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Featured Primary Sources

Sources Written from Patrick Henry to a Recipient

Patrick Henry to John Adams, May 20, 1776

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Adams, John

Date Created

1776-05-20

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

MHi–Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts

Subcollection

Adams Papers

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 412.

 

Transcription

My Dear Sir: Williamsburg 20th May, 1776.

Your favor, with the pamphlet, came safe to hand. I am exceedingly obliged to you for it; and I am not without hopes it may produce good here, where there is among most of our opulent families a strong bias to aristocracy. I tell my friends you are the author. Upon that supposition, I have two reasons for liking the book. The sentiments are precisely the same I have long since taken up, and they come recommended by you. Go on, my dear friend, to assail the strongholds of tyranny; and in whatever form oppression may be found, may those talents and that firmness, which have achieved so much for America, be pointed against it.

Before this reaches you, the resolution for finally separating from Britain will be handed to Congress by Colonel Nelson. I put up with it in the present form for the sake of unanimity. ‘Tis not quite so pointed as I could wish.

Excuse me for telling you of what I think of immense importance; ’tis to anticipate the enemy at the French Court. The half of our Continent offered to France, may induce her to aid our destruction, which she certainly has the power to accomplish. I know the free trade with all the States would be more beneficial to her than any territorial possessions she might acquire. But pressed, allured, as she will be—but, above all, ignorant of the great things we mean to offer, may we not lose her? The consequence is dreadful.

Excuse me again. The confederacy; that must precede an open declaration of independency and foreign alliances. Would it not be sufficient to confine it, for the present, to the objects of offensive and defensive nature, and a guaranty of the respective colonial rights? If a minute arrangement of things is attempted, such as equal representation, &c., you may split and divide; certainly will delay the French alliance, which with me is every thing. The great force in San Domingo, Martinique, &c, is under the guidance of some person in high office. Will not the Mississippi lead your ambassadors thither most safely?

Our Convention is now employed in the great work of forming a constitution. My most esteemed republican form has many and powerful Enemies. A silly thing, published in Philadelphia, by a native of Virginia, has just made its appearance here, strongly recommended, ’tis said, by one of our delegates now with you,—Braxton. His reasonings upon and distinction between private and public virtue, are weak, shallow, and evasive, and the whole performance an affront and disgrace to this country; and, by one expression, I suspect his whiggism.

Our session will be very long, during which I cannot count upon one coadjutor of talents equal to the task. Would to God you and your Sam Adams were here! It shall be my incessant study, so to form our portrait of government, that a kindred with New England may be discerned in it and if all your excellencies cannot be preserved, yet I hope to retain so much of the likeness, that posterity shall pronounce us descended from the same stock. I shall think perfection is obtained, if we have your approbation. I am forced to conclude; but first let me beg to be presented to my ever-esteemed S. Adams. Adieu, my dear sir; may God preserve you, and give you every good thing.

P. Henry, Jr. To John Adams Esq.

P.S. Will you and S.A. now and then write?

 

 

Patrick Henry to Jacquelin Ambler, January 16, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Ambler, Jacquelin

Date Created

1786-01-16

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 342.

 

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber Jan 16th 1786.

The board have carefully considered the resolution of Assembly directing no further payments to be made to’ foreign creditors, until Mr. Pollock has received a proportion of debts equal to that which they have received.

It is evident that under the act empowering the Executive to apportion f30,000 among the foreigners, the absolute disposal of that sum was made by issuing warrants agreeably to the directions of the act. Nor can any subsequent law be supposed to retract it, much less a resolution. I am therefore to give it as the clear opinion of the Executive, that the warrants drawn on the foreign fund, before the date of Mr. Pollock’s resolution, ought to be paid in preference to it.

If any small balance of the £30.000 remain not drawn for, I do not mean to comprehend that. It will remain for another discussion.

I am &c.

P. Henry. To the Treasurer of Virginia.

 

Patrick Henry to Elizabeth Aylett, 8 Letters, ca. 1786-1798

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth

Date Created

1787-10-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 329.

 

Transcription

My Dear Betsey: Richmond, Oct. 18, 1787.

I was sorry to hear by Mr. Aylett that you were unwell. I hope the cool weather may be the means of your getting better. Your mamma and sister Fontaine are always talking of you & wondering we never could get a letter from any of you. Indeed, it is not strange that the difficulties which Minnis has thrown in yr way has taken up your mind. His conduct is such as would surprise everybody not acquainted with him. However, you will remember that Providence has ordered to all a portion of suffering & uneasiness in this world, that we may think of preparing for a better. I hope my dear child will keep up her spirits thro’ every trial. Pray let us hear from you. I am, my Dear Betsey, Yr. ever affcte. Father,

P. Henry. To Mrs. Elizabeth Aylett, King William.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth

Date Created

1787-12-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 330.

 

Transcription

 

My Dear Betsey: Richmd., Decr. 12th, 1787.

I did intend to have the pleasure of seeing you, some time during the Assembly, but such has been & now is the hurry of business here, that I fear it will not be in my power. I have been obliged to go up once to try to get some house to winter in. At present your mamma & all our family live at one fire, & have not one out-house that will assist. We expect a house something better soon, & hope to live a little more comfortably. Major Minnis’s unkindness will doubtless put you to great straits; but you must learn to bear everything with patience. Experience will teach you that this world is not made for complete happiness. Yr mamma and sister Fontaine often speak of you. I hope we shall see you & Mr. Aylett as soon as you can make it convenient. Adieu my dear child.

“I am yr affte. Father,

P. Henry. To Mrs Elizabeth Aylett, King William.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth

Date Created

1788-11-11

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 434.

 

Transcription

My Dear Betsey: Richmd., Nov. 11th ’88.

I am sorry to hear by Mr. Aylett’s letter, that you are sickly; but I am in hopes the cold weather will restore you to good health. I give you joy of your son & hope he will be restored to health also. I really much want to see you, & would go over, but my horses are sent home; & if they were not, I have not a moment to spare. Your Aunt Christian is come in from Kentucky with all her children, & waits to see me, I expect, with great impatience. I think she will stay some time at Colo. Meredith’s and Sister Wood’s before she goes out, & I must see her directly. We expected to have the pleasure to see you & Mr. Aylett in P. Edward, & hope you will be up there soon as your health permits. Your Sister Fontaine is well, & has another son 6 months old. I have a son also, 4 months old & The dear little Family were all well a few days ago, when your mama wrote me a letter & desired her love to Annie & you—I hope, my dear child, you will be restored to health; & that Providence may dispense its favors to you & yours is the prayer of, my dear Betsey, Your affete Father,

P. Henry. To Mrs. Elizabeth Aylett, King William.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth

Date Created

1794-09-08

Topical Subject(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth Henry

tobacco industry. Virginia. 18th century

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

ViU–University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Subcollection

Miscellaneous autograph collection

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 423.

 

Transcription

My dear Betsy: L. Island, Sept. 8th, 1794

I rec’d your agreeable letter by your sister Roane, and it gave me much satisfaction to hear of your being so well at so sickly a place as I fear yours is. I have great cause of Thankfulness for the health I enjoy, & for that of your Mama & all the children. For not one of us have been sick for a long time. Our working Negroes on the River are indeed very sickly with the Ague. However it is not of an inveterate kind. We have providentially escaped the flux as yet, whilst many around us have died of it. I wish you were with us to enjoy the agreeable society of your sisters at this place, which is very retired; indeed so much so as to disgust Dolly & Sally. But as we go to Red Hill in August for five weeks, they will be relieved from this Solitude, as that is a more public place. I sincerely wish with you that you were nearer to us, for it is really painful to me that I so seldom see or hear from you. We have another son named Winston. I must give out the law & plague myself no more with business, sitting down with what I have. For it will be sufficient employment to see after my little Flock, & the management of my plantation. Your Mama & Sisters are often speaking of you, & always concluding with wishes to see you. We expect your sister Fontaine & brother Neddy here this month. She has suffered a good deal from the great freshets, & I have lost my crop of tobacco on Staunton from a very great fresh, & was otherwise damaged. Your Mama & Dolly both write you & will supply any family news which I may omit. I will therefore conclude with my love to you all, & be assured that I am with unchanging affection, My dear child’s ever loving father,

P. Henry. Mrs. Elizabeth Aylett, King William County, Virginia.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth

Date Created

1795-03-05

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Red Hill Library, Brookneal, Va.

 

Description

Patrick Henry writes his daughter on family affairs, including travel plans, finances, and health.

Elizabeth (Betsey) Aylett was Patrick Henry’s fifth child and third daughter with his first wife Sarah Shelton. Elizabeth was born in Hanover County, Virginia on April 23, 1769, and she died on September 4, 1842 in King William County, Virginia, at the home of her daughter Sarah Shelton. Elizabeth married Philip Aylett on October 12, 1786, and together they had thirteen children, eleven of which Betsey would outlive. Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill (http://www.redhill.org/about/patrickhenry/patrick-henrys-family [accessed: 2016-05-30])

Transcription

My dear Betsey. Red-hill march 5th. 1795

This will be delivered by N West Dandridge who is going to Mr. Roane’s & to bring up Sally with him—Dolly & Kitty go down also. Dolly to Rocky Mill & Kitty to Goochland—West Dandridge is to get Money of mine in Richmond & is to pay you five Guineas for what was found for Sally—I refer you to my Letters lately sent & to that by [Pedro] who I hope go safe down with the Negroe’s—Thank God we enjoy good Health, & it would give me great pleasure to hear that you are well, & to hear often from you—Pray write me by Sally—Your Mama bids to gi[ve her] Love to you & tell you she is so busy [fixing] the Girls this morning that she can’t write—I pray God to bless you my dear Daughter & with my Love to Mr. Aylett & each of your little ones I am my dear Betsey yr. afftc. Father

P. Henry


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth

Date Created

1796-08-20

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 568.

 

Transcription

My Dear Betsy: Red Hill, August 20th, 1796.

Mr. William Aylett’s arrival here, with your letter, gave me the pleasure of hearing of your welfare, and to hear of that is highly gratifying to me as I so seldom see you. [The rest of this paragraph relates to family affairs.]

As to the reports you have heard of my changing sides in politics, I can only say they are not true. I am too old to exchange my former opinions, which have grown up into fixed habits of thinking. True it is, I have condemned the conduct of our members in congress, because, in refusing to raise money for the purposes of the British treaty, they, in effect, would have surrendered our country bound, hand and foot, to the power of the British nation. This must have been the consequence, I think; but the reasons for thinking so are too tedious to trouble you with. The treaty is, in my opinion, a very bad one indeed. But what must I think of those men, whom I myself warned of the danger of giving the power of making laws by means of treaty, to the president and senate, when I see these same men denying the existence of that power, which they insisted, in our convention, ought properly to be exercised by the president and senate, and by none other? The policy of these men, both then and now, appears to me quite void of wisdom and foresight. These sentiments I did mention in conversation in Richmond, and perhaps others which I don’t remember; but sure I am, my first principle is, that from the British we have everything to dread, when opportunities of oppressing us shall offer. It seems that every word was watched which I casually dropped, and wrested to answer party views. Who can have been so meanly employed, I know not—nor do I care; for I no longer consider myself as an actor on the stage of public life. It is time for me to retire; and 1 shall never more appear in a public character, unless some unlooked-for circumstance shall demand from me a transient effort, not inconsistent with private life-in which I have determined to continue. I see with concern our old commander-in-chief most abusively treated—nor are his long and great services remembered, as any apology for his mistakes in an office to which he was totally unaccustomed. If he, whose character as our leader during the whole war was above all praise, is so roughly handled in his old age, what may be expected by men of the common standard of character? I ever wished he might keep himself clear of the office he bears, and its attendant difficulties—but I am sorry to see the gross abuse which is published of him. Thus, my dear daughter, have I pestered you with a long letter on politics, which is a subject little interesting to you, except as it may involve my reputation. I have long learned the little value which is to be placed on popularity, acquired by any other way than virtue; I have also learned, that it is often attained by other means—The view which the rising greatness of our country presents to my eye is greatly tarnished by the general prevalence of deism; which with me, is but another name for vice and depravity. I am, however, much consoled by reflecting, that the religion of Christ has, from its first appearance in the world, been attacked in vain by all the wits, philosophers, and wise ones aided by every power of man, and its triumph has been complete. What is there in the wit or wisdom of the present deistical writers or professors, that can compare them with Hume, Shaftsbury, Bolingbroke, and others? And yet these have been confuted, and their fame decaying; insomuch that the puny efforts of Paine are thrown in to prop their tottering fabric, whose foundations cannot stand the test of time. Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of their number; and indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long and have given no decided proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character I prize far above all this world has or can boast. And amongst all the handsome things I hear said of you, what gives me the greatest pleasure is to be told of your piety and steady virtue. Be assured there is not one tittle, as to disposition or character, in which my parental affection for you would suffer a wish for your changing; and it flatters my pride to have you spoken of as you are.

