<br /> Lee Letter: n578

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Maryland Delegates
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee

Dear Sir,

The interval between the coming in and going out of the post is so short,
that we have it not in our power at this Time, to give you the
information which you desire.1 We can assure
you that very inconsiderable quanties have been imported by the
Commercial Committee; some Linens have from Time to Time arrived but
the quality and quantity we shall endeavour to inform you of in a few
Days, as we are at present unacquainted with the amount of the returns.
It has always been the object of Congress and the Duty of the Cloathier
General to distribute the Cloth that was provided with impartiallity,
if it has not been the case, we shall be able soon to give your
Excellency information upon the subject. The present Cloathier
General2 is a native of Maryland a man of
Honor and a good officer and we believe no partial distribution has
been made since his appointment.

We shall endeavour by the first oppertunity to inform you of the Cloathing
& Military Stores annually imported by the United
States.3 The quantity will be so small that
we believe it will give your Excellency very little pleasure; and if
the ten thousand Suits which ought to have come out in the Alliance and
is now daily expected in the Ariel, does not arrive, and the State
cannot furnish Cloathing for their own Troops, they must be in a most
deplorable Situation through the whole of the approaching Season; for
little or none can be expected from the Board of War; we shall however
take every step in our power to secure for our own Troops their share
of that little, small as it is.

The Cloathing which Majr. Giles drew at Camp for the Newraised Regt. is now
here, and we shall detain the officer, which he employed in this
Business for five or six days, in which Time the Secretary of the Board
of War assures us they shall be finished; we do this the more readily
as it corresponds with the Majors orders.

Your Excellencys Letter to the Board of War we shall seal and
deliver;4 and if our Exertion can avail any
thing, they shall be employed in behalf of our gallant tho unfortunate

Brigadier Smallwood has been appointed by the unanimous voice of thirteen
States a Majr. General. This will give the State some pleasure tho’ it
is not all that she has a right to expect from Congress; the Troops of
other States have received the Thanks of Congress for displaying less
gallantry than has lately been exhibited by the Delaware & Maryland

We have no intelligence to communicate: Reports prevail that the French
Fleet is arrived at Rhode Island, but it wants confirmation. Admiral
Rhodney is still at the Hook, and Graves is out. By the last letters
from Camp preparations were making for an embarkation. The Conjecture
respecting their destination was communicated to you a few Days

We are Sir with the highest respect & Esteem your Excellys. obdt.

Geo Plater
John Hanson
Daniel of St Thos Jenifer
J. Henry Junr


Receiver’s copy, Maryland State Papers (Red Books), Maryland Hall of
Records Commission, Annapolis. Written by Henry and signed by Henry,
Hanson, Jenifer and Plater.

1 For the “information” sought, see Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer to Lee, this
date, note 1.

2 James Wilkinson

3 See Maryland Delegates to Lee, October 3, 1780 (not in printed text).

4 Lee’s September 22 letter to the Board of War, which accompanied his letter
to the delegates, is in Md Archives, 43:300. For the board’s reply
this day explaining the limited supply of clothing in Continental
hands and the failure of French shipments to arrive see ibid.,
45:120 – 21.

5 This day the delegates also replied briefly to the Maryland council’s
letter of September 19. “In Consequence of your Letter of the we
inclose you Resolves of Congress of June 1780, and purpose to lay
your letter before Congress this morning. If anything is done in
Consequence thereof, it shall be Communicated.” Red Books, MdAA. The
Council had received a September 5 letter from Horatio Gates stating
that he had been authorized by Congress to draw directly on the state
for the southern army and that he had already executed three bills.
Upon receipt of two of these, the council wrote to the delegates
pleading an empty treasury and asking for confirmation of Gates’
authority. The enclosed “Resolves” were undoubtedly those of June 14
and 17 empowering Gates to take such measures in defense of the
southern states “as he shall think most proper” and appropriating
monies raised in Maryland and the southern states for “the military
chest and exigencies of the war in the southern department.” See JCC,
17:510 – 11, 524; and Md Archives, 43:296, 45:79. For the council’s
October 6 letter to Gates “declining the Payment” of the bills
submitted, see ibid., 43:314. In response to an October 18 motion by
the Maryland delegates, Congress ordered one of the bills to be paid
on Continental account. JCC, 18:947.