I fancy he must have gone for Jamaica. Two days before my arrival here Capt. Jos: Christophers left this wt. a Cargo of Horses and went to Port-a-Puy, had a Frenchman with him with a good set of Papers. On his Arrival there he was seiz'd — only for having English Sailors on Board, But 'tis tho't he will get clear with some trouble and Considerable Expence. By this you will see the Improbability of Capt. Wadsworth or myself geting in to the Bite for which I am very sorry, as I much fear I cannot get the price for your Horses here, that I have for mine. I write you now by Capt. Daniel Starr, who fell to Leeward & sold his Horses at this Port for 400 Livers pr. head, — and I believe they were superior to mine. A Cargo from Rhode-Island sold for 350 Livers. — but notwithstanding this I had got a Gentleman in tow, and he Concluded to keep his Vessel here ten Days for the Arrival of your Schooner. I had recommended the Horses to him to be very good, and I fancy I might have sold them well, to him. But Capt.


Billings from Norwich who sail'd in Compy. with me bound to Gaudalope fell to Leeward and arrived in this Harbour this morning. The man who was waiting for your Schooner has been on Board, and I fancy will purchase of him, — tho the prospect at Present is bad, I hope I may sell them to Advantage, and if there is a Possibility of getting them into the Bite I shall try for it. Yesterday came in here a Packet Boat from Jamaica bound home — he has been 22 days from Kingston, says there is a strong Lee current, but cannot inform me anything about Capt. Sage. I think before this he must be on his passage for this Port. Last night we had a very heavy North here, several Vessels parted from their Moorings and drove on shore, but got off this morning with but little Damage. Capt. Starr sails in two Days — will before he sails if anything new write you.

Thursday, 23d. Capt. Starr is now preparing to sail — have but a little time to write. Capt. Billings has been offer'd but 450 Livers for his Horses, which he refused, and is now afraid he cannot get that price for them. They cost Ł12. 13 a head Lawfl. Money — if he does not sell them I shall undoubtedly sell yours to ye. man who was waiting for them. — Inclos'd you have price Curt. at this Port — from other Islands, I have no news to inform you. Am, Sir, with my most Respl. compliments to Mrs. Alsop & family,

Yr. Most obedt. Servt.





Supposed to be spoken, immediately after the Battle; By Lieutenant Colonel WEBB, Aid de Camp to General PUTNAM.

The Field is their's, but dearly was it bought,
Thus long defended and severely fought.
Now pale-fac'd death sits brooding o'er the strand,
And views the carnage of his ruthless hand.
But why my heart this deep unbidden sigh,
Why steals the tear, soft trickling from the eye?
Is FREEDOM master'd by our late defeat
Or HONOUR wounded by a brave retreat?
'Tis nature dictates; and in pride's despite,
I mourn my brethren slaughter'd in the fight.
'Th' insulting foe, now revels o'er the ground,
Yet flush'd with victory, they feel the wound.
Embru'd in gore, they bleed from ev'ry part,
And deep wounds rankle at BRITANNIA'S heart.
O fatal conquest! Speak thou crimson'd plain,
Now press'd beneath the weight of hundreds slain!
There heaps of BRITISH youth promiscuous lie,
Here, murder'd FREEMEN catch the wand'ring eye.
Observe yon stripling bath'd in purple gore,
He bleeds for FREEDOM on his native shore.
His livid eyes in drear convulsions roll,
While from his wound escapes the flutt'ring soul,
Breathless and naked on th' ensanguin'd plain,
Midst friends and brothers, sons and fathers slain.
No pitying hand his languid eyes to close,
He breathes his last amidst insulting foes;
His body plunder'd, massacred, abus'd;
By Christians — Christian fun'ral rites refus'd —
Thrown as a carrion in the public way,
To Dogs, to Britons, and to Birds a prey.
Enwrapt in sulph'rous flame and clouds of smoke,
Brave GARD'NER sinks beneath the deadly stroke,
And WARREN bleeds to grace the bloody strife


And for his injur'd country gives his life.
Yet while his mighty soul ascends the skies,
On earth his blood for ten-fold vengeance cries.
Great spirit rest — by Heaven it is decreed,
Thy murd'ring tyrants by the sword shall bleed.
E'en racks and gibbets would but consecrate,
And death repeated be too kind a fate.
The sword is drawn, in peace no more to rest,
Till justice bathes it in some tyrants breast.
Honor my weapon with the glorious task,
And let me stab, 'tis all the boon I ask.
Kind pow'rs, beneath your all-protecting shield,
I now unsheath my sword, and take the field,
Sure of success, with this sweet comfort giv'n.
Who fights for FREEDOM, — fights the cause of HEAV'N.


CAMP AT CAMBRIDGE 6th July, 1775.


I recd your Favrs. of the 18th & 22nd June and am obliged to you for them as also for your kind Recomendation of me to Genrl. Washington Colo. Reed is his Secretary I was acquainted with Majr. Mifflin before & shall on his accot. as well as on your Recomendation, do him Every favr. in my Power I immediately on the Rect. of yours, applied to Genl. Putnam in Favr. of Mr. Webb, of Capt. Chester's Compa. agreeable to your desire, & doubt not he will Succeed


he is very Capable of it, & will Suit the Genll. he has behaved with Spirit here & is noticed by all, Capt. Chester & he, have lived with me, ever since they have been here, & we have been very happy together You was kind Eno' to Interest yourself in my Favr. un-Sollicited, I must now Sollicit your Favr. in Congress, to have me appointed Comissary General, for the whole Army, Genl. Washington says one must be appointed by Congress, & that he will Name me. Majr. Mifflin, also says he will mention me to his Friends in Congress, indeed it is the only Birth left, worth having, & I do think it belongs to our Colony, where most of the Provisions must Come from & where I am well acquainted And I have gone thro' the most troublesome part of our Colony, & have nearly Settled, & have done more & better, than any other Person concerned Our Genlls. were recd. here with the Greatest Joy & Satisfaction, the People have great Confidence in them & great expectations from them, possibly greater than they ought to have, tho' I think Genl. Washington, as well Calculated, for the Meridian of New England, as any man, I know We expect to be attacked again by our troublesome Neighbors, as soon as the Troops destined for New York, now ordered here, arrive, are Landed, & a little recruited are preparing for them, our Lines & Posts are now very Strong, & if we can't defend them, they must purchase them, at a price that .must nearly beggar them I am, most Respectfully Dear Sir your most Humble Servt.



WETHERSFIELD, 18 September, 1775.


I send you by desire of our Friend Wadsworth 1 1/2 yd. Cambrick which I paid friend Shaylor for at the moderate price of Eighteen Shillings pr yard which I wish safe to Hand and to your acceptance Sammy set out from Here last Monday morng. in Co. with our sister Hetty & Miss Chester for Norwich and from there he intended to have Reached the Camp in two days but the New London Post told me, that he is still at Norwich & is very Sick, but as to the truth of


it am not able to say, for I have not received a line from Him or my Sister, which makes me Hope its a mistake & that He's with you

I had the pleasure of Just seeing Mr. Mifflin's Lady at Wrights yesterday was sorry that she cou'd not spend sometime in Town Mrs. Deane was very uneasy that She shou'd pass Thro: Town unbeknown to Her I hope Mrs. Mifflin will be pleasd with the Camp

Mrs. Deane says you must contrive to leave the Camp this fall so long as to wait on a certain young Lady to Philadelphia who will be happy to see that place What think you of this Scheme? I wish it because Mrs. Deane is endeavoring to persuade me to carry Her, However I do not expect you will be able to go tho I am sensible Miss Dy------ is very urgent I wish you would procure me such a Quarter Cask of Lisbon Wine as Jerry Wadsworth had from there He'll take Care to Order it to me in some prudent way, what Onions you may want I hope you'll send to Jerry Wadsworth or myself for I can deliver 'em at two Coppers plb. at the Camp or buy 'em at Cash price & for the transportation as other Loading if you'll let us know by the Return of the post you'll much Oblige me or in any other Commands I shall most Chearfully serve you if I do not go to Philadelphia I believe I'll pay you one Visit more I am Dear Sir

Your Very H Servt.

you may tell Mr. T. Dyer the Gun I promised His father is finished & I'll forward it by some team soon with some more Swords for Sale

How is it Have you plenty of Paper?


NEW YORK, Fryday 1 oClock
May 10th, 1776


Having a favorable opportunity I cannot but embrace it, to inform you that we have just Recd. Intelligence from Philadelphia, (that the day before yesterday


— 13 Gundaloes were ordered down to attack the Roe Buck & another Man of War — lying 12 Miles below the Chiveaux de frises,) the engagement lasted two Hours, very heavy — when the Ships finding it too warm — slip'd their Cables & wt. a view of falling down the River — when fortunately the Roebuck of 44 Guns ran on shore — They dispatch'd an express to Phil. for a reinforcement; as she went On at top high Water, they Determined to wait an hour till the ship was on a Careen — the other Ship had anchor'd as nigh as Possible — to protect her — & when the Express came away there was heard a heavy fireing — We have Reason to suppose the Roe Buck now in our possession — In the greatest haste I am &c.

Saturday Augt. 16th 1777


I am now bound on a Secret Expedition, and as the fortune of War is very uncertain, give me leave to request of you (in case any misfortune should attend Me) to take charge of all my Baggage in Camp and forward it to my Br. at Wethersfield. You will find my Keyes in Major Huntington's possession. — Time will not permit me to say more, — tho there were several matters which I meant to Communicate. — I wish your Health and Happines & am Dear

Jerre, Your Affect. friend & Huml Servt.




BEVERWYCK, July 9, 1782


Your letter by Corporal Knott, of the 7th I received yesterday, and believe me, I have not read one with more pleasure for a long time. The friendly, social style in which you rebuke Mr. Lott and myself for a want of attention, and the strong ideas of friendship with which it has impressed me, bring to my mind the pleasing remembrance of past times; and while I read the charge, am made doubly happy by the conscious innocence of both. Our business, as you may justly suppose, was extremely urgent, or the hospitable hut of our friend would not have passed unnoticed. We did not spend one night in camp, the commander in Chief dining during the day we passed through with General Howe, gave us an opportunity of paying our respects to both at Robinson's House, and the same evening we crossed at King's Ferry. On our return, as fortune would have it, we met Jackson, Grayson, and a number of my old acquaintances there, whom I was extremely happy to see; and I could have brought you, by some magic spell, within the social circle of the table, with inclination and desire, all conspired to prompt my memory to effect it. This circumstances alone was wanting to have made my happiness on that occasion complete.

I shall at a future day (at present it will be improper) let you know the purport of our errand. At a future day, I hope (and without it who could live) to enjoy free from restraint an uninterrupted intercourse with all my friends. But with the circle of Wethersfield most particularly.

Did I dare at this time to communicate my wishes fully, I could add, and with the sincerity of a friend, that I hope to see the day when the restoration of your almost irreparable loss may be in part made up to you, by a happy connection with one, who, either from a participation with you of her friendship, or merit similar to her predecessor, may be fit to represent her, and interest those affections, which are worthy of, and fewer still dare attempt to claim. You call me friend and sign yourself the friend of Livingston. Be in return the centre of my affections. Point out the source in which they ought to flow, bestow them most, where most you give your own; and my constant study only shall be to make the fount inexhaustable.


Let me only request that this family, as they ever wish, may ever claim a double portion of your esteem. Return if you please, the love of all here to good Mrs. Bancker and your friends at home. Let mine when an opportunity offers be particularly communicated to Hetty and through her, to our friends at Boston. We hope Mrs. Bancker may soon again enjoy her health, and we most ardently wish that you would come and spend some days with us.

Were we to choose, I should say Months and if it were agreeable to you, I extend it to a home where all the arts to please should be cheerfully exerted that are in the power of

Dear Webb, your sincere friend
And Obd't Servant,

P. S. Please remember me to the Gentlemen of the regiment, and in a particular manner to Capt. Bulkley whom I much esteem.


WETHERSFIELD, Sept. 22d 1783.


In the midst of the greatest possible hurry & confusion of business I am attempting to write you a few lines hoping they may find you well, as they leave me. Halt! For fear I shall not be able to write enough I enclose you the old letter I told you of, but forgot to shew it you when you was last here. The Devil has been dancing since you left equal to anything I ever saw. Commutation is the jig — and the whole country almost seem to be joining in it. You have better specimens of it in the Hartford paper than I am able at present to give. A noted Incendiary in this Town has had a principal hand in bringing about the Middletown Convention & stirring up great Strifes & animosities in this Town. Meeting after meeting has been held here, Committees appointed with very extraordinary powers and authorities. Business conducted in Town-Meeting by passion & prejudice without light, reason or common sense, or common decency; all clamor hubbub noise & confusion. Happily the fever &


phrensy seem to be in some measure abating, & consideration & reflection gradually taking hold of many minds. Those most prejudiced say we cannot get rid of it, & if we could, such measures as have been pursued would not effect it & if they could they are unjustifiable & endanger the constitution. Even Squire Treadwell has in some measure recanted & has written a piece which will make its appearance this week, which for the main I believe you will join me in judging will do him honor. A little leaven against the officers is almost the only thing amiss in it.

The great object in the convention was to change upper & Lower house, for this purpose a Nomination was prepared which in this Town & Hartford had very little Influence. The characters aimed at by Convention were generally voted for very fully here. Mr. Mitchell & Capt. Robbins go deputies Marshall & Gray are left out. Genl Wolcot, Sturgis & and a number of other steady men attend ye assembly Mr. Treadwell among the rest. Very few of the delegates in Convention are honored with a Seat in Assembly. — L[eonard] C[hester] is cruelly disappointed. he has carried votes & other matters with a high hand & was very certain of going to Assy. This disappointment asserted itself on Jim Belding Sheriff Deputy who went ye day after freeman Meeting to collect an execution of him. Leo---d stripd & bruised him terribly. For particulars must refer you to Capt. Wells, ye bearer, who is waiting. — he can tell you the other news of ye Town.

Tis very sickly here — Your daughter Polly has had a terrible hooping Cough which could you see her distress would make your heart ache — but is better — Bror Andw & Strong & their Ladies have been to see us in their way to Commencement Mother & myself went with them — I have been to see Bro. Joshua last month — he has had a most distressing fit of Sickness — his friends for some time dispaired of his Life — He was for some time Crazy as a Cont------, but is now on the recovery. I cannot add save some Compliments from all here to you the Genl. & Lady we soon expect to see them here.

Yours Affectionately


Biographical Sketch of Samuel Blachley Webb.



SAMUEL BLACHLEY WEBB was born at Wethersfield, in Connecticut, 13 December 1753. The Webb family was among the first settlers of Stamford, whence it had sent branches to Stratford and Wethersfield. The name occurs frequently in the records of these towns, now in connection with some town office or function, and again with the transfer of property; and Webb's Point, below Hartford, and Webb's mill, long a prominent landmark at Stamford, testify to the early prominence and good standing of the family. From generation to generation the mill and its privileges passed along, and even when a member went into a new settlement, his relation to the parent stock is determined by his ownership of a mill.

Richard Webb, the first of the family, came from Dorsetshire, England, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1626. In 1632 he was among the freemen of Boston, and three years later, he accompanied one of the bands of emigrants, who under the lead of Rev. Thomas Hooker, went to make settlements on the Connecticut River, at Hartford. As new branches of the parent settlement grew, Richard Webb passed from one to another, Stratford, Norwalk, and finally made a home in Stamford.

As early as 1655 the name occurs on the town records as a land owner, and there is frequent mention in subsequent years. Even earlier, in January, 1654, the town decided that the "three undertakers Richard Web, Thomas Fitch and Nathaniel Richards," should arrange


for the "desystinge and leavinge of the said mill," a bit of evidence clearly pointing to the ancestor of the Colonel of the Revolution. For on Richard's death, his property, amounting to Ł333, a substantial amount for that day, included a mill which was long known as Webb's mill, and carried with it important privileges. This mill passed to his eldest son, Joseph Webb. Richard left a widow, Margery; five sons, Joseph, Richard, Joshua, Caleb, and Samuel; and one daughter, Sarah. Joshua removed from Stamford, and Richard is believed to have died young.

Joseph Webb, son of Richard and inheritor of the mill, married Hannah Scofield, January 8, 1672, and had five children: Joseph, born 5 January, 1674; Mary, born 14 April, 1677; Hannah, born 9 July, 1679; Sarah, born 16 October, 1681; and Margery, born 4 October, 1683. Joseph Webb died at Stamford in March, 1693, and a part interest in the mill must have been purchased by his brother Samuel. For Samuel, a son of Samuel, in December, 1718, sells to Charles Webb some land and one-half interest in the mill, only reserving to my honored Father and Mother ye whole use, benefit and improvement of ye east end of house, &c." The other half interest passed to Joseph, the eldest son of Joseph.

This Joseph, known as Lieutenant Joseph Webb, was born 5 January, 1674, married Mary, daughter of Benjamin Hait, 23 February, 1698, and died in 1749, leaving six children: Joseph, who received Webb's mill; Benjamin; John; Epenetus; Sarah, who married Hezekiah Reynolds, and removed to Greenwich; and Mary, who married Nathaniel Mead of Greenwich.


This son Joseph was born January 26, 1700, and was twice married: 1st in 1726 to Sarah Blachley, by whom he had one son, Joseph; and 2nd, to Elizabeth Star of Danbury, on the 3d of February, 1735-6. In 1745 he transferred to his brother Epenetus the mill, known as Webb's mill. He died about 1791. His son Joseph, born 8 December, 1727, married in 1749, Mehitabel, daughter of Captain Gershom and Sarah Nott of Wethersfield, whither he removed. His children were

1. Joseph Webb, born August 8, 1749; married November 22, 1774, Abigail Chester, daughter of John and Sarah (Noyes) Chester. She was born at Wethersfield, May 27, 1754, and was a sister of Captain John Chester.

2. Sarah Webb, born January 10, 1752; married 1st, John Simpson, of Boston, who died 1775; 2nd, Joseph Barrell, of Boston. She died in 1832, leaving a large family.

3. Samuel Blachley Webb, the subject of these volumes.

4. John Webb, born January 7, 1756; died February 18, 1757.

5. Mehitabel Webb, the "Hetty" of these volumes; born January 18, 1757; died, unmarried, August 15, 1796.

John Webb, born 18 February, 1759, the Captain John Webb of these volumes.

7. Abigail, born 12 January, 1761, and married Amos Bull.


Joseph Webb was a merchant in Wethersfield, having extensive mercantile connections in New York and the West Indies. He was a man of some property, but, like most of the traders of that day, used his credit extensively, and, favored by the customs of the time, carried on large ventures with little ready means. Dying in April, 1761, his widow married Silas Deane, a native of Groton, Connecticut, a schoolmaster, and prominent in local politics. He had some commercial knowledge and took charge of the business left by Joseph Webb, while educating his step-children. Samuel appears to have been his favorite, and his teachings and influence were of high service to the young man. To the end of his unfortunate career, Deane never hesitated to appeal to Samuel, while he was distant to other members of the family, and was suspected by them of an abuse of trust. His wife bore him one son, Jesse, a cripple, and died October 13, 1767. Thus at the age of fourteen Samuel was left an orphan. Deane married a second time and gave his step-children a step-mother in Elizabeth Saltonstall of New London, whose connections were of advantage commercially and politically to his ambitions. To her care and to Deane's somewhat formal yet heartfelt advice, Samuel owed his character,

There are no records of the lad's earlier years; no school-boy escapades, no village gossip of deeds or misdeeds. It is known he was devoted to the country life; that he was fond of sport, from which an


accidental tearing of his hand by a premature discharge of his gun could not win him; that he was a lover of dogs and horses, and a keen bargainer in such stock. His sister Sarah was sent to Boston to complete her education, but Samuel was brought up under the eye of Deane, and in that way obtained an even better training than any other school of that date could have given. It was as practical as the experience and education of Deane could make it; and at a very early time we find the boy fitted to step into a share of the mercantile ventures, and manage his inheritance under the direction of his stepfather.

The first glimpse we have of Webb in these papers is when, as a young man of nineteen, he made his first voyage to the West Indies as a factor on one of his guardian's vessels. He was then a "young gentleman of fortune and character," and his boyishly frank and affectionate letters to his sisters while awaiting the day of sailing are full of evidence of his simplicity of nature and his love of family. His genuine sorrow at parting, only temporarily solaced by a dance and some Madeira, is artlessly expressed in the disjointed and almost hysterical lines. A journey in that day, even into a neighboring colony, was considered as something of an undertaking; but a voyage to the West Indies or to Great


Britain in a commercial venture, generally involved a long voyage, no little risk, and high responsibility.

This venture was made in the schooner Dolphin, commanded by Captain Samuel Crowel. The cargo was principally horses, and was made up by Richard Alsop, a leading merchant of Middletown, Silas Deane, Samuel Webb, Thomas Berry and Samuel Smith.

The young supercargo of the Dolphin reached Kingston and found bad markets. His tobacco was in little demand, his horses went off slowly, and his lumber was depreciated by other cargoes. It required no mean skill to deal in the West Indian markets. The voyage, made annually, was as liable to prove a dead loss to the shipper as a profit; and in so distant markets, where conditions changed suddenly and frequently, it was an even chance whether a cargo came to a full or a negative demand. The arrival of two vessels of the same freight might ruin every hope of a good sale; and even the expectation of a cargo to arrive, might depress prices to an unprofitable pitch, driving the shipper to other and more distant markets. The mercantile methods of the Islands were also difficult to meet, as the absence of large markets and a steady demand gave prices the elements of barter — the shipper must seek the buyer, without the introduction of a broker or commission merchant; and this direct dealing between seller and purchaser made a speedy transaction difficult, and one sale was no guide for another, but stood alone.

Fortunately, our merchant kept a journal of his transactions on this voyage, as interesting from a personal as from a commercial point of view. On Alsop's


account he disposed of two horses, one "very low in flesh" for Ł25; and a sorrel stallion, "in good order, but cough'd very much" for Ł23. On a Sunday, he sold two horses; but "must say as a Maj. Merdian did in his journal, viz.: "this day ketch'd a dolphin & lost him — for my Gentlemen never call'd for ye. Horses, altho: was fairly sold — at Ł26. 10 a Head." Two days later (January 19th, 1773,) he complains that people look at the horses, run them down, and after offering about their first cost, go away without purchasing. He is becoming discouraged, with eight horses on his hands, and a rival vessel expected daily with a new lot. His fodder was nearly out, and hay he had to purchase. His provisions did not find a ready sale, and tobacco could be parted with only on very unprofitable terms. Nor were his experiences with the buyers always agreeable. "The pair of Browns which sold ye. other day for Ł40 — Mr. Mumford sent his boy up with, & told me to call in the afternoon, & he would give me the money. I supposed the Gentlemen was to have it wt. him. I called, he told me he had not yet got it. I ask'd him for the Gentleman's name, that I might make out the Bill. His answer was this, says he, G--d d--n you, did I not tell you that I would see you pd. — & says he you may put them down to me. And all I could do, I could not get the gentleman's name, neither can I find it out. I have just call'd on him again — which he pretends to be greatly affronted at. Cruel it is to be bro't in by such a fellow, when I endeavour'd to gard ag'nst it." He remembered the lesson, and when some of his animals had the


distemper, he would have sold "was it anybody but R. Mumford" that offered to buy.

In spite of difficulties, he sold all his cargo, and at a profit. On eleven horses of Alsop, he obtained Ł243.10, the animals having cost Ł157. Eight horses of his own and Silas Deane, he sold for Ł181, on a cost of Ł103. The whole cargo netted Ł426. 7. 5, a good result considering the expenses of the voyage were heavy. A further element to be considered was the medium of payment, as there was no local coinage, and what gold and silver did pass were so worn as to pass only by weight. "Dubloons," he wrote, "grow more scarce here than formerly, and not one in ten but what have been taken down to ye wt. you mentioned to me. But shall endeavor to carry no other money with me from here but Dubloons and Pistoles. Half Joe's pass for Ł2 .15." At last he was free to sail, and spent Thursday (January 28th) in collecting the money due him, forgetting in his haste a horse. "But has this comfort, that it's in the hands of a Gentleman, that will pay it when ever call'd for." In the afternoon his schooner fell down to Port Royal, and in the evening he followed in a wherry. At day-light, Friday, he weighed anchor, and on the advice of Captain Wadsworth, made sail for Mole St. Nicholas. where he arrived on the morning of February 10th, hove out ballast, and prepared for a cargo of sugar and molasses — or to sell the schooner, "for she is really a very weak vessel, especially her upper works." Unable to sell, he sent the schooner back with a small cargo, that


she might engage in a fishing venture; while he joined Wadsworth and sailed to Philadelphia.

Such a venture brought experience and fitted young Webb for more extensive enterprise. Some of the difficulties to be overcome have been mentioned. Others crowded upon him, and made decision a matter of high responsibility. "Capt. Crowell has not altogether pleased me in his conduct, and perhaps may have something to say, but beg yo'll suspend your judgment till my return, when I shall be able to convince you that he is a very careless idle man, and quite unfit for the office he is now in. Hope I shall make a saving voyage for you, altho: I have been under great Disadvantages, first my Horses being sick, then being obliged to hurry the schooner home for a fishing voyage. Sugars have have cost me 36 livers & molasses 25 dolls. If I had time to have gone into the Bite, I am sure it would have made near Ł100 odds in the voyage, & not have detain'd us more than twelve days longer. For fear you wou'd not approve on acct. of the risque I did not go. There may certainly be a very good voyage made there with a suitable cargo, & I think the Risque is small." The results justified the confidence placed in him, and in December, 1774, we find him again at Mole St. Nicholas, with the cargoes of two vessels committed to his care. Alsop again consigned to him the Dolphin, and the second ship was the Joseph, Barnabas Deane, master, with a cargo owned by Silas Deane, Joseph and Samuel B. Webb. The Dolphin's cargo brought Ł767, and that of the Joseph Ł1363 — almost entirely provisions.