Perhaps Mr. Roane and Anne may have heard the reports you mention. If it will be any object with them to see what I write, show them this. But my wish is to pass the rest of my days as much as may be, unobserved by the critics of the world, who show but little sympathy for the deficiencies to which old age is so liable. May God bless you, my dear Betsy, and your children. Give my love to Mr. Aylett, and believe me ever Your affectionate father,

P. Henry.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth

Date Created

1796-10-26

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 422.

 

Transcription

My dear Betsy: Long Island, Octo. 26, 1793.

Yours by Mr. Roane’s man I received, and I have the satisfaction to inform you we are well except Johnny Christian, & Patrick, & they are recovering fast now. Poor Neddy has been at the point of death at Colo Meredith’s. Your sister Fountaine & Dolly have been with him for some time. He was mended a little when we last heard from him, & there were hopes of his living— and I trust he mends or we should have heard before this. I should have gone to him, but had a pain in my hip. The flux has been very near us, but, it has pleased God, we escaped it. Many died of it and the whole country here abouts has been sickly. Your Mama and myself are greatly obliged by your affection to Dolly, & I send a guinea by your sister Roane to pay for some small articles she had from a store at Aylett’s which she says were 20 odd shillings. Your sister Roane can tell you all the little news of this family. The other children have been sick but are recovered. We shall go to Red Hill, 18 miles below this, in a few days, to spend 8 months, but spend the sickly season here. It would give me great pleasure to see you there or here with your little ones. However, at all times to receive letters from you affords me much comfort when they tell me of your welfare. I pray God to keep & preserve you, my dear child. I am your Affecte Father,

P. Henry. Mrs. Elizabeth Aylett, King William.

We all join in our love to you, Mr. Aylett, & the Children.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Aylett, Elizabeth

Date Created

1798-01-01

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

370

Repository

Red Hill Library, Brookneal, Va.

 

Description

Patrick Henry writes to his daughter Elizabeth Aylett to communicate some routine family matters: the length of time since her last letter, inquiries about her health, holiday visits by other family members. Portions of the manuscript are torn leaving gaps in the text at the end of the first paragraph and at the beginning and in the middle of the second paragraph.

Elizabeth (Betsey) Aylett was Patrick Henry’s fifth child and third daughter with his first wife Sarah Shelton. Elizabeth was born in Hanover County, Virginia on April 23, 1769, and she died on September 4, 1842 in King William County, Virginia, at the home of her daughter Sarah Shelton. Elizabeth married Philip Aylett on October 12, 1786, and together they had thirteen children, eleven of which Betsey would outlive. Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill (http://www.redhill.org/about/patrickhenry/patrick-henrys-family [accessed: 2016-05-30])

Transcription

My dear Betsey. Red-hill Jany. 1st. 1798—

It is very long since we have heard from you but from the uncomon Healthiness of the late Season I trust you have escaped the too comon Attacks of Sickness to which your parts are subject. We have been blessed with an uncomon Share of Health the last Sum stil continue well—Your Sister Fontaine was here with West Dandridge & his Wife about Xmas. She returned home & the young people went to Hanover—Patrick & Johnny Christian went to Richmond 10 Days ago; & if Mr. [Payne] with whom they went, can find it convenient, perhaps they’ll call on you—Dolly Winston is with us [&] has a fine Son—Sally & Kitty are just returned from Lynchburgh where there was a Ball on St. Johns D This is all the News of the Family I can thin[k] Aylett perhaps [may] think of other Matter[s] yr. Connexions, & to I refer you—

no Doubt of my Dear Bet[sey] to the D in the afflictive Stroke she [h]as felt since last Year. The same Good sense & piet[y] which have placed you so [high] in my Esteem, & that of your Acquaintance will I trust bear you up thro’ Life—I do assure you, the comfort I feel fro[m] yr Character & Disposition, is very great. With Love [to] the Children—I am my Dear Child yr. ever Affte. Father

P. Henry


 

Patrick Henry to Thomas Barclay, 2 Letters, ca. 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Barclay, Thomas

Date Created

1785-03-30

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 287.

 

Transcription

Sir: In Council. Richmond Virginia, March 30. 1785.

I request you to procure and send forward without loss of time, the arms, powder, flints and cartridge paper, specified in the inclosed advice of the Council of State. You know how much depends on the quality of the arms, and powder particularly, and I am sure your zeal for our welfare and safety is so great as to supersede the necessity of saying more on that subject. The enclosed abstract of the militia law is directory as to the size of the arms. The Marquis la Fayette and Mr. Jefferson are written to for the purpose of giving you facility on this business.

I could have wished your directions as to the remittances spoken of in the enclosed advice. But bills will be transmitted, most probably on London, in your favor, agreeably to the advice as to the time and amount. If good bills can be had on Paris, they will be purchased and sent there; but as I suppose it is of no great consequence which of the two places is preferred, the goodness of the bills and the readiness in finding them will be the only objects that will govern the executive in that respect.

As to the certainty of the fund appropriated by law for procuring the above articles, I can only say that I am entirely of the same opinion with the council on that head, and I do hereby conform to their advice in every respect on this subject, and pledge the faith of the commonwealth of Virginia to make you the remittance and allowance according to the true intent and meaning of the minute of council inclosed.

As I wish to see the great business of laying up arms and military stores invariably prosecuted, until every man here (say about 50,000, 2/3ds wanting arms) is furnished, I request you to enquire and let me know the terms on which the business can be further prosecuted. The quality of arms and stores is essential above all other things. Perhaps a contract can be obtained on such terms as may tempt the assembly to make an extraordinary exertion. I wish to be able to communicate proposals to them on the subject.

I am &c.

P. Henry. To Thomas Barclay, Esq., Paris.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Barclay, Thomas

Date Created

1785-06-16

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 303.

 

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber Richmond June 16, 1785.

The inclosed resolution of Assembly will serve to inform you of the change which is adopted respecting the bust for the Marquis la Fayette. I beg you to be so kind as to take Mr. Jefferson’s directions in this business, for the execution of the wishes of the Assembly.

I am &c.

P. Henry. To Thomas Barclay, Esq., Paris.

Patrick Henry to Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, January 8, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin Caron de

Date Created

1785-01-08

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 264.

 

Transcription

Sir: Virginia, Richmond, Jan. 8, 1785.

Your friend Mr. Latel has been very solicitous to have your claims against this State liquidated and the balance clearly ascertained. In compliance with these his desires, Mr. Leighton Wood, solicitor general, into whose department of business as a public officer the examination of your acct. properly falls, has examined them, and stated the balances which are due to you in money and tobacco. A transcript of what Mr. Wood has stated relative to this affair will be handed to Mr. Latel, together with this letter, to be transmitted to you.

You will now perceive, sir, how much this State is in arrears to you. The next enquiry which naturally follows is when and how you are to be paid. Doubtless you are so far acquainted with the Laws and Constitution of this State as to be satisfied that the public finances are not at the disposal of the Executive power, farther than particular Acts of the Legislature from time to time direct. In order therefore to afford you every possible light on this head, I send you with this a true Copy of an Act passed a very few days since providing funds for the express purpose of paying our foreign debts. This you will better understand by reading the act itself, than by anything I can say. Those persons here who best understand the business of finance, very well know, that the funds set apart for this purpose are among our very best and most productive. I therefore feel myself highly gratified in seeing, as I think, ground for hope that yourself, and those worthy and suffering friends of ours in your nation, who in so friendly a manner advanced their money and goods when we were in want, will be satisfied that nothing has been omitted which lay in our power towards paying them.

I will only add that the Executive will, on their part, be glad to do what is proper towards carrying into effect the designs of the legislature, who seem so fully impressed with the desire of making to all our foreign creditors the most speedy payment that the ability and resources, of the state will possibly permit.

I am &c,

P. Henry. To M. Caron De Beaumarchais.

Patrick Henry to Archibald Blair, January 8, 1799

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Blair, Archibald

Date Created

1799-01-08

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

325

Repository

DLC–U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of George Washington

Printed In

Printed in William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 591.

 

Transcription

Dear Sir: Red Hill, Charlotte, 8 January, 1799.

Your favor of the 28th of last month I have received. Its contents are a fresh proof that there is cause for lamentation over the present state of things in Virginia. It is possible that most of the individuals who compose the contending factions are sincere and act from honest motives. But it is more than probable that certain leaders meditate a change in government To effect this I see no way so practicable as dissolving the confederacy. And I am free to own, that in my judgment most of the measures, lately pursued by the opposition party, directly and certainly lead to that end. If this is not the system of the party they have none and act ex tempore.

I do acknowledge that I am not capable to form a correct judgment on the present politics of the world. The wide extent to which the present contentions have gone will scarcely permit any observer to see enough in detail, to enable him to form any thing like a tolerable judgment on the final result, as it may respect the nations in general. But, as to France, I have no doubt in saying, that to her it will be calamitous. Her conduct has made it the interest of the great family of mankind to wish the downfall of her present government; because its existence is incompatible with that of all others within its reach. And, whilst I see the dangers that threaten ours from her intrigues and her arms, I am not so much alarmed as at the apprehension of her destroying the great pillars of all government and of social life; I mean virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed. In vain may France show and vaunt her diplomatic skill, and brave troops; so long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger. But believing as I do that these are in danger that infidelity in its broadest sense, under the name of philosophy, is fast spreading, and that under the patronage of French manners and principles, everything that ought to be dear to man is covertly but successfully assailed, I feel the value of those men amongst us who hold out to the world the idea, that our continent is to exhibit an originality of character; and that instead of that imitation and inferiority, which the countries of the old world have been in the habit of exacting from the new, we shall maintain that high ground upon which nature has placed us, and that Europe will alike cease to rule us and give us modes of thinking.

But I must stop short, or else this letter will be all preface. These prefatory remarks, however, I thought proper to make, as they point out the kind of character amongst our country men most estimable in my eyes.

General Marshall and his colleagues exhibited the American character as respectable. France, in the period of her most triumphant fortune, beheld them as unappalled.

Her threats left them as she found them, mild, temperate, firm. Can it be thought that with these sentiments I should utter anything tending to prejudice General Marshall’s election? Very far from it indeed. Independently of the high gratification I felt from his public ministry, he ever stood high in my esteem as a private citizen. His temper and disposition were always pleasant, his talents and integrity unquestioned. These things are sufficient to place that gentleman far above any competitor in the district for congress. But when you add the particular information and insight which he has gained, and is able to communicate to our councils, it is really astonishing, that even blindness itself should hesitate in the choice. But it is to be observed that the efforts of France are to loosen the confidence of the people everywhere in the public functionaries, and to blacken the characters most eminently distinguished for virtue; talents, and public confidence; thus smoothing the way to conquest, or those claims of superiority as abhorrent to my mind as conquest from whatever quarter they may come.

Tell Marshall I love him, because he felt and acted as a republican, as an American. The story of the Scotch merchants and old torys voting him is too stale, childish, and foolish, and is a French finesse; an appeal to prejudice, not reason and good sense. If they say in the daytime the sun shines, we must say it is the moon; if again, we ought to eat our victuals; No, say we, unless it is ragout or fricassee; and So on to turn fools, in the same proportion as they grow wise. But enough of such nonsense.

As to the particular words stated by you and said to come from me, I do not recollect saying them. But certain I am, I never said anything derogatory to General Marshall; but on the contrary, I really should give him my vote for Congress, preferably to any citizen in the state at this juncture, one only excepted, and that one is in another line.

I am too old and infirm ever again to undertake public concerns. I live much retired, amidst a multiplicity of blessings from that Gracious Ruler of all things, to whom I owe unceasing’ acknowledgments for his unmerited goodness to me; and if I was permitted to add to this catalogue one other blessing, it would be that my countrymen should learn wisdom and virtue, and in this their day know the things that pertain to their peace.

Farewell. I am, dear Sir, yours,

Patrick Henry. To Archibald Blair, Esq.

Patrick Henry to Theodorick Bland, May 29, 1779

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Bland, Theodorick

Date Created

1779-05-29

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 243.

 

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburg, May 29th, 1779.

I was exceedingly surprised when I was told by your letter that none of mine had reached you, except one that you mentioned. I really fear that some mal-practices have been the means of stopping several despatches I sent you. However, for the present I am happy to observe, that your attention to the public safety has prevented any mischeif that could be apprehended from your quarter.

