<br /> Lee Letter: n574

Washington and Lee University

Sender: John Hanson
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee

My Dear sir,

This day I had the pleasure of receiving yours of the fifteenth, inclosing
365 Dollars. The Bundle of money which you was so very Kind as to
procure for me I received. It Came in good time, but will not last long
in this most Expensive place, and therefore must beg the favour of you
to procure Some more for me, as soon as you Can, it must be of the old
Continental money. The new will not pass here. Have been with the Coach
maker. He has promised your chariot, Shall be finished by the last Week
in October.

Our Army Continues much distressed for want of Meat. They get one meal only
in three days, and how long that Scanty Allowance will Continue, is
uncertain. The Jersey Inhabitants, in whose State the Army is, are
plundered daily by partys from the Army, without a possibility of
restraint, are not the worst of Consequences to be dreaded, from the
Armys thus Careing for themselves – may it not be expected that even the
people of the Jerseys, who have upon all Occasions exerted themselves
in Support of the Common Cause, will at length have their affections
Alienated from the Army, & look upon them as plunderers, and
Enemies, rather than the protectors of their Rights. Is it not most
Shameful that our Army Should be Starving, while the Country abounds
with provisions? To what Can it be imputed? Is it from a want of
inclination in the States, to Comply with what has been repeatedly
required of them by Congress? Or is it from inattention to the public
Cause, or inabillity to render the necessary Supplies? I hope neither
of these is the Case. Satisfied I am, that our resources are abundantly
Sufficient, and that the bulk of the people Continue firm in the
opposition – from the disjointed and deranged State of our finances
proceed all our embarrassments, and how to extricate ourselves is the
difficulty. There Seems to be a fatality attending every measure, that
has been adopted for that purpose. The most probable Schemes have by
Some means or other been rendered ineffectual. The Resolves of the 18h
March promised fair, but am afraid Will not Answer the end proposed.
How is the old money to be got in and the new put into Circulation
while our Taxes are Anticipated and paid of in Certificates? Our
present Situation is truly Alarming. Our Army in want of every thing;
no money in the Treasury and our Credit Exausted.

Congress had advice today of the Arrival of Admiral Rodney at the Hook on
the 13th,1 with twelve Ships of the line,
And four frigates, and that they had taken & brought in with them a
french frigate – that 5000 Troops were to be Sent from N.Y. to the
Southward. It is reported that the Combined fleets from the West Indias
is on the Coast – if so the french will be Superior and may put a Stop to
the embarkation at New York. Fryday last General Smallwood was by the
unanimous Vote of Congress promoted to the Rank of Major General. Am
Sorry to Acquaint you that this Morning dyed much lamented Mrs. Reed
the Presidents Lady. My Compliments to Mrs. Lee

and am with the
greatest esteem & regard, Dr sir, Your Excellencys most hble
Servt,

John Hanson2

No late Accounts from the Southward.3

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Lee, Horsey and Carroll Papers deposit (1985), Maryland
Historical Society.

1 Before departing for his Hartford conference with the French, Washington
had forwarded on September 16 a copy of a letter of the 14th from
Brig. Gen. David Forman with information that Adm. George B. Rodney
“with twelve sail of the line & four frigates are Arrived off
Sandy Hook from the West Indies.” Both letters were read in Congress
this day. See JCC, 18:836; Washington, Writings (Fitzpatrick),
20:49n; PCC, item 152, 9:175, 179. Forman’s letter is not in the
Washington Papers, DLC. The information was “confirmed beyond a
doubt” in a September 18 letter from Nathanael Greene, acting in
behalf of the absent Washington. This letter was read on September 20
and referred to the delegates of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and
Virginia. Copies were also sent to the governors of Maryland and
Virginia. JCC, 18:841, and PCC, item 155, 1:431 – 32.

2 This day Hanson also wrote a nearly identical letter to Charles Carroll of
Carrollton, for which see the Carroll Papers, MdHi.

3 Hanson’s next letter to Lee, dated September 23, consisted merely of a
single line covering a recently intercepted letter from the Earl of
Cornwallis to Lt. Col. Nesbit Balfour, the British commandant at
Charleston, S.C. Lee, Horsey, and Carroll Papers deposit, MdHi.