Meantime a new field of activity had opened, and was being prepared for his labors.

The political troubles between the Colonies and the mother country had brought forward the necessity for united action on the part of the colonies. The more thoughtful had seen the impractical character of a mere agreement to suspend all trade with Great Britain and the West Indies, such as had been attempted on the passage of the Stamp act. However important was their connection with English commercial interests, the colonies had not succeeded in carrying to a successful issue an embargo, entered into voluntarily but broken almost involuntarily by the cupidity of a few. Political union was a novel experiment, though often vaguely outlined as a possibility, even as a desirable change; and apart from political and commercial union, there was no other scheme for united action. To concentrate and give energy to the somewhat misty consciousness of inquiry or grievance spread through the colonies, there must be first devised a means of securing intelligence and an interchange of views. Virginia suggested a committee of correspondence and inquiry in each colony, and the suggestion was readily accepted by the other colonies, and thus an important step was taken for feeding and crystallizing the active element for protest in every large centre of population. In Connecticut the Assembly named such a committee, and Silas Deane was one of the members. His ready pen and fertile brain led to his selection as clerk of the committee, and upon him fell the task of draughting the letters sent out by the committee and of keeping the record of its transactions.


This labor was by no means light, for events were moving rapidly, and the exciting times were pressing upon the committee. To assist him in his task of recording and corresponding, he took Samuel Webb as his secretary, and this fact accounts for the original letters from the sister colonies and the draughts of letters and articles by Silas Deane in this collection. The experience must have been a good one, for it trained the young man in methodical habits, and gave him a readier expression, after a very fair model, than a merely mercantile pursuit could have obtained. He was in touch with the rising spirit of opposition to the measures of the British government, and every phase of the controversy passed through his hands, to be duly recorded by him in the minutes of the committee. Each document bears his endorsement, giving its number and the fact of its entry into the registry book. It was also at this time that he must have become intimate with a member of the committee — Samuel Holden Parsons — one of the generals under whom he was to serve in the Revolution.

His sphere of action was soon to become more extended. On July 13th, 1774, the Committee of Correspondence of Connecticut met at New London, and appointed delegates to represent the Colony in the proposed Congress at Philadelphia. Eliphalet Dyer, the first on the list, had for many years been prominent in local matters, and especially in the project for establishing a Connecticut colony in the valley of the Susquehanna. In support of this scheme he visited England (1763), but failing to secure a confirmation of the title of the company, returned to Connecticut, and was


steadily connected with the colonial government. First in the list of delegates to the Stamp Act Congress from Connecticut, it was fitting that he should be first in the delegation of 1774. The second representative was William Samuel Johnson, son of the President of King's (Columbia) College, who had also been a member of the Stamp Act Congress, and had also visited England, in connection with some land titles. He had, however, scruples against a war with England, and declined to attend the Congress of 1774. Third on the list was Major Erastus Wolcott, son of the old colonial governor of Connecticut, Roger Wolcott. He too had held high offices in the colony, and though declining to attend the Congress, joined Washington at Cambridge in 1776, with a regiment of Connecticut militia, and later in the war was a Brigadier-General of militia. Of the two members who filled out the delegation, Richard Law was a lawyer of reputation, who served the colony and State in many ways, and has left a lasting record of his legal acquirements in the Code of Connecticut laws. Silas Deane was a prominent merchant, an able legislator, and a prominent actor in the events that precipitated the Revolution — a man with a natural capacity for leadership. His story, when fully told, will prove his ability, great exertions and sacrifices for the cause, and his unswerving loyalty to the independence of America, until driven into extreme destitution by the personal jealousies and enmity of his rivals. Of this delegation only Deane and Dyer accepted their appointments. It was said that Wolcott and Law declined because they had not had the small-pox, and Johnson pleaded important business.


Five days after setting out from Boston for Philadelphia, John Adams and his fellow travellers reached Hartford. He recorded in his Diary under date Monday, August 15th, 1774: "Mr. Silas Deane, of Wethersfield, came over to Hartford to see us. He is a gentleman of a liberal education, about forty years of age; first kept a school, studied law, then married the rich widow of Mr. Webb, since which he has been in trade. Two young gentlemen, his sons-in-law, Messrs. Webb, came over with him. They are genteel, agreeable men, largely in trade, and are willing to renounce all their trade." These two young men, Joseph and Samuel, with the step-father, were intimately acquainted and closely connected with the people in New York, as well socially as commercially; and Adams inquired with some detail into the condition of that province and the probable stand it would take towards the approaching congress. For New York was a doubtful factor, strongly loyal, yet containing unmistakable elements of revolution in its population. Upon receiving intelligence of the Boston Port Bill, Lieutenant-Governor Colden sought to ascertain the sentiments of those who might have the most influence over others, and was assured by the members of his council, and by others of weight in the city, that "no means would be omitted to prevent the hot-headed People from taking measures that might endanger the peace and quiet of the colony." And he was more than re-assured by the dissolution of the committee composed, as he said, of the lower rank of people, the warmest zealots called the Sons of Liberty, and the appointment of a new


committee of fifty-one, comprising a number of "the most prudent and considerate Persons of the place." Yet with this conservative leadership, the idea of a congress was well received; for it was held that while such an assembly was without the authority of the government, and therefore illegal, and might prove dangerous, it was not unconstitutional when a grievance existed that could not be removed in any other way.

This committee of fifty-one became the centre of agitation, instituting corresponding committees in the different parts of the Province, and on Monday, July 19th, the important step was taken of naming delegates for the Congress, who were to be submitted to a popular vote. This action was purely a local one, and the counties outside of the city had not yet awakened to the importtance of the crisis. The nomination of two such lawyers as John Jay and James Duane, and of three such merchants as Isaac Low, Philip Livingston and John Alsop, was in itself interpreted as a triumph for the Moderates. An attempt to oust Jay and Alsop, and substitute for them John Morin Scott, a prominent lawyer and active partisan, and Alexander McDougall, whom Colden described as the "Wilkes of New York," was unsuccessful, and the danger of a political revolution seemed no longer to be feared. Yet the response from the counties came in slowly, and as it was, the credentials laid before the Congress were of such a nature that a strict scrutiny would hardly have allowed them to pass. Under the most favorable view, the New York delegation did not have the people of the Province behind them. The members represented a


faction; but the geographical situation of the Colony, the central portion of the city, the long river to the northward, constituting the natural channel for trade with Canada as well as with the Indians, gave them an importance second to no other delegation. Their strength lay in possibilities rather than in actual conditions.

It was only natural, therefore, that Adams should have inquired somewhat particularly into the complexion of the men chosen to represent New York in the Congress, and in Deane and the Webb boys he found intelligent informers. Deane could also give some interesting facts on the trade of Connecticut. "Mr. Deane says, there are thirty thousand bushels of flaxseed sent to New York yearly, in exchange for salt; that it would be no loss to stop this, as the seed may be made into oil more profitably. They have many oil mills in the colony." And after this little exhibition of the commercial jealousy which existed between New York and Connecticut — long a very sore point with the smaller colony — Deane gave what had important relations to the question sure to be discussed in Congress, a resolution to stop imports and exports: "Connecticut sends great quantities of provisions, cattle and horses to the West Indies, and brings great quantities of rum, as well as sugar and molasses, to New York. Some lumber they send; — staves, hoops, heading, &c. There is a stream of provisions continally running from Connecticut."

On the same day of this meeting Adams dined with a large party at the tavern, and at about four o'clock set out for Middletown. "A number of gentlemen in


carriages, and a number on horseback, insisted upon attending us, which they did, to our brother Deane's in Wethersfield. There we stopped, and were most cordially and genteelly entertained with punch, wine and coffee. We went up the steeple of Wethersfield meeting house, from whence is the most grand and beautiful prospect in the world, at least that I ever saw."

To fill the vacancies in the Connecticut delegation created by the declinations to serve, Roger Sherman, a jurist, and Joseph Trumbull, a son of the Governor, were chosen — both acquaintances of Webb.

On the morning of Monday, August 22d, Deane set out for the Congress from Wethersfield, "attended by a great Number of the principal Gentlemen of the Town, who waited upon him as far as Middletown." He took with him his ward, Samuel B. Webb, at this time just of age. At New Haven they were joined by Roger Sherman, at Fairfield by Eliphalet Dyer, and the party reached New York on Thursday, August 25th. They put up at Hill's, a tavern with a sign the Bunch of Grapes, and almost at once began to mix with the townspeople to learn their sentiments. How far Samuel participated in the round of visits and entertainments Deane made cannot be discovered, as there are only occasional references to him by name in Deane's letters. But the experiences, unusual when travel was so difficult, must have made a deep impression upon the young man's mind, and the opportunities afforded of seeing the people and the country were such as few of his years could have hoped to enjoy. At


Philadelphia, they drove to a noted tavern, Biddle's, where "Mr. Gadsden and son from Charlestown, S. Carolina, S. Webb, young Mr. Dyer, Mr. Arnold and self, are the lodgers." But they afterwards removed to the house of a family — "a widow lady, turned of forty as I judge; genteel and sensible; has been handsome, and is still comely" — whose daughter, Mrs. Trist, succeeded her, and is often mentioned in Madison's correspondence. Here Samuel remained until September 22d, when he left the city, "much regretted by the younger lodgers in the family, and I assure you, not a little miss'd by a numerous, and I may add, a very genteel acquaintance in the City."

From paper protests it was an easy passage to armed resistance. Upon returning from Philadelphia Webb became anxious for his sister's safety in Boston, as her husband, John Simpson, belonged to a family pronouncedly loyal. The troublous situation in that place, and the growing hostility of a part of the populace to those known to be opposed to the "good people" of the colony, known to be against resistance to the measures of Parliament, took the form of insult, and injury to person and property. Little provocation was needed for an exhibition of popular dislike; and to be regarded a loyalist was sufficient pretext. It is related that John Simpson went to Providence on a visit, and in the morning found the door-posts of the house he occupied smeared with blood, a hint he was not


slow to understand. Fearful lest some harm might come to his sister, Samuel wished to visit Boston to be assured of her safety. It was an important time at Wethersfield. As a messenger from Deane he had visited many towns to sound opinion, and could report the rise of the "spirit of liberty," and the discouragement of mob violence. The assembly was placing the militia upon a better footing for service; and Webb had, on his way through Philadelphia, purchased a "very fine stand of arms" for the Light Infantry of Middletown, an organization of which he had been a member for two years. In case of a resort to arms, Webb intended "with my whole heart" to attend this body to the field, while his brother was attending the field-days of two companies of foot raised in Wethersfield. Everywhere preparation, and uncertainty of to the length to which the rising agitation might go.

Webb's position was strengthened by the marriage of his brother Joseph. Democratic as Connecticut was, much social power concentrated in the hands of a few families. The Trumbulls belonged to this natural aristocracy, and the Governor and his sons were from the first strong advocates of the revolution. The Huntingtons constituted another powerful family, of high position and wide connections. By marrying Abigail, a sister of Colonel John Chester, the Webbs became connected with these two families, a matter of some importance in Samuel's career. Deane was associated with Thomas Mumford, of New London, whose energy led to the expedition against Ticonderoga, whose money was generously given in the popular cause, and whose son was to serve in Webb's regiment. In


Boston and in New York the young man could count upon many friends and agents active with money and efforts on the patriot side. He was in touch with the controlling minds of the movement in Connecticut, with the executive, the local legislature, the committee of correspondence, the militia, and the mercantile element. Every influence promised to aid him in any line of action he might choose, and it was to his credit that he took up that line demanding the greatest sacrifice of comfort and of wealth.

The political and commercial influences of the colony of Connecticut were also important factors. The government entered into the revolution as a whole, passing from a royal colony into a revolutionary state by the alteration of a few words in the enactments of its legislature. The royal governor became the governor of the new state; and the legislature and executive continued the exercise of their functions without change. Not so with the provinces on either side. Massachusetts was rent by faction, and was the seat of actual hostilities. Her government was changed, and the extreme revolutionists were in control. Her principal port was closed and in a state of siege, and the provisional government had not as yet acquired the consistency and strength needed to enforce an obedience to its measures. Military occupation and the experiments of a novel and barely popular congress were confusing elements in a state of transition and suspense. In New York the feeling for royalty was strong, and long made the success of the popular party doubtful. The wealth, position and influence of the loyalists made them conservative and inclined to


maintain a neutral attitude. The commercial centre for New Jersey and Connecticut, and with an important trade to the northward by the Hudson and with the Indians, the material interests at stake were too important to be hazarded in a contest the issue of which must be uncertain. Thus Connecticut occupied a happy position, able to act with greater freedom, directness, and therefore force, than other colonies. Its trade with the West Indies had accumulated some ready money, and, what was of greater importance, had trained a body of hardy seamen anxious to embark in the hazardous yet profitable career of privateering, It was Connecticut troops that first gained honor before Boston, and it was the Wethersfield company that early distinguished itself by its discipline and bravery under fire. It was Connecticut that supported throughout the war the army in its most critical periods, and it was to its governor that Washington turned again and again for counsel and assistance in men and means.

In April, 1775, Connecticut proceeded to arm, and to form regiments. In the second regiment, commanded by Joseph Spencer, was a company raised at Wethersfield — the ninth company in that regiment. It was raised under John Chester, as its captain, and on April 22d. "one hundred men, well armed and in high spirits," set out for Boston. The agreement under which the company was formed shows how little of a really military spirit controlled the movement, but how much enthusiasm and attention to order controlled.

The first lieutenant in this company was Barnabas


Deane, a brother of Silas. The company appears to have gone only a part of the way, for it was not until early in May that the four regiments, Spencer's, Putnam's, Hinman's and Parson's, were ordered to march in companies to Cambridge; and certainly before the 15th, Barnabas Deane had resigned, and no appointment of a successor had been made, though about that date the troops were on the point of marching. By the 22d Titus Hosmer could write to Silas Deane that "Samuel Webb is Lieut, in your brother's place." On the 25th (Thursday) the young lieutenant set out for the camp at Cambridge, and was not long in receiving his baptism.

Lieutenant Webb must also have taken part in the first exchange of prisoners made during the war. "On the 6th of June, an exchange of prisoners took place. ‘Dr Warren (Essex Gazette of that date) and Brigadier-General Putnam, in a phaeton,’ together with other officers of the American army, and the prisoners, the whole escorted by the Wethersfield company, Captain Chester entered the town of Charlestown, and marched to the ferry, when, upon a signal being given, Major Moncrief landed from the Lively, in order to receive the prisoners, and see his old friend, General Putnam. The meeting was truly cordial and affectionate. The wounded privates were soon sent on board the Lively; but Major Moncrief and the other officers returned with General Putnam and Dr. Warren to the house of Dr. Foster, where an entertainment was provided for them." On June 13th he sat as a member of a


general court-martial with Colonel (afterwards General) Fry, as President, and his friend Joseph Trumbull, as judge-advocate.

He was present at the affair on Bunker's Hill, and has left a most vivid description of the retreat. Although not on the field in the earlier part of the fight, he was of the company ordered to reinforce those on the hill, and at once hastened to the front. Col. Chester and Lieutenant Webb led the men: "thro the Cannonadeing of the Ships, Bombs, — Chain Shot, Ring Shot & Double headed Shot flew as thick as Hail Stones, — but thank Heaven, few of our Men suffered by them, but when we mounted the Summit, where the Engagement was, — good God how the Balls flew. — I freely acknowledge I never had such a tremor come over me before." It was only a temporary sensation, and with dead and dying around him all other feelings gave place to one of revenge.

The scene was more trying, as the slaughter was great; and from untried troops, a great effort was demanded to overcome the natural fear and horror of the unusual sights and sounds. "The dead and wounded lay on every side of me, — their Groans were pierceing indeed," though conscious of no fear of death. Opposed by too heavy odds, it was decided to retire, and on the order to retreat a "shameful and scandalous" scene ensued, officers even seeking to run faster than the men. "A vast number was retreating as we march'd up, & within a quarter of a mile of the scene of action. If a man was wounded 20 more were glad of an opportunity to carry him away when not more than three could take hold of him to


advantage. One cluster would be sneaking down on their Bellies behind a Rock & others behind Hay cocks & apple trees. at last I got pretty near the action & I met a considerable Company with their Officer at their Head retreating. I spoke to Lt. Webb & told him it would not do to see so many going Back & that we must stop them, by all means, says he. I then enquired of the officer why he went back. He made no answer. I told him to proceed if he Dare, he still went on. I ordered my men to make Ready very Loud, & told him if he went another step he should have the fire of my whole Company. My men Declared they would fire if I ordered them. But the Poor Dogs were forced to Come back like Dogs that had been stealing sheep."

This incident is dwelt upon as it illustrated the fearlessness of Webb's character. He could as well face without flinching the fire of the enemy, as from his hatred of cowardice fire upon his friends when in a shameful retreat. This implies something higher than physical courage; it proves moral courage also. It was a happy beginning for the young soldier, for it at once brought him to the notice of his superior officers and gave him reputation outside of the army. "Am highly rejoic'd to hear," wrote his friend Whiting, "that you behav'd worthy yourself, and prov'd your courage was genuine." "Your captain & you have gained immortal honor" was the praise given by Jeremiah Wadsworth. While Deane proudly wrote from Congress in Philadelphia: "I see that the Weathersfield company, under


Captain Chester, appeared with honor on a recent occasion. This has made me an inch taller, though I am prouder, as I may say, of Connecticut than I dare express, not a colony on the continent standing in higher estimation among the colonies."

In the Connecticut Courant of July 31st, "A friend to Truth" called attention to the distinguished services of "Major John Chester of Wethersfield, now Captain of a Company in General Spencer's Regiment, and Lieut. Samuel Webb, who marched up to the lines with their men, and re-inforced the troops, [and who] by their undaunted behavior, timely and vigorous assistance, it is universally agreed, are justly entitled to the grateful acknowledgments of their Country."

Webb's opportunities for advancement were very favorable, owing to Deane's influence in Congress. The force before Boston was anything but an army; it lacked cohesion, discipline and a sense of co-ordination. What leaders it had were divided, acting independently, and some jealously. Poorly fed, badly equipped, and wanting arms, clothing and pay, not so much as receiving the encouragement and countenance of the Continent, the different corps of men were on the verge of disbanding, and a spirit of insubordination was spreading. "Every post," wrote John Adams, "brought me letters from my friends Dr. Winthrop, Dr. Cooper, General James Warren, and sometimes from General Ward and his aids, and General Heath and many others, urging in pathetic terms the impossibility of keeping their men together without the


assistance of Congress." But Congress was also divided in sentiment, and there was a Southern party, comprising many of the staunchest men in the assemblage, who showed a jealousy of a New England army commanded by a New England general, and thought the Southern colonies would give a better leader. What further complicated matters was a division in opinion among the Massachusetts members in the Congress. Hancock was known to cherish military ambitions, and he viewed the nomination to the command of the army as a reward due to himself. Cushing, another representative from Massachusetts, and Paine, were backward in recognizing the necessity of acting on a continental scale in military matters; and even Samuel Adams was irresolute, more from his distaste for practical details of administration than from any doubt upon the gravity of the situation.

On May 16th the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts sent a letter to the Continental Congress by the hands of Doctor Church, urging the expediency of a general army. "As the army, collecting from different colonies, is for the general defence of the rights of America, we would beg leave to suggest to your consideration, the propriety of your taking the regulation and general direction of it, that the operations may more effectually answer the purposes designed." On the following day a committee was named by the Provincial Congress to frame a commission for Artemas Ward, and on the 19th the draft was adopted, constituting and appointing him to be "general and commander in chief" of the Massachusetts forces. Nearly a month later, two Major-Generals were chosen, (John


Whitcomb and Dr. Joseph Warren). This measure was taken "from expediency," but it excited a fear in the other colonies that in the event of a Continental establishment, these appointments would take precedence.

When the Continental Congress did take action, Washington was made general, and Ward was the first of the Major Generals. Two only of this rank were at first intended; but after Ward and Lee had been chosen, the claims of others came up for consideration, and proved sufficient to lead to an increase in the number of Major Generals to four. Philip Schuyler received the third commission, and Israel Putnam the fourth.

Before setting out from Philadelphia, Washington passed nearly two days in consultation with Deane, whose connections made his advice of value. He intended to call at Wethersfield, and if it happened favorably, to spend a night in the Webb house. Joseph Webb appears to have joined Washington's party as it passed through the town, and accompanied it to Cambridge, — a step that promised well for Samuel, as it enabled the recommendations of Deane to be supported by personal application. Deane had brought Samuel by name to the notice of Washington, Gates, Mifflin and Lee, and had held up the two foreign generals, Gates and Lee, to his ward as "oracles for youth in your situation." Joseph Trumbull, whose influence was great because of his ability as a commissary, supported Webb's claims to Putnam. On July 5th, his


position in the regiment was filled by the appointment of Ebenezer Huntington; and on the 11th, he could announce his entrance into the military family of Putnam, having declined the offer of a Brigade Major from Adjutant General Gates. "Any service I can render him [Webb]," wrote General Lee to Deane, "he may command, both from your desire and his own merit, for he seems a sensible, alert, active young man." In the general orders of July 22d, his appointment, with the rank of Major, was gazetted.

As aid to Putnam, Webb wrote nearly all the letters that went out with the General's signature. This might have been supposed by an inspection of any of the very few letters of Putnam in existence; for they would prove that the Connecticut farmer was by no means ready with his pen. Here is a letter which he sent to Washington in 1778: —

Letter from Major General Putnam


PICKSKILL ye. 24 of Sept. 1778.


Larst night I received a Leator from Collo Spencor informing me that the Enimy had Landed at the English Naborwhod and ware on thar March to hackensack I immedat called the ginrol ofesors togather to consult what was beast to be don it was concluded to Exammin the mens gons and Cartriges & & and to have them ready for a March at the shortest notis when it shuld be thought beast or on receaving your Ordors I waited som tim for further Intelleganc but hearing non I rod down to Kings fary and on my way met 4 men with thar horses loded with bagig going back into the contry which said they cam from within 2 milds of tarytown who said the Enimy had com out of New York in 3 larg Colloms won by the way


of Maranack and won by taritown and won had gon into the jarsys. Just as I had got to the farry I meat won Capt. Jonston with a leator from Collo hay which informed me that the Enemy had got as fur as Sovalingboro church and was incamped thare and it was said thay war waiteng for a wind to bring up the ships the Enimy are colecting all the catel sheap and hogs thay can in this setuation shuld be glad of your Excelanceys orders what to do

I am Sir with the gratest Estem your humbel Sarveant

At this time the opportunity of serving under "Old Put" was something to be desired. He was the most popular of the commanding officers, and the Connecticut troops were highly esteemed. His bluff and hearty ways were better suited to win the confidence of the newly-formed army than the cold and distant manners of the other generals. Washington complained of the too democratic behavior of officers and men, as little calculated to develop the discipline that constitutes in a great degree the strength of the army. He excused it on the ground of the insufficient pay of the officers, pay inadequate to their rank and service. Congress, wrote Major-General Lee, "must give better pay to their officers, for the present miserable pittance will not tempt men of liberal notions to engage in the service. It is indeed a fortune to the low wretches who live like the common soldiers and with the common soldiers; but men who chuse to preserve the decent distance of officers must have a decent subsistance, and without this distance, no authority or respect can be expected." What subordination could be expected of a soldier whose officer would perform menial service for him, — black his boots, or shave his face? The idea


of equality, agreeable to New England, was ill-suited to camp rule; and it was remarked the military discipline of the troops was not so conspicuous as the civil subordination of the community from which the men were enlisted. The soldiers could appreciate Putnam, and he was the toast of the camp. Washington held aloof, and looked almost with disfavor upon the gathered force, lacking in nearly every quality that was necessary to an army. Out of that force, he must gradually create an army; but long and weary years must elapse before he could announce even an approach to success.

In so central a position, Webb possessed many opportunities of forming connections of service to him. He was social in disposition, and favored by the leading actors in the "siege" of Boston, he enjoyed a confidence and experience that rapidly developed his character. The camp was full of petty jealousies. The troops from the South were jealous of the New Englanders; and the feeling was reciprocated. Massachusetts sought to engross the offices in the army, and every appointment gave rise to bickerings and a sense of injury. Each leader had his faction, and canvassing for recruits among the influential was conducted with little regard for the order and decency that should attend military promotion. Among those who felt aggrieved was General Spencer, who resented openly the appointment of Putnam, and thought he could better his claims by working through the Legislature of Connecticut. In short, he determined to conduct a political


campaign for promotion, instead of relying on his merit and desert, and left the camp to induce the Assembly to remonstrate to Congress. Soon a better frame of mind intervened, and he returned with a wish to serve under Putnam; but the example of petulance thus set was unfortunate, and the scheming for advancement led to divisions of almost fatal weakness. Spencer rebelled against Putnam; his captains and subalterns rebelled against the appointment of Ebenezer Huntington to the lieutenancy of Colonel Chester's company. In both cases young Webb was indirectly concerned, but his sympathies and sense of justice led him to favor the party whose claims rested upon recognized principles of military rank, while his caution forbade him to become embroiled in the many disputes raging around him, bidding for his countenance.