The board of war have just told me that four hundred suits of clothes are ordered in for your corps, that is to say—coats, vests, and breeches. Shirts, &c. are directed to be procured by Colonel Finnie. From his known efficiency and activity, I am in hopes something may be done to make your people easy as to the articles directed to be procured by him. The enemy are gone to sea, and are supposed to be going to New York. You will discharge the Militia as soon as you judge it proper. Their affairs, I guess, press hard for their return home. The disposition of the convention troops remains with you; I mean particularly the return of the officers to their former dwellings. I announced this to them, and wish them to be indulged, unless you see reasons against it which are unknown to me. Those from Henrico are not to return, &c.

I am, Sir, Your most obt. servt.

P. Henry. To Col. Theodorick Bland.

 

Patrick Henry to James Bowdoin, August 25, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Bowdoin, James

Date Created

1785-08-25

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 320.

 

Transcription

Sir: Virginia Council Chamber, Aug. 25, 1785.

Your Excellency’s favor of 20th ulto, I have received today, together with the resolutions of your assembly, and an act for regulating trade.

It is with great pleasure that I shall from time to time communicate to you the acts and proceedings of our Assembly, as you desire, together with such other matters occasionally as may in any manner effect the interest of your commonwealth, to which as a member of the confederacy I bear the most sincere regard.

In one of the resolutions transmitted, I observe the Assembly direct an expostulation to such states as have passed acts affecting the commerce of your state, and a desire that they may be repealed. My recollection does not furnish me any instance of such an act in our code. And I am therefore at a loss to know what it is that has given rise to the suggestion.

If your Excellency will be pleased to be explicit as to the object to which the resolution points, I am confident our Assembly will take the earliest opportunity to manifest their regard to your Commonwealth by removing every just cause of offence.

I am sir &c.

P. Henry. His Excellency, The Govr of Massachusetts.

 

Patrick Henry to Samuel Brown, August 11, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Brown, Samuel

Date Created

1785-08-11

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 313.

 

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber Augt 11. 1785

Your letter giving an account of the death of Colo. Lewis and the other gentlemen I rec’d, and laid it before the council. I lament the fate of these gentlemen, and have only to wish they had not gone over the Ohio. Let the survivors take this warning. For however government may be disposed to resent the slaughter of our worthy citizens, yet it must be remembered, that measures taken to do so for supposed injuries committed over the Ohio, cannot be justified.

I approve of what you have done in ordering the 25 men to the Point for protecting our people thereabouts; but cannot consent to keep any garrison there. I think if from appearances Hostilities are like to happen on this side of the Ohio, the people towards the Point had better move in. The men you have sent may assist to escort them to a place of safety. Meantime you must be vigilant in arranging and preparing for the general defense of your County upon the plan of the old militia law, the new act having never been in force in Greenbrier as yet. You will have particular orders from me when that change is to happen.

I desire to have frequent accounts from you concerning the state of affairs in your county, and am, Sir, &c.

P. Henry. To Colonel Samuel Brown: Greenbrier County.

P. S. You will not send Expresses but when there occurs something of consequence to communicate.

 

Patrick Henry to Richard Caswell, April 1, 1777

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Caswell, Richard

Date Created

1777-04-01

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

PHi–Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Subcollection

Gratz Collection

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 57.

 

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh, April 1st, 1777.

Last Spring, the Convention of this Comonwealth directed two large Galleys to be built for protecting your Trade & ours. Will you be pleased to tell me in what state they are, & how soon they will be fit for service? A considerable quantity of European goods were sent from hence to Edenton, or Halifax, & there deposited. They were intended for the use of Col. Muhlenburgh’s Regiment; But as it is marched to the North the Goods will be sent for, if you will be so obliging as to enquire for them, & tell me in whose custody they are.

I hope you’ll please to excuse the Trouble I give you, as I really know not who else to apply to, or by what other means to preserve the goods from being entirely lost.

From the last Intelligence, I am inclined to think the Cherokees will be further troublesome. In every Instance, I shall be happy to cooperate with your State; But especially in matters respecting these Indians, in whose Enmity or Friendship, the Back settlers of both Virga & Carolina are so deeply interested. I did myself the Honor to inform you of a Treaty appointed to be held with them. It may possibly produce something. If offensive operations become necessary, is it not best to postpone it ’til corn is planted? Will you please favor me with yr sentiments on the subject, & thereby greatly oblige him who has the Honor to be, with esteem, Sir, Yr Most obt hble Servt

P. Henry, Jr. His Excellency Richard Caswell, Governor of No. Carolina.

Patrick Henry to Anne Christian, 2 Letters, ca. 1783-1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Christian, Anne

Date Created

1783-11-13

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 228.

 

Transcription

 

Richmd, Nov. 13th 1783.

I have just time to drop a line to you my dear Sister. I am in the room with your good man, I lodge with him. I hear no news from our kindred hereabouts in particular, they being generally well. I left my family well 10 days ago. I wrote you, I had a son born in August. He is the 4th child of my dear Dolly. We are often talking of a visit to you but indeed I am so much and so long in lower parts on the assembly, that I can find but little time to stay at home. Pray don’t go to Kentuckie to live. You and I are already too far off, and in case of death no person to trust our children with. This often hangs heavy on my mind. I always hoped you were not too far to give my family help in case of death, & you and your husband are the only friends in reach. You see therefore it is interest that makes me against your going. But I assure you interest is not the only thing. The Col grows impatient to be at home already as I do. Annie is now at Sister Woods’, and has been since spring. Pray send your girls to see us as soon as possible. My wife wants to come downwards next spring.

Farewell my dear sister

P. Henry. To Mrs. Annie Christian, Dunkard Bottom.


Patrick Henry to Anne Christian, October 20, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Christian, Anne

Date Created

1786-10-20

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 379.

 

Transcription

 

My Dearest Sister: Richmd, Oct. 20th 1786.

Upon the receipt of your letter I applied to have the rings made as you desired. I wear one as you desired of me, and herewith I send you four as near the size as we could guess. Mr. Walton the bearer is recommended tome as a man I may trust with them. He promises to deliver them safely, and I embrace the opportunity rather than wait longer. I have been enquiring about getting the tombstone since Col. McDowell went away, and find it next to impossible to get a good one transported so far back without too much hazard. I repeat therefore my opinion for having it done on the spot, as I mentioned before. I hope soon to have a letter from you by the delegates coming in to the assembly. Pray write me as to all your affairs, particularly as to your children, & your own state of mind, and what prospects you have before you. My daughter Annie was married to Mr. Roane, one of the Council, last month, and Betsy to Mr. Aylett this month. The matches are agreeable to me, the gentlemen having good fortunes, and good characters. I shall resign my office next month and retire, my wife and self being heartily tired of the bustle we live in here. I shall go to Hanover to land I am like to get of Gen. Nelson, or if that fails, towards Leatherwood again. My wife has 5 very fine and promising children. I rejoice to hear yours are so. Pray, my dearest sister, let me know how I may serve you or them. Mr. Walton is waiting, so that I can not enlarge; Let me know how many letters you’ve rec’d from me for I have written you 4 or 5 this last summer. I’ve got but one from you and that was by Col. McDowell. Congress are about to agree to give up the Navigation of the Mississippi. I’ve exerted myself to prevent it. Let Col. Wheeler, Col. McDoweIl and a few judicious men know of it, and that I recommend it to them to get petitions both to Congress and our Assembly to oppose the Scheme. I have not time to explain this affair fully, but a firm protest ag’t the treaty whereby it is to be given up is I think necessary from y’r people. God bless and preserve you, ever beloved sister, says Your Afft.

P. Henry. To Mrs Anne Christian, Kentucky.

P. S. Charge of the rings $30 from Wm Waddill.

 

Patrick Henry to George Rogers Clark, 3 Letters, ca. 1778-1779

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Clark, George Rogers

Date Created

1778-01-02

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

MWelC–Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.

PHi–Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Subcollection

Society Collection (Fascimile)

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 588.

 

Transcription

Lieut: Colonel George Rogers Clark: [Williamsburgh, January 2, 1778]

You are to proceed, without loss of time, to enlist seven companies of men, officered in the usual manner, to act as militia under your own orders. They are to proceed to Kentucky, and there to obey such orders and directions as you shall give them for three months after their arrival at that place; but to receive pay, etc., in case they remain on duty a longer time.

You are empowered to raise these men in any county in the commonwealth; and the county lieutenants, respectively, are requested to give all possible assistance in that business.

Given under my hand at Williamsburgh, January 2, 1778.

P. Henry.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Clark, George Rogers

Date Created

1778-12-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Vi–Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

Subcollection

Governor Patrick Henry Executive Papers Digital Collection, 1776-1779

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 209.

 

Transcription

Decr 12. 1778.

You are to retain the Command of the troops now at the several posts in the county of Illinois and on the Wabash, which fall within the limits of the County now erected and called Illinois County, which troops marched out with, and have been embodied by you. You are also to take the Command of five other Companies, raised under the act of Assembly which I send herewith, and which if completed, as I hope they will be speedily, will have orders to join you without loss of time, and are likewise to be under your command; With your whole force you are to protect the Inhabitants of the County, & as occasions may serve, annoy the enemy.

It is thought that the Indian Nations may be overawed and inclined to peace with us, by the Adoption of proper measures with you. Or if that cannot be effected, that such of them as send out parties towards our Frontiers on this side of the Ohio, may be chastised by detachments from your quarter. For this purpose it will behove you to watch their motions, and to consider, that one great advantage expected from your situation is to prevent the Indians from warring on this side of Ohio.

In order more effectually to prevent this, you are to establish such posts in different parts of the Country as you judge best for your troops to occupy.

I consider your further success as depending upon the goodwill and friendship of the Frenchmen and Indians who inhabit your part of the Commonwealth. With their concurrence great things may be accomplished. But their animosity will spoil the fair prospect which your past successes have opened. You will therefore spare no pains to conciliate the affections of the French and Indians. Let them see and feel the advantages of being fellow citizens and freemen. Guard most carefully against every infringement of their property, particularly with respect to land, as our enemies have alarmed them as to that. Strict, and even severe, discipline with your soldiers may be essential, to preserve from injury those whom they were sent to protect and conciliate. This is a great and capital matter, and I confide that you will never lose sight of it, or suffer your troops to injure any person without feeling the punishment due to the offence. The honor and interest of the state are deeply concerned in this, and the attachment of the French and Indians depends upon a due observance of it.

John Todd Esquire being appointed County Lieutenant according to law, during pleasure, with ample powers chiefly confined to the Civil Department, will have directions to act in concert with you wherever it can be done. On your part, you will omit no opportunity to give him the necessary co-operation of the troops, where the case necessarily requires it. Much will depend upon the mutual assistances you may occasionally afford each other in your respective departments, and I trust that a sincere cordiality will subsist between you. The contrary will prove highly detrimental. Some measures will be fallen on for carrying on a trade to supply goods for the inhabitants of your County. You will afford the agents such aid or protection from to time as affairs require, and your circumstances will permit.

I send you herewith some copies of the act of Government and Bill of Rights, together with the French alliance. These will serve to show our new friends the ground upon which they are to stand, and the support to be expected from their countrymen of France. Equal liberty and happiness are the objects to a participation of which we invite them.

Upon a fair presumption that the people about Detroit have similar inclinations with those at Illinois and Wabash, I think it possible that they may be brought to expel their British Masters, and become fellow citizens of a free State. I recommend this to your serious consideration, and to consult with some confidential persons on the subject. Perhaps Mr. Gibault, the Priest (to whom this country owes many thanks for his zeal and services,) may promote this affair. But I refer it to you to select the proper persons to advise with, and to act as occasion offers. But you are to push at any favourable occurrences which Fortune may present to you. For our peace and safety are not secure while the enemy are so near as Detroit.

I wish you to testify to all the subjects of Spain upon every occasion, the high regard and sincere friendship of this Commonwealth towards them. And I hope it will soon be manifest, that mutual advantages will derive from the Neighbourhood of the Virginians and the subjects of his Catholic Majesty.

I must observe to you that your situation is critical.

Far detached from the body of your country, placed among French, Spaniards, and Indian Nations, strangers to our people, anxiously watching your actions and behaviour, and ready to receive impressions favourable, or not so, of our Commonwealth and its Government, which impressions will be hard to remove, and will produce lasting good or ill effects to your country. These considerations will make you cautious and circumspect. I feel the delicacy and difficulty of your situation, but I doubt not your virtue will accomplish the arduous work with honor to yourself, and advantage to the Commonwealth. The advice and assistance of discreet good men will be highly necessary. For at the distance of your county, I cannot be consulted. General discretionary powers therefore are given you, to act for the best in all cases where these instructions are silent and the law has made no provision.

