<br /> Lee Letter: n524

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Henry Laurens
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Dear Sir,

I have not had the pleasure of writing to you since the 14th
Inst.1 Yesterday I was honored with your
favors of the 12th & 19th.2

You have quite mistaken the motive for “Committing for consideration,” the
Motion was made by a very sincere friend of yours, he had entertained
hopes of bringing before the House a proper Report, a tolerable one was
prepared, received & read, & Monday 21st or 14th, I forget
which, “set apart” for considering it in the House, but altho
repeatedly called for, its unpleasantness, as I apprehend, proved a Bar
against taking it up.3

Your friend did not think it quite perfect he had therefore prepared
certain amendments which he would have brought on the Book & will
still endeavor to make the whole appear to public view – you shall be
particularly informed in due time.

You will have heard before this day of Count d’Estaing’s arrival near
Charles Town South Carolina, that operations against the Enemy at
Beaufort & Savanna were in hand; I expect every hour to learn of
some important event in that quarter, probably the first intelligence
will be brought by the Count himself who may be daily expected at Sandy
hook or Rhode Island. Our Commander in Chief is properly authorized to
co-operate vigorously with him. The Season of the Year was much against
the Forces of our Ally to the Southward, a few days easterly wind with
autumnal Rains would blast our prospect but I hope the weather has
favored them.

Inclosed herein you will find a general account of three days work, it will
be an exceedingly painful task to recite by & by the particulars, I
shall make no comment, I have acted one uniform & consistent part,
dictated by Conscience for the good of my Country as well as for doing
justice to a meritorious Individual – my wishes are not accomplished, I
am nevertheless persuaded the day will come when that injured
Individual will receive both Justice & honor from his

By the next Post I shall determine whether to leave Philadelphia this
winter, & you shall if I determine to go, be informed precisely the
day. At present time will not favor me to pay that respect to your
favors now before me which is due. I must hasten to the square Room
where I often meet many crooked things.

I pray God to bless you & entreat you to be assured that I
continue with sincere Respect & Esteem, Dear sir, Your
obliged & obedt. servt.

Henry Laurens.

P.S. We have advices to be relied on that the 2d Division of Arburthnot’s
squadron 7 Ships of War having under Convoy Transports containing about
4000 Troops arrived this day se’nnight at New
York.5 The Troops are said to be “wild
Irish” & Hessians. The term wild Irish is repeated in several

a circumstance has just happened which renders a transmission of the Paper
intended to have been inclosed with certain Comments on it inconsistent
with my honor – therefore I have withdrawn


Receiver’s copy, Lee Papers, American Philosophical Society.

1 Not found.

2 Lee’s letters of September 12 and 19 are in the William Gilmore Simms
Collection of Laurens Papers, no. 31, MHi microfilm; and Lee, Letters
(Ballagh), 2:149 – 52.

3 Laurens is here commenting upon a passage from Lee’s September 12 letter
concerning Silas Deane’s memorial to Congress for reimbursement for
his expenses since June 1778. For Laurens’ discussion of this
subject, to which Richard Henry was responding, see Laurens to Lee,
August 31, 1779.

4 See note 6 below appended to Laurens’ second postscript to this letter.

5 For the “advices” containing this intelligence, see Samuel Huntington to
Thomas Jefferson, September 30, 1779, note.

6 Although Laurens made at least four references to this incident in his
surviving correspondence, the event and document to which he is here
referring remain a mystery. His cryptic references in his letters of
this date to Ellery and to Whipple contain little additional
information on the subject, and although he later decided to send the
document referred to with his next letter to Richard Henry, that
intriguing enclosure has not been found. See the preceding and
following entries; and Laurens to Richard Henry Lee, October 12,