It must not be supposed that it was all a life of hardship to the young aid. If certain items of expense on account of General Putnam are examined, it will be recognized that comfort and good-fellowship were not neglected. A hogshead of rum, two dozen "leamons" and one hundred limes, point to something besides the bare necessities of life. Nor is the following bill without interest:

CAMBRIDGE, Sepr. 1775


Dr. to Daniel Jones

To sundries for dressing Turtle, viz 2 bottles red port wine. . . . . . . . . . . . 0.8.0
4 doz. Eggs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.2.8
Sweet herbs, cloves, spices, &c. . . . . . . . . . . 0.3.9
Dressing Turtle at my House. . . . . . . . . . . 9
To 5 wine glasses broke. . . . . . . . . . . 2.6


Nor was he confined to the camp. In August the Committee of Safety for Philadelphia had captured a British vessel laden with clothing for the troops in Boston, and in charge of some officers of the English army. These officers, among whom was Major Christopher French, were sent to Cambridge, where they were only a burden to Washington, and their presence attended with many inconveniences. It was, therefore, decided to send them to Hartford, and "Captain" Webb was selected to accompany them. Of this duty he acquitted himself to the satisfaction of the Commander-in-chief, and doubtless formed an acquaintance with the English officer which was to serve him well at a later day. Yet his position appears to have been irksome, and he wished for some other appointment. Deane gave him encouragement, and urged him to apply himself diligently to the study of military matters, as a fitting preparation for any place that might offer. It was under Gates that the most tempting prospect was held forth; for as deputy adjutant general he would be at Head Quarters, under the eye of the general, in the best situation for improvement and for taking advantage of any opening of future advancement. The objective point was a position in the military family of Washington, or a new appointment, the exact nature of which is not disclosed in the letters; and in this ambition he had the support and favor of Deane and Joseph Reed, at this time the


warmest friend of the general, to whom he gave his best confidence. An immediate gratification of this wish was impossible, and the winter passed with little to break the routine of army life. In early Spring a marked change intervened, caused by the occupation of Dorchester Heights by Washington's force.

The position of the British was now become so untenable that evacuation was determined upon, a sudden and unexpected decision that struck terror into the souls of the loyalists in Boston. All was panic and confusion. The army prepared to embark, and the lawless had full swing, in spite of the threats and punishments meted out to them by the British commander. Even an order that any soldier found plundering should be hung on the spot, did not suffice to put a stop to excesses. The destruction of property was very great; and in the almost wholesale migration of persons and chattels, the loss was aggravated by haste and malice. It is estimated that upwards of two thousand loyalists left their homes at this time, to cast their fate with the British and their king, in preference to facing the displeasure of their former countrymen; and in this number were included many of the leading families of the province. Their condition was pitiable, and awakened the sympathy of those whom they were deserting. "I believe I mentioned in my last to you, that all those who took upon themselves the style and title (in Boston) of government's men, have shipped themselves off in the same hurry, but under greater disadvantages than the King's (I think it idle to keep up the distinction of ministerial) troops have done, being obliged in a manner to man their own Vessels; seamen not being


to be had for the King's transports, and submit to all the hardships that can be conceived. One or two of them have committed what it would have been happy for mankind if more of them had done, long ago, the act of suicide. By all accounts a more miserable set of beings does not exist than these; taught to believe that the power of Great Britain was almost omnipotent, and if it was not, that foreign aid was at hand, they were higher and more insulting in their opposition than the regulars themselves. When the order issued therefore for embarking the troops in Boston, no electric shock, no sudden flash of lightning, in a word, not even the last trump, could have struck them with greater consternation; they were at their wit's end, and conscious of their black ingratitude, chose to commit themselves, in the manner before described, to the mercy of the winds and waves in a tempestuous season, rather than meet their offended countrymen; and with this declaration I am told they have done it, that if they could have thought that the most abject submission would have procured peace for them, they would have humbled themselves in the dust, and kissed the rod that should be held out for chastisement. Unhappy wretches! Deluded mortals! Would it not be good policy to grant a generous amnesty, and conquer these people by a generous forgiveness?"

Among these exiles were Jonathan and John Simpson, and Webb's sister naturally cast her lot with her husband. They and their households, to the number of seven persons — of whom five were given to John — embarked for Halifax.


With the occupation of Boston, Washington was free to turn his attention to other parts of the colonies, and New York naturally became an important object in his plans. It was believed that the British troops and refugees were not really bound for Halifax, but for New York; and the accession of so much royal strength in that place would give an opportunity for the disaffected to declare themselves openly, and secure the military advantages the province offered. New York and the Hudson were positions almost vital to the party which commanded them; for not only was the river the only means of communication with Canada, but the central station and direction of city and river made it a dividing line between the northern and the southern colonies. To allow a British force to hold New York would give it a vantage that no other position on the coast could give — making it a wedge to separate New England from the other colonies, and so suggesting a separate conquest as the readiest method of reducing the rebellion against the king's government. To secure the city and to encourage the "good people," Washington sent forward General Heath with five battalions of the continental troops and the whole corps of riflemen, with a detachment of artillery. As soon as they could have arrived in New York, and after the British had actually abandoned Boston, six battalions more, commanded by Sullivan were ordered to march on the 29th, and Major-General


Putnam was sent on the same day to take command of the city, in place of Major-General Lee. Washington expected to despatch the rest of the army as convenience would permit, and to leave only a garrison in Boston.

The task set for Putnam was by no means an easy one. His instructions directed him to carry on the works laid out by Lee, using his discretion should any alteration appear desirable. He arrived in the city on the evening of April 3d, and relieved Heath. For ten days, or until the arrival of Washington, Putnam was in full command. The most serious difficulty he had to contend against was the constant communication between the loyalists in the city and the British ships in the harbor. On the day before he took command, Major De Hart, of New Jersey, with about two hundred men, made a descent upon Bedlow's island in the bay, on which Governor Tryon was erecting some works; and burning some buildings and defacing the fortification, had returned with the intrenching tools. Such a descent naturally checked the measures of the British until they might be stronger in force; and the danger of serious conflict was further lessened by the arrival of intelligence from Boston which led to Tryon's dropping down the bay to consult with Captain Hyde


Parker, at that time in naval command of the British at New York. This intelligence was that Boston had been evacuated, and the fleet and army were on their way to Halifax. Scarcity of provisions for the army was assigned for this movement, — a movement that awakened grave apprehensions in loyal New York.

For scarcity of provisions threatened the ships holding the harbor. The American army was pushing forward the fortifications, barricading streets, and laying out works on all the headlands and commanding points in the vicinity. As these works became advanced and stronger, offensive operations were more favored. Provisions, however, had been supplied as well to the Dutchess of Gordon, on which Tryon made his headquarters, as to the British ships-of-war. Only on a few occasions had any objection been made to this supply, and whatever opposition had been shown, was of a capricious nature, easily mollified. The arrival of the regiments from Cambridge, and the growing strength of the revolutionary party, permitted a more decisive step to be taken. It was rumored, soon after Putnam took command, that the trade between the shore and the vessels would soon be cut off, and on the seventh of April an opportunity was given to give an object lesson.

The Savage, sloop of war, had come from Boston, and stood in need of some fresh water. On the morning of the seventh she sent a boat to the watering-place on Staten Island, and came into collision with three companies of riflemen, whom Putnam had sent there the previous day, with orders to scour the shores. The boat was fired upon, two of her men killed, and


the rest taken prisoners. The Savage opened fire, but on a signal from the Phoenix, she fell down below the Narrows. "It was with grief and horror," wrote Tryon to Lord Germain, "I received this insult to the King's Flag. A treachery the more base considering the lenity and forebearance with which the commanders of the King's ships had uniformly shewn both to the persons and properties of the inhabitants, that came within their power. And the more perfidious, as at this time the ships had publickly fresh provisions sent them from New York. It affects me to find hostilities have been so shamefully committed against the Parent State within this Province, which if left to itself would not in the present cause of dispute have thus plunged itself into the Calamities of a Rebellion."

This was Putnam's opening, and he did not hesitate to seize it. "As hostilities are now commenced in this Province," he wrote to the President of the Continental Congress, "I have thought fit to order no more provisions to be sent the men-of-war." Major Webb prepared a plan for employing some armed vessels to prevent the King's ships being supplied with fresh provisions by the "enemies of America," and this received Putnam's approbation.

Putnam did not long enjoy this independent command, but the arrival of Washington on the 13th could not have materially lessened the duties and labors of the Major-General and his aids. Before leaving Cambridge, Washington knew that Congress wished four battalions of his army to be sent to Canada, though he


was unacquainted with the number of men or strength of works at New York, and was unable to say whether so many could be spared or not. Nor was the situation in New York promising. The militia, collected to defend the town in case the British army had arrived before the American, had been discharged, as unnecessary. Many works of defence had been begun, and some few finished; but the troops were much scattered, some on Long Island, some on Staten Island, and the rest in the city and on the mainland. The British vessels had dropped down the harbor, and there was no expectation of an immediate conflict. On the other hand, the political situation was far from promising. "I fear I shall have a difficult card to play in this Government," he wrote to Reed on the 15th.

One of the first matters that demanded his attention was the continued intercourse between the inhabitants and the enemy, and he took a decided step to make effective the orders issued by Putnam in the matter. Such an intercourse was, as he pointed out to the Committee of Safety, a glaring absurdity. "We are to consider ourselves either in a state of peace or of war with Great Britain. If the former, why are our ports shut up, our trade destroyed, our property seized, our towns burnt, and our worthy and valuable citizens led into captivity, and suffering the most cruel hardships? If the latter, my imagination is not fertile enough to suggest a reason in support of the intercourse." The advantages of such an intercourse were altogether on the side of the enemy, and he called upon the committee to assist him to put an immediate and total stop to all further correspondence with the enemy. The


result of this appeal to the civil power was a stringent resolution against the intercourse, a resolution that was backed up by a proclamation of Washington. So ill regulated was the manner of raising the militia, that a fortnight elapsed between the requisition and the gathering of a considerable detachment; while no steps had been taken for obtaining early intelligence of the arrival of a British naval force. A still further cause for anxiety was the anomalous situation of the four battalions of New York troops. The Committee of Safety had led Washington to believe that these battalions were raised under their immediate direction, and other circumstances in corroboration of this belief, awakened a doubt whether he could exercise any control on their movement. In seeking to learn the extent of his authority, Washington gave umbrage to the Committee, one of the incidents that proved the uncertain ground he was walking upon. In spite of obstacles, his labors bore fruit, and by the middle of May he hoped to be in a "very respectable position of defence," unless interrupted by the enemy.

The army was slowly taking form, in the face of a deficiency of arms, want of pay, and much discontent that on one occasion culminated in a mutiny. The prospects of success in Canada were by no means flattering, for a reinforcement to the British had compelled the invading Americans to withdraw; while the fear of trouble from the "tory" population of the city gave full occupation to the General and the Provincial Congress. It was when in deep consultation


upon the measures proper to be taken to counteract the suspected plottings of the loyalists that Washington was called to Philadelphia, and for a second time Putnam found himself in command of the city.

From the first, Washington felt the burden of the heavy correspondence he was obliged to carry on with military and civil authorities, and with Congress. He had taken with him to camp Joseph Reed, Thomas Mifflin and Robert Hanson Harrison. Reed acted as his secretary, and Harrison was actively employed in the same manner; and before Reed left the camp on October 29th, 1775, Mifflin had been appointed quartermaster-General, and John Trumbull, Edmund Randolph and George Baylor had entered the family of the commander-in-chief. Not one of the new comers, however, was really competent to give satisfaction, or was in a position to accept the position with its increasing responsibilities. The peculiar situation of Randolph obliged him to leave camp early in November, 1775, and Baylor, though "spirited and willing," did not prove a ready penman. Harrison the General trusted fully, but he complained that "though sensible, clever, and perfectly confidential," he had "never moved upon so large a scale as to comprehend at one view the diversity of matter which comes before me, so as to afford that ready assistance which every man in my situation must stand more or less in need of." Stephen Moylan gave some assistance, but he was soon detailed to look after the business arising from the captures of prizes, and William Palfrey, after a short


service as aid, received the appointment of Paymaster General.

As early as November the name of Samuel B. Webb was brought to the attention of the commander in chief, in the expectation that something in the way of a command could be given him, now that the army was assuming some consistency; or a place at headquarters. The policy of giving the appointment of officers to the different colonies prevented Washington from making any new appointments, and the jealousies and petty differences among the various levies precluded his giving any command, however much he might wish to do it. On the other hand, Washington's want of acquaintance with eastern men, delayed the appointment of aids. It was suggested that Reed should bring some one from Philadelphia to serve as an assistant secretary; and on March 1, 1776, the pay of the secretary of the commander-in-chief was raised. "I do not think I shall bring any one with me when I come," Reed wrote to Washington on March 3d. "Mr. Webb has long had an inclination to be in your family. If the post should be agreeable to him and he be agreeable to you, I believe I should prefer him to any other." But Moylan and Palfrey received appointments as aids, though already much occupied with outside matters, — principally in connection with the commissary department — and Washington does not seem to have received the suggestion of Webb's name with enthusiasm. "You mention Mr. Webb in one of your letters as an assistant: he will be agreeable enough to


me, if you think him qualified for the business. What kind of a hand he writes I know not; I believe but a cramped one — latterly none at all, as he has either the gout or rheumatism in both. He is a man fond of company, of gaiety — and of a tender constitution; whether, therefore, such a person would answer your purpose so well as a plodding, methodical person, whose sole business should be to arrange his papers, &c., in such order as to produce any one at any instant it is called for, and capable, at the same time, of composing a letter, is what you have to consider. I can only add, that I have no one in view myself, and wish you success in your choice."

Whatever doubts Washington may have entertained of Webb's fitness must have been removed when he met Reed in Philadelphia late in May. For great changes were made in his family. Reed was made Adjutant-General, the successor to Gates; Moylan was appointed Quarter Master General, and in the General Orders issued June 21, 1776, Webb received the coveted office:

"The General has been pleased to appoint Richard Cary and Samuel B. Webb, Esquires, his aide-decamps, and Alexander Contee Harrison, Esq., assistant secretary, who are to be obeyed and regarded accordingly. The Honourable Continental Congress have been pleased to give the rank of Lieutenant-colonel to the aides-de-camp of the Commander-in-chief, and to his principal secretary."

Aaron Burr succeeded him as an aid to Putnam.


Webb at once removed to headquarters, and entered upon his new duties. Fortunately his journal for a few weeks of this service has been preserved, and in the notes we have given enough to show what an excellent position for schooling of experience the aid held. At headquarters, everything that was passing was known sooner or later; and it is greatly to be regretted that some one of the General's family besides Webb did not keep a daily record of events.

The duties of an aid were of an irksome nature, because of the enormous amount of detail that centred at headquarters. There was no lack of variety in the functions, and Webb was fortunate in being connected with an incident by no means lacking in interest. Washington, acting under the directions of Congress, had transmitted to General Howe a representation on recent transactions to the northward, which the British commander thought proper to answer in general terms, directing the answer to George Washington, Esq., &c., &c., &c., as the most unexceptionable mode of address. About three o'clock on the afternoon of July 14th, Washington was told that a flag from Lord Howe was coming up, and he convened his general officers, who advised him not to receive any letter addressed to him as a private gentleman. After this determination was taken, Reed and Webb went down to meet the flag, and about half way between Governor's and Staten Islands, they were offered a letter addressed merely to George Washington, Esq. Colonel Reed replied that no such person was known


in the army, and they could not receive a letter for the General under such a direction. This not a little disconcerted the bearer of the letter, Lieutenant Brown, of the Eagle, who showed a manifest desire to have the letter accepted, while disclaiming all knowledge of its contents. As Reed and Webb remained firm, the British officer turned his boat to return to his ship. After going some distance he returned, and asked under "What title General — but catching himself — Mr. Washington chose to be addressed?" Reed answered that his station was well known, and they could be at no loss how to direct to him.

Three days later, a second attempt was made to deliver the letter, and met by a like refusal. Then the anxiety of Howe to get his reply into Washington's hands induced him to alter the superscription, and in the new form it was sent on the 20th, by Colonel Patterson, Adjutant General. Again were Reed and Webb despatched to meet the flag, and when the British officer asked for his "Excellency General Washington," all obstacles were overcome, and a safe conduct given. Trivial as the circumstance may now appear, it was the proper step to insist upon. "I deemed it a duty to my country and my appointment," wrote Washington, "to insist upon that respect, which, in any other than a public view, I would willingly have waived," and Congress endorsed his position, asserting that he "had acted with a dignity becoming his station."

On the following day Col. Patterson was met by


Reed and Webb, and without being blindfolded was conducted by them to Knox's headquarters, where the interview was held. The meeting was conducted with great attention and politeness on both sides, and on refusing to partake of a collation prepared for him, the adjutant was again given into the charge of Reed and Webb, who conducted him to his boat, about four miles from the city. "Sociable and chatty all the way," was the aid's comment; and he made good use of his acquaintance by sending a letter to his sister giving an account of his visit to her house in Boston after the enemy had departed, and upbraiding her husband for doubting his wish and ability to secure his safety.

The labor at Headquarters necessarily increased with the near approach of action. Webb was much absent executing the orders of the general, and when not so engaged his time was fully occupied in clerical work. All the business of the different departments centered in Washington; and the extensive correspondence with Congress, the States, and the general officers constituted an almost intolerable burden. The energies of the officers were wasted in routine matters; it was like a merchandise of small wares, as General Greene happily expressed it. Early in August a detachment of the British army returned from its unsuccessful venture upon South Carolina, and with this addition to his strength, Howe determined the time for action had come. He had a force of about thirty thousand men, well trained and well commanded;


accustomed to service, and easily directed against a single object. It was with dismay that Washington took the numbers of his own force. Including the sick and well, he could count upon seventeen thousand two hundred men, scattered on New York, Governor's and Long Islands, and at Paulus Hook — scattered some fifteen miles apart. There could be only one issue; and the affair on Long Island determined the doubt, obliging Washington to withdraw from New York, and to occupy the Heights in Westchester, lest he should be cooped in on Manhattan Island.

The removal of the stores and baggage of the army was the labor of some days, and one of no little delicacy. To abandon suddenly a city where much time and money had been expended in works would be likely to dispirit the troops; yet the closing in of the enemy's forces made such a measure necessary. It was at Kingsbridge, a naturally strong post, a stand was to be made, and Webb was sent to that quarter to oversee the preparations for receiving the retreating army and caring for the stores. The larger force of the army was stationed at King's Bridge under General Heath, conveniently placed to act on the river or the Sound as circumstances might demand. In the confusion attending the removal, a spirit of plunder and burning of houses supervened; even the baggage of officers and the hospital stores were not exempt from rapine. Almost overwhelmed with the cares laid upon him, Washington depended much upon his aids, and turned to Congress for advice and assistance.

The need of a regular army became more pressing every day; the militia had proved an element of


weakness, not of strength, and by their want of courage, impatience and intractable disposition, by their refusal of almost every kind of restraint and government, infected the whole army with a disregard of necessary order and subordination, and obliged Washington to confess his want of confidence in the generality of the troops. "In short, it is not in the power of words to describe the task I have to act. Fifty thousand pounds should not induce me again to undergo what I have done." To add to his perplexity, the time was approaching when the term of the service of the greater part of the army was to expire, and there was little prospect that more than a trifling part would again engage on the encouragement offered by Congress. Few could accept the pay offered, and few of the officers could maintain appearances on their allowance. The general grade of officers was low, because of the little inducement offered to better talents; and General Greene did not hesitate to say the men were much better than the officers. At least enough should be paid to make them independent of any influence but that of the State they served, while more liberal bounties were required to ensure enlistments for a reasonable time. On every ground, a temporary army was to be condemned; and the reasons against such a body told strongly in favor of a permanent establishment.

In September, after repeated urging from Washington, Congress made a serious effort to augment the establishment and place it upon a surer basis. The new army was to be composed of eighty-eight battalions, and


the men were "to be enlisted to serve during the present war." Bounties of money and grants of lands were offered as inducements to enlist, and the appointment of the officers was left to the governments of the respective states. All commissions, however, were to be continental.

As Washington said, there was a "material difference between voting of battalions and raising of men;" and he foresaw difficulties in carrying into effect the resolution of Congress. It was not a proper time for making fruitless experiments, and the delay of a month might prove fatal to the cause. Under the new plan, the officer, underpaid and suffering from want, considering that he was conferring rather than receiving an obligation, would be compelled to negotiate a continuance in the army from his State, where local attachments and influence might defeat his desires. He might re-engage himself, yet see others, new appointments and ignorant of military service, promoted over him. The Commander-in-Chief had not an opportunity, even by recommendation, to give the least assurance of reward for the most essential services. To remove some of these obstacles Congress raised the pay of the officers, and committees were to be appointed in each State to proceed to camp to enlist men and promote such officers, "as have distinguished themselves for their abilities, activity and vigilance in the service, and especially for their attention to military discipline."

Meanwhile the raising of the quotas in the respective States proceeded slowly, but without increasing the available force under Washington; and the advance of


the British through New Jersey left little time for completing the arrangement of officers and men. The situation became more and more critical, and early in December the Commander-in-Chief proved how almost ruinous the military policy had been, and gave it as his opinion an even larger standing army should be raised than had been voted. Ten days later, having fully considered the matter, he was "more and more convinced, not only of the propriety, but of the necessity of the measure," and on the 20th he asked that the number of battalions be raised from eighty-eight to one hundred and ten. This recommendation led to the following resolution in Congress:

"This Congress, having maturely considered the present crisis, and having perfect reliance on the wisdom, vigour, and uprightness of General Washington; do hereby

"Resolve, That General Washington shall be, and he is hereby vested with full, ample, and complete powers to raise and collect together in the most speedy and effectual manner, from any or all of these United States, sixteen battalions of infantry in addition to those already voted by Congress; to appoint officers for the said battalions."

It was under this resolve that Webb received a commission as Colonel, and was sent into Connecticut to recruit his men. In January ten of the Colonels were named: Nathaniel Gist, John Patton, William Grayson, Thomas Hartley, Samuel B. Webb, David Henley, Ezekiel Cornell, Henry Sherburne, Alexander Scammell, and Henry Jackson. Before leaving camp, he


could inform his correspondents of the Trenton stroke, at which he was present.

In the letter from Nathaniel Shaler, (Vol. I, p. 170) he speaks of Lieutenant-Colonel Webb's recovery "after a long and daingerous fit of sickness, that threatened to deprive me of one of those friends which are dearest to me in Life." This doubtless refers to a wound received by Webb in one of the skirmishes in Westchester county. That he was absent from Headquarters in October may be seen by the drafts of Washington's correspondence, few being in Webb's script. The exact time of his absence I am unable to determine, nor have I discovered when the wound was received. In a letter from Henry L. Webb to James Watson Webb, dated 23 January, 1839, is found a mention of this accident. "During the time he was aid to Gen'l Washington was fought the battle of White Plains. At the commencement of the action he was directed to carry orders to one of the wings. A British captain with 27 men saw him going, and to prevent him reaching his destination, all fired at him. 7 balls passed through his horse, one through the calf of his right leg, by which he lost the whole calf." The affair at White Plains did not occur till October 28, or seven days after the Shaler letter. It is probable, therefore, the young aid was doubly unfortunate in enduring a long illness and a serious wound.



As soon as Webb attempted to enlist his men, he encountered an unforeseen and very serious obstacle. Under the first arrangements made by Congress, Connecticut was to raise eight regiments, and as an encouragement to the men, a bounty of twenty dollars was allotted to each recruit. The same bounty was voted to those recruits who should enter the "additional regiments," some of which, or nearly one-half the total number, had been allotted to gentlemen of New England. Had these arrangements been unchanged, little difficulty would have remained to be overcome; but the States most interested, Connecticut and Massachusetts, had offered an additional bounty of thirty-three and a-third dollars to each recruit, a bounty that was to be paid to those men only who should enter the line of the State. It was impossible, therefore, for the colonels of the "additional regiments," who could pay only twenty dollars bounty, to obtain men in competition with a bounty of more than fifty-three dollars. Unfortunately the Assembly had adjourned, and the Governor was powerless to afford relief. A delay of nearly three months occurred, before this anomalous situation was remedied — a delay that threatened to affect disadvantageously the standing of the colonels from New England. Forin the Southern colonies, where the plan of Congress had not been interfered with, the regiments were filling rapidly, and on taking the field,


would outrank the battalions that entered service at a latter day.

Colonel Webb chafed under this situation, which reduce him to idleness. He appealed to Governor Trumbull, who pointed out that he could not set aside the action of the Assembly. He urged General Washing to interfere, and at least to request the Governor to advance the extra bounty to recruits in the additional regiments; but the General replied that he could not do that, without promoting a proceeding which he knew to be mischievous. "I am pursuaded" he added, "no exertions on your part will be wanted, to make up your Regiment; perhaps industry and perseverance will get the better of the Obstacle you mention, tho; I not very sanguine in my expectation that they will." Nothing could be done, for the bounty was not the only difficulty. "Many difficulties intervene to retard the recruiting service, many of your officers declining, and many embarrassments about appointing and arranging of them, a number yet in captivity, sufficient money not received to pay the premiums not any clothing sent to be delivered out, nor advice how or where it is to be had, which is an essential disadvantage, — the very sight of it would be a great stimulus to our fatigued and almost naked soldiers. I understand there is now lodged in this State clothing for two


battalions, of scarlet turned up with blue and buff, part of a capture brought into Dartmouth in Massachusetts, — it is said peculiarly thick and strong, and lined, being designed for Canada. Colonel [Samuel B.] Webb, lately appointed by you, I hear has orders for enough to clothe his regiment, and has taken or is taking it of them. I find they are esteemed more valuable than any others that are expected to be obtained, and fear it will be a ground of contention. I wish to know whether any methods will be taken to make an equality in value of clothes among them, and how the rest are to be supplied. . . The small-pox is spreading in many towns, communicated by our cruel enemies to the prisoners they have lately sent out, and by them through the country, — which is an additional delay to the recruiting service."

A further difficulty lay in the little prejudice that was shown toward so young officers as were appointed to the additional regiment. The maturity of judgment and capacity for controlling a body of men had not been directly proven in the case of Colonel Webb, and the recruiting officers under him; and this gave rise to doubts upon their military ability. His courage had been well tested at Bunker Hill; but courage alone does not make a good commander. This prejudice was sufficient to partly neutralize what influence the young colonel might have enjoyed from his social position, and was more than enough to bring suspicion upon any one engaged in the recruiting service. For


the conduct of some of these men brought discredit upon their associates and did much to disincline recruits from coming forward. So open and flagrant were the abuses that rumors of them at length reached the ears of the commander in chief, who administered a rebuke. "I have but too much reason to believe," he wrote to Brigadier-General Parsons, "that dissipation in some, and the comfortable enjoyment of domestick pleasures in others, have had an unhappy influence upon the conduct of recruiting officers;" and he urged the necessity of every officer exerting himself to bring forward the new levies.