I desire your particular attention to Mrs. Rocheblave and her children, and that you suffer them to want for nothing. Let Mr. Rochblave’s property, which was taken, be restored to his lady so far as it can be done. You have the sum of sixty pounds sent for her use, in case you can’t find her husband’s effects to restore.

Prudence requires that provisions be laid in to subsist the Troops you have, & those to be expected to arrive with you. Colonel Bowman has contracted to deliver 35.000lbs Bear Bacon at Kentucky. But bread must be had at Illinois. You will provide it, if possible, before the arrival of the Troops, or the necessity to buy it becomes general known, as perhaps advantages may be taken by raising the price. Lay up also a good stock of powder and Lead &c.

There is a cargo of goods at a Spanish post near you, belonging either to the Continent or this state. Rather than let your troops be naked, you are to take a supply for them out of these goods. But this is not to be done but in case of absolute necessity. Let an exact account be kept of what is used, and let me receive it.

In your negotiations or treatys with the Indians, you will be assisted by Mr. Todd. Let the treatys be confined to the subject of amity and peace with our people, and not to touch the subject of lands. You may accept of any services they offer for expelling the English from Detroit or elsewhere. In case you find presents to the savages necessary, make them sparingly as possible, letting them know our stock of Goods is small at present, but by means of our trade with the French and other nations, we expect plenty of Goods before it is long.

Lieutenant Colonel Montgomery will convey to you ten thousand pounds for payment of the troops, and for other matters requiring money. In the distribution of the money you will be careful to keep exact accounts from time to time, and take security where it is proper.

Yours &c.

P. Henry. Col. Geo. Rogers Clark, Commander in Chief of the Virginia Troops in the County of Illinois.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Clark, George Rogers

Date Created

1779-01-01

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence (1891), 3: 218.

 

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburg Jan 1, 1779.

The late assembly having made some alteration in the Western forces as stated to you in a former letter, I think it necessary to apprize you of it. They have directed your battalion to be completed, 100 men to be stationed at the falls of the Ohio under Major Slaughter, and one only of the additional battalions to be completed. Major Slaughter’s men are raised, and will march in a few days, this letter being to go by him. The returns which have been made to me do not enable me to say whether men enough are raised to make up the additional battalion, but I suppose there must be nearly enough. This battalion will march as early in the spring as the weather will admit.

I hope that by this time the Spaniards have relieved us from the Natchez and Mansiack. I know therefore of but two objects between which you can balance for your next summer’s operations. These are 1. an expedition against Detroit, or 2. against those tribes of Indians between the Ohio & Illinois rivers who have harassed us with eternal hostilities, and whom experience has shewn to be incapable of reconciliation. Removed at such a distance as we are, and so imperfectly informed, it is impossible for us to prescribe to you. The defences at Detroit seem too great for small arms alone; and if that nest was destroyed, the English still have a tolerable channel of communication with the North ern Indians, by going from Montreal up the Utawa river. On the other hand, the Shawanese, Mingoes, Munsies and the nearer Wiandots, are troublesome thorns in our sides. However we must leave it to yourself to decide on the object of the campaign; if against the Indians, the end proposed should be their extermination, or their removal beyond the lakes or Illinois river. The same world will scarcely do for them and us. I suppose it will be best for the new battalion to act with you all the summer, aided by a considerable part of Slaughter’s men; and in the fall to fortify the posts we propose to take on the Ohio, and remain in them during the succeeding winter. The posts which have been thought of are the mouth of Fishing, or Little Kanhaway, Great Kanhaway, Sioto, Great Salt Lick, & Kentucky. There being posts already at Pittsburg, the mouth of Wheeling, & the Falls of Ohio, these intermediate ones will form a chain from Pittsburg to the falls. I have then only to wish that your post was at the mouth of Ohio, which would complete the line.

I am Sir with great respect, Your very humble servt,

P. Henry. Colo. George Rogers Clarke.

Patrick Henry to Council Chamber, February 18, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Council Chamber

Date Created

1786-02-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Red Hill Library, Brookneal, Va.

Description

Enclosing information relative to post-war debt with Europe.

Transcription

Gentlemen. feby. 18th. 1786—

Having obtained the within in order to be previously informed of the Requisites for passing our Debits agt. the Continent, I send it to you that it may serve for your Goverment so far as is practicable, & is applicable to the Claims coming to your office

I am Gentlemen yr. obt. Servant

P. Henry Council Chamber

Patrick Henry to County Lieutenants of Botetourt and Montgomery Counties, March 29, 1777

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

County Lieutenants of Botetourt and Montgomery Counties

Date Created

1777-03-29

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 51.

 

Transcription

Wmsburgh, Mar. 31, 1777.

You tell me, my dear General, more in a paragraph, than others do in a page. Continue your agreeable correspondence, & gratify that curiosity which is eager to know every circumstance of the Army at this interesting Period. Poor Thurston met with a Rebuff I hear. I am anxious for him to live, & in the next affair that he may have better Luck.

Pray how are your people armed, & what prospect have you as to arms in future. Great exertions are made here to import & fabricate. I hope Congress have thot of doing so in Time. We have abt 100,000 lbs powder. The Hunters make very fine, & in plenty. I am just sending sulphur to them. It is the only ingredient they want.

The Cherokees are likely to plague us again. Those whose Towns are destroyed lay out & war on our people. I fear their party increases so as to become formidable. Orders are dispatch’d as to Pluggy’s Town. Give me your opinion as to Pittsburgh. Its great importance you know. If that is lost, we shall retain no post from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the mouth of Mississippi. I hear a Fort is building at Sanduske. Stewart is gone to the Ohio Nations, many of whom I fear are Enemys. In this situation may not an armament come agt Fort Pitt; especially if there is no Diversion in Canada. By attacking that Fortress the Enemy will act systematically, as Howe seems to make an impression in Jersey. But I wish for your sentiments as to the number of Troops necessary for that Garrison. I have order’d some Cannon & repairs there. But the great distance wont permit me to know how the Orders are executed. Enlisting goes on badly. Terrors of the small-pox added to the Lies of Deserters &c &c, deter but too many. Indeed the obstacles & discouragements are great.

My Kinsman Winston, whom you mention, is clever. He is a gentleman that may be rely’d on. He commands a company of Continental Regulars from Hanr County. I shall tell him of yours. How many subalterns do you want? An army of them may be had. Is there any certainty of their being provided for? As they are but low in cash they are shy of going so far, unless on a certainty.

Adieu, my dear Sir. May we live to see the happy Days of Victory, & safety which will result. from that alone; & may the present Times be remember’d by us with that pleasure which a wise Improvement of them will give. May you long live in the full enjoyment of that Happiness you struggle to give your country. Yrs ever,

P. Henry, Jr.

Patrick Henry to Governor of Cuba, October 18, 1777

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Governor of Cuba

Date Created

1777-10-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Vi–Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

Subcollection

Governor Patrick Henry Executive Papers Digital Collection, 1776-1779

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 103.

 

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburg in Virginia. October 18, 1777.

A copy of a letter from his Excellency the Governor of New Orleans, directed to the Congress, and by the president transmitted to me as governor of this commonwealth, informs me, that by the generous indulgence of his Catholic Majesty a quantity of goods have been sent from Spain to the Havannah, and from thence to New Orleans, for the use of this state. I am, therefore, sir, to make the most hearty acknowledgements of the obligations the United States of America, and Virginia in particular, are under to his Majesty, for this mark of his good will towards them. I trust they will ever gratefully remember it, and make no doubt they will amply repay such kindness. We are well acquainted, sir, with the honor, spirit, and generosity of the Spanish nation, and should therefore glory in an intimate connection with it. For I suppose I need not inform your Excellency, that these states are now free and independent, capable of forming alliances and of making treaties. I think the connection might be mutually beneficial; for independent of the beef, pork, live stock, flour, staves, shingles, and several other articles with which we could supply your islands, we have vast quantities of skins, furs, hemp, and flax, which we could by an easy inland navigation, bring down the Mississippi to New Orleans from our back country, in exchange for your woolens, linens, wines, military stores, &c.; and were you once restored to the possessions you held in the Floridas, (which I sincerely wish to see, and which I make no doubt these states would cheerfully contribute to accomplish,) the advantage to us both in a commercial view would be greatly increased. The English, indeed, insinuate, that it would be impolitic in your nation to assist us in our present situation; but you are too wise not to perceive how much it is their interest that you should be imposed upon by this doctrine, and how much more formidable they must be to you with the assistance of America than without it; and you must be too well acquainted with the nature of our states to entertain any jealousy of their becoming your rivals in trade, or overstocked as they are with vast tracts of land, that they should ever think of extending their territory. I shall now no longer intrude on your Excellency, than to entreat you to accept of our warmest thanks for the kindnes your sovereign has shown to our states, and to present them to him in such a manner as may be most acceptable to him, and to beg that you will point out to us, what remittances will be most agreeable for the goods furnished us, and how we shall be able to make the best returns for such favours, as we have received of your nation. This you will be pleased to communicate to me by means of a letter directed to me, which your Excellency will please to send to the care of our agent, Rawleigh Colston Esqr. at St. Domingo.

I have the honour to be &c.

P. Henry. To the Governor of Cuba.

Patrick Henry to Bartholomew Dandridge, January 21, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Dandridge, Bartholomew

Date Created

1785-01-21

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 252.

 

Transcription

Dear Sir: January 21, 1785.

The enclosed, while it will give you trouble, may give us the pleasure of seeing you. I heartily lament with you the death of Mr. Burbidge, so far as it is rational to lament the exchange of a bad world for one where sorrow never enters. This particular time is remarkable for the deaths of my near connections. My dear and ever honored mother died six or eight weeks ago, my brother William two weeks, and my only surviving aunt ten days. Thus is the last generation clearing the way for us, as we must shortly do for the next. My wife’s best wishes are joined with mine for you all. Adieu, dear sir,

P. Henry.

Patrick Henry to General Count Dumas, June 3, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Dumas, General Count

Date Created

1786-06-03

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 355.

 

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber at Richm’d in Virga, June 3d 1786.

Time state over which I have the honor to preside, early in the late war. fitted out and put into commission a vessel of war called the Musquito, commanded by captain Harris. Before the capture by the British, she had the fortune to take a prize of very considerable value, which was. condemned and sold in Gaudaloupe. A certain Mr. Soubris of Point Petre received the money, & Mr. Richard Harrison, then agent for this state, commenced a suit against him for recovery of what he had received. He pretended that captain Harris had made him agent for himself & the crew, & refused to account for more than half the prize, which it is said in the whole amounted to 70, or 80,000 Livres. When Mr. Harrison left the Island he transferred his powers to Sam’l Parsons Esqr. who prosecuted this affair ‘til 1782 unsuccessfully, for want of competent powers to receive the whole of what the prize sold for. The costs have amounted to near 5,000 Livres, & notwithstanding this, and the length of time in which the matter has been litigated, nothing as yet has been received from this prize, which it was imagined here could not have afforded Grounds for the dispute, the principles of decision in such cases being clear, and universally known & admitted.

The facts above are stated to me by Sam’l Parsons, Esqr, to whom I have granted full powers to transact tim business with Mr. Soubris, or who ever may detain the money. The death of Captain Harris, & the dispersed situation of the crew of the Musquito, make it necessary that the executive of this state should receive the whole of the prize money.

I am upon this occasion to request of your Excellency such attention to the above business as its situation may render necessary. And when I was considering of some distinguished character to whom I might confide the interest of the state, none appeared so proper as your Excellency. From your love of justice, sir, I am induced to hope that the evasions of Mr. Soubris, or others concerned with him, may be discountenanced, and that my agent, Mr. Parsons, will receive such encouragement as the nature of this business may deserve, & the past delays seem to render more necessary.

I beg leave to assure your Excellency of the high esteem & regard with which I am your obed. servt. &c.

P. Henry. To His Excellency, General Count Dumas.

Patrick Henry to Agent of Benjamin Franklin, July 15, 1777

Author

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Agent of Franklin, Benjamin

Date Created

1777-07-15

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 84.

 

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh July 15th 1777.

Our general Assembly have directed a new Edition of the Laws to be forthwith printed, but I fear it can not be done without providing other Types than what are here. I understand Dr. Franklin left several sorts & sizes of Types with you, & that they are just fit for our purpose. I have to beg the Favor of you sir, to spare them for the above purpose, as I know not where to get others at present. The money shall be paid for them, the Types return’d, or others imported to replace them as soon as it can be done. Which of these methods you chuse, if comunicated to me, shall be chearfully comply’d with by Sir, yr. mo. h’ble Servt.

P. Henry.

 

Patrick Henry to Benjamin Franklin, March 3, 1778

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Franklin, Benjamin

Date Created

1778-03-03

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

PPAmP–American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 150.

 

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh in Virga, March 3d 1778.

Captain Lemaire, the Gentleman whom you were pleased to recommend to his Excellency General Washington, will have the honor to deliver you this. He called here in his way to the Camp, & fell into Conversation with Mr. Loyeauté our Inspector general of Artillery & Military Stores, on the Subject of his Department, in which are many capital Deficiencies. Understanding that there are many supernumerary officers in our Army, the Captain, desirous to render us his best Services, has agreed to return to France, & there to assist in procuring for this State such Articles as are absolutely necessary for our Defence. Mr. Loyeauté has furnished an Invoice which the Captain carrys to William Lee Esquire, Agent for this State, with a Letter from me desiring him to use every Endeavour to procure the Articles specified, the want of which may be fatal to Virginia. Our Inspector has written to his Father, who I understand is Inspector of Artillery &c. in France, & to some other Friends, to assist the Agent with their Influence. For it may easily be conceived that we have not money deposited there ready to make payment for what we want. We have large Quantities of Tobacco ready on board Vessels bound to Nantz, & other ports of the Kingdom, which have been blocked up by the British Ships a long time. The articles now sent for will serve to open that commerce, which I trust will be found an object worthy the attention of the French Nation, with whom it is our Wish to form the most interesting Connexions.

After all the signal Services which this State, in Common with America, has received at your Hands, may I be permitted, Sir, to hope for your pardon when I ask for one more? It is that you may be pleased to assist with your Influence the applications of Messrs Lee & Loyeauté & their Friends to obtain the Arms & Stores.

It gives me pain that you should thus be put upon the Business of Soliciting additional Favours for a people, perhaps altogether unknown to those you may have occasion to address. I wish rather to see you conferring Benefits. But for this, the Time is not yet come. It may one Day happen.

Chesapeake Bay is guarded by one English 64 Gun Ship & four 36 gun Frigates. They lord it here at present. We have two Frigates building, & some Galleys in service. However I have no Expectation of facing the British power on the Water unassisted by France, whose Interposition would secure our Trade. At present the Inlets on our Eastern Shore, & that at Ocracock in North Carolina are the best Channels thro’ which our Trade can pass. Thro’ the latter I wish Captain Lemaire to return.

Tobacco, or any other production of Virginia, shall be shipped in such manner & to such places as the Agent can find acceptable, in order to make payment for the Arms & Stores specified in the Invoice. Added to this I can only say, that the State of Virginia will ever bear in grateful Remembrance the good offices you may please to render in this important affair. On behalf of the commonwealth I have the Honor to be, with Sentiments of the highest Regard and Esteem, Sir, your most obedient & very hble. Servant,

P. Henry. Honble Benjamin Franklin Esqr.

 

Patrick Henry to Horatio Gates, April 21, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Gates, Horatio

Date Created

1785-04-21

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 297.

 

Transcription

Dear Sir: Richmond, April 21st 1785.

I am very much obliged to you for the attention you gave my Letter on the Subject of recommending officers, & am only sorry that your Favor did not arrive here sooner, as the Law compelled me to make out the commissions on the 1st Day of this month.

I am very sensible of the Grievance you mention respecting the promulgation of our Laws. The Bearer of yours has charged himself with the number of copies apportioned for your county. I beg leave to present you with one, & a copy of the confederation &c.

I do assure you, Sir, it will ever afford me the highest pleasure to hear of your Welfare & Happiness.

Nothing can give me greater Satisfaction than rendering you acceptable Service, & testifying how much I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient Servant,

P. Henry. General Gates.

 

Patrick Henry to Governor of New Orleans (Bernardo de Gálvez), October 18, 1777

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

de Galvez, Bernardo

Date Created

1777-10-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 105.

 

Transcription

No. 1. Sir: Wms’burg, Virg.a October 18th 1777.

I beg leave present to your Excellency my sincere thanks in behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, for your kind reception of Captain Gibson, who was sent down the Mississippi with letters to you from the committee of safety, our late Executive power, and from Major General Lee. The manner in which you furnished us with several valuable articles in consequence of those letters, and your kind application to the Court of Spain in our favour, which we are just informed has been attended to with success, deserve our warmest acknowledgements. I trust sir, the United States of America, and Virginia in particular, will ever gratefully remember this mark of his Catholic Majesty’s Royal favour, and will always show how highly they prize the good will of your praiseworthy nation. I shall now no longer intrude on your Excellency than to beg, that you will please to point out to us what remittances will be most agreeable for the goods furnished us, and how we shall be able to make the best returns for such favours, as we have received of your nation. This you will be pleased to communicate to me by means of a letter directed to me, which your Excellency will please to send to the care of our agent, Raleigh Colston Esq. at St. Domingo. I have the honour to be &c.

P. Henry. To the Governor of New Orleans.

Patrick Henry to John Hancock, 3 Letters, ca. 1777

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Hancock, John

Date Created

1777-03-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 48.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh, March 28th, 1777.

I am honor’d by your Despatch of the 13th, & I’m sorry to observe that it gives me some embarrassment. Tis very true we have a Gun Factory at Fredericksburgh, & I believe there are some arms finished there.

I should have been obliged to your Informant had he mentioned to me the State of it, that I might have compared the number of Arms with the public occasions for them, whereby an estimate might have been formed of the number to be spared, & to what Quarter or Corps of Troops the General Interest required them to be sent. Yesterday I order’d the Keeper of the public Magazine to furnish me with a Return of the public Arms, having engaged to deliver Colo Mason all that can be spared, for his Regiment. You will therefore perceive the necessity of postponing the Delivery of the Arms to Colo Stevens until this matter is settled with Colo Mason.

Congress will be pleased to excuse me when I observe, there is propriety in the Executive power of this State taking up the business of distributing the few arms we have among the Troops we raise, according as various local circumstances may require. Would Congress be pleased, Sir, to call upon me for information as to our Stock of public Arms, they might depend upon receiving a true one.

With great regard I have the Honor to be, Sir, Yr mo. obt & very h’ble Servt,

P. Henry, Jr. Honble Mr. Hancock, President of the Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Hancock, John

Date Created

1777-07-0

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 84.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh July 8, 1777.

The first Battalion of Troops of this State are on their March to join General Washington, agreeable to a Resolution of the General Assembly. The Troops will I doubt not be under a necessity of Inoculation for the Small pox. This will delay their progress and occasion expense. As the battalion is ordered into the Continental Service, it is not doubted but that the Continent will defray every expense necessarily incurred thereby. I have therefore directed Colo. Gibson, who commands the Battalion, to draw on the Continental Treasury for the necessary sums of money on his march. I have also to request, Sir, that orders may issue for the pay of this corps on the Continental Account. With great Regard I have the Honor to be, Sir, Yr. Mo. obt. & very h’ble sert,

P. Henry.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Hancock, John

Date Created

1777-08-30

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 90.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh Augt 30th 1777.

I was honor’d with yours covering the Resolutions of Congress for calling into service a number of Militia from different States. I have lost no time, but have instantly sent off expresses to the different Countys mentioned by Congress, ordering one Third of their Militia to rendezvous at Frederick-Town in Maryland.

I beg leave to give you, Sir, my congratulations on the success of our Arms in the North. Be pleased to accept my best respects, & to be assured of the high regard with which I have the honor to be, Sir, Yr mo. obedient & very hble Servant,

P. Henry. the Honble John Hancock Esqr.

Patrick Henry to Colonel Josiah Harmar, July 12, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harmar, Josiah

Date Created

1786-07-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 368.

 

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber, July 12th 1786.

I have received from Congress a copy of their resolution of June 30th whereby I perceive two companies of their troops are to remove to Kentucky, for the purpose of protecting that quarter against the attacks of tim Indians.

Those troops I find are intended to cooperate with such numbers of militia in the district as the occasion shall render proper. In order to give effect to the intentions of Congress, I have ordered the County lieutenants of the district of Kentucky to afford you such aid of men, as the operations you undertake for protecting and securing that country from its merciless enemies shall render necessary. You will be pleased therefore, to call for the men as they shall be wanted by you to attain this much desired purpose.

I am, Sir, Your mo: ob: Servt:

P. Henry. To Colo Harmar, or the officer commanding the Continentl troops in the district of Kentucky.

 

Patrick Henry to Cornelius Harnett, December 23, 1776

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harnett, Cornelius

Date Created

1776-12-23

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 504.

 

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh, Decr 23d, 1776.

By the inclosed you will perceive the Ideas of this Commonwealth on the subject of military things. We mean to act with vigour and upon a liberal plan. If your State shall be distressed, ours will gladly contribute to its Relief if possible. Our Interests are the same and our operations shall harmonize.

No news on which I can depend has come here lately from the North. I judge that Philadelphia is now or shortly will be at the Mercy of the Enemy. The Middle States have not furnished Troops in so great numbers as were expected. I trust your Commonwealth and ours will exhibit a different spirit. And altho’ many Difficultys are to be encountered on the subject of necessarys, yet I hope we may muster a formidable Force by the Spring. For this purpose I think the earliest preparations should be made; and in conformity we are setting about this work immediately.

I have the honor to be Sir, yr. mo. hble. Servt.

P. Henry Jr. (Addressed to) The Honble. Cornelius Harnett, Esq. President of the Committee of Safety, North Carolina,

Patrick Henry to Benjamin Harrison, 13 Letters, ca. 1778-1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1778-05-13

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 162.

Transcription

[May 13, 1778]

Sundry Matters referred by the Governor, with the Advice of the Council, to the Consideration of the General Assembly, May 13, 1778:

1st. From every appearance at present it seems evident, that the scheme adopted by the last Assembly for raising Volunteers to reinforce the grand army will not succeed.

2nd. The march of the second regiment of the state infantry to join the grand army, and the draughts of men for Monsr. Loyeauté’s Corps from the Regiment of State Artillery, which has not yet been nearly filled, have so reduced our regular force that it is totally inadequate to the defence of our Garrisons. The employing of Militia for that purpose is found to be attended with many difficulties, affords less security, and greatly enhances our expenses.

3rd. Sundry Resolutions and proceedings of Congress have been received since the last session, and are sent herewith. The Assembly will please be referred to them.

4th. The situation of the grand Army with respect to provisions has been so alarming, as to threaten no less than the final dispersion of it. The letters from Congress and General Washington, while they imported this, called for every possible aid from this state. The most vigorous and proper measures the Executive power could devise have been pursued. Mr. John Hawkins has been appointed purchasing Commissary, and to him and sundry others employed before him occasionally, very large sums have been advanced. Congress have been informed of the whole matter, approved of what has been done, and promise to refund the money speedily.

5th. Many great losses have been sustained by the traders of this state, and those of foreign Countries, on this coast, for want of proper pilots. In order to stimulate men of that profession, by advice of council, an additional encouragement of four shillings per ton, besides their daily pay, was promised by the governor to the pilots for every foreign or State vessel safely brought into port.

6th. For the further security of trade four small batteries are ordered to be erected on the Eastern Shore. These seemed absolutely necessary, as the enemy are closely blocking up the channels through which our vessels formerly passed into North Carolina, and our trade must in the future be principally carried on by the way of that shore.

7th. In order to make the provision of cloaths and other necessaries for the Virginia Troops in the continental service, as directed by the last assembly, Duncan Rose Esq has been appointed agent, and has procured various articles to the amount of about one hundred thousand pounds, which will be forwarded to the army as soon as possible.

8th. Orders are sent to the agent for this state, in France, to ship twenty thousand stands of arms, agreeable to the directions of the last assembly, for the use of the Militia.

9th. In the prosecution of trade on the public account, it has been found impossible to convey the produce of this country to foreign parts, in quantities sufficient to pay for the articles we wanted to purchase. In order to remedy this inconvenience, the Governor, by advice of the council, did by letter empower William Lee Esqr. agent for this state in France, to borrow a sum of money, not exceeding two million of Livres, and to pledge the faith of this commonwealth for the payment of this sum, in tobacco or other produce of this country.

10th. The Gentlemen who were appointed by Congress to audit the accounts of this commonwealth against the continent, have made some progress in that business. But it is as yet unfinished. And it is to be feared, from the great difficulty already experienced of procuring gentlemen, who live very remote from this place, to attend and finish work of this nature, that much delay will attend the final accomplishment of it.