In one respect Congress and not the recruiting officers was at fault. The long delay in framing an establishment prevented so early an appointment of officers as would ensure a proper collection, delivery and training of men. The various offers held out by state and recruiting officer, and the little attention paid to accounting, invited fraud. Officers would report an enlistment, pocket the bounty, and soon after report a desertion. Men loitered in taverns, running from officer to officer, receiving the bounty over and over again. Clearly the only safeguard against such practices was to get the men into actual service, where they could be employed. The necessities for a greater force imposed such a step. To Governor Trumbull Washington wrote, 6 March, 1777:

"I am persuaded, from the readiness with which you have ever complied with all my demands, that you will exert yourself, in forwarding the aforesaid number of men, upon my bare request. But I hope you will be convinced of the necessity of the demand, when I tell


you in confidence, that, after the 15th of this month, when thetime of General Lincoln's militia expires, I shall be left with the remains of five Virginia regiments, not amounting to more than as many hundred men, and parts of two or three other Continental batallions, all very weak.The remainder of the army will be composed of small parties of militia from this State and Pennsylvania, on which little dependence can beput, as they come and go when they please.I have issued peremptory orders to every colonel in the regular service, to send in what men he has recruited, even if they amount tobut one hundred to a regiment. If they would do this, it would make a considerable force upon the whole.The enemy must be ignorant of our numbers and situation, or they wouldnever sufferus to remain unmolested; and I almost tax myself with imprudence, in committing the secret to paper."

The results of this urgent call did not answer his expectations. To Congress he made his complaint: —

"Sorry I am to observe the militia have got tired. And that the Colonels of the Continental regiments have been greatly deceived themselves — have greatly deceived me, or the most unheard of Desertions, or most scandalous peculations have prevailed among the Officers who have been employed in recruiting. For Regiments reported two or three months ago to be half completed, are upon the Colonels being called upon in positive Terms for a just State of them, found to contain less than one hundred men, and this not the Case of a single Regiment only, but of many. In Connecticut alone, by a letter from Genl. Parsons of the 6th instant, four Regiments are mentioned as not having more than Eighty Rank and File each.


"These Sir, are melancholy Truths but Facts they are, and necessary to be known to Congress, however prudent it may be to conceal them from the observation of others."

From this general censure Webb did not escape, but he was able to prove there had been no remissness on his part. As evidence of his activity may be given a letter, received too late for insertion in its regular order.

WETHERSFIELD, March 10, 1777.


Your letter of the 13th Instant came to hand Pr. Post together with the Cloath wh. will be done seasonably to forward you by the next weeks Post, at least the Taylor promises it. Every man you enlist that has a Gun, let him bring it by all means, those that are not good I will endeavor to exchange, and those that are shall be paid. Accoutraments such as they have will not be amiss, — I have no objections to your enlisting a few likely Indians provided they are Men which will not desert, get drunk, &c. — Our faceings & underdress is white — I can procure white cloath to face your Coat but you must look out for Waistecoat & Breeches — Linnen will do for the Summer, but its necessary to have one set of Cloth, — I had always supposed and still do that you have a right to enlist any men from the service of the State into that of the Continent, however I will make further enquiry into the matter, — there is some mistake in the Buttons, only the pack of Coat came to hand, — if any more to be had you will be kind enough to purchase them — with my most Respectful Compliments to yr. Father, family & friends

I am Sir Yrs. &c

P. S. on second tho't I should rather have no Indians.

Early in March, the Council of Safety of Connecticut extended the extra bounty to recruits in the


additional regiment, thus removing one of the most serious obstacles to obtaining men. To the end, the other difficulties remained active, and it was despite of them that the regiment was slowly formed. At the end of the first week in March, eighty men had been obtained; one month later, the returns gave one hundred and thirty; and at the beginning of May, the total reached was two hundred. The urgency was great, and in March imperative orders were issued to send forward all who had been enlisted, an order that fell more heavily upon Webb than upon others, as he had been met by so many obstacles that few men had been obtained and put through the first stage of inlistment — the small pox. Clothing and arms also must be obtained, and the latter were as difficult to get as ready money. As to clothing, the contents of a British vessel supplied what was needed, and being regimentals intended for the English, proved of utility in some later affairs, where it was convenient to deceive the enemy in manoeuvring. The opening of the campaign found the battalion incomplete, and with little equipment for active service; yet Washington urged its colonel to bring on what number he could, and sincerely wished to have him at camp. In obedience to the summons Webb sent on his men to Peekskill as rapidly as circumstances would allow, and early in July took command in person.

One incident of a disagreeable nature arose from a misunderstanding. The patience of Washington, long tried by the neglect and carelessness of recruiting officers, and harassed by the cares of a campaign for which his army was little prepared, nearly broke down,


and showed the strain in a series of letters on abuses brought to his attention. It was not to be expected that Webb should escape the general censure, as allowance could not be made at Headquarters for the special difficulties of his position. The long recruiting period, and the comparatively meagre results, due to the "languor" that had seized upon almost all ranks of the people, contrasted strongly with the constantly increasing necessity for an army in the field. The unprepared condition of such as did enter the service made heavy drafts upon the limited supply of clothing and arms, and made a careful distribution imperative, if the whole force was to be equipped. In January, Colonel Webb was given an order for "sufficient to cloath one regiment;" but orders for clothing for other regiments were directed to him, and the material drawn in his name. When Washington happened to see the aggregate of those orders, all apparently for a force of about two hundred men, he wrote an indignant letter to Webb, demanding an explanation. The confusion was satisfactorily explained, and the confidence of the commander in his former aid restored; while his immediate superior, Major-General Parsons, wrote in the highest praise of Webb's efforts and good services in recruiting and training his regiment.

Attached to Parsons' command, Colonel Webb was stationed in the Highlands, now one of the most important points to be defended. At the opening of the campaign of 1777, the movements of the British gave Washington a double anxiety. The plans of the


enemy were so shrouded in mystery that the end to be attained could not be recognized. Washington could only believe that they had some "capital object" in view; but whether it was Philadelphia or the Hudson he could not say. Till their designs were unfolded he was obliged to mass his troops so as to offer the best protection to the points threatened. All the troops raised south of New York were assembled at Morristown to shadow Philadelphia; and such as were raised in the Eastern States and New York, were sent to Ticonderoga to oppose Burgoyne, or to Peekskill to defend the passes of the Highlands.

In May the American general believed that it was the forts on the Hudson which were in the greatest danger, and he urged McDougall to strengthen Fort Montgomery, sending Arnold, just promoted to a Major-General, to command and assist at this work. Generals Greene and Knox were also instructed to examine into the condition of these forts, and with Governor Clinton and General Wayne they made their tour of inspection, and reported to the General. They recommended that a boom or chain should be stretched across the river at Fort Montgomery, and that ships and row-galleys should be so placed above this obstruction, as to be able to annoy a hostile approach. Conceiving the important point of defence to be on the river side, they sought to make that as strong as possible, depending upon the "exceeding difficulty" of the passes to prevent the operations of an enemy by land — an opinion to be corrected by experience.


Arnold was at this time too much ruffled by the action of Congress in making him an officer junior to those he had commanded; and declining the call to the Hudson, went to Philadelphia, to secure a vindication from Congress. Deeming that the Hudson required a Major-General, Washington directed Putnam to go to Peekskill, and assume command. "You are well acquainted with the old gentleman's temper," he wrote to McDougall; "he is active, disinterested, and open to conviction, and I therefore hope, that, by affording him the advice and assistance, which your knowledge of the post enables you to do, you will be very happy in your command under him." At the same time he ordered General Parsons to Peekskill, to continue there until some new disposition was made. His apprehensions occur in almost every letter, for his own army was weak, and the force at Peekskill was less than four hundred Continental troops, with some militia — a force not only inadequate to defend the posts in case of an attack, but liable to be reduced to almost nothing by pressing calls from the north. In addition to these complications, Governor Trumbull wished to detain some of the troops in Connecticut — a policy that must have invited destruction.

When the British General did begin his operations, he only added to the perplexity of Washington. On the 13th of June Howe sent a part of his force from Brunswick, marched it eight or nine miles and stopped at Somerset Court House. Finding that the English were now in the Jerseys, and in such a position that


they could not retrace their steps without some previous notice, Washington ordered Putnam to send down all the Continental troops then at Peekskill, save one thousand men — which with the militia would form a force superior to any the enemy then had in New York or its dependencies, and sufficient to prevent any surprise. The main thing was to collect a force sufficient to oppose a blow directed against the army, to obstruct the passage of the Delaware, and, if possible, to prevent the capture of Philadelphia, an event which had assumed an importance greater than it deserved. And while preparing to meet the expected attack, Washington was surprised to learn that on the 18th, Howe had decamped with some precipitation, and returned to his former position, plundering and burning as he retreated. What could such a step mean, as the fortifications begun at Somerset would imply some settled plan of operation? It was either to make an attempt on the right of the American army, or to induce the American commander to draw off the troops from Peekskill, and so allow a move to the northward; or to manoeuver him out of his position, and advance upon Philadelphia. Yet the retreat seemed to abandon all of these projects.

In this perplexity Washington received the first definite information of the intended movement of the British under Burgoyne from Canada. This laid a serious responsibility upon him, as together with Congress, he had not considered such a manoeuver as likely to happen. The danger to be expected from that direction was supposed to lie in the sending of reinforcements by water to New York. Hence little


preparation had been made to meet an incursion by land, and the forts and passes were neglected and ill provided to encounter an invading army. On the first intelligence Washington ordered Putnam to hold four Massachusetts Regiments (Nixon's Brigade) ready to be sent up the river at a moment's warning, believing that Ticonderoga and the militia could hold the enemy in check till further assistance could arrive. McDougall and Glover were ordered to halt if far from Peekskill, or to return to it if they were near to it. Two days passed, and the British evacuated Brunswick and retired to Amboy, leading Washington to hope that he might drive them from the Jerseys, as he believed that the enemy had "absolutely gone off panic struck." In fact the British sent their baggage and stores to Staten Island, making a show of an offensive by a rapid march towards the American left — little more in effect than a plundering expedition.

It was at this juncture that the posts on the Highlands loomed up in importance. Burgoyne began to operate against Ticonderoga and its dependencies, and at New York everything pointed to an expedition by water. What serious purpose could Howe entertain, unless it was a sudden move upon passes of the Highlands, so as to obtain possession of them before Washington could unite his force with the troops already there? Once holding these passes, a junction with Burgoyne would be a simple matter, and the united forces, dividing the New England from the States to the west and south, could crush any army that could be brought against it. It was essential to prevent this junction, and this could be done only by preserving the


command of the river. In hot haste Putnam was instructed (1 July) to pursue the "most speedy and effectual measures to obtain a respectable reinforcement of the neighboring militia." The brigades of Parsons and Varnum were to march to Peekskill, and the four Massachusetts regiments were then free to go to Albany. The main army moved to Morristown, so as to be more conveniently placed for succoring Peekskill should occasion arise, and Sullivan was well advanced in that direction for any emergency.

It was Howe, in New York, who made it so difficult for Washington to come upon a determined move. To go to the Hudson would leave the road to Philadelphia open to the invader. To remain where he was, at Middletown, exposed the Highlands to a degree greater than could be wished. The enemy with their fleet could practice deceptions that would easily involve their opponent in serious error and misconception of their purpose. Yet the one consistent plan to be pursued was an attempt to unite with Burgoyne, and the apparent neglect to carry out this plan, reduced the American commander to a position as delicate as it was perplexing. From deserters the information pointed to preparations on a much greater scale than would be required in an expedition up the river; but whether against the Eastern States or against Philadelphia could not be discovered. Further, Burgoyne's movements might be only a blind, to divert the attention of the Americans while a large force was sent by water to New York. Prudence recommended the Americans to be on their guard everywhere, for an attack might be made in many quarters, and in any one serious results


follow a rebuff. It was when thus balanced in uncertainty that intelligence of the evacuation of Ticonderoga was received. The unexpected had happened, and rumors of treachery came with a directness that made them all the more discouraging.

Colonel Webb arrived at Peekskill on the same day as the intelligence of St. Clair's evacuation of Ticonderoga. His regiment attached to General Varnum's brigade encamped with the Rhode Island levies, and the days passed in discipline and social intercourse, under increasing anxieties. The colonel was intimate at Headquarters; "Drank coffee with Genl. Putnam, who informs me General Washington is on his march for this place [Peekskill] within thirty miles of the river." He knew the intelligence that passed up and down the North River, through Putnam's hands. On July 22d he moved his position nearer to Fishkill, encamping on a very high stony hill, and dined with the General. Two days later he rode with the General to the house of the tory Beverley Robinson, and drank tea there with the daughters of Robinson, who have been suspected of drawing important information from the American commander of the post, and of inducing him to show special favor to loyalists of the region. David Humphreys, then a brigade-major, later an aid to Washington, and a poet of some estimation, accompanied him in his tours of inspection or social activity. Orders came in rapid succession from the main army, according as doubts arose or were solved, and the diary of the Colonel mirrors the intelligence and manoeuvers. As August advanced, rumors of activity increased, and more definite accounts were received


from above as well as from below the Highland posts; yet little showed any determined plan of co-operation between Burgoyne and Clinton. On the 10th of August a court-martial sat with Colonel Webb as president, to discipline officers and soldiers who had offended against the rules of camp order. The court sat until three o'clock in the afternoon; but later "Gen'l Putnam spent a couple of hours with me at my Marque over a social glass of wine." Three days later General Gates passed through the encampment, on his way to take the command of the northern army, a command that enabled him to reap the laurels belonging to another, and yet proved his ruin. Then comes a long gap in Colonel Webb's record, broken only by an entry "Camp at the White Plains, 22 September, 1777." It is from other sources the events of the interval must be collected.

The occupation of Long Island by the British, and the quantities of stores, forage and army supplies of every description collected there, offered a tempting object for raids from Connecticut. These expeditions, generally hardly rising above a marauding attempt, were made in light sailing vessels, or in whale boats, which could easily cross the sound, and be readily concealed on the shore. The unfortunate people of Long Island were between the upper and lower grindstones. Their live stock and grain were subject to impressment by the British; they were defenceless against the predatory incursions from the Connecticut shore; and when they "allowed" the Connecticut excursionists to drive off their cattle or loot their homes, they were visited with severe punishment from the Royal officers,


as sympathizers with the rebels. Not all of the expeditions against the British were authorized or undertaken for objects other than military; and the formation of a loyal company, the deposit of military stores, or the exposed position of a commander, would invite a daring venture to cripple or injure the enemy by destroying their stores, capturing their leaders, and scattering their troops, ere they became compact and formidable through discipline. Of such a nature was the exploit of Lieutenant-Colonel Meigs in May, 1777, which destroyed much forage and shipping, took upwards of ninety prisoners, and returned to Connecticut without the loss of a man.

Of all the posts on Long Island exposed to attack, Setauket offered the readiest opening for effective action. The recruits for the British provincial corps were often stationed there and, new to service, were easy prey to a bold dash. It formed one of the outposts of the English lines, and being of strategical importance, was defended by a regiment under the command of Colonel Hewlett. Late in August, 1777, General Parsons landed five hundred men, and some pieces of brass cannon. He demanded the immediate surrender of the post; but meeting with a spirited refusal, was obliged to withdraw from Long Island after a sharp cannonade. Colonel Webb accompanied this expedition, and states that its object was defeated by the enemy's obtaining intelligence of the intended surprise.


When Putnam was in command of the Highlands, he had formed a plan (September, 1777), for making a general attack upon the British at Staten Island, Paulus Hook, New York and Long Island, and had received encouragement and promise of assistance from Governor Trumbull. He expected to secure cooperation from New York and New Jersey. He had obtained through his spies intelligence of the force and distribution of the enemy, and a direction from Congress appeared to give support to his intention. For Governor Livingston had given information of the enemy's collecting on Staten Island, and had expressed fears of an irruption from that centre. Congress directed Putnam to hold in readiness a force, under the command of a Brigadier, to cross the North River, whenever Washington should so direct.

The events of Brandywine and operations near Philadelphia, and the failure of the levies in Pennsylvania and Delaware, compelled Washington to call upon Putnam for all the troops he could spare — naming twenty-five hundred as necessary. "I must urge you, by every motive, to send on this Detachment without the least possible delay. No considerations are to prevent it. It is our first object to defeat, if possible, the army now opposed to us. That the passes in the Highlands may be perfectly secure, you will


immediately call in all your forces now on command at outposts. You must not think of covering a whole country by dividing 'em; and when they are ordered in and drawn together, they will be fully competent to repel any attempt, that can be made by the enemy from below in their present situation. Besides, if you are threatened with an Attack, you must get what aid you can from the militia. . . . That you may not hesitate about complying with this order, you are to consider it as peremptory and not to be dispensed with."

Such an order would override any direction from Congress, and Putnam was obliged to lay aside his own plans, and detach the flower of his force, under McDougall, to aid Washington. In this weak condition, he learned that a strong body of British were advancing up the river. On October 4th they were at Tarrytown; on the 5th they landed, in a very foggy morning, near King's Ferry, and while Putnam and Parsons were reconnoitring to discover their intentions, they unexpectedly attacked Fort Montgomery. Before any assistance could be sent across the river, the fort had fallen, and it was determined that, as Peekskill could not be held, the stores should be removed and the American troops take post at Fishkill. From this place Putnam sent an account of the movement to Washington, and could not refrain from adding a rebuke, and a prophecy: "I have repeatedly informed your Excellency of the enemy's design against this post; but, from some motive or other, you always differed with me in opinion. As this conjecture of mine has for


once proved right, I cannot omit informing you that my real and sincere opinion is, that they now mean to join General Burgoyne, with the utmost despatch."

At this time Putnam had but a single Continental brigade at his command. This was Parsons' brigade, consisting of three regiments of the Connecticut line, Colonel Wyllys's, Colonel Charles Webb's, and Colonel Return J. Meigs's; together with the "additional" regiments commanded by Colonel Samuel B. Webb and Colonel Henry Sherburne. This entire force did not exceed twelve hundred men fit for duty, and there were barely three hundred militia in camp. General Parsons was sent into Connecticut to hurry forward the militia and new levies, and Governor Clinton in New York sought every possible addition to his strength. The situation was a most serious one for the American cause. For the reduction of the forts on the Hudson would allow a junction of the armies under Clinton and Burgoyne, and involve the easy destruction of Gates's army. "The success of the present attempt upon Peekskill may, in its consequences, entirely change the face of our northern affairs, and throw them into a very disagreeable and unfavorable train." The surrender of Burgoyne removed the immediate prospect of such a catastrophe, the Connecticut forces came into Putnam's camp in so great numbers that on October 13th General Parsons was detached with about two thousand men to again take possession of Peekskill and the passes of the Highlands, and still two thousand men, chiefly militia, remained under him. He felt so strong


that he again took up the project of attacking the British at King's Bridge.

It is uncertain how far the ambitions of Putnam in this were allowed to interfere with his duty to the commander in chief. The reluctance of Gates to part with any of his force, and his delays in sending what had been directed by Washington to be sent on, rendered necessary the mission of Hamilton to Gates, — an important incident in the growth of the "cabal" against the commander-in-chief. Upon reaching Peekskill on November 2d, Hamilton found that Putnam had already held a council of war, and decided what should be done with the portion of Gates's army then on its way to his post. Poor's, Warner's, Learned's and Paterson's brigades, Colonel Van Shaick's regiment, and Morgan's riflemen, amounting to five thousand seven hundred men, were on their march to Peekskill. Such an addition would make Putnam's command more than nine thousand men, exclusive of Morgan's corps, the artillery men, and the militia from New York and Connecticut. Gates intended to retain at Albany at least two brigades of the Connecticut troops, and such was his warmth in opposing Hamilton's suggestion that they be sent forward, that the latter thought it best not to insist upon it, in view of the extraordinary credit Gates had gained by the surrender of Burgoyne.

So what troops were sent forward, were to pass through Peekskill; and Putnam called a council of his officers to determine what disposition should be made of them. Four thousand men were to move down the west side of the Hudson and take post near Haverstraw; one thousand should be retained in the Highlands


to guard the country and repair the works; and the remainder should march down on the east side of the river towards King's Bridge, except Morgan's corps, which was ordered immediately to join the commander in chief. The ostensible object of this disposition of force was to cause a diversion of the enemy in New York, and prevent a reinforcement from being sent to General Howe. The real purpose was undoubtedly an attack upon the British lines of New York, and for this Putnam had been preparing for months. His scheme was endorsed by others. "I would by no means presume to dictate to your Excellency," wrote Major-General Philemon Dickinson to Washington on the first of November, "but beg have just to hint, that, if an order was given to Generals Gates and Putnam, to raise a number of militia, and make an attack upon Long Island and New York; and myself, with what militia I could collect from this part of the State, to make a descent upon Staten Island, all at the same time, — whether it would not answer a valuable purpose, although we should not all succeed. I have reason to believe it is an order that would be obeyed with great readiness; the sooner the better, if it meets your Excellency's approbation." And even Washington thought the project a good one, though keeping in mind that the destruction of Howe at Philadelphia would be a severer blow than the capture of New York. He considered the Putnam movement as one useful to prevent any reinforcements for Howe. "Your idea of counteracting the intended reinforcements for Mr. Howe's army, by a demonstration of designs upon New York, I think an exceeding good one, and I am very


desirous that you should improve and mature it for immediate execution. A great show of preparations on your side, boats collected, troops assembled, your expectation of the approach of Generals Gates and Putnam intrusted as a secret to persons, who you are sure will divulge and disseminate it in New York; in a word, such measures taken for effectually striking an alarm in that city, as it is altogether unnecessary for me minutely to describe to you, I am in great hopes may effect the valuable purpose which you expect." The commander in chief himself took measures to work upon the apprehensions of the enemy, playing a game of "bluff." In your next letter for the British camp, he wrote on November 4th to Major John Clark, Jr., "I'd have you mention that Gen'l Gates, now having nothing to do to the northward, is sending down a very handsome reinforcement of continental troops to this army, whilst he, with the remainder of them and all the New England and York militia, is to make an immediate descent on New York, the reduction of which is confidently spoke of, as it is generally supposed that a large part of Clinton's troops are detach'd to the assistance of Gen'l Howe, and that Genl. Dickinson is at the same time to attack Staten Island, for which purpose he is assembling great numbers of the Jersey militia; that the received opinion in our camp is that we will immediately attack Philadelphia on the arrival of the troops from the northward."

Putnam's council was held on October 31st. On November the 2d, Hamilton reached Peekskill, and


gave directions for the speedy dispatch of two of the continental brigades and some militia to Washington's camp, thus materially ruining Putnam's prospect. At Albany, the attitude of Gates led Hamilton to send to Putnam for one thousand men in addition to what had already been granted. Putnam hesitated. "This will leave me with about three hundred continental troops, and no militia except those whose times are out the first of December, to cover all this distressed country. I do not think I can justify myself in this, without first acquainting you; and, if I then have your Excellency's orders, I will with pleasure, immediately and promptly comply with them." In the meantime he made a feint toward White Plains, to check a rumored despatch from New York of six thousand men to strengthen Howe.

That Putnam was fully possessed with his idea on attacking New York was discovered by Hamilton, who reported it to Washington from New Windsor on November 7th. "I am pained beyond expression to inform your Excellency that on my arrival here I find everything has been neglected and deranged by General Putnam. . . Colonel Warner's militia, I am told, have been drawn to Peekskill to aid in an expedition against New York, which, it seems, is at this time the hobby-horse with General Putnam. Not the least attention has been paid to my order in your name for a detachment of one thousand men from the troops hitherto stationed at this post. Everything is sacrificed to the whim of taking New York." And he sent


an order "in the most emphatic terms" for Putnam to despatch immediately all the continental troops in his command. "My opinion is that the only present use for troops in this quarter is to protect the country from the depredations of little plundering parties, and for carrying on the works necessary for the defence of the river. Nothing more ought to be thought of. 'Tis only wasting time and misapplying men to employ them in a suicidal parade against New York, for in this it will undoubtedly terminate. New York is no object if it could be taken, and to take it would require more men than could be spared from more substantial purposes. Governor Clinton's ideas coincide with mine. He thinks there is no need of more Continental troops here than a few to give a spur to the militia in working upon fortifications."

Washington wrote urgently on the 9th that Warner's militia should not be sent to him, but be retained to carry on the proposed works on the Hudson; while Hamilton's orders, at once ratified by Washington, deprived Putnam of his real strength, and reduced him to confine his exertions to constructing fortifications and planning little incursions upon the enemy's outposts. Even with every man from the Hudson, Washington's force would still be inferior in numbers to Howe's army, for New York had been stripped almost bare, and the rumors of an intended attack by Putnam were sufficient to produce a panic. The public papers were filled with addresses to the citizens, and no effort was spared to excite them to defend the city.

From General Parson's brigade, Wyllys' and Miegs's regiments were retained by Putnam; and Col. Charles


Webb's regiment was sent forward to the general army. Had the reinforcements from the northward reached Washington ten days before they did, Fort Mifflin might have been saved, and Philadelphia rendered ineligible for British occupation. While it is questioned whether Putnam's backwardness was anything more than an error caused by his own ambitious views rather than to Gates's influence, the event was unfortunate. But the blame should rest entirely with him, and not with his subordinate officers, of whom Colonel Webb was one.