11th. From the encreasing commerce and Intercourse with the French Nation, and often receiving and sending despatches of the greatest importance in that language, the executive power has been repeatedly embarrassed, as the members of it are not accurately acquainted with the French Tongue. Interpreters have been occasionally employed. But ill consequences were perceived to follow either from the ignorance or design of some of them. The Governor therefore in order to remedy these evils, by the advice of the council, did appoint Mr. Charles Bellini to act in the capacity of French secretary, with a salary of two hundred pounds per annum, till the pleasure of the assembly should be known. From the accomplishments of Mr. Bellini there seems no doubt of his fitness to fill this office, in which Secrecy, Fidelity, and Knowledge were so essentially necessary.

12th. Since the last session of assembly Isaac Avery Esquire resigned the naval office for North Hampton, and Thomas Parsons Esq was appointed to that office till the pleasure of the assembly should be known.

13th. Also Isaac Smith Esq resigned the naval office of Accomack, and Robins Kendall Matthews esq. was appointed to the same till the assembly signify their pleasure thereupon.

14th. Sundry ship carpenters, employed in the public yards, were drafted to serve in the continental army under the act of the last assembly; and on the earnest solicitations of the Navy board and the superintendants of the ship yards, the Governor, by advice of the council, did desire the officer commanding the continental troops here to permit the said carpenters to continue in their yards. It was said great detriment would ensue from the loss of these carpenters, as others could not be gotten to supply their places. An exemption of these workmen from Militia duty in the future it is supposed would tend to promote the public good.

15th. Information has been received’ of several persons within this state having joined the enemy as Traitors, and leaving considerable estates real and personal behind them. The laws seem to leave doubts as to the manner of proceeding against such offenders. A speedy method seems necessary to prevent the practice of those frauds generally used to secrete them.

16th. Upon considering the appointment given to Mr. Loyeauté The Executive power was induced to be of opinion, that he had not a right to exercise command over the officers of the military in this state at large, but was to confine it to the corps of one hundred men, who were to be trained by him in the manner in which the assembly directed. However it appears Mr. Loyeauté understands his appointment to the office of Inspector General gives him the command of the Regiment of artillery, if he should see occasion to exercise it. In order to clear this point from future doubts, the Governor and Council request the Assembly will be pleased to declare whether Mr. Loyeauté in his post of Inspector General is to assume such command.

17th. The death of Jacob Bruce Esqr. makes the appointment of another auditor of public accounts necessary.

18th. The several preceeding matters, with others which necessarily required large expenditures, have been the cause of great emissions of paper money. These added to former emissions, and a prodigious influx of Continental money occasioned by the great supplies to the army drawn from this state, have given such a shock to the public credit, that the price of labour and every necessary has got to a height truly alarming, and proves an inconceivable clog to the prosecution of public affairs.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1778-05-21

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 167.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburg May 21, 1778.

From the great sums of money expended on the public Salt works, the Executive power was induced to hope that considerable quantities of salt would have been produced before this time. But I am sorry to say that very little has been made, and that there is no prospect of receiving from most of the works any quantity nearly adequate to the expense of them. From the great importance and variety of objects which call for the attention of government, it becomes impossible to superintend this business so closely as the many difficulties it meets with requires; and I cannot help observing, that without some person of skill and integrity is employed, whose sole business shall be to conduct these works, the views of the general assembly will be frustrated, and much public money thrown away.

The manager of the salt works in Northumberland has resigned his appointment, and although another has been sought for, none has been found to undertake it.

Some occurrences of late made war with the Indians almost inevitable. Such measures as seemed most likely to protect the frontiers and restore tranquility have been adopted by Government. I beg leave to refer to the paper sent herewith, as well to show the present good disposition of the Cherokees, as the situation of affairs respecting the northern and western tribes.

Altho’ the militia of this commonwealth are in general well affected, and no doubt can be entertained of the general good disposition of the people, yet I am sorry to say that several instances of refractory and disobedient conduct have happened, which for the sake of example called loudly for punishment. The fines imposed by law for delinquency of almost every kind, are generally esteemed of so little consequence, that offences against the Militia law are become common. It is therefore apprehended that the military operations, upon which the safety of the state may depend, will not be carried into effect unless a degree of discipline, more strict than the present laws enforce, be adopted, and the fines for disobedience encreased. Standing guards drawn from the militia are necessary oftentimes for the security of magazines and other purposes. Doubts seem to arise under the present law, whether they can be instituted.

I beg sir, that you will be pleased to communicate these observations to the general assembly, who will pass such a judgment on them as they may deserve. With great regard I am sir, Your most obedient and very humble servant,

P. Henry. The Honble Benjamin Harrison, Esqr, Speaker of the Ho. Del.

P. S. I omitted to inform you above that Mr. Loyeauté has resigned his appointment of inspector general.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1778-05-27

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 173.

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburg, May 27, 1778.

I was always unwilling to trouble the General Assembly with anything that seemed of too little consequence for deliberation. In that view I have for some time considered the insurrection in Princess Anne and Norfolk. I have from time to time given orders to the commanding officers of those counties, to draw from the militia a force sufficient to quell it. These officers have often complained of the difficulty of the business, arising partly from the local circumstances attending it, but chiefly from the backwardness and even disaffection of the people. In order to remove the latter obstacle, I gave orders for one hundred men to be drawn out into this service, from Nansemond county; but I am sorry to say, the almost total want of discipline in that, and too many other militias in the state, seems to forbid the hope of their doing much to effect.

Col. Wilson, whose letter I enclose, has several times given me to understand, that, in his opinion, the removal of such families as are in league with the insurgents, was a step absolutely necessary, and has desired me to give orders accordingly. But thinking that the Executive power is not competent to such a purpose, I must beg leave to submit the whole matter to the Assembly, who are the only judges how far the methods of proceeding directed by law are to be dispensed with on this occasion.

A company of regulars, drawn from the several stations, will be ordered to co-operate with the militia, though indeed their scanty numbers will not permit it to be done without hazard. But I cannot help thinking this ought to be encountered; for an apparent disposition to disturb the peace of this state has been manifested by these people during the whole course of the present war. It seems, therefore, that no effort to crush these desperadoes should be spared.

My duty would no longer suffer me to withold these several matters from the view of the General Assembly, to whom I beg leave to refer them through you.

With great regard, I have the honor to be, sir, Your most obedient humble servant,

P. Henry. To the Hon. Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1778-11-13

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 199.

Transcription

Sir: Wms’burg, Nov’r. 13th 1778.

Perhaps there is no crime which threatens the Commonwealth with greater calamity than that of counterfeiting the paper money; most of the attempts to check this evil have failed, by reason of the extensive and dangerous combinations formed by those who carry it on.

The effects of these associations appear in the rescue of some notorious offenders who have been seized from time to time, & in the actual murder of one man who had given information against the counterfeitors. Many who have been active in the apprehension of these offenders have suffered great losses in their property, by way of revenue from them; others have been beaten, wounded, shot at, and live in continual fear for their lives and property.

These enormities call for vigorous interposition, but I submit it, whether some special provision of the Legislature is not absolutely necessary to cut off from society the acknowledged leaders of these dangerous men. Several papers and Informations on the subject accompany this, which I beg the favor of you to lay before the general assembly.

I am with great respect, Your very h’b’le servant,

P. Henry. To Hon. Benjamin Harrison Esq. Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1778-11-27

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 206.

Transcription

Sir: Nov. 27th. 1778.

The unsettled state of the boundary Line between the Commonwealth and Pennsylvania is likely to prove the source of much mischief. Consequences of the most alarming nature seem likely to follow if the Legislature do not interpose, the Executive not being competent to the business. The papers I send herewith relate to this subject which is become so interesting, and I beg you will please to lay them before the General Assembly.

I have the Honor to be, Sir, Yr. most Hble. Servt.

P. Henry. The Honorable Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1779-05-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 240.

Transcription

Sir: May 18th 1779.

I have enclosed a Letter for the perusal of the assembly, from Colo Clark at the Illinois. This Letter among other things informs me of an expedition which he had plann’d and was determined to execute, in order to recover Fort St Vincent, which had been formerly taken from the British Troops, and garrisoned by those under the Colonel’s Command. This Enterprise has succeeded to our utmost wishes, for the Garrison commanded by Henry Hamilton, Lieutenant Governor of Detroit, and consisting of British Regulars and a number of Volunteers were made Prisoners of war. Colo Clark has sent the Governor, with several officers and privates under a proper Guard, who have by this time arrived at New London, in the County of Bedford. Proper measures will be adopted by the executive for their confinement & security—Unfortunately the Letters from Colo Clark, containing no doubt particular accounts of this affair, were in the possession of the Express, who was murdered by a party of Indians on his way through Kentucky to this place: The letters as I am informed were destroyed. As the facts which I have mentioned are sufficiently authenticated, I thought it material that they should be communicated to the Assembly.

I have the honor to be Yr: most obedient servant,

Patrick Henry. To the Hon. Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1779-05-25

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

NjP–Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Subcollection

Patrick Henry Collection

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 242.

Transcription

Sir: May 25. 1779.

A certain Zechariah Snead was detected going secretly to the British Flag Vessels, and being examined, and found to lay under very strong suspicions of disaffection, has been ordered to goal. A few days ago a person calling herself Letitia Fitzgerald appeared in this city; her husband, she pretends, is the eldest son of the Duke of Leinster, was apprehended in the Nansemond County and was under examination for treasonable practices, when the enemy entered Suffolk and released him. A great variety of circumstances concur to induce a belief that this is a dangerous woman, and that she came hither with some wicked intention. She was therefore sent to goal also.

The Executive having in these two instances exercised a power not expressly given them by law, I take this method of informing the legislature of it, and have only to add, that apprehension for the public safety is the sole reason for the proceeding.

I am, Sir, Your most humble servant,

P. Henry. Hon’ble Benjamin Harrison. Speaker of the Ho. of Delegates.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1779-05-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

NIC–Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 38.

Transcription

Sir: May 28th 1779.

The term for which I had the honor to be elected governor by the late assembly being just about to expire, and the constitution, as I think, making me ineligible to that office, I take the liberty to communicate to the assembly through you, sir, my intention to retire in four or five days.

I have thought it necessary to give this notification of my design, in order that the assembly may have the earliest opportunity of deliberating upon the choice of a successor to me in office.

With great regard, I have the honor to be, sir, Your most obedient servant,

P. Henry. To the Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1784-04-16

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 245.

Transcription

Sir: Leatherwood, April 16th, 1784.

Mr Mazzei is now with me in order to obtain some Testimonial, not only of his being sent to Europe for certain public purposes, but also of every circumstance relative to his Mission. I observe that your Excellency has directed him to do some such thing, as the Destruction of the Books & Papers of the Executive, prevents your seeing in them his Appointment, Commission, Instructions, the Correspondence with him, & whatever else you might desire to know on the Subject.

I hope therefore your Excellency will excuse the Trouble of this, as Mr Mazzei desires me to inform you, as well as I can, of the Facts that came under my Observation, & as the Nature of the Case seems to refer to me in a particular Manner. I must premise however, that I am very far from having a perfect Recollection of this Affair, & that many Circumstances have escaped me.

I remember Mr Mazzei’s being appointed to go to Europe in order to procure a Loan of money & Cloathing for our Troops, & that this appointment was made by me, by & With the Advice of the Council. I remember the Embarrassment I felt, in attempting to execute the Directions of the Assembly, as the sum to be borrowed was I think a Million of Pounds. The attempt however was to be made, & Mr Mazzei cheerfully undertook the Task. In many conversations with him on the Subject I recollect speaking to him of the Difficulty to be surmounted, of the necessary Preparations & Arrangements, of all which he seemed to possess more understanding than any with whom I had conversed, & almost brought me to approve as practicable a Measure I had always thott not so. But I was not at Liberty to deliberate further than on the best Means of executing what had been determined on by the Assembly—the Executive having no power to alter the Terms.

As to the Money which this Gentleman was to receive, either for Expenses, or as to pay for his Trouble & Loss of Time &c., I cannot be particular.

In general I remember his Professions were patriotic, & I think he expressed a Willingness to receive for his services, Loss of Time &c. what the Executive might judge reasonable thereafter. But the providing Money for his Expenses was difficult and perplexing, as it was necessary to be had instantly.

I can only say that I think the first & second Pages of his narrative place this affair in its true Light, & I understand that paper is laid before you. I was scrupulously exact throughout this whole Business in following the Advice of the Council, as it was a matter I was altogether unequal to of myself—I beg Leave therefore to refer to his Narrative for the Facts mentioned in the first & second Pages, as I believe they are true so far as they relate to the Transactions of the then Executive—That paper copyed is now before me.

Your Excellency may remember that I had not the Honor to be in the Executive after June 1779. So that I am not able to say anything of the correspondence with Mr Mazzei after he sailed from America. Nor will it be for me to pronounce any Judgment on his Conduct. But I hope your Excellency will be so good as to suffer me to give you a short Extract of a Letter to me from the hon’ble Mr John Adams, in which he speaks of Mr Mazzei in the following Terms just before his Departure for America, viz. from Paris June 23d 1783 “Mr Mazzei has uniformly discovered in Europe an Attachment and Zeal for the American Honor and Interest, which would have become any Native of our Country—I wish upon his Return he may find an agreeable Reception.”

I have to beg of your Excellency, that you will please to know from the Gentlemen who composed the Council when this affair was transacted such Matters as I may have omitted.

They will perhaps be able to place the several Transactions in a clearer Light than I have done—I believe Mr Page, Colo Digges, Mr Madison, Mr Jameson, & perhaps Mr Prentis, were the Gentlemen who sat at the Board then.

With great Regard I have the honor to be Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient & very humble Servant,

P. Henry His Excellency Governor Benjamin Harrison.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Benjamin Harrison

Date Created

1785-10-17

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 325.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber, October 17th, 1785.

Since the last session of assembly, I have received sundry acts, resolutions and other communications from congress, which I transmit to the General Assembly marked No. 1, and which will claim the attention of the legislature, according to their nature and importance, respectively.

The execution of the militia law hath caused much embarrassment to the executive. Compelled to name all the field officers through the state, and possessing sufficient information as to the fitness of individuals for these offices in a few counties only, they were constrained to search out proper persons by such means as accident furnished, and by letters addressed to the several counties. In some instances the gentlemen to whom they were addressed refused to give any information. In many others the answers came too late to avail; the law directing the commissions to issue the first of April. In this situation the business has been conducted; and from a partial knowledge of characters in some counties, and a total ignorance of them in others, I am sensible many who are worthy of command have been passed by, and others less fit for office may have been commissioned. And notwithstanding a close attention has been given to this business, many of the counties have not yet been officered, for want of the recommendations of the captains and subalterns.

Finding that the arms and ammunition directed to be purchased could not be procured except from beyond the sea, application has been made by me to Mr. Jefferson and the Marquis de la Fayette, requesting their assistance to Mr. Barclay, (who was commissioned to make the purchase,) in accomplishing this important work; and I have the satisfaction to find, that the affair is in such a train as to promise the speedy arrival of these much wanted articles. For more full information respecting this transaction, I send you sundry letters, (No. 2,) by one of which you will see that our noble friend the Marquis offers us his services if there shall be occasion for them.

I transmit, herewith, a letter from the honorable Mr. Hardy, covering a memorial to congress from sundry inhabitants of Washington county, and praying the establishing of an independent state, to be bounded as is therein expressed. The proposed limits include a vast extent of country in which we have numerous and very respectable settlements, which in their growth will form an invaluable barrier between this country and those who, in the course of events, may occupy the vast plains westward of the mountains, some of whom may have views incompatible with our safety. Already the militia of our state is among the most respectable we have: and by these means it is, that the neighboring Indians are awed into professions of friendship. But a circumstance has lately happened, which renders the possession of that territory at the present time indispensable to the peace and safety of Virginia: I mean the assumption of sovereign power by the western inhabitants of North Carolina.

If these people, who, without consulting their own safety, or any other authority known in the American constitution, have assumed government, and while unallied by us, and under no engagements to pursue the objects of the federal government, they shall be strengthened by the accession of so great a part of our country, consequences fatal to our repose probably will follow. It is to be observed that the settlements of this new society stretch on to great extent in contact with ours in Washington county, and thereby expose our citizens to the contagion of that example, which bids fair to destroy the peace of North Carolina.

In this state of things it is, that variety of informations have come to me stating that several persons, but especially Col. Arther Campbell, have used their utmost endeavors and with some success, to persuade the citizens in that quarter to break off from this commonwealth, and attach themselves to the newly-assumed government, or erect one, distinct from it. And in order to effect this purpose the equity and authority of the laws have been arraigned, the collection of the taxes impeded, and our national character impeached. But as I send you the several papers I have received on that subject, I need not enlarge further than remark, that if this most important part of our territory be lopped off, we lose that barrier for which our people have long and often fought, that nursery of soldiers from which future armies may be levied, and through which it will be most impossible for our enemies to penetrate: we shall aggrandize the new state, whose connections, views, and designs we know not; shall cease to be formidable to our savage neighbors, or respectable to our western settlements, at present and in the future.

While these and many other matters were contemplated by the executive, it is natural to suppose, the attempt for separation was discouraged by every lawful means; the chief of which was, displacing such of the field officers of the militia, in Washington county, as were active partizans for separation, in order to prevent the weight of office being cast in the scale against the state: to this end a proclamation was issued, declaring the militia law of the last session in force in that county, and appointments of officers were made agreeable to it.

I hope to be excused for expressing a wish, that the assembly, in deliberating on this affair, will prefer lenient measures in order to reclaim our erring fellow-citizens. Their taxes have run into three years’ arrear, and, thereby, grown to an amount beyond the ability of many to discharge, while the system of our trade has been such as to render their agriculture unproductive of money; and I cannot but suppose, that if even the warmest supporters of separation had seen the mischievous consequences of it, they would have retracted; and condemned that intemperance in their own proceedings, which opposition in sentiments is too apt to produce.

A letter from the Countess of Huntington and another from Sir James Jay, expressing her intentions to attempt the civilization of the Indians, are also sent you. It will rest with the assembly to decide upon the means for executing this laudable design, that reflects so much honor on that worthy lady.

By a resolution of the last assembly, the auditors were prevented from liquidating the claims of the officers and soldiers, after the first day of May last. Although the wisdom of such a measure must be admitted, yet several cases have come to my knowledge where claims, founded upon the clearest principle of justice, have been rejected by reason of that restriction; and when I consider that the claimants will be found to consist, in considerable degree, of widows, orphans, and those who have been taken prisoners, I am persuaded the assembly will think that a rigorous adherence to the aforementioned resolution is improper, and that justice will be done to the claims of those few, whose poverty, ignorance, or other misfortunes, prevented earlier applications.

By Mr. Ross’s letter, No. 5, the assembly will observe his demand against the state, and that it can be properly discussed only by the legislature. Although the post at Point of Fork has been long occupied, I cannot discover the least trace of title to the ground vested in the public, or any previous stipulation with the proprietor for the temporary possession of it. While the assembly are considering of a proper satisfaction to the owner for the time past, I trust provision will be made to secure a permanent repository for the public arms and military stores at that, or some other place most proper for the purpose.

The honourable William Nelson hath resigned his office as a member of the council, as appears by his letter, No. 6.

The honourable Henry Tazewell, Esq., has been appointed a judge of the general court in the room of the honourable B. Dandridge, Esq. deceased, until the assembly shall signify its pleasure.

The honourable George Muter, Esq., has been appointed a judge of the general court in Kentucky, in the room of Cyrus Griffin, Esq., who resigned his appointment.

Thomas Massie, Esq., having resigned his appointment for opening a road on the northwestern frontier, Joseph Neville, Esq., has been appointed in his room.

The report of the commissioners for disposing of the Gosport lands, No. 9, will explain to the assembly their transactions in that business.

Mr. René Rapicault, of New Orleans, exhibited an account against this commonwealth for a considerable sum of money which appears to be due to him. But as it will be found by reference to his papers, No. 10, that this debt, however just, cannot be paid from any fund now existing, it is submitted to the legislature to make such provision for its payment as to them shall seem proper.

The report of the commissioners for extending the boundary line between Virginia and Pennsylvania, No. 11, will explain the manner in which that business has been executed. By Mr. Jefferson’s letters it appears, that the original sum granted to procure a statue of General Washington will be deficient. The further sum wanting, together with the reasons for increasing the expense of the work, will appear by Mr. Jefferson’s correspondence, No. 12.

The crews of the boats Liberty and Patriot were ordered to be enlisted for twelve months from August last, unless sooner discharged. This was done in order that the assembly might, if they judged proper, determine to discontinue them, or if they are retained, make suitable provision for their support; hitherto, that has been defrayed out of the contingent fund. But the great variety of expenses charged on that fund, make it necessary, in future, to provide some mode of support for them. The assembly will no doubt, observe in the course of their deliberations on the subject of revenue, that it is necessary for the executive to commission the officers. The officer commanding one of these boats has detected several persons attempting to evade the payment of duty, and in compliance with the law, as he supposes, took bonds for the payment of the penalties imposed for making false entries. But it seems there are great difficulties in recovering judgment on these bonds, owing to ambiguity in the law respecting the subject. The assembly will apply such remedy for this evil as they think proper.

Application hath been made to the executive, on the subject of paying into the continental treasury warrants for interest due on loan office certificates, and other liquidated claims against the continent. And although there can be no doubt that payments made by the treasurer to the continental receiver, may include the proportion of warrants specified by congress in their act of April 28, 1784, yet the receiver, when possessed of the cash, although it was unaccompanied by any warrants, does not conceive himself justified in parting with any money in exchange for them.

So that until the assembly shall interpose, by making these warrants receivable at the treasury, our citizens will suffer great injury, and be deprived of a facility enjoyed by the Citizens of the other states.

The sum of money allowed by the assembly in their resolution of June 13, 1783, for compiling, printing, and binding the laws, has proved inadequate to the purpose; five hundred pounds having been expended in the printing, and two hundred and fifty engaged to be divided among the gentlemen who made the compilation; so that nothing is left to pay for the binding. I cannot forbear informing the assembly, that many county courts have failed to recommend sheriffs in the month of June and July. In consequence of this, many of the counties will be without sheriffs, in as much as the executive think that they have no power to issue commissions in such cases. As this evil threatens so many parts of the state with anarchy, I have no doubt of the legislature remedying it with all possible dispatch.

I have the honour to be with great regard, Your most obedient, humble servant,

P. Henry. The Honourable, The Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1785-11-14

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 335.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber Nov. 14, 1785.

Several months ago Colo. LeMaire applied to me for a Recompense for the Services he has done the State. In enumerating these he stated many Facts referring to the Journals and Proceedings of the Executive. But from the Loss of these they can not be ascertained so particularly as I would wish. It is recollected however that he went to France—that he spent much time there in procuring Arms & military stores for the use of this State—that the Executive engaged to give him a suitable Reward, the particulars of which he did not stipulate, choosing to leave it to Government after he had rendered the Service. He was an old Officer in the Army of France, which he left in order to come here; and in Justice to him I must say he has shown great Zeal and Attachment to the Interest of this Country, & I believe has suffered considerable Losses on that Account.

The sum of one hundred & seventy pounds has been advanced to him since his last arrival here for his support, and as it appeared he was like to lose the Lands which the Government had taught him to expect, and which promised to be the most substantial part of his Reward, he was assured his ease should be laid before the General Assembly.

This I beg leave now to do through you, Sir, as there is no Fund which can be appropriated to reward him according to the merits of his claim.

With great regard I am, Sir, Your most humble Servant,

P. Henry. The honble Benja. Harrison, Esq. Sp. of the House of Delegates.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1785-11-17

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 337.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber, Nov. 17, 1785.

Certain persons from the coast of Barbary are now in this city. There appears ground to suspect them of designs unfavorable to this country. And upon considering the power of the Executive in relation to characters falling under such suspicions, there seems to be a doubt whether enquiry which is necessary to establish facts can be made under the sanction of any existing law, or whether after good cause for apprehension appears, any law warrants it.

In a matter where the public safety is concerned, it seems necessary that the power possessed by the Executive should be expressly defined, and if it is the wish of the Assembly that a power to arrest dangerous characters coming from abroad, should be vested in that body, I should be very glad if they would be pleased to signify it in the way which is most proper.

I am, &c.,

P. Henry. To the Speaker of the Ho: of Del:


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Harrison, Benjamin

Date Created

1785-12-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 342.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber Decem. 12, 1785.

By the papers which accompany this you Will perceive that a considerable expense has been incurred in the funeral of the late Honorable Mr. Hardy. I would have removed the embarrassment of our delegates on the subject of repaying the money due, by an application to the surviving friends of that gentlemen, but there are certain circumstances in the case which seem to render it improper.

When the nature of the transactions and the situation of Mr. Hardy’s connections are considered, I have no doubt the Assembly will adopt such a conduct on this occasion, as will manifest a due regard to the merit of the dec’d gentlemen, and consist with propriety.

I am &c.

P. Henry. To the Speaker of the Ho: of Del:

Patrick Henry to John Jay, 4 Letters, ca. 1779

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Jay, John

Date Created

1779-01-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 219.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh Jan 28th 1779.