Of Webb's movements on the Hudson, his journals and the letters printed in these volumes give a full detail. Disappointed in his Jersey venture, the British general planned a marauding expedition up the river, and found it an easy and safe task to pass the American works, planned with so much care. Fort Montgomery fell after a short struggle, and Fort Independence was taken possession of without opposition. Had Clinton really designed to join Burgoyne, these exploits would have given him a fair opportunity, as only Putnam's ill-conditioned force was between the two armies. He had delayed moving toward Albany so long, as to have given Schuyler time to lay the trap for taking Burgoyne; but ignorant of what was occurring at the northward, he continued his sail, and approached the Highland posts where Putnam was encamped. This Hudson expedition of Clinton gave to Thackeray his meeting of the Warrington brothers in the Virginians. On the night of the attack upon Fort Montgomery Governor Clinton, who had barely escaped capture in the retreat, waited on Putnam at


the continental village, to consult on the measures proper to be taken. A council of officers was called, Colonel Webb being a member, and it was agreed that Putnam should retire to a very defensible pass in the mountains, about three miles from Fish Kills, where he could await the arrival of the New England militia. To Clinton was assigned the west side of the river, and a continental regiment was assigned to him to assist in defending the chevaux-de-frise. Should the British move up the river, both of the continental divisions were to keep pace with them, and cover the country in case of an attempt to land.

In pursuance of this decision, Colonel Webb, with his regiment, was ordered to cross the river, and report to Governor Clinton. He was at New Windsor on the 8th, and the following day marched to Little Britain, about four miles from the river, where a move to Kingston was intended, as soon as the enemy should advance. Here occurred one of the dramatic incidents of the war — the taking of the messenger from Clinton to Burgoyne with the silver bullet. Daniel Taylor was sent by Clinton from Fort Montgomery, to carry a message of promise to Burgoyne. That the British were kept so well informed of the intentions and movements of the Americans is good evidence of a carefully organized intelligence department. Hardly an expedition was planned in the continental camp, without becoming speedily known in all essential details, to the enemy. The ease with which the most secret information was obtained by Sir Henry Clinton depended upon his supply of ready money, something that Washington could obtain only with difficulty. It was simple


to buy with gold the services of spies and correspondents; but almost impossible to command them with paper promises. Taylor was a native of New York, and one of the many who sold himself to the British in the dangerous occupation of a spy.

He had not proceeded far on his journey, when he became confused, and at fault on the proper road. Seeing a picket guard of redcoats, he approached and asked where General Clinton's quarters could be found. It was a strange combination of circumstances that led to his capture. The red coats were British, it is true; but were worn by Webb's men, a share of the cargo of a prize vessel. Deceived by the regimentals, Taylor believed himself among friends when told that the picket were of General Clinton's command. He demanded to be taken to the General's tent, and when too late, discovered it was the American and not the British general of the name, he was meeting.

In the tent it was noticed that Taylor hastily swallowed something. This incident, and his shifty and indefinite answers to questions, gave rise to a suspicion of his being in the country for an improper purpose. It was proposed to doctor him, and after two experiences a silver bullet was obtained, oval in form, and shut with a screw in the middle. Inside was a message from Clinton to Burgoyne, stating that nothing was now between them but Gates, and hoping that intelligence would facilitate his (Burgoyne's) operations. Colonel Webb's men had made the capture of Taylor;


and it was Colonel Webb who wrote all the letters to Washington and Gates announcing the fortunate incident. Taylor was hung as a spy at Hurley, on the 18th.

For nearly a week Clinton's force remained at Little Britain, watching the English. Strong guards were placed along the river to give the alarm should the fleet move; but the army remained collected at one point to act effectively on any threatened town. Kingston was believed to be the object of the enemy, and the position and importance of that place made it as easy to attack as it was difficult to defend. On the 15th word was brought of the sailing of the British fleet of thirty vessels up the river, and Clinton at once began to move towards Kingston. With too small a force to resist an attack, he could at best hope only to annoy them in case they landed a force anywhere on the river. Colonel Webb's regiment formed the strongest element of the little army, and was urged forward, the militia regiments being left as a guard along the river. Webb received his orders and was in motion by three o'clock on the day the intelligence was received. To avoid crossing the Paltz river, he went within two miles of Shawangunk, where he encamped for the night. On the following morning he set out at reveille, and after marching for two miles, was met by the welcome news of Burgoyne's surrender. It is a cool entry noting the event in his journal — "agreeable intelligence." To offset this inspiriting message of good fortune, he received orders from Governor Clinton to hasten his march to Kingston, as the enemy was before that place, and preparing to


land. "You will see the necessity of this measure, and lose no time," was the urgent plea. The march was rapid, and too rapid to leave the troops in any condition to fight should there have been an opportunity. "The orders were strictly complied with by marching at the rate of 4 miles an hour, but unfortunately for us the Enemy landed when we were about 6 Miles of the Town and Burnt every house, Barn &c. — This Savage kind of War, destroying defenceless Towns, and making War against Women and children seems peculiar to Britons and Savages."

The evening of the 16th was spent at Marble Town, eight miles from Kingston; and on the next morning Hurley was reached, a place within three miles from Kingston, where the enemy remained, burning and pillaging all property within their reach, but not landing where they could be met by Clinton's force. With all Ulster County to protect, and with an army of less than one thousand men, Clinton could only await events at Hurley, and appeal to Gates for assistance. Another week was thus passed without any action on the part of the Americans, and with little on that of the English, save a move down the river on the 23d. The tedium of this picket duty was relieved by social meetings. Colonel Webb accompanied Governor Clinton and Gouverneur Morris on their visits to the leading inhabitants; and even gave a tea to some who had entertained him — the Elmendorphs and Ten Eycks. A band of music was an additional feature to such social gatherings.

When the enemy moved down the river, there was nothing to do but follow them. Gates had proved


deaf to all requests for ample and immediate assistance, though it would have involved no risk, and possibly great advantage, to have defeated the British on the Hudson. He had in view his own importance, an independent command, and eventually the command of the whole army. He promised an adequate reinforcement, but never sent it; he sympathized with the situation and intentions of Putnam and Clinton, but gave no real assistance to them; and he almost changed the capture of Burgoyne's army into a defeat, by giving the enemy such concessions as later induced Congress to violate the Convention, break faith with the English, and so had an important effect on Webb's experience as a prisoner of war.

On the 24th Clinton crossed the river intending to meet Putnam, and consult with him on his future movements. Disappointed in this, as Putnam had moved to the southward, he sent orders to Colonel Webb to return to New Windsor. On Sunday at noon, the army took up its march; while Webb crossed the river and rode to Rhinebeck. Thence by slow stages he went to Fishkill, where Putnam had returned and was engaged in rebuilding Fort Clinton, destroyed by the British. A period of military inactivity followed; but it was a period of exciting event in political matters. Wearied by the incessant labor of keeping the British out of Philadelphia, and chagrined by the delay of Gates in not responding to his demands for reinforcements, Washington took the unusual step of sending a special messenger to Gates, — Alexander Hamilton, — to discover the cause for his strange neglect of orders. It was on November 2d that Hamilton reached Fish-kill,


and passed the evening with Colonel Webb in Colonel Lamb's quarters. This is probably the first meeting between the two men, who were to remain warm friends until the death of Hamilton.

Hamilton's mission was an important event in the cabal against Washington, and served to bring into prominence the reluctance of all connected with the Northern army, Putnam included, to give him unquestioning and loyal support. The halo that now surrounded Gates, blinded his admirers to pronounced defects in his character, defects that made him an easy prey to the schemes of others, abler and more unscrupulous than himself. The "Conway cabal" was only an incident in this plot; but it promised to be successful, and included in itself as well men who could have had no selfish aims to attain, as men who were seeking their own advancement at whatever cost. That it failed was fortunate for America. Putnam favored Gates, and it would be supposed that some of the officers in Putnam's army would follow their chief in opinion. Colonel Webb did not; and it was probably what he learned from Hamilton on this flying visit, that convinced him the only true course was to give unwavering obedience and faith to his commander-in-chief. This is the only point of contact in Webb's career with this political conspiracy; but when the exposure came of the plot, it was seen how wide had been its ramifications, and how deeply it had affected officers high in the army. Webb's known affection for his chief prevented a direct approach to him on the matter; and it was such men who offered a bound to the extent of the plan to overturn Washington.


Meanwhile General Parsons had been ordered to White Plains, and visions of "oysters and blackfish" were held out as an inducement for Webb to join him. Putnam was still bitten by his project against New York, and some regiments from Gates gave him confidence. Had not the commands from Washington been peremptory, he would have held these reinforcements for his own purposes. Besides, his officers in solemn council, Webb being one, decided to send the troops on to Washington. There was no alternative but to do as the council decided; but Webb and his regiment were ordered to join Parsons at Horseneck, where he was to act against De Lancey's corps.

Governor Tryon had been appointed to the command of a corps of Provincial loyalists; and on October 3d — three days before the attack on the Forts — he wrote somewhat boastingly to Germain: "By Sir Wm. Howe's permission and Sir Henry Clinton's approbation, I have raised a troop of light Horse from the Westchester militia, to consist of fifty private men to serve during the campaign. They are Cantooned between our lines and the Rebels at the White Plains, and have taken up several Deserters, for which I give them a guinea for each Man, which checks the evil spirit of Desertion, This Troop is truly ‘Elite’ of the Country, and their Captn. Mr. James De Lancey, who is also Colonel of the Militia of Westchester county. I have much confidence in them, for their spirited behavior." Nominally the governor of New York, his


jurisdiction was limited to that small part held by the British army; but he sought in every way to extend his influence. In this expedition up the river, short as it was, and confined to its banks, he "swore in near three hundred of the inhabitants, and about one hundred listed in the Provincial corps;" while he praised the inflexible loyalty of numbers, notwithstanding the coercive Tyranny of the Rebel Party, and the long disappointment of relief, have operated strongly against their principles."

At King's Street, about five miles from Horseneck, Webb's regiment encamped, and was joined by Putnam, who hoped by making a diversion to prevent Clinton from reinforcing Howe. In pursuance of this design the troops marched towards King's Bridge, and filled the residents of the city with alarm. Many deserters from the enemy gave accounts of the confusion, and almost panic, caused by the anticipated attack. Orders from Washington increased in urgency as events on the Delaware were unfavorable to the American cause, and Putnam's force were kept ready to march on a moment's notice to join the main army. There was little to be done but manoeuvre for advantage, and provide against possible attacks upon exposed places. Colonel Webb was ordered from place to place, wherever service was required, until December 1st, when his regiment marched to Horseneck, to take its part in a descent upon Long Island.

The object of this descent was to destroy the timber and boards prepared for constructing some barracks


in New York, but still kept at the east end of the island; to destroy some vessels that had come over from Rhode Island for wood; to attack Jamaica, and to destroy such public stores as might be found. The expedition was divided into two parties. One was to land at Hempstead Harbor, to make the attack on Jamaica; the other was to land at Huntington, and scour Suffolk county. The importance of the movement was so great that Brigadier-General Parsons accompanied it in person, and was with the first division, which also included Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs, formerly very successful in his trips across the Sound. The command of the second was given to Colonel Webb. High winds prevented the enterprise for some days; but the evening of the 9th seemed favorable, and Webb embarked on an armed sloop, the Schuyler, having under convoy three other vessels, containing about four hundred men.

The night "was dark and blustering" and the vessels parted company. Because of the roughness of the water, Colonel Meigs was unable to pass over to Long Island. Parsons succeeded in getting to Huckabuck, about forty miles from the east of the island, where much timber and lumber were destroyed. In a skirmish with a boat, the success was on the side of the Americans. Colonel Webb, and those with him on the Schuyler, were unfortunate. At daybreak they found themselves separated from the rest of the expedition, near the shore of Setauket, and with a British sloop of war bearing down upon them. There was no chance to retreat, as the Englishman was to the leeward, and the only alternative was to gain the island, and,


landing, to recross the Sound when an opportunity was given. The Schuyler was turned, and directed to the shore, running aground some two hundred yards from the beach. The only boat they had was sunk by the high surf, and the English sloop — the Falcon — was now near enough to rake the stranded Schuyler, and compel a surrender. Colonel Webb was taken to Newport, and through the intervention of some friends, was released on parole.

Severe as was this event on the fortunes of the young Colonel, its full effect could not be foreseen. It could not have been believed that many years were to pass before he could be released, and resume command of his regiment. Hopeful and active, he at once began to plan for his exchange, finding ready endorsement from those who knew him on both sides. Through friends among the English, he soon found acceptance of an offer to be released in exchange for Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, of whom much more will be heard. With manly plea, he laid his case before Generals Washington, Heath and Parsons, and Governor Trumbull. "I am a young man," he wrote to Heath, "just entering on the stage of life, — my Regt. now happily formed, and should I remain in a State of Imprisonment long, not only personally, but my Regt. must suffer much." To Governor Trumbull he was more insistent on the misfortune that had befallen him: "Nothing can make me more unhappy than the tho't of remaining an Idle Spectator of her sufferings, and cannot but hope thro: the influence of my friends I may soon be at liberty again to join my Regiment and stand or fall with my country." Finally he carried his case to headquarters, and claimed the attention of Washington.


From all he received kind words and promise of assistance. Even John Hancock interested himself in the matter, little inclined as he generally was to exert himself where he could gain no immediate return. Heath described Webb as an "active and good officer" and recommended his proposition to Washington's "particular attention." Parsons could speak from a better knowledge. "If either of these Ways or any other can procure Colo. Webb's Exchange, he will be made happy and his Reg. greatly benefitted, as the Affairs of that Regiment are so Circumstanced that no Man can do Justice to them if he is confin'd. He has always conducted himself as a good officer and as such Merits the Esteem of his Superior Officers." With such endorsements it would be strange if no action was taken on his application, unless some good reason existed to prevent. Such a reason did exist, and shadowed Colonel Webb's future military line, preventing him from rendering the service he was so eager to give, and depriving him of the advancement to which his capacity and the influence of his friends seemed to place at his disposition.



THE full extent of this misfortune which had overtaken the young Colonel could not have been perceived at the time. He was a prisoner-of-war, taken in the performance of his duty, and therefore entitled to every privilege the military law of the day conceded to a captured officer. He was ensured fair treatment, and would, in ordinary conditions, enjoy a speedy exchange. The conditions were not ordinary, and in the unusual features lay the possibility of a detention in the hands of the enemy until the close of the war.

Upon reaching Newport, he was able through the mediation of friends to find an opportunity for a suggested exchange. Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell, had enlisted in one of the battalions of Highlanders, commanded by General Simon Fraser, and making a part of the seventy-first regiment of foot. This regiment was formed late in 1775, and was sent to America in 1776. Several English vessels remained in the harbor of Boston, after the city had fallen into the hands of the continental army; presumably to warn such ships and forces as might approach the place in the belief that the English army was still there. Among the vessels left on guard was the "Renown" of fifty guns, some smaller ships, and a number of transports with Highland troops on board, so recently arrived as to be in ignorance of the evacuation of Boston. The place of rendezvous was Nantasket Road, whence they


could annoy the shipping of the Americans, and partially blockade the city. So great was the mischief done by this fleet, that General Ward, then in command at Boston, determined to drive it away. On June 13th he sent Colonel Whitcomb to take post on Long Island. The works were thrown up in the night, cannon and mortar mounted, and at daybreak a fire was opened on the ships. The manoeuver was successful. Blowing up the lighthouse, the English vessels sailed away; while the American armed boats captured two of the transports containing Highlanders. Among the officers captured was Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, described by General Ward, with no little elation, as "a member of Parliament, and a gentleman of fortune."

The experience of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell in captivity was not a pleasant one. After six months of negotiating, he was on the point of being exchanged, when Major-General Charles Lee, a friend of Colonel Webb, came into New York as a prisoner — but not as a prisoner of war. Having held a commission in the King's army, and drawing half-pay from the army chest when the colonies revolted, he might have been dealt with summarily as a rebel and a deserter. It was only a doubt in Howe's mind that prevented such an issue, and he turned to the King for advice. Meanwhile a proposition had been made for his exchange, though there had been an agreement between the two commanders that deserters were not to be exchanged. Congress and the people had conceived an inordinate idea of Lee's ability; and, had he not been of foreign birth, might have given him the chief command of the Continental army. Hearing of his strict confinement,


and of a thought on Howe's part of trying him by court-martial as a deserter, Congress offered to give in exchange for him five Hessian field-officers taken at Trenton. Notice was also served that any violence committed upon his life or liberty would be severely retaliated upon the lives or liberties of officers, prisoners of war with the Americans.

The threat was ill-advised. Howe was not free to act on the proposition to exchange Lee, as he did not know in what light the King would regard him. Taken into New York, it was said Lee was consigned to the Provost, over which had been placed one Cunningham, whose name became suggestive of every cruelty. It was rumored he was subjected to unnecessary severity, and was not accorded the most usual privileges of an officer in the power of an enemy. So Congress ordered the same treatment which General Lee should receive, to be exactly inflicted upon the five Hessian officers and Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell. Campbell was taken and lodged in the common gaol of Concord, in surroundings which were revolting and shocking to humanity; while Lee was confined in a commodious house, with genteel accommodations, and was in close companionship with the English officers. In a dignified protest to General Washington Campbell described his pitiable situation, and secured from that commander an immediate direction to his gaolers to be more considerate. This was in March; yet three months later Washington was obliged to write that the treatment accorded to Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell was such "as cannot be justified either on the principle of generosity or strict retaliation." While Lee had reason to be content with


every circumstance of his treatment, and was plotting treason against the Continent with the British generals, Campbell was subjected to restrictions as galling to a proud man, as unnecessary to a prisoner-of-war.

Colonel Webb had been captured in December, and the officer of the Highland regiment was still a prisoner. In all that year there had been suggestions for an exchange, — first for Lee; then for an officer of equal rank; — but at every suggestion some obstacle interfered with the accomplishment. Finally General Howe refused to entertain any proposition for an exchange of officers until Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell had been released. It was at this stage that Webb saw his opportunity; and giving his parole at Newport, to Major-General Pigott, he was permitted to go to Providence, and thence to Wethersfield, with the object of procur ing his exchange for Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell. Failing in that, he was to repair to New York at the end of two months, and submit himself to any General in command of his Majesty's forces at that place. The exchange of a Colonel for a Lieutenant-Colonel was one favorable to the Americans; but had been secured by the influence of Webb's friends at Newport. With the support of Governor Hancock, Governor Trumbull, Major-General Heath, and Brigadier-General Parsons, it would seem to be a proposition only to be made to be accepted. On the side of the English the claims of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell stood easily first, because of his long confinement and harsh treatment. In this light the question was urged upon Washington. Had he been free to act, his friendship and sympathy would have inclined him to act in Webb's


favor. Considerations of great weight overbalanced personal feeling, and inspired a reply which illustrated the strict impartiality of the American commander. "It would give me pleasure to render you any services in my power," he wrote to Colonel Webb, "but it is impossible for me to comply with your request, without violating the principles of Justice and incurring a charge of partiality." Other officers of the same rank as Webb and Campbell had been in the enemy's power for a long period, some since 1775, and their claims to be exchanged were much stronger for that fact. "These gentlemen would surely exclaim loudly against my conduct, and with reason, were any distinctions to be made by my concurrence or authority to their prejudice. So far as exchanges have depended on me, or as they may rest with me, they have been and ever will be conducted on one principle, to wit, to release those first who were first captured, as far as circumstances of Rank would apply. There is no other rule by which equal and impartial justice can be done. . . . You may rest assured whenever circumstances put it in my power to effect your Exchange and that of all the officers and privates, under the Restrictions I have mentioned, there shall not be a moment's delay on my part; but on any other terms, or in a different order, you will find on reflection, I can never do it." Of course, the same difficulty opposed the release of Colonel Webb on parole, on a principle of having an officer sent in on the like indulgence. On the very day Washington wrote this letter from Valley Forge, Lieutenant-Colonel


Campbell wrote from Concord urging every effort in behalf of the exchange, as conditions were so favorable.

The reply of Washington was a severe disappointment to Colonel Webb, though he readily admitted the position taken by the General. There was a chance of being exchanged for a Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, in an independent exchange, but that also proved inadmissible. Webb prepared to comply with his parole, and go into New York. He had many advantages. His brother, Joseph Webb, was Commissary of Prisoners for Connecticut, a position giving him great freedom of movement between New York and Connecticut, and made him acquainted with many officers in New York and on Long Island, or prisoners in Connecticut — the favorite state for keeping prisoners. By his kind treatment of those entrusted to his care, by his advances to the embarrassed, and his thoughtful attention to the distressed, he had become widely and favorably known and trusted. With such influence, and with a reputation gained by his own conduct to English prisoners, Webb entered New York under the best of auspices. It was to the house of a leading merchant, Miles Sherbrooke, he was first directed; and with letters of introduction to citizens and officers, he soon found companionship, and some solace for his condition. Even Lee, who had the liberties of the town, could be seen by Webb, and little restriction was placed upon his movements. Late in February a new parole was given, as Webb was sent to Long Island, where a large number of American prisoners were confined. For how long a time he was to remain on the Island could not be known. Had a system of


exchanges been in action, it was doubtful if the Americans possessed a number of English prisoners to release all those in captivity. The balance was largely in favor of the British, and the balance was greater with officers than with privates. Had an exchange taken place immediately after Colonel Webb's capture, he would not have been released.

No system of general exchanges had been agreed upon between the two combatants, and Colonel Webb's connection with the attempts to frame such a system requires something in retrospect of what had been accomplished before he became involved. The matter is of high importance to a proper understanding of the military history of the Revolution, as well as of Webb's position for nearly three years of the war.

In war, a political may be stronger than a military motive. The general policy to be pursued does not depend upon the leader of the army, but upon the civil power of which he is the creature or instrument. In active operations a riddance of prisoners is desirable. They are troublesome to keep; they must be fed and properly cared for at great expense, and to the diminution of the supplies for the fighting force; they constitute an impediment to free or rapid movement, and are in short so much dead weight added to the army, while proving a fruitful cause of those maladies common to crowded camps, or incident to long marches and exposure. To release them, would add so many to the opposing force. To liberate them on parole means a like number of officers or men, idle, prevented from aiding in any operations, and a number of disorganized regiments, the officers of which are bound on their


honor to have nothing to do with them. The simplest method is to exchange, rank for rank, or compound for an officer in privates. Released in this manner, service may be at once resumed, and no inconvenience incurred. It was therefore good policy to frame a system of exchanges that could work smoothly and effectively at all times. Both commanders wished it; and all in captivity urged it upon their respective generals.

It was a political motive that stood in the way of this measure, and prevented its adoption for years. The King would permit of no concession on the part of his generals which would seem to recognize the Americans as belligerents. To him they were rebels, pure and simple; and as such were not entitled to enjoy those courtesies and alleviations of the hardships of war, which custom has thrown around the unfortunates who are captured. He looked for nothing less than absolute submission, and enjoined upon his generals not to deal with rebels and traitors as with an honorable enemy. His war minister, recognizing the expediency and almost the necessity of exchanging prisoners, sought to discount the moral effect of appearing to favor the rebels. "Although it cannot be that you should enter into any treaty or agreement with the rebels for a regular cartel for exchange of prisoners, yet I doubt not but your own discretion will suggest to you the means of effecting such exchange, without the King's dignity and honor being committed, or his Majesty's name used in any negotiation for that purpose."


He was further induced to express this wish, foreseeing certain awkward contingencies in case the Hessians were to serve in America.

This wretched policy, of seeking in a roundabout way what could be easily performed in a direct manner, was responsible for much suffering among prisoners on both sides, and proved for many years a pregnant source of annoyance to both generals. Bad faith was charged to both sides; every incident that could serve to stir up ill-feeling was seized upon, and magnified as a defense for crooked dealing; the British commander sought to obtain exchanges on terms which could permit of only one construction — that of gaining sole advantage at the expense of his opponent. Washington did all in his power to maintain a simple and general rule of exchanges, but was checked and thwarted by the curious behavior of Congress. Congress, acting often from impulse, and, more intent upon individual cases than general conditions, framed rules, violated them, made impossible demands, and reduced to chaos what could be solved only by straightforward and honorable conduct. The King on one side, jealous of his honor and bitterly hating his rebellious subjects; and Congress on the other, using retaliation as a weapon of offense, not of defense, harassed their generals, and prevented action.

In this contest the individual suffered. The intended object of every cartel for the exchange of prisoners was the benefit of the prisoners. They were supposed to be entitled to good treatment, while in durance, and


a speedy exchange when an opportunity offered. The horrors perpetrated by the British on their prison ships are too much a matter of history to be repeated. These shocking barbarities were practised on the privates; the officers fared better. Yet it was with a heavy heart that Colonel Webb went to Long Island.

One favor, usually granted, the prisoner was not able to secure — a release upon parole. So often did a general exchange seem at hand that both commanders were loath to grant any special concession. That Webb was entitled to such a release is certain. One of the officers captured on the same ill-fortuned venture was at once allowed to go out to his friends; and the same privilege would have been given to Webb had he not depended so strongly on a speedy exchange, general or particular. As early as January, 1778, the Connecticut legislature authorized the exchange of one Lieutenant-Colonel Larrance for Webb, but no further action was taken. When it seemed probable that Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell was to be his ransom, he declined to be paroled; and while there was the least hope of a successful issue to that proposition, he was unwilling to apply for such a release. Finally, when month after month had passed without bringing him any nearer to an enlargement, he did request the favor, only to find a cartel for a general exchange so far agreed upon as to preclude individual negotiations.

Difficult as it was for Webb to reconcile himself to a longer period of inactivity, his services were needed by his fellow prisoners. He was specially favored by his


acquaintances and connections on both sides. In the American army he had a circle of warm friends at headquarters. The general was warmly disposed in his favor, and only his sense of what the public honor and faith demanded, and of the higher justice of a general to an individual exchange prevented him from acting at once to secure his release. Harrison, the General's secretary and intimate, took an active interest in Webb's welfare, and kept him informed of what was done at headquarters. With Hamilton, Cary and Laurens, members of the General's family, he stood on intimacy, and all were disposed to use their influence in his favor. In General Greene he had a friend indeed; for the many sterling qualities of this leader made him endeared to Washington, and of great weight in council. Where the intimate relations subsisting between Webb and Greene originated, cannot be determined; but they were drawn to one another, and for many years their intercourse was singularly full and frank — a striking testimony to Webb's high character. Wadsworth had not yet reached the height of his reputation; but his sterling business ability and his ready meeting of obstacles in supplying the army, were drawing attention to him, and eventually led to his becoming the main prop in furnishing supplies — the only reliable prop under Morris, when Congress had frittered away its credit and arrayed the States against its requisitions. In him Webb found a true friend, ever willing to comfort and aid him with money or with advice when a sense of injustice led to an outburst of complaint against men and affairs. In passing to and from headquarters, Webb ever found the officers happy


to receive him, and to entertain him with what their scanty means gave. Lord Sterling, General Robert Howe, General Gates, and General Arnold, were a few of such entertainers, and on the outlying posts he was a welcome guest, beloved for his merit as well as his genial qualities.

Among his fellow prisoners he had many warm admirers and faithful companions. Brigadier-General Irvine, a veteran of the war of 1755, who had been wounded and captured at Chestnut Hill, was associated with him in his early efforts to lay the claims of the prisoners before Congress. General Thompson had also served in the French and Indian wars, and when on his way to Canada to reinforce Sullivan, had been captured. He had remained in this situation nearly a year before the arrival of Webb led to his making strenuous effort for his release. Colonel Robert Magaw, the gallant defender of Fort Washington, and a number of officers taken with him, formed a social circle in which Webb was highly appreciated.

Everything was done to make his position endurable. The English papers and magazines were sent in, and supplies of provision and of dainties were permitted to reach him from his friends in Connecticut. He resided in Flatbush, where greater freedom of movement was conceded than could have been allowed in New York or at a greater distance from that city. His connections with the colonial trade of New York now proved of good service, for many of the leading merchants had remained loyal, and were closely allied with administration, whence every favor flowed. To Philip Dumaresque, a merchant exiled from Boston, now in


New York, he was warmly commended by Mr. Mumford. His friend Seagrove introduced him to William Constable, long a leading spirit in mercantile enterprise, and of extensive foreign correspondence. Miles Sherbrooke was of much weight in city affairs; and was an adviser of the British General in the conduct of civil and military rule. In the army Colonel Webb soon formed friendships which gave him a position held by few American prisoners in the English territory. With the commissaries of prisoners he had much to settle, and because of the favor shown him by those high in authority, his influence was sought by any who had a wish to be gratified. To Generals Robertson and Jones — in command of the city — he was well known; he soon became an attendant on the officers' gatherings, and was admitted freely to their club. It was here that he became known to Major Andre, who in a later year passed Webb on the public road, in disguise and in tear of recognition and capture.

So the year 1778 closed, with nothing accomplished towards a cartel, and either side punctilious in its insistance upon certain concessions which were deemed out of the question by the opposing side. A new hope was aroused in Webb. In November, 1777, his sister, Mrs. Simpson, had married Joseph Barrell, an enterprising and prominent merchant of Boston. The war had reduced all trade to chance, and the merchant was quite as likely to gain in privateering as in mercantile ventures. The rage for privateering was general, because the returns, though infrequent, were large, and the risks at this time not great. Washington did not disdain to take a share in a privateer, and Webb,


prisoner as he was, had purchased with others a vessel to engage in this legalized piracy. His new brother-in-law was also interested, and one of his ships was fortunate enough to capture the Eagle packet from New York, with a number of British officers on board. This capture was made near the coast of Spain, and as prisoners were an incumbrance of a vessel cruising for spoils, they were landed at Corunna, and a receipt taken from the British consul, engaging for his government to release a corresponding number of American officers to General Washington. This receipt was sent to America in February, 1778, and given to Colonel Webb to use in effecting his exchange.

The complete failure of a meeting of commissioners from both armies to agree upon a cartel favored the granting of this proposition. Prisoners captured by Continental frigates were subject to the control of Congress; but these were officers taken by a privateer, and might be considered in the light of private possession, just as was the cargo of the packet. This was the reasoning of the friends of Colonel Webb, and it naturally excited his hopes of release. His fellow prisoners thought a fair opportunity was offered to urge their claims upon Congress. A meeting was held, and a memorial to Congress prepared. Sir Henry Clinton was requested to permit Colonel Webb to go to Philadelphia, there to remain so long as might be necessary to present and enforce the memorial. This was as responsible a mission as it was flattering; and it was made all the more noteworthy by the ready acquiescence of the British commander. Six weeks were fixed as the limit allowed; but those six weeks meant freedom to Webb.


It was in this light he purchased in New York some articles of dress and ornament not strictly necessary to one on business only bent. A steel-hilted sword, with a knot; a stick, with cane strings, and a stick of pomatum, were preparations for engaging in the social pleasures so rife at this time in Philadelphia. Many were the complaints against the great luxury of the time, and the lavish display at Philadelphia offered a striking contrast to the want and real suffering of the army. Rumors of public corruption were general; the paper money had reduced all business to gambling; and the tender laws favored the unscrupulous at the expense of the honest. Fortunes were rapidly made, and under the stimulating example of General Arnold, the more staid citizens were shocked by the careless and expensive enjoyment of those who had wealth and position. On the way to the city, Webb stopped at headquarters and had a conference with Washington on exchanges. That it was satisfactory to the prisoner an interchange of notes proved; but the General could only assert his interest in his special situation and in his mission, while referring him to Congress, wherein the final determination of the question rested.

Greatly encouraged, Webb set out for Philadelphia, and laid his memorial before Congress, with a list and statement given him by Washington. That body acted with deliberation, and took so long to reach a conclusion that Webb became impatient, and urged a report. If, he suggested, Congress would refer the question to Washington, recommending an exchange, he would act as messenger to headquarters. This suggestion was at once adopted, and the Colonel left the city at


once, deeming himself fortunate in having secured so strong an endorsement to his plan. The General again approached Clinton on an exchange, and Webb returned to New York, with increased hopefulness, and in a belief that what he had done would bring him and his colleagues nearer a release. A taste of the gayeties of Philadelphia, where he had been the guest of General Arnold and had attended a grand ball with him, made confinement in Flatbush the more irksome. He applied to be released on parole, as he thought he could attend the meeting of the commissioners on an exchange at Amboy, and give information of the trying situation of the prisoners and the urgent need of their release. His private concerns, long neglected, demanded attention; and his health was affected by the anxiety and irksomeness of his position. A month passed in expectation. The commissioners met, and failed to agree; little promise was held out of a use of the Eagle prisoners in favor of Webb; but as a partial recompense he was permitted to go out on parole.

Colonel Webb had not been out on parole many weeks before a new complication arose which threatened the recall of the privilege accorded to him. This was due to no fault of his, nor to any breach of his parole. At the time Webb succeeded in getting his enlargement, the same concession was made to General William Thompson, but something in compensation was expected. They were to obtain from Congress permission for Generals Phillips and Riedesel to go into New York on the same conditions as had been imposed upon them. This was a somewhat embarrassing situation, as Webb was thus connected with the


questions involved in the treatment of the Convention troops. The position taken by Congress in those questions was indefensible, and based upon a positive breach of faith; it had led from bad to worse, until hardly the expectation of a just issue could be entertained. The Convention troops were now in Virginia, and Riedesel was a very sick man. The guiding spirit was General William Phillips, an officer of high merit, and of unusual balance and intelligence. For protesting in dignified terms against the want of good faith in Congress, he gained a reputation for being querulous and somewhat of a braggart. This repute was entirely undeserved; and his letters read in the light of history and his experience with its provocation, are models of courtesy and forceful protestation under a real injury. He made a great impression upon Colonel Webb, who at once recognized his ability; and a warm and friendly intercourse followed, strengthened by their common interest in the cartel.

Congress dodged the issue, and referred all questions of parole to Washington. At headquarters Webb made his plea, and succeeded in convincing his commander of his claims. Paroles were directed to be taken from the Convention Generals, and Webb set out for Providence and Boston to visit his sister and renew his friendships in those cities. On July 4th he was invited by General Gates to dine at Cold Spring with him and others; two days later he was rejoiced to learn of some success of his privateering ventures. While in Boston he had consulted with his brother-in-law on his exchange, as it had been decided that the prisoners due for those taken in the Eagle packet


would not include Webb. Fortunately Barrell could give him a stronger claim. Interested in a privateer — the Vengeance — he had at hand a certificate of the British consul at Corunna for four Lieutenant-Colonels, one Major and one captain, and the whole placed at the will of Colonel Webb. Armed with this he again went to headquarters, where he arrived on the 20th of July, stopping at Robinson's house in the Highlands in his journey, where he saw Generals Heath and Parsons. At New Windsor he was the guest of General Greene, a warm friend and kind adviser, who gave him his active influence.

He learned that Washington was considering how the paroles were to be issued on a general plan, and the commissaries of the two armies were consulting on it. The chief obstacle was a claim on the part of the British that some Americans, to the number of eighty, had violated parole, given by them on a previous occasion, and compensation, it was urged, should be made for such conduct. Still, the general impression gained by Webb during his stay at headquarters was distinctly favorable. To Wadsworth he wrote "I have the strongest Idea that I shall soon be a Freeman;" and he confidently asserted to Joshua Loring, the British commissary, that every officer who had violated his parole should be accounted for, and that he had "full power" to do as he should think proper in an exchange. Vain expectation! Loring said that Beatty agreed as to the violators of parole, but differed as to the use to be made of the Corunna certificate, practically making it of no immediate service. Beatty asserted that no special agreement had been reached as


to the violators of parole, and no mention had been made of the Corunna prisoners. Even had that certificate been presented, he could not have accepted it, as it represented a private transaction, and the captain of the Vengeance was not amenable even to the State for his disposal of his prisoners. With every wish to favor Webb, the commissary could not go outside of his instructions. A slight concession was made; for it was determined to exchange General Thompson, and Colonels Webb, Waterbury and McGaw, for Generals Phillips and Riedesel, should the respective commanders agree. This was a new proposition, depending upon a new tariff, and therefore uncertain in the event.

In the meanwhile Webb had set out for home, again passing through West Point to the headquarters of General Parsons, where he spent two days. On his way thence to Wethersfield he visited General Glover at Ridgefield, and General Robert Howe at Horseneck. From there he passed to Stamford, where lived his friend Major Davenport, and one day later to Stratford, where Dr. Johnson and his daughter gave him a warm welcome. He did not reach Wethersfield till the 8th of August, and settled down in expectation of an early exchange and resumption of command. He left no stone unturned to bring influence in support of his wish. In the hope of success he was encouraged by a letter from Harrison, the General's Secretary, saying that Washington would offer no obstacle to his exchange for the Corunna prisoners, but urged him to come at once to headquarters, as his personal attendance on a meeting of the two


commissaries might hasten that wished-for event. To Wadsworth he wrote: —

WETHERSFIELD, Sunday Eveng. 15th Augt. 1779.


Ever since the Post came in I have been writing General Greene and Col. Beatty on the subject of my Exchange, it appears indirectly Loring has deceived me by infamous misrepresentations — all the papers are enclosed to General Greene which I have requested him to show you and beg most earnestly you will be so obliging as to use your Influence that General Washington may demand my immediate Exchange — or in my giving up the Certificate I may be released as proposed in Mr. Loring's letter, you'll be with General Greene — I haven't time or would again copy it for you — I am truly anxious but doubt not General Washington on having the whole matter laid before him will comply with my request — I conceive he will think it his duty — I have wrote Beatty and desired him to advise with Genl. Greene and yourself on the subject, — pray my friend attend to this matter by which you'll render me an essential service, let me from you soon.

I heartily condole with you and family on the loss of your youngest Son, the rest of your family were well yesterday, — A letter from Mr. Barrell this day says the Penobscot expedition goes on heavily — I much fear the issue — he adds "We have the good news of Three Continental Vessels falling in with the Jamaica Fleet who have lost their Convoy, when the act. left them they had man'd two and no doubt would take as many as they could man, this for good reasons will not be made public, therefore don't mention it in a way the Enemy may hear it, but you may depend it is a fact" — What a pity the many Privateers now on our Coast are not with them, — we shall hear more of this in a few days, — the famous Stanton Hazard in a Privateer Brig from Newport is at last bro't into New London by the Argo Capt. Talbot and another Cruiser, — he has been out only a week and took five prizes from us — three of which are retakes, — We wish to have the West India news Confirmed — 'tis to late for me to add pray let me hear from you soon — I am very anxious about my mother — Adieu remember me to our many friends and believe me Sincerely your friend &

Most Humbl. Servt.



Hetty says — her love to Uncle Jerre — Col. Chester desires his best Compliments, begs me to remind you of Harrison's evidence of the opinion they had of Johnson at Head Quarters, when he obtained the furlow, — The two Ships mentioned above have been spoke with by the Pilgrim Privateers arrived at Salem, they say our Frigates was with the Fleet when they parted Company — 'tis probable they will take and burn the greater part of them.

Accordingly he once more went to headquarters, taking Colonel Chester with him. His itinerary is not wanting in interest, and is worthy of record:

Set off from Wethersfield, Wednesday Sept. 2d. 79, in company with Col. Chester, for Head Quarters at West Point.

To Brace's, of Harrington.

To Clemons (& lodg'd), 11 1/2 Miles from Brace's and 3 from Litchfield.

Septr. 3d. To Morgan's, of Washington, 8 m.

To Bache's, Kent. 10 [miles].

To Colo. Morehouse's, 4 [miles].

To Colo. Vandeburgh, 9 [miles].

Septr. 3d. Lodg'd at Fish-kill, Colo. Udney Hay.

Friday, Septr. 4th from Fish-kill to Murderer's Creek at Biddle's — and Wadsworth's — from thence to Head Quarters, West Point.

Saturday, Septr. 5th At West Point — thence to Murderer's Creek.

Sunday, 6th Set off at XI o'Clock, dined at Lord Stirling — in the Clove — lodg'd at Slott's in the Clove.

Monday, 7th To Paramus.

To Acquaconack. I. Leslie's.

To Elizabethtown.

Tuesday, 7th 12 o'Clock. To Short Hills. John Martin, 10 miles from Elizth.

To Quibble Town. To Bound Brook — to Mr. Low's near Millstone, from Elizabeth 25 miles.


Wednesday 8th from Mr. Low's, the same route back to Elizath.

Thursday 9th, Friday 10th, Saturday, 11th at Eliza.-Town.

Sunday 12th From Elizath. to Acquaconack to Paramus. Lodged at Mrs. Provost.

Monday, 13th To Genl. Woodford's, and dined, in Smith's Clove. To Murderer's Creek. Lodged at Wadsworth's.

Tuesday, 14th To Head Quarters, West Point. Lodged at Genl. Green's.

Wednesday, 15th Dined at Colo. Walter Stewart's.

Thursday 16th, Friday 17th, Saturday 18th, Sunday 19th Monday 20th — at West Point.

Tuesday 21st To Murderer's Creek and back. Wednesday 22d., Thursday 23d., to Murderer's Creek.

Friday 24th Set off at XI o'clock. Dined at Colo. Hay's. Left Fishkill at 3 o'clock P. M. — arrived at Colo. Morehouse's (24 miles) at 7 & lodged.

Saturday 25th Set off at 5 o'Clock and rode to Morgan's of Washington, 14 miles, to breakfast. From thence to Litchfield, 11, to Harrington, 8, and dined; to Farmington, 14; to Wethersfield, 12, where I arrived at 8 o'Clock — in all this day 61 miles.

Although no mention is made of what was done on exchanges, this visit bore good fruit. On giving his instructions to Colonel Beatty, Washington said. "Col. Webb's exchange by composition we cannot claim as a matter of right, but I wish every method in our power to be taken to induce the enemy to consent to it." Webb's strong point was in insisting that his exchange was a matter of private equity, and should on that account be effected without regard to any general exchange or questions involved in a general cartel. The owners of the privateer insisted on Webb's exchange as an equivalent; the British revoked all paroles, and demanded the return to captivity of all officers released on parole. The Corunna certificate was to be paid for out of the violators of their


parole — a step that seemed unnecessarily cruel and insulting.

This was a serious blow to Colonel Webb, as he had been very confident of an exchange, and was involved in ventures requiring his personal attention. His regiment had remained without a head since his capture, and his representative, Lieutenant-Colonel Huntington, confessed his trials and his eagerness to lay aside the responsibility. Webb's pride had been encouraged by the favorable reports upon his regiment. Steuben, the Inspector General, an old soldier trained in the Prussian manoeuvres, and a strict and exacting disciplinarian, could find only one fault with this regiment: it was too weak to form a battalion. All else was praise. It was "in the best order of any I have yet seen at the first review. The arms are really a model for the army. The Regiment marches perfectly and has a military air. Colonel Webb deserves particular credit for the superior order in which he has kept this regiment." If, reasoned Webb, so good results have been attained in my absence, how much higher could be reached under my close personal attention!

Then, too, his privateering ventures had proved successful, but the accounts had been settled slowly, and in some cases had become entangled, and needed his supervision. This was a matter which could not be entrusted to any other. Most important of all, a dispute over rank had arisen between Sherburne and Webb, and the former was pushing his claims at headquarters, and bringing into action advantages which Webb, a prisoner and separated from camp, could not


employ. The recall could hardly have been made at a season more embarrassing to Webb, and it had been caused by one of those inexplicable measures of Congress — the detention of Generals Phillips and Riedesel, while on their way to New York under parole, in return for a similar favor granted to Thompson and Webb by General Howe. Washington had given the parole, and the Congress interfered after the British officers had made a long and painful journey from Virginia to Elizabethtown.

As soon as this complication was known to Colonel Webb he went to headquarters, and held a conference with Washington, who was smarting under the mortification the act of Congress had imposed upon him. As the measure emanated from Congress, a remedy must be sought from that body. So on the 7th of November, Webb set forth for Philadelphia, where he arrived on the 11th. For more than a week he remained in the city, making an earnest and dignified statement to Congress of the evil consequences to follow from a longer detention of Phillips and Riedesel — already deprived for upwards of six months of their just due. The inconvenience and difficulties would be felt as well by those officers still on Long Island as by those out on parole; and he plead for all rather than for himself. Congress was convinced of the impolicy of its act, and rescinded its order detaining the British generals. This act of simple justice was due to Colonel Webb, and General Phillips made use of this to induce Sir Henry Clinton to cancel the recall of the continental officers, as they were entirely innocent of any part in the detention of himself and Reidesel. So


Webb was exempted from the action of that recall, and his success in this negotiation made him the prominent instrument to be used in future discussions on exchanges. His spirit of fairness, high sense of honor, his immediate interest as a prisoner, and his friendships and connections, made him the proper channel for advances on either side.

Nothing remained for Colonel Webb but to quietly await the issue of such propositions as should pass between the two commanders, giving his aid or counsel when he thought that either might advance a final agreement. After their conferences the commissioners found themselves no nearer a satisfactory conclusion, and the same obstacles confronted them as had been encountered since the first proposition for a cartel. The English general could not go outside of his instructions from the king, and could only suggest an exchange on his private word. Washington, on the other hand, demanded an arrangement based upon principles of perfect equality and on a national ground. The conflict of opinion offered no opportunity for a compromise; and either something less than a general cartel must be accepted, or the prisoners must remain in their existing and most unsatisfactory situation. When this had become clear to both parties, the British proposed to exchange all officers, leaving the question of the privates to be determined at a later day. The concession made to Burgoyne by Gates had created an obstacle to exchanging officers apart from privates. The Hessian officers on their release, without their regiments, could add but little strength to the English army; while every American officer could at


once become active in service. To free the privates would "throw into the enemy's hands a very respectable permanent augmentation to their present force, already great, while it would add but inconsiderably to ours, as no small proportion of the men, we should receive, would not belong to the army" — an evil result of the policy of short enlistments. As such an exchange was opposed on every good ground, the suggestion to exchange only officers commended itself to Washington as favored both by policy and humanity, and therefore in every point of light to be desired. Congress gave its consent, and measures were at once taken to put such a plan in operation. In his instructions to the commissary, Washington wrote: "With respect to the Officers taken in the Eagle packet — our former propositions must be adhered to. Colonel Webb must be released, for them the first, on the proper ratio."

A release now seemed at hand, when it was found that no exchange could take place unless the privates, prisoners on Long Island, were included. They had long been collected in that place in the belief that they could be turned over to the American commissary as ransom for an equal number of British soldiers. The inconvenience and expense attending such a number near the principal English military post had become almost insupportable, and the general began to throw out hints of sending them to Halifax or the West Indies, and would even include the officers. The mere mention of such a threat was sufficient to terrify all concerned, and a strong plea was made to Washington to yield so far as to permit the exchange of all privates who should


be on Long Island. Wearisome as was that place, it was nothing compared with garrison life in the Indies, or on Nova Scotia. Should such a transportation be made, not only would the prisoners feel slighted and injured, but the feeling would be shared by their relatives and friends. What could be hoped for when it became necessary to recruit the army? No one would risk a like treatment and experience, and public spirit would be dampened.

With such views urged upon him by General Lincoln, Colonel Webb and others, Washington was induced to recede a little from the position taken, and issued instructions permitting the exchange of the privates on Long Island. Many weeks were required to complete the details, and more than once it seemed as if the old deadlock was to be restored. But General Phillips was as pertinacious in acting upon the will of the English as Webb was on the will of the American commander. At length success attended their efforts; and after having been a prisoner of war for more than three years, Webb found himself a free man, and had the gratification of knowing that his fellow prisoners had benefitted by his endeavors. His was no selfish triumph; and eagerly as he had wished for his own release, he had ever had in mind others who had endured confinement for even a longer period.

His release occurred soon after he had married. For some time mention is found in his letters of a Miss B------, who lived on the north hranch of the Raritan in New Jersey. In his journeyings from and to headquarters he never failed to pay his respects to


Mrs. Bancker; and his attentions were soon noticed and commented upon by his friends. The Banckers were an old Dutch family which settled in New Amsterdam about the middle of the seventeenth century, and occupied a prominent position among the gentry. The wife of the first comer was Elizabeth Dirkse Van Eps, a sister of one of the founders of Schenectady. Of strong will, and good executive capacity, she managed a large trade with foreign countries, and amassed a large fortune for her children. From such stock was Miss Eliza Bancker descended. Her father had become a freeman of the city in 1764, and took a wife from the Duyckinck family, thus strengthening his connections with the old stock. An only daughter was the result of this marriage, Eliza, who was living with her mother in New Jersey, exiles because of their sympathy with the continental cause. In this situation Colonel Webb wooed and won her. In November he married her, keeping his intention from all but a very few friends, lest the fact of the marriage might induce the British to confiscate what property in New York belonged to Mrs. Bancker.

Meanwhile, what of his regiment? Under the care of Lieut.-Colonel Huntington it had maintained the discipline and "smart" appearance which Webb had given it; but its position was far from satisfactory. Its officers had been kept out of their commissions for nearly two years; as one of the "additional" regiments, it had not received the care and attention which a State bestowed upon its line, and it had suffered by the neglect of Congress to provide for its pressing needs. Food, clothing and arms were given


out with sparing hand, and the only thing of which it had full measure was hardship. Such a state of affairs could not long continue without producing discontent among officers and privates; and both looked to Webb to provide a remedy. They pressed him to join the regiment and resume his command, as soon as circumstances would permit, and gave him such an account of what must be done for their betterment as would have terrified a much older officer. Some little had already been done. In July, 1780, Connecticut had adopted the regiment and annexed it to the line of that State; and the Committee on Organization had designated it as the Ninth Connecticut regiment. This was more form than substance, and besides, the question of Webb's rank had yet to be determined.

Differences on rank and precedence had been frequent from the constitution of the army, so frequent that special courts had to be instituted to determine them. In Webb's case the point was one of some delicacy, and had been raised by Colonel Henry Sherburne, also in command of one of the "additional" regiments. He asserted that he had the precedence, as Webb held no rank when an aide-de-camp. In this claim he had, strange to say, support at headquarters, though General Greene's strong sense led him to ask how a person could have rank and yet not have it? If an aide in the General's family held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, how could it be denied that he had any rank? Webb's position was a strong one, and his statement of it is given in his own words:

"I had the Rank of Major in June, 1775, Lt. Col. in June '76 and full Colonel in '77. Sherburne was a Major in '75, and continued


as such till Jan. 7 '77, when he was appointed to a Regiment, tho' not till weeks after my appointment, and I had gone into the country on the Recruiting service in '77; he never hinted an Idea of being an Elder officer. — I am told his only pretentions are that he went out a Major in '75 and I a Lieut, — true. I was Chester's Lieut. about a month, but my only inducement for taking that Commission was the Man's goodness who commanded the Company — But suppose I had had no Commission till my Lieut. Colonelcy my promotion from that day went ahead of him. Col. Meigs was a Major in the same situation. I ask'd him if he had in Idea to claim Rank of me — he disdained the tho't, and laugh'd at Sherburne's attempting it. — If it was once admitted there would be no end to disputes, for on the same principle I have a right to claim Rank of Brigadier Genl. Gist, — he was a volunteer at Cambridge when I was a Major — several other similar cases I could name but think them needless.

With such a dispute impending, it was essential for Webb to be at hand, so as to urge his claims before any court appointed to pass upon the question involved. Another important matter also presented itself. Thanks to the parsimony of Congress, the army had been more or less of a temporary affair. Short enlistments had been its rule and its curse, for they prevented the formation of a disciplined army, and once in twelve months rendered a new army necessary. At this late day, 1780, the protests of Washington against the mischiefs of such a policy had gained a hearing, and it was decided to enlist an army for three years, or "for the war." This made a new arrangement of regiments expedient, and the field officers in each line were to elect such as they deemed should command the new regiments. In November, 1780, the Connecticut line met and designated for command Colonels


Wyllys, Swift, Webb, and Meigs and Lieutenant-Colonel Sherman. Major Tallmadge warned Webb that he should come to camp, to assist in completing the arrangement. It was a high honor that he, a prisoner and so long absent from command, should be chosen, and on his arrival in camp, his election was assured, standing third on the list. Colonel Durkee was first, a place to which his long service entitled him, a service so long as to leave him almost superannuated, and liable at any day to retire. Second of the list was Colonel Heraan Swift, and Webb immediately followed him. Retaining the ninth Connecticut, there was added the remains of the second Connecticut regiment; and to this combined force was given the title of third Connecticut regiment. Under him, he had two of his old and tried officers: Ebenezer Huntington as Lieutenant-Colonel, and John Palsgrave Wyllys as Major. Having thus ascertained his position, and knowing that no active campaign would be prosecuted before spring, Webb obtained a leave of absence, and retired to the Raritan, where his young wife anxiously awaited him.



Early in February, 1781, he was in the camp, ready to take up the task from which he had been seized more than three years before. His joy after the long separation was sincere, and he gave it expression in fitting terms — in gratitude for what was past, and in high hope for the future:

"REGIMENTAL ORDERS, 7th Feby. 1781

"It is with singular satisfaction the Colonel has it in his power, again to join his Regt. — the Honor and welfare of which has always been near his Heart. — He takes this first opportunity of return his most sincere thanks to the officers for the great care they have taken in supporting a Discipline which has done Honor to themselves & to the Regiment at large, in which he thinks himself an equal sharer. — The cheerfulness with which the soldiers have endured the many unavoidable hardships merit the approbation & Thanks of their OFFICERS and their COUNTRY.

"He most earnestly recommends to the officers a steady and constant attention to the Discipline of the Regiment, — the time is fast approaching when we shall again take the Field — let us exert ourselves that no Regiment may appear in superior order to us — to obtain this, nothing is more absolutely necessary than the strictest attention by Officers to the internal police of the Regt. — they must be answerable that the Non-commissioned do their Duty, and that they are properly supported in the Execution of it. — The Colo. flatters himself the Soldiers will continue to behave in a manner becoming the Characters of Men who are exerting themselves in support of every thing dear to freemen, they will continue to recollect they are not Mercenarys, fighting for a foreign Prince, or for extent of Dominion — but for that which is dearer than life — their Liberty. At the end of the War we trust a gratefull Country will honourably


reward their Noble exertions, and hereafter they will be handed down to future Generations, as Men who have preserved themselves and their Posterity from the vilest Servitude."

With such a spirit he began to drill his regiment and inspire it with confidence in him. His powers of administration were of a high order, and were greatly exercised in the first months of his service. To a knowledge of what was required, he added a charm of manner that persuaded and convinced, where another attitude would have led to differences and open quarrel. The material to be worked upon was very crude; but his patience was equal to the task, and his sense of justice gave his subordinates confidence in his judgment and wish to give to each the merit he deserved. He was under the immediate orders of his former general, Parsons, thus making him more confident of recognition and, in consequence, giving him a greater freedom of action. A first step was to rid the regiment of what would prove only a burden, without any addition to its strength; so seven almost naked men were discharged. It would have been too costly to attempt to clothe them. Then the quality of the new officers under him must be tested. He was anxious to get as many of his former officers as possible, and among them, sent for Hopkins, Riley and Bulkley — recently released from New York. Not one had enough money to get an outfit and reach camp; and all were still indebted in New York and on Long Island. Bulkley wrote that he did not have money enough to "wet the parchment you was pleased to send me, which ought to be done in a proper manner." Lieutenant Strong also pleaded his poverty, as "I have


not money a nuf in the world to Bare my Expences to the Regt. nither is it in my Power to get it." This was a very unpromising opening, but the disappointment must have been somewhat lessened by the wishes of others to serve under him, among them William Stephens Smith, one of the General's aids, and later to be in diplomatic service under the constitutional government. The slow method of recruiting was another obstacle, as it left Webb almost without a regiment to command. The patriotic fervor of the early years of the war had long since died out, counteracted by the mismanagement of Congress and the slow progress of the cause. At this time Webb's regiment contained only twenty-four men fit for duty.

In this situation Webb received intelligence of the illness of his wife, and an urgent call to attend her. He left camp so hastily as to have omitted certain formalities demanded by the regulations, and his anxiety was keen lest his want of courtesy to his superior should be noticed. "Should General Washington take up the matter as a disobedience of orders, it would make me one of the most wretched beings in the World — even to receive a reprimand from him would be next to Death." As soon as the real circumstances were known he was readily excused. He found, to his relief, that the condition of Mrs. Webb and Mrs. Bancker was not so serious as had been feared; and early in May he was again in camp, receiving recruits, disciplining the weak, and testing the abilities of his officers.

The time was one of expectancy. The campaign of 1780 had produced no definite results, and to


accomplish something more, the British commander determined upon an invasion of Virginia. Doubtless it was monetary rather than military reasons that led him to attempt this, as the tobacco stored along the Virginia coast was rich plunder to the captors and its loss a heavy blow to the Americans. As if to make the disreputable features of this raid the more striking, Arnold, the well rewarded traitor, was chosen to lead the incursion. Doubting his absolute reliability, General Phillips, the friend of Webb, was placed over him, and thus their force entered Virginia and began a course of rapine and destruction. Further south, Greene was pitted against Cornwallis in a campaign which was destined to prove the high hopes that had been placed in his abilities. At the northward the first contingent of the French aid was insufficient to allow active operation, and on the arrival of the second, it was time to fall upon some plan of campaign. Without a conference between Washington and the French commander, such a plan could not have been evolved in season; so they determined to meet at Wethersfield.

The quiet town must have been strangely excited when on Saturday General Washington rode into it, accompanied by Generals Knox and Du Portail, with their respective suites, escorted by a number of gentlemen from Hartford. The General at once went to the house of Joseph Webb — even now a notable building in the picturesque place — where he remained during his visit. The sleepy little place, which has never since been through the same excitement of a military visitation, offered good facilities for a conference. It was conveniently situated for the two armies, and not too


long a journey for one to give occasion for jealousy, or a sense of slighted honor. Washington set out from New Windsor on the 18th and rode into Wethersfield on the following day — two days ahead of Rochambeau, then coming from Newport. This day's advantage was not wasted, and the strict townspeople would under ordinary circumstances have been greatly shocked to learn that a military campaign was discussed on a Sunday within their township. The good old governor, one of the staunchest of patriots and a God-fearing man, records in his diary how he attended divine service at Wethersfield with General Washington, and listened to a sermon from the text "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Other matters pre-occupied the General, for he does not note his attendance at church, but does say he had "a good deal of private conversation with Governor Trumbull, who gave it to me as his opinion, that, if any important offensive operation should be undertaken, he had little doubt of our obtaining men and provision adequate to our wants." This was far better news than any promise of future benefits the earnest divine could have offered.

The following day was made memorable by the entry of the French General Rochambeau with his brilliant suite. Perfect in equipment, eminent in courtesy and discipline, and brilliant in manners and appearance, they must have presented a strong contrast to the American officers, sobered by long and arduous service, and pinched by the parsimony of Congress and the States, receiving a pittance that barely sufficed to cover their nakedness. On the 22d, the two commanders agreed


upon the plan of campaign, and on the 23d the French guests set out upon their return, after dining at Collier's, with the American officers and the Governor. Washington remained another day to finish some despatches to the executives of the eastern States, laying before them the wants of the army, and the pressing need of some stringent measures to enable him to use to advantage the present aid of the French king. If the Webb house did not receive Washington on his journey to Cambridge, in 1775, where he was to assume a command of which the issue was uncertain and even unpromising, it sheltered him at a time when after six years of trial he found himself about to command an adequate army, and on the brink of a campaign that was to finish the war. It is little matter of surprise that the Webb house is still an object of high interest, and remains to-day in almost the same condition as when Washington crossed its threshold, at first in deep anxiety, afterwards in high expectation. In his first letter to Joseph Webb after his return to camp, Washington wrote: "I cannot conclude without assuring you that I have a high sense of your politeness and attention to me while I was at Weathersfield — and that I should at all times be happy to see you at Head Quarters."

While his brother was thus engaged in making a memorable event in the history of Wethersfield, Colonel Webb was wrestling with such problems as a want of nearly every essential entailed. "We are at present destitute of every necessary but provision — The Qr. Master's department cannot furnish horses to move a single Brigade; beside this, our present


numbers will not justify our taking a critical position." Nothing could be planned under such want, and the attack on New York, long held in hope, must be put aside until the army was supplied with the main instruments of a march. The officers had not been paid for months, and were bent upon resigning, as they could not exist upon nothing. The men were on the verge of mutiny; and the outbreak in Wayne's brigade could easily occur in others had any operations been expected of them. Another question of rank was now to be settled, as Webb thought himself injured, and demanded Board officers to determine his pretensions.

In brief this new difficulty was as follows: Heman Swift in the new arrangement was placed before Webb, and claimed to be a senior officer. In making this pretension he had overlooked what Webb regarded as a vital point: that Swift was taken from civil life, while Webb had received his colonelcy in the military line, and by regular promotion. In 1776 the eastern executives had been called upon to furnish some militia, or levies, to serve to the end of the year. Colonel Swift was in command of our regiment coming from Connecticut. While in this service the State legislature named him as Colonel of one of the regular regiments to be formed in Connecticut, in obedience to a requisition from the Continental Congress, but this regiment could not come into existence before 1777. In the meantime, Webb, who had been successively Major and Lieutenant-Colonel in the Continental service, was appointed to commandone of the "additional" regiments. He claimed that Swift was acting under a


State commission till 1777, and even under that only for a few months; himself had been in the Continental service from the beginning of the war, and a promotion from the proper military line should take rank of one otherwise made. In this position he had high support; but a board of general officers decided against him and in a manner and on ground that was not considered to his dishonor.

Another matter, of far graver import, demanded his attention. The condition of his wife was such as to give cause for great anxiety, and it was desired to remove her to Connecticut, where the change of climate might prove beneficial. How to make this journey presented difficulties. By land she could not travel, as the fatigue was too dangerous to one in her critical condition. It only remained to go by water, and a passage must be secured through the enemy's lines. The many friendships Webb had made in his confinement on Long Island stood him well in his need. Governor Clinton of New York readily answered an appeal for his influence, but stated it rested with Governor Livingston of New Jersey to issue the necessary pass. Livingston answered "I will most cheerfully give her [Mrs. Webb] a pass to go to any place in the enemy's lines" which the physicians would indicate; but through a misunderstanding, easily forgiven in one whose kindness in such matters had been shamefully abused, he refused to permit Mrs. Bancker to go to New York. At Philadelphia Webb was successful in overcoming that obstacle; and the British General, Robertson, at once gave assurance of an unmolested passage to the party, a favor further supported by the


chief justice of New York, William Smith, in securing permission for Colonel Webb to accompany his wife — a permission peculiarly grateful to him. He set out on his anxious journey, and by slow stages reached the place of embarkation. All the care bestowed was not successful in accomplishing the end, and Mrs. Webb died — almost within sight of Wethersfield — on November 18th, nearly one month being occupied in making the journey from Tom's River, in New Jersey, to Middletown in Connecticut.

This affliction, with the care attending its approach, had been too engrossing to permit Colonel Webb from giving much attention to the Southern campaign, now most happily terminated by the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Indeed, he thought seriously of giving up his commission, — a step from which he was dissuaded with difficulty by his friends. The detail of organizing and disciplining his command was a wholesome absorption for one in his condition, and by March, 1782, he was in camp, once more laboring to secure that efficiency and high appearance which had on more than one occasion gained him praise. With the Commander in Chief his relations were close and more than friendly; while the "family" at Head Quarters always gave him a hearty welcome. The prospects of a really active campaign were not good; but the wants of the soldiery, and the evil condition of the officers, due to the failure of Congress or the States to give them pay, were matters demanding much attention and no little delicacy in the handling. The Connecticut line was greatly disaffected, and the privates were on the point of mutinying, when the vigilance and persuasion


of their officers prevented such an extreme blunder. It is to the credit of Colonel Webb that his command did not favor mutiny, but were content to await the action of Congress, though from past experience little could be hoped for in that direction. This difficulty was smoothed over and a little more pleasurable feature of the camp life is shown. Colonel Webb sends a salmon to Washington; and when General Robert Howe wishes to entertain the Commander-in-Chief, he sends to Webb for some salt fish, a dish of which Washington was very fond. Webb entertains on his own account, and invites General and Mrs. Washington, and Generals Lincoln, Knox Stirling and Hand, with members of their suites.

This interchange of courtesies did not lead to a forgetfulness of more important matters. Webb early sent out his officers to recruit, and insisted upon a full complaince with the regulations as to size and general condition. It had proved too costly an experiment to take any one who offered, whether he be strong or weakly, undersized or tall, capable of learning the discipline or lazy and shiftless. To clothe, arm and equip the incompetent was a waste of time and, what was of more importance, of money. Men, who knew the pay would be small in amount and uncertain in the payment, while the service was exacting, were backward in joining. These conditions made the labors of the recruiting officers so much the more difficult. One of them, who had found his efforts meeting with meagre results, suggested that he be authorized to hire women, as he had found them more zealous for recruiting and keeping up the army than the men. Surely, he thought,


in the distressed situation of the army, no court-martial would condemn him for such an act.

The routine of duty produced good results. On the morning of July 6th, 1782, the Connecticut regiments were reviewed by Washington. It was with keen pleasure that Lord Stirling wrote to Colonel Webb that "the behaviour of the troops this morning has gained the approbation of the Commander-in-Chief, and all our visitants." At this time Webb was a member of the Court Martial constituted to try Major-General McDougall — sitting from April 15th to July 22d, — a tedious matter, resulting in the exoneration of the general. Some hints were thrown out of a move upon New York, and in August Webb's command was made a part of the Light Infantry, an almost independent service, which placed him on the outposts, and near the Croton River. His force numbered nearly twelve hundred men, and visions of military glory came as a promise of reward for his years of enforced idleness. These visions were never to be realized. Congress could not give the army the equipment necessary to an offensive campaign; and the inactivity of the British rendered a defensive one almost unnecessary. An occasional order from headquarters, and a removal to the neighborhood of the Continental Village; some scouting towards the enemy or a forage, and a vacillating between the hope of peace and the expectation of active operations, served to pass the fall, until the period for a real campaign was over.

If the excitement of a campaign was absent, the troubles of domestic concern were ever present. Congress had to all intents defaulted. It had resorted to


every financial expedient its necessities could point out, and had reached the end bankrupt in resources and in credit. Its recommendations no longer had any weight with the States; its requisitions for men, money and supplies were disregarded. Its financial representative, Robert Morris, had pledged his own credit to the utmost, and was now at a loss how to obtain what was required to pay the current wages of officers and men. A serious menace was the general discontent in the army, growing stronger from day to day under the accumulation of many grievances. Not enough money could be commanded to pay for the "intelligence" from New York, on which the safety of the army and all future operations so largely depended. Webb was instructed to ask his spies to be content with the little they could make by going backward and forward with small articles — hardly a sufficient reward to induce a man to risk his life and reputation. The lot of the officers was one of peculiar hardship, as they had been pinched for years, and had not received a dollar for months. "Almost intolerable" was their situation represented; and at last patience was exhausted and a convention called to take action for redress. Webb was unanimously chosen to urge the claims of his regiment, and the temperately worded instructions show his influence on the side of moderation. "Notwithstanding we are fully impressed with the Idea, that our necessities call for the most immediate and effectual relief, yet we wish that our Conduct on this Occasion may not be marked with an Intemperate Zeal, and as the Army have exhibited to the World the most Astonishing Spectacle of persevering Patriotism and Virtue in distress, we wish


not at this late Period, when our troubles appear Verging to a happy termination to cast a shade upon that fame, which we hold equally dear with our Lives, but that our Conduct may be dictated in prudence, and supported with firmness."

The full moderation of this paper can only be comprehended by comparing its language with that of a letter of the Commander-in-Chief, in which he uses expressions which contrast strongly with his usual calmness, but which are not too strong for the situation. No better description of the evil condition of the officers — and Webb shared all the trials endured by his comrades in arms — is to be found in the literature of the Revolution; while its high source gives its statements peculiar weight:



Painful as the task is to describe the dark side of our affairs, it sometimes becomes a matter of indispensable necessity. Without disguise or palliation, I will candidly inform you of the discontents which at this moment prevail universally throughout the army.

The complaint of evils, which they suppose almost remediless, are the total want of money or the means of existing from one day to another, the heavy debts they have already incurred, the loss of credit, the distress of their families (i. e., such as are married) at home, and the prospect of poverty and misery before them. It is in vain, Sir, to suppose, that military men will acquiesce contentedly with bare rations, when those in the civil walk of life (unacquainted with half the hardships they endure,) are regularly paid the emoluments of office. While the human mind is influenced by the same passions, and have ye same inclinations to indulge, it can't be. A military man has the same turn to sociability as a person in civil life. He conceives himself equally called upon to live up to his rank, and his pride is hurt when circumstances restrain him.


Only conceive, then, the mortification they (even the general officers) must suffer, when they cannot invite a French officer, a visiting friend, or a travelling acquaintance, to a better repast, than stinking whiskey (and not always that) and a bit of Beef without vegetables will afford to them.

The officers also complain of other hardships, which they think might and ought to be remedied without delay; such as the stopping promotions, where there have been vacancies open for a long time; the withholding commissions from those, who are justly entitled to them, and have warrants or certificates of their appointments from the executive of their States; and particularly the leaving the compensation for their services in a loose, equivocal state, without ascertaining their claims upon the public, or making provision for the future payment of them.

While I promise, that tho' no one I have seen or heard of appears opposed to the principle of reducing the army as circumstances may require, yet I cannot help fearing the result of the measure in contemplation, under present circumstances, when I see such a number of men, goaded by a thousand stings of reflection on the past and of anticipation on the future, about to be turned into the world, soured by penury and what they call the ingratitude of the public, involved in debts, without one farthing of money to carry them home, after having spent the flower of their days, and many of them their patrimonies, in establishing the freedom and independence of their country, and suffered everything human nature is capable of enduring on this side of death. I repeat it, in these inevitable circumstances, without one thing to soothe their feelings or brighten the gloomy prospects, I cannot avoid apprehending that a train of evils will follow, of a very serious and distressing nature. On the other hand, could the officers be placed in as good a situation, as when they came into the service, the contention, I am persuaded, would be, not who should continue in the field, but who should retire to private life.

I wish not to heighten the shades of the picture so far as the real life would justify me in doing, or I would give anecdotes of patriotism and distress, which have scarcely ever been paralleled, never surpassed in the history of mankind. But, you may rely upon it, the patience and long-sufferance of this army are almost exhausted,


and that there never was so great a spirit of discontent as at this moment. While in the field, I think it may be kept from breaking out into acts of outrage; but when we retire into winter-quarters, (unless the storm is previously dissipated,) I cannot be at ease respecting the consequences. It is high time for a peace. * * *

Such appeals fell upon the ears of those who were wrangling among themselves in petty differences over local importance, and who refused to listen to the few in Congress pleading for a national existence instead of thirteen separate States. The petitions of the officers were denied in committees; the eloquent prayers of Washington in their behalf were appreciated by the few, and neglected by the many; the pleadings of Robert Morris proved ineffectual in bringing congress or the States to a full realization of what the crisis demanded, and in March the storm broke. A letter, circulated anonymously. but now known to have been written by Major John Armstrong, called upon the officers to "suspect the man who would advise to longer forbearance" — that is, Washington, and to appeal from the justice to the fears of government. Such an appeal to the necessities and passions of the officers involved a grave public danger, and would, in ordinary times be accounted mutiny. Much must be allowed for the real injuries and neglect the officers were smarting under, and the promise of better things was a strong temptation to men rendered almost frantic by their past sufferings and by a knowledge of neglect and want in the future.


As a political move the appeal was important. If Congress was closed to appeals to its sense of obligation and strict justice, it might be more ready to notice a menace, with force behind it. What could such a menace effect? Congress was merely a collection of individuals, and represented no sovereignty except in the relations of the States to the foreign powers. It had no powers to enforce its conclusions, and with a respectful recommendation to the States its limit of authority was reached. To threaten such a body could have only a moral effect, and it is very doubtful if any relief could be obtained by such a step. Even had the Congress been scattered by fear, the real obstacle to the claims of the army — the indifference of the States remained; and it was impossible to conceive of the army marching from State to State, subsisting by plunder, and seeking relief by intimidation. The policy outlined in the Armstrong letters was foolish, and the ambition of some to place Gates in the place of Washington led to its suggestion.

The true friends of the army at once saw the futility of this appeal, and recognized the great injury its adoption would work upon their schemes of obtaining from the States a sum sufficient to disband the army in peace, and to make some provision for the soldier after retirement. Washington took the matter in hand, presided at the meeting of the officers, and directed the resolutions into channels of moderation. Much as the army had owed to him in the past, it owed him more on this occasion; for an extreme measure would have buried it in contempt, and prevented any provision for the present or future. In this agitation


Colonel Webb threw his influence on the side of moderation. He was a heavy loser on his own account by the want of pay, and his regiment, with others, was loud in its complaints. But he remained steadfast to Washington, and took no part in the mad scheme of coercing Congress and elevating Gates to the chief command. Taught by the danger of a revolt a wholesome lesson, Congress determined to disband the army, and with the aid of Robert Morris was able to send it away with just enough to allow it to get out of the influence of combination, and with sufficient to enable it to meet the most pressing wants.

The marvel is that the officers did not go home with hot feelings against the Congress and the States. Most of them had given the best years of their life to the cause, sacrificed their health and fortunes, and saw with no little apprehension the war coming to an end with little promise for their future. While the danger was pressing, they served their country, and gave unselfishly the best they had. Now, when peace was at hand, they looked to the country to recognize the service they had rendered, if only grudgingly. This expectation was in vain. They were sent away with a few dollars, and more paper promises, the value of which was doubtful. They returned to their States to find a cold, and sometimes a hostile welcome. The wish of Congress to grant them half-pay for life or even for five years, had awakened an unaccountable hostility in the Eastern States; and in place of praise and honor, such as was due, scorn and ridicule were meted out to them. Nowhere was this feeling more openly shown than in Connecticut; and Webb, having


suffered heavily in his private fortune, and already giving evidence of broken health, determined to fix his residence in New York. There was one flattering evidence of appreciation shown to him at this time; for Congress gave him the rank of Brigadier General, a deserved, though somewhat tardy reward. His friends made the occasion one of joy, by surprising him with the packet containing his commission.

The officers were proud of what they had done, and as their hardships and experiences became those of memory rather than of reality, they determined to perpetuate their friendships, as well for themselves as for their descendants. It was a graceful thought to institute a society of friends, to illustrate a spirit of brotherly kindness, and to assist those among them who should stand in need. It was only a distorted conception of its constitution and objects that could see in it an organization dangerous to American liberties, the beginnings of a power of wealth and influence that must eventually overthrow the State. The "Cincinnati" have lived to this day, and cherish the memories of the time when to be accounted a citizen of "these United States" involved quite as much danger as it did honor. In the formation of this society Brigadier-General Webb was foremost, and he was one of the first to put his name to the association. The wisdom and foresight of the founders have been vindicated in the event. At first received with profound distrust, as an institution hostile to American interests, the "Cincinnati" has proved a center for preserving revolutionary memories, and keeping alive a reverence for the actors in that contest for liberty.


Thus, pledging lasting friendship among themselves and those who should succeed them, the officers surrendered their commissions, and went to their homes. As a body, they were remarkable, and after their experiences they readily saw there was little hope for the future save under a central government of adequate power. They had learned the great lesson of obedience and concerted action, and scattering among the States, they did not lose sight of what was required for the safety of the republic.



Peace once assured, the question of making a place for himself in New York presented itself. His early commercial training led Webb to look to some business connection, where his special experience and knowledge could avail. He had many friends in mercantile life, and among them Jeremiah Wadsworth was first. Wadsworth had served as chief purchasing agent for the French army in the last years of the war, and having the ready cash of the allies at his command, built up a wide and strong influence, which he shared with Robert Morris, now at the height of his power. To procure a settlement of his accounts, Wadsworth was called to France at the very time he intended to form a merchant company, with Webb as a partner. This was more unfortunate for his associates than for himself; for it was not a little difficult to obtain an opening anywhere, and most of all in trade. The war had altered the direction of commerce, and introduced new methods and instruments. The uncertain ventures in the time of hostilities now gave place to ventures uncertain because of their novelty. The American traders had been so long under artificial conditions created by war, that they hardly knew what to expect from a freer sphere of action. When colonies to Great Britain they had enjoyed certain commercial privileges, and had built up an extensive and profitable trade with the West Indies and certain countries of Europe.


They were now excluded from the West Indies and were subject to the full rigors of the mercantile system of European States. Until their position should be better determined by commercial treaties, they could not foresee what their prospects were, although they knew almost instinctively where the promises were greatest.

In this unsettled condition few opportunities for employment seemed to hold out sufficient temptation to a young man. When Wadsworth went to France, Webb naturally looked for some civil employment, and applied to Congress. The office of Secretary at War had become vacant through the resignation of General Lincoln. The pay was small and the duties were exacting, because the western posts and Indian relations promised to give no little trouble in the near future. The man who was most strongly urged to take the place was General Knox, and was service made the reason for an appointment, he was the proper person to receive the honor of an election. Second to him stood Webb, who was proposed by the Connecticut delegates, and was favored by some from the Middle States. The question was settled by Knox announcing that he would accept the office. Webb wrote to Wadsworth:

"Yesterday came to the election of Secretary at War, which was considerably contested between General Knox and myself, — but Mr. [Rufus] King asserted that General Knox would accept the office with its present salary. This at once brought him in, and if it is agreeable to him, I think the appointment perfectly just, nor would I have entered the lists with him, had


not others with less claims than myself been on the nomination — should it so happen that General Knox will not accept, I think I shall carry the point, particularly if I can get Gen. Knox's recommendation."

As a recognition of his claims Knox wished to make Webb the assistant Secretary; but in these early days practical politics had little place, and its possibilities were even less understood than at present. Joseph Carleton was in the office, and after some little hesitation decided to remain. Such a commonplace incident as a removal from office save for cause was not even thought of; and "offensive partisanship" had no hold in congressional office management and brokerage.

Disappointed in this hope, and with some old engagements pressing, Webb was obliged to consider the question of parting with his earnings in the military service. There is something almost pathetic in the balance and real worth shown in his estimate, though his case was by no means unique. At the end of nine years' hard labor and sacrifice he held the paper promises of Congress to the amount of 5,704 dollars; but in the best market he could not obtain more than one-sixth the face value, or Ł230 currency! Of Connecticut State notes he held a nominal value of Ł913, but the real value fluctuated from day to day, as the paper was an object of speculation rather than of investment. The "final settlement" notes, of which he possessed a round sum, had fallen to two shillings and six pence, or six shillings in the pound; while the default in payment of interest, and little provision for the payment of the principal, threatened to force the value still lower. Speculators reaped a fat harvest from the necessities


of the retired officers; and this only increased the sore feeling of neglect and injustice which the disgraceful incident at the disbanding of the army had engendered. For nearly five years the development of the country was checked by this virus of speculation. Each State sought to monopolize the trade of its neighbors, and by customs duties to draw from this commerce a revenue for itself. Each State maintained an attitude of jealousy towards the rest, fearful lest any efforts of its own to provide for its debt, or the common debt, would prove of some advantage to its supposed rivals. Each State undertook to hold an independent place in all matters save foreign relations, and entered into legislation which could only have resulted in a commercial war with the other States. The effects of the enormous issues of paper money and all forms of indebtedness, Continental and State, had not yet passed away, and had demoralized all transactions of the past and prevented any for the future. In spite of the recent experiences, State after State resorted to new issues of paper, aggravating existing ills, and producing fresh obstacles to a better condition.

In these years Webb resided in New York, and engaged in such mercantile business as his connections in Boston and Connecticut gave. Of social tastes, he found an extensive and agreeable circle open to him. Congress was in session almost continuously, and with most of its members he was on terms of intimacy. The merchant class, now rising into prominence, counted him as one of its associates; and the presence of many of his old associates — Hamilton, Walker, Cary, Willet, Platt, Livingston and many others — made his


social intercourse one of activity and keen pleasure. The diplomatic representatives of foreign powers counted him as a welcome attendant on their entertainments, and the city authorities always summoned him to assist at their public celebrations. The annual meeting of the Cincinnati kept alive his friendship for his former comrades, and to him was intrusted, in 1787, the task of urging Washington to remain President of the Society. As a patron of the theatre he was one of the most regular of "first-nighters," and actors and managers looked to him for encouragement in venturing new productions.

Public affairs grew rapidly worse, and the thoughtful saw a remedy only in a union of States under a strong federal government. The leaven of this movement was found among the officers of the Revolution. Their experiences under a divided power, the one too jealous to exert its authority, the other too feeble to exert any, taught them a lesson which they were hardly likely to forget. Moreover, the discipline of army life, where the gradations of rank and authority are so clearly outlined, creates a respect and obedience to power, which is a wholesome corrective to license. Step by step approaches were made towards a federal government, and in 1787 the goal was attained in the new Constitution. Webb was a strong partisan of the new government; so strong that when Massachusetts ratified the instrument he dined in its honor at the coffee-house "with the principle Gentlemen of the Town and members of Congress," and frankly confessed to a "bad cold and Head ache" the next morning. Feeling ran so high at the election in April, 1788,


that a mob ranged the streets of New York, and so beat and bruised Webb among others that he was obliged to remain in his room for four days. Satisfaction came later, as he saw State after State fall into line, and give their voice in favor of the proposed government. No sooner was one ratification celebrated by a display, "the most brilliant ever seen in America, and probably few of the older cities in Europe ever excelled in a procession of the kind," when a new demonstration was called for. The excitement reached its climax when news was brought from Poughkeepsie of the adoption of the Constitution in the State Convention — a victory for the federalists beyond all others, "The whole night was spent in loud acclamation of Joy, and continued until past 8 o'clock this morning" — winding up with an attack upon an unpopular printer of the city, thus recalling a similar outburst of popular feeling against Rivington, in the first year of the Revolution.

Following this excitement came the election of the First President under the Constitution, although it had long been known who the man was to be. "The City is gay and lively," wrote Webb to Van Rensselaer, late in March, 1789, "a vast number of strangers with us, and next week, or the week after, the theatre will open, but believe me I am heartily tired of this round of Dissipation." The votes were opened as a matter of form, and Washington declared elected President, with John Adams as Vice-President. Preparations were begun to make the inauguration a brilliant event, and those who were so fortunate as to see the events rehearsed a century later, in 1889, can never forget the imposing detail as then enacted. In 1789 it was


the beginning of a great experiment in government; and however great the outward manifestations of joy, the thought of the future problems — novel and difficult — must have tempered the minds of many of the leaders. Webb had his share in the celebration, and was chosen by Congress one of the Masters of Ceremony. On the appointed day he accompanied his old commander, the "President-General," from his "lodgings to the Senate room, from thence to St. Paul's Church and back to his House, thro' the surrounding shouts of Joy, of the greatest concourse of Citizens that I ever beheld. — In the evening we had a very brilliant display of fire-works."

It was only natural that Washington should consider the claims of Brigadier-General Webb in a distribution of the federal offices. The men who had lost so much in founding the new State, without any expectation of reward, deserved well at his hands. It was natural, also, for the new President to look to the men whose capacity had been tested under his eyes, and whose merit he knew. Webb was proposed for an office in the judiciary, "that will be permanent and honorable," and in his aspiration he had the assurance of friendship from the President. The delay of Congress in completing the judiciary was an obstacle, as no appointment could be made till the law had been passed. To sweeten the annoyance Washington offered Webb other positions, which he was obliged to decline, as they involved a removal from the State. The question was complicated by the claims of others; but the General was much comforted by the good disposition of the President to serve him. Finally a decision was


made. "The President sent for me and fully convinced me of the necessity he was under of giving it to my friend, Colo. [William Stephens] Smith, Son-in-law to the Vice-President, at the same time giving me the most flattering assureances of his disposition to serve me on some future occasion, should anything offer which would be acceptable. . . An Idea was again conveyed to me of going abroad, when I was obliged to tell the President, candidly, that no appointment of that kind could meet my wishes."

This seems to have ended General Webb's wish to enter public life, and his determination to retire was strengthened by his marriage, in September, 1790, to Catherine, the third daughter of Judge Stephen Hogeboom, of Claverack, New York. The rest of his story is soon told. With his young wife he retired to Claverack, where he spent his time in managing a farm and entertaining his friends. Failing health, the result of exposure in his military service, tempted him to withdraw gradually from all political matters, and he settled down into a peace-loving but active citizen. The end came in December, 1807, having buried his wife a little more than two years previously.



1. So called, because they were issued on the credit of Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finance. Congress, at this time, was unable to pay its army in anything.

2. In the absence of any record of the trial of Captain Webb, it is impossible to determine the charges brought against him, or the measure of his guilt, if any.

Major Tallmadge appears to have been the prime mover in the matter, so his letter must be considered the strongest piece of evidence against the Captain. Yet Tallmadge said it was a matter for which the Captain was not to be "broke," but only reprimanded. The matter dragged along for more than six months before the trial came on, and resulted in Captain Webb's leaving the regiment. There is a vague suggestion in one letter of a charge of making a false return, but the Captain explained that point satisfactorily. Personal animus was at the bottom of the difficulty, and the general opinion was that the Captain had been indiscreet in criticising his superior officers after the charges were made — notably Colonel Sheldon, — and his youth and hot head atoned for what he had done. I print a letter from Joseph Webb, 16 May, 1783, which gives some light. Captain Webb was a member of the Cincinnati, and was a lieutenant-colonel of the Camden County (Georgia) Militia in 1788. Had there been any stigma attaching to his reputation, he would not have received such appointments.

3. From the Cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

4. The letters referred to were the so-called "Newburgh letters," written by Major John Armstrong, aide-de-camp to General Gates. A memorial from the officers of the army had been taken to Congress by Major-General McDougall, Colonel John Brooks and Colonel Mathias Ogden (see Vol. II, p. 439), begging for some relief from their embarrassments. Robert Morris had no money, and could only anticipate the results of a possible loan from the Dutch; but the necessity for some payment was pressing, as the army was "verging to that state which, we are told, will make a wise man mad." One month's pay in notes was given to officers, and to privates one month's pay in weekly installments of half a dollar — a mere pittance. After that Congress turned to the almost hopeless task of obtaining a revenue, and the opinion gained ground that the army would not disband until its wrongs were remedied. This opinion led Hamilton to appeal to Washington to take the lead of the movement, using the army as an instrument to induce the States to grant the impost — an appeal that Washington could not gratify, as it seemed to him a most dangerous expedient. Morris resigned, and Colonel Walter Stewart came to camp from Philadelphia as an agent from the "friends of the army" in Congress. Immediately after, the Armstrong letters were written, and sent through the line of every State. The MS. copy of them among the Webb papers is addressed to "Colos. Crane, Webb and Huntington." The results are told by Bancroft.

5. From the Cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

6. From the Trumbull Papers in the Massachusetts Historical Society.

7. From the collection of Dr. John S. H. Fogg, of Boston.

This artist was Robert Edge Pine, a son of John Pine, an engraver. He was well known in England for historical paintings, having twice taken the prize for that kind of work offered by the Society for the Encouragement of Arts. He came to Philadelphia in 1783 to paint portraits and scenes of the Revolution, and was introduced by Francis Hopkinson to Washington, who entered in his Diary "April 28th [1785]. To dinner Mr. Pine, a pretty eminent Portrait and historical painter arrived in order to take my picture from the life, and place it in the historical pieces he is about to draw. This gentleman stands in good estimation as a painter in England; comes recommended to me from Colo [George William] Fairfax, Mr. [Robert] Morris, Governor [John] Dickinson, Mr. [Francis] Hopkinson and others." For an amusing letter of Washington on these sittings see Writings of Washington, x., 450.

8. I can find no copy of this paper.

9. From the Wadsworth MSS. in the possession of Mr. J. F. Morris, of Hartford. Col. Wadsworth sailed for France in July 1783.

10. Printed in Trade of Great Britain with the United States, p. 64.

11. From the Cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

12. From the Ford Collection.

13. Boston had long felt the inconvenience of a town government, and under the lead of influential citizens, an attempt was made in 1784 to remedy the situation. Joseph Barrell was one of a committee of thirteen to report on the expediency of petitioning for an act of incorporation as a city, and was associated with Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Stephen Higginson, Perez Morton and others of similar prominence. The plans prepared are given in Quincy, Municipal History of Boston,, 25. The meeting refused to hear any discussion of the plans, and demanding an immediate vote, rejected incorporation by a large majority.

14. Probably intended for specie.

15. General Knox was placed in nomination by James Monroe, of Virginia, and elected on March 8th. On the 17th Knox accepted.

16. Some words omitted by the writer.

17. From the Wadsworth MSS. in the possession of Mr. J. F. Morris, of Hartford.

18. From the Wadsworth MSS. in the possession of Mr. J. F. Morris of Hartford.

19. Joseph Carleton.

20. From the Wadsworth MSS. in the possession of Mr. J. F. Morris, of Hartford.

21. Colonel Smith had been appointed Secretary of Legation in London, and married Abigail, the only daughter of John Adams, the minister.

22. This letter was read in the Senate by Mr. Seward in the session of 1856-57, when a bill in favor of Revolutionary officers was pending.

23.John Henry was an Irishman of good education, who joined Hallam's "American Company" in Jamaica. He was a well known actor in New York before the Revolution, where he was joint manager, with Lewis Hallam, the second, of the John Street Theatre. He died at sea, 1795.

The "School for Scandal" was given in the John Street Theatre, New York, by the "Old American Company," on Monday evening, December 12, 1785, for the first time in America. Henry was possessed of a copy of the play, given to him by the author, and in 1786 he caused it to be printed by Hugh Gaine. The cast given in that imprint is faulty, but Mr. Augustin Daly gives the following interesting comparison:

Sir Peter Teazle........... Mr. King.............. Mr. Henry.
Sir Oliver Surface........ Mr. Yates............. Mr. Morris.
Sir Benjamin Backbite..... Mr. Dodd............. Mr. Wignell.
Sir Harry Bumper......... Mr. Gawdry........... Mr. Harper.
Joseph Surface............ Mr. Palmer............ Mr. Heard.
Charles Surface........... Mr. Smith............. Mr. Biddle.
Crabtree................. Mr. Parsons........... Mr. Woolls.
Rowley.................. Mr. Aiken............. Mr. Ryan.
Careless.................. Mr. Farren.
Moses................... Mr. Baddelley.
Trip..................... Mr. Lamash.
Snake................... Mr. Packer.
Lady Teazle.............. Mrs. Abington......... Mrs. Morris.
Lady Sneerwell.......... Mrs. Sherry............ Mrs. Williamson.
Mrs. Candour............. Mrs. Pope............. Mrs. Harper.
Maria.................. Miss P. Hopkins........ Miss Tuke.

24. See Vol. I, 418, note.

25. Probably Daniel Phoenix, a merchant, of 32 Water Street, New York City.

26. The Cincinnati met at Corre's Tavern. The Packet speaks of an "Elegant oration suitable to the occasion" delivered by Colonel Hamilton, and an address by Colonel Benjamin Walker "greatly pleasing to a crowded audience." Hamilton's oration has not been preserved, but his report on the constitution of the Society is printed in his Works(Lodge's edition), VI, 539.

27. AMS. in the writing of General Webb.

28. This notice was also printed in the New York Packet, 11 September, 1786.

29. Shay's rebellion.

30. Member of Congress from South Carolina.

31. William Pierce, who had been an aid-de-camp to General Green.

32. "May-day in Town, or New York in an Uproar," was a comic opera in two acts, by Royal Tyler, author of "The Contrast." It was performed at the John-Street Theatre, April 19, 1787.

33. See Journals of Congress, 30 January, 1784.

34. From the Reminiscences of General Samuel B. Webb, 139.

35. Of the Cincinnati.

36. From the collection of Dr. John S. H. Fogg, Boston.

37. From the Reminiscences of General Samuel B. Webb, p. 274.

38. Drank at the Coffee House, on the news that Massachusetts had ratified the Constitution, and I am unable to identify the hand-writing.

39. "I intend being in York about the middle or 20th of next Month provided I have Reason to suppose that our Governor will be there — on my way to the Western Country, where my Dear Fellow I wish more sincerely you would go — at least to take a Look at the Country — & if you have not Business to engage you here it will really be well disposing of yourself, & you will receive more Satisfaction than at this Distance you may promise yourself." — Winthrop Sargent to General Webb, 26 January, 1788.

"I hope by next week we shall hear that New Hamp. has adopted the Constitution, and if we live long enough we shall hear New York has done so too, but the distant day they have appointed for the Convention shows they are not hearty & I hate those that do a good thing with a bad grace — if the Devil had all Selfish men, I'm sure there would not be so [many] opposers to this Constitution." — Joseph Barrell to General Webb, 20 February, 1788.

40. From the Cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

41. Georgia complained of the facility the negroes had of crossing the line into Florida, whence reclamation was impossible. "This has already been productive of much injury to private persons, and, if not speedily restrained, may grow into an evil of national magnitude." Address to Washington, December, 1787. In May, 1791, Seagrove was sent to Quesada on this business. Writings of Washington, xii, 41.

42. On August 3d, the name of Seagrove was sent to the Senate for the Collector of Customs at St. Mary's. It was confirmed on the 5th.

43. Habersham, who had served in the army during the war, and represented Georgia in the Continental Congress, was appointed by Washington collector of customs at Savannah.

44. The "Contrast" was written in 1787 by Robert Tyler, and was one of the very few successful plays of the time.

45. From the Cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

46. From the Cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

47. From the cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

48. Captain Job Sumner, of the Massachusetts line.

49. See a letter from Washington to Jay in Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, iii, 380.

50. Doctor W. Vrooman Wimple, who married a daughter of Judge Hogeboom.

51. From the Reminiscences of General Samuel B. Webb, 63.

52. Charles Willson Peale. This miniature supplied the frontispiece of the first volume.

53. The Columbia arrived August 19, with a cargo of two hundred and twenty-one chests of Bohea — a disappointing result to her owners.

54. Robert Gray, commander.

55. From the Wadsworth MSS in the possession of Mr. J. F. Morris, of Hartford.

56. From the Reminiscences of General Samuel B. Webb, 341.

57. "At last after so many years of stagnation I am in hopes of being once more again free. I am now in the hands of the Commissioners of Bankruptcy, & by the 13th of next month my fate will be determined, but unless 2/3 of my creditors in No. & Amt. will consent to a certificate of discharge, it cannot be obtained." Colonel Platt to General Webb, 14 October, 1800.

58. From the Ford collection.

59. Of Providence, Rhode Island.

60. United States consul at Hamburg in 1797. He had been vice-consul at Paris in Washington's administration.

61. "We have here some disputes About Licentious printers and other Indecencies offered the President. I believe however all will terminate to Your & my Wishes, a full Congressional Justification of the Conduct of the Executive, and even an approbation of his care of the prosperity and honor of his Country. M. Genet is returned to Philadelphia." Jos. Pitcairn to General Webb, 11 December, 1793.

62. William S. Smith.

63. The treaty with Great Britain negotiated by John Jay.

64. See Greenleaf's Argus, 20 July, 1795.

65. From the collection of Dr. John S. H. Fogg.

66. Hetty Webb died 15 August, 1796, aged 39.

67. His son.

68. Hetty Webb.

69. Washington.

70. From the Reminiscences of General Samuel B. Webb, 398.

71. She was living in Wethersfield, her husband, Joseph Barrell, having died 13 October, 1804.

72. David Thomas.

73. This is the last letter of General Webb to be found among the Webb MSS. He died 3 December, 1807.

74. Jeremiah Wadsworth, master of the brig Harriett, chartered on Philadelphia account.

75. The / Battle / of / Bunkers-Hill / a Dramatic Piece, / of Five Acts, / in Heroic Measure. / By a Gentleman of Maryland. / — Pulchrum mori succurrit in annis. Virgil. / 'Tis glorious to die in Battle. / Philadelphia: Printed and sold by Robert Bell, in Third Street. / MDCCLXXVI. It has a remarkable frontispiece, designed by N. G. and engraved by Norman, illustrating Scene IV. "Warren. Mortally wounded, falling on his right knee, covering his breast with his right hand, and supporting himself with his firelock in his left," speaks

"A deadly ball hath limited my life,
And now to god, I offer up my soul," etc.

for two pages. The author was Hugh Henry Brackenridge, at the time a tutor in Princeton College, New Jersey.

76. From the cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

77. From the cabinet of the Connecticut Historical Society.

78. From the Reminiscences of General Samuel B. Webb, 245.

79. In August, 1760, Joseph, as administrator of the estate of Epenetus, sells to Charles Webb one-half interest in Webb's mill.

80. "Last Tuesday departed this life, at Weathersfield, by a lingering consumption, Mrs. Mahitabel Deane, wife of Mr. Silas Deane, of that place." — Connecticut Courant, 19 Oct. '67.

81. May, 1774: "Upon the memorial of Silas Dean of Weathersfield, administrator of the goods and estate of Mehitabel Dean, late of said Weathersfield, deceas'd, and of Joseph Webb, Sarah Webb, Mehitabel Webb, Samuel Blachesly Webb, John Webb, Abigail Webb and Jesse Dean, all of Weathersfield, children and heirs of said Mehitabel, which said Samuel is a minor, and appears by his guardian Titus Hosmer of Middletown, and said Mehitabel, John, Abigail and Jesse are likewise minors, and appear by their guardian, the said Silas Dean." * * * * — Public Records of Connt., xiv, 285.

82. Robinson Mumford.

83. Samuel B. Webb to Richard Alsop, 28 February, 1773.

84. Colden to the Earl of Dartmouth, 1 June, 1774.

85. See Journal of the Continental Congress, 5 September, 1774,

86. John Adams' Diary.

87. "Sunday [September] 4. Dined at our lodgings, at Mrs. Yard's, with Major De Bure, a French gentleman, a soldier, Mr. Webb, and another." — John Adams' Diary.

88. Correspondence of Silas Deane, 1774.

89. Vol. I., 55.

90. The lieutenant's commission was dated 1 May, 1775.

91. Frothingham, Siege of Boston, III.

92. See the whole letter in Vol. I., 63.

93. Silas Deane to his wife, 16 June, 1775.

94. Journals of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 243, 326, 332.

95. This dependence upon his aid led me to look at the letters from Putnam to Washington during the few days that Putnam was in command of New York, and I found in every instance the body of the letter was in Webb's handwriting.

96. Lee to Benjamin Rush, 10 October, 1775.

97. Wilkinson's Memoirs, I., 16.

98. Vol. I, 101. "Sam Webb comes here to-morrow. I'll tell him about the Jiblet Pye. I shou'd not like to eat it. Sam has been to Middletown, and leaves us on Monday morning for Cambridge." Jeremiah Wadsworth to Joseph Trumbull; Hartford, 9 September, 1775.

99. Washington to Reed, I April, 1776.

100. The five regiments were those of Colonels John Greaton, John Stark, John Patterson, William Bond and Charles Webb. They marched on the 15th.

101. Col. James Reed's, John Nixon's, Enoch Poor's, William Prescott's, Benedict Arnold's and Loammi Baldwin's.

102. Tryon said: "I was an eye-witness to the burning of the hospital on Bedlow's Island by four hundred Rebels in seven Pitiaguas on the 2d. Instant. The Asia fired two cannon shot which obliged them to precipitate their retreat. They burnt a stack of hay and killed a number of poultry I had reserved for General Howe's expected arrival. Part of their plan was to have seized about sixty Countrymen who had fled from persecution, and were subsisted by me on that Island. But getting intelligence of the design I removed all the men on board the ship Lady Gage a few hours before the enemy landed on the Island."

103. Vol. I., 140.

104. Writings of Washington, IV., 22.

105. The instructions given to Putnam are printed in Writings of Washington, IV., 95.

106. Reed, Life of Reed, I., 164.

107. Washington to Reed, 25 March, 1776.

108. Vol. I., 148.

109. Writings of Washington, IV., 249. Journals of Congress, 17 July, 1776. REED, Life of Reed, I., 204. Howe to Germaine, 6 August, 1776.

110. The official account of this interview is printed in my Writings of Washington, IV, 284.

111. Vol. I, 160.

112. Washington to the President of Congress, 2 September, 1776.

113. Washington to John Augustine Washington, 22 September, 1776.

114. Journals of Congress, 8 October, 1776.

115. Washington to the President of Congress, 5 December, 1776.

116. Journals of Congress, 27 December, 1776.

117. His instructions are printed in Vol. I, under date 12 January, 1777.

118. "Col. Webb, late aid-de-camp to General Washington, arrived here [Peekskill] last night from Head Quarters. He informs me the light horse and the guard desert frequently in small parties to our army; that the forage and baggage of the enemy are sent on Staten Island; that a Mr. Stirling, a cadet, nephew to Col. Stirling, in the enemy's army, had come off to General Washington, from a disgust to their service." Alexander McDougall to the Committee of Safety of Peekskill, New York, 21 January, 1777.

119. The order for clothing, printed in Vol. I, 216, should be dated January, not June.

120. Governor Trumbull to Washington, 7 February, 1777.

121. Washington to Congress, 26 March, 1777.

122. To the courtesy of Hon. Roger Wolcott, of Boston, am I indebted for this letter.

123. Vol. I, 299.

124. Printed in full in Correspondence of the American Revolution, I, 376.

125. Washington to McDougall, 16 May, 1776.

126. Vol. I, 229. Colonel Webb has wrongly placed this descent upon Setauket in September. See Onderdonk, Revolutionary Incidents of Suffolk and Kings Counties, 65. Parsons went on Long Island to bring off a party of the enemy posted at Setauket, which he intended to take by surprise; but it seems that, "by means of some infernal tory, they had been apprized of his coming for many days, and were so strongly fortified as rendered the attempt ineffectual. However, he took a number of blankets and 12 or 13 horses belonging to the British troops, and returned the next day in safety. This shews how much we suffer from internal foes, who get knowledge of our most secret movements, and find means to convey it to the enemy." — Boston Gazette, 1 September, 1777.

127. Washington to Putnam, 8 October, 1877.

128. Putnam to Washington, 8 October, 1777.

129. Washington to Governor Livingston, 8 October, 1777.

130. Washington to Dickinson, 4 November, 1777.

131. Writings of Washington, VI., 176, note.

132. Putnam to Washington, 7 November, 1777.

133. See Vol. I., p. 349. I have discovered a further reference to the uniform of Webb's regiment: "Some of Webb's men clothed in red would be best for this duty, and to be always in advance." Writings of Washington, VIII., 165.

134. Vol. I., 379.

135. Documentary History of the State of New York, viii., 717. James De Lancey was soon after captured by one of Putnam's scouting parties and was sent to Hartford.

136. Tryon to Lord Germain, 1 December, 1777.

137. Vol. II, 1, 2.

138. Germain to Howe, 1 February, 1776.

139. See Vol. II, p. 19.

140. See Webb's letter printed in vol. II., 130.

141. From the Wadsworth Collection in the possession of Mr. J. F. Morris, of Hartford.

142. N. B. — From New Windsor to June's Tavern where [are] Ld. Stirling's Quarters, 14 miles — from thence to Slott's 14 — from Slott's to Paramus 12, irom thence to Acquaconack, 12; and to Elizabeth 16. Total 68.

143. Vol. II., 225.

144. Writings of Washington, x, 90.

145. Bancroft has fallen into a curious error in stating that the letter was put in circulation by Colonel Barber. The letter was dated the 10th of March, and Barber had been killed by the falling of a tree in February.