This Day I am honor’d by your Despatches of the 13th, covering an Act of Congress for raising a Battalion of Troops to guard the British prisoners in Albermarle. The last general assembly passed a vote for raising this Battalion, & the orders for carrying it into effect have been issued about a month ago. I have not been informed of the success which the recruiting officers have had. I shall lose no time in communicating to them the vote of Congress, by which I find the Privates are entitled to a suit of Clothes. Our Assembly directed a Bounty of thirty Dollars to be given, and I have hopes that both these bountys operating together will induce a sufficient number to enlist. If the Clothes could be forwarded to Albemarle, ready to be delivered, I think it would have a good effect.

With great regard I have the Honor to be, Sir, Yr most obed. servant.

P. Henry. Honble John Jay Esq. President of Congress.

P. S. I wish it may not be found very difficult to supply the Guards & Saratoga Troops with provisions at Charlottesville. But I fear I shall be obliged to say something more respecting the subject of these Troops soon, as I understand a great number of the officers are permitted to reside at Richmond Town, without consulting me. This place contains our Magazine and public records, & is very unfit for their Residence.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Jay, John

Date Created

1779-05-11

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DLC–U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of George Washington

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 238.

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburg, 11th May, 1779.

On Saturday last (the 8th) in the Evening a British Fleet amounting to about thirty sail consisting of one 64 Gun Ship (supposed by some to be the Saint Albans) and fifteen or sixteen large ships, some of them either Frigates or armed Vessels, it is not known certainly which, and the other vessels of lesser size, came into the Bay of Chesapeake, and the next day proceeded to Hampton Road; where they anchored and remained quiet until Yesterday about Noon, when several of the Ships got under way, and proceeded towards Portsmouth, which place I have no doubt they intend to attack by water, or by land, or by both, as they have many flat-Bottomed Boats with them for the purpose of landing their Troops. As I too well know the weakness of that Garrison, I am in great Pain for the consequences, there being great Quantities of merchandize, the property of French Merchants and others in this State, at that Place, as well as Considerable Quantities of military Stores, which tho’ measures some time since were taken to remove, may nevertheless fall into the Enemy’s hands. Whether they may hereafter intend to fortify and maintain this Post is at present unknown to me, but the Consequences which will result to this State and to the United States finally, if such a measure should be adopted, must be obvious. Whether it may be in the power of Congress to adopt any measures which can in any Manner Counteract the design of the Enemy is submitted to their Wisdom. At present I cannot avoid intimating, that I have the greatest Reason to think that many vessels from France, with public and private merchandize, may unfortunately arrive while the Enemy remain in perfect possession of the Bay of Chesapeake, and fall Victims unexpectedly.

Every precaution will be taken to order Look out boats on the Sea coasts to furnish proper intelligence, but the Success attending the Execution of this necessary measure will be precarious in the present situation of Things.

It is not in my Power to be more explicit at this Time, but the Weightiness of this Affair has induced me not to defer sending the best Information I cou’d obtain by Express.

You may depend, that so soon as further particulars respecting the Designs of the Enemy shall come to my knowledge, they shall be communicated without delay to Congress.

With great Regard, I have the Honor to be Sir, Your most obedient Servant,

P. Henry. To the Hon. President of Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Jay, John

Date Created

1779-05-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DLC–U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of George Washington

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 240.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh, May 12th 1779.

I addressed you yesterday upon a Subject of the greatest consequence. The last Night brought me the fatal account of Portsmouth being in possession of the enemy—their force was too great to be resisted, and therefore the Fort was evacuated after destroying one Capital Ship belonging to this State and one or two private ones loaded with Tobacco—Goods & Merchandize however of very great value fall into the Enemy’s Hands. If Congress could by solicitations procure a Fleet superior to the Enemy’s Force to enter Chesapeak at this critical Period, the prospect of Gain and advantage wou’d be great indeed.

I have the Honor to be with the greatest regard Sir, Your most humble & Obedient Servant,

P. Henry. To the Hon. President of Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Jay, John

Date Created

1779-05-21

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 241.

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburgh, May 21st 1779.

Being in the greatest Haste to dispatch your Express I have not time to give you any very particular Information concerning the present Invasion; let it suffice therefore to inform Congress that the number of the Enemy’s Ships are nearly the same as was mentioned in my former Letter; with Regard to the number of the Troops which landed and took Portsmouth, and afterwards proceeded and Burnt, Plundered and destroyed Suffolk, committing various Barbarities, &ca we are still ignorant, as the accounts from the Deserters differ widely; perhaps however it may not exceed 2,000 or 2,500 men.

I trust that a sufficient number of Troops are embodied and stationed in certain Proportions at this Place, York, Hampton, and on the South side of James River.—When any further particulars come to my Knowledge they shall be communicated to Congress without delay.

I have the Honor to be, Sir, Yr hble Servt.

P. Henry. To the Hon’ble President of Congress.

(P. S.) I am pretty certain that the Land Forces are commanded by Genl Matthews, & the Fleet by Sir. Geo. Collier.

Yr Letter inclosing several Resolutions was this day received and laid before the General Assembly.

Patrick Henry to Thomas Jefferson, 7 Letters, ca. 1777-1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Jefferson, Thomas

Date Created

1777-02-26

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DLC–U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of Thomas Jefferson

Transcription

Sir Wmsburgh feb 26th. 1777

Mr. Frazer is appointed first Leiutenant instead of Mr. Mossom. The other Appointments of your County remain unaltered.

The inclosed Resolution respecting the prisoners will explain the Ideas of the Council Board on that Subject.

Thirty pounds cash accompany this. Such of the prisoners as you may judge most in want of Clothes, will be furnished in such manner as you think best. If absolute Necessity calls for more money, you will please to write me.

If Goodrich & McCan (if not the latter is not a prisoner of War) may both be indulged to the extent of one Mile round Charlottesville upon Bond & Security not to exceed those Limits. But this only in Case you shall be of Opinion no Inconvenience can arise from it. But if no Security can be given, or if given, you shall have any ground to fear unfriendly Behaviour from them, they must be confind under a Sergeants Guard.

Blank Comissions are sent herewith.

With great Regard I am Sir Yr. mo. obt. hble Sert.

P. Henry Jr. Colo. Jefferson


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Johnson, Thomas

Date Created

1777-03-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

PHi–Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Subcollection

Society Miscellaneous Collection

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 45.

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburgh, 12th March, 1777.

Having received a letter from the Delegates of this State in general Congress, acquainting me on the authority of a well informed friend to America residing in London, that the war is likely to go on another year, in which case Chesapeake Bay is to be the Seat, & more particularly the Eastern shore will be the first object, or place of landing; it naturally occurs, (what also our Delegates recommend,) that in this common danger it is exceedingly necessary to confer with you upon the subject of assistance to be mutually afforded, and the cooperation of the forces of each State.

Everything which can possibly be done by us, may be depended on, yet I cannot but lament our impotence, arising in great measure from the peculiarity of our situation respecting the Eastern shore. The difficulty of Transporting Troops thither, to oppose an Enemy who will have the absolute command of the Bay which divides us, or of bringing them back again, whenever opportunity may invite the Enemy to change their design and invade this Western shore, is as obvious as it is melancholy. Thus circumstanced, altho’ difficulties must not discourage, and we ought to put forth our utmost exertions, I am constrained to observe, that they may possibly prove so insurmountable, as to throw the defence of that Country principally upon your State.

The Shoaliness of all that Coast rendering it impossible for the larger ships of War to lie near the shore, suggests the utility of Gallies which are so constructed as to Sail in shallow water; & are too strong for such smaller vessels as will probably be employed to effect a landing. In this idea, I have ordered two of the Row Gallies belonging to this State to be stationed on the Eastern shore; and two Companies in the service of the United States, will, I expect, be shortly transported there.

The Congress recommend to us the Removal of the Cattle and other Stock, that the Enemy may not find there Resources for the ensuing Campaign, as they did for the last at Long Island. But besides the very great difficulty always attending such a measure, the proposal of which in this case has already created a murmuring among the people on the Shore, I find myself not a little embarrassed by the proceedings of our Convention, when similar circumstances seemed to demand the removal of stock from Princess Anne and Norfolk Counties. They were of such a nature as to put me under the necessity of leaving things as they are in that respect, ’till I can have an opportunity of laying the matter before the General Assembly, or at least till an actual Invasion shall take place. I wish to be favored with your sentiments on this important subject as soon as may be, and have the honor to be, Sir &c,

P. Henry, Jr. His Excellency Thos. Johnson.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Jefferson, Thomas

Date Created

1778-02-21

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DLC–U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of Thomas Jefferson

Transcription

Sir Williamsburg 21st. February 1778.

You are desired to receive into your Custody John Goodrich the Elder, who is ordered to be removed from Bedford County, the place of his present Confinement; and will be delivered by the order of the County Lieut: of Bedford. He is to be Safely kept and prosecuted agreeable to directions of Assembly by the Attorney General.

I am Sir, Yr. hble Servt.

P. Henry


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Johnson, Thomas

Date Created

1778-04-10

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 155.

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburg, April 10th, 1778.

I am induced once more to trouble your Excellency on the subject of assistance to our marine. The trade of this state is almost annihilated, that of Maryland must also be much injured by the enemy who have so long blocked our capes.

In order to make the most of our situation, I earnestly advise to place a force in the Cape Charles Channel, otherwise called the North Channel, sufficient to protect such of the trade as may incline to pass that way. And I am sanguine enough to hope, that if such a force was procured, very extensive good consequences would follow. I have given directions for three galleys to be stationed there. These perhaps may serve some good purpose for a short time; but I am almost certain that when the enemy have a little time to collect proper vessels, they will be driven away, or taken, unless they are reinforced. This cannot be done without the assistance of Maryland. I entreat that two at least of your Galleys may be directed to co-operate with ours in this salutary work. I am the rather induced to ask this, as some of ours are engaged in transporting necessarys and provisions to the Grand army. The good sense of Your Excellency will easily discover the necessity of sending Galleys of considerable force, inasmuch as small ones will be exposed to danger from the sea, as well as the enemy, and fail of giving the necessary aid.

With great Regard, I have the Honor to be, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient & very humble servant,

P. Henry. His Excellency, Thomas Johnson, Govr of Maryland.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Jefferson, Thomas

Date Created

1780-02-15

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DLC–U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of Thomas Jefferson

Transcription

Dear Sir: Leatherwood,Feby 15th, 1780—

I return many Thanks for your Favor by Mr. Sanders. The kind Notice you were pleased to take of me was particularly obliging, as I have scarcely heard a Word of public matters since I moved up In the Retirement where I live. I have had many Anxietys for our Comonwealth, principally occasioned by the Depreciation of our Money—To judge by this, which some Body has called the Pulse of the State, I have feared that our Body politic was dangerously sick. God forbid it may not be unto Death. But I cannot forbear thinking the present Increase of prices, is in great part owing to a kind of Habit, which is now of four or five years Growth, & which is fostered by a mistaken Avarice, & like other Habits, hard to part with. For there is really very little Money hereabouts. What you say of the practices of our disguised Torys perfectly agrees with my own observation. And the Attempts to raise prejudices against the French, I know were begun while I lived below. What gave me the utmost pain was to see some men indeed very many who were thot. good Whigs keep Company with the Miscreant Wretches who I am satisfyd were laboring our Destruction. This Countenance shewn them is of fatal Tendency. They should be shunned & execrated, & this is the only way to supply the place of legal Conviction & Punishment. But this is an Effort of Virtue, and small as it seems of which our Countrymen are not capable. Indeed I will own to you my dear Sir, that observing this impunity & even Respect which some wicked Individuals have met with, while their Guilt was clear as the Sun, has sicken’d me, & made me sometimes wish to be in Retirement for the rest of my life. I will however be down on the next Assembly if I am chosen. My Health I am satisfy’d will never again permit a close Application to sedentary Business, & I even doubt whether I can remain below long enough to serve in the Assembly. I will however make the Tryal—But tell me do you remember any Instance, where Tyranny was destroyed & Freedom established on its Ruins among a people possessing so small a Share of Virtue & public Spirit? I recollect none, & this more than the British Arms, makes me fearfull of our final Success, without a Reform. But when or how this is to be effected I have not the Means of judging. I most sincerely wish you Health and Prosperity. If you can Spare Time to drop me a Line now & then it will be highly obliging to dear Sir yr. affectionate friend & hble Servant

P. Henry


Author(s)

 Henry, Patrick

 Recipient(s)

Jefferson, Thomas

Date Created

1781-04-29

 Type of Resource

 text

 Genre

 letter

 Repository

 NIC–Cornell University Library, Ithaca, N. Y.

Attachment

Description

Patrick Henry sends a letter with Mr. Thomas Boush to Thomas Jefferson regarding the difficulty complying with his request for 250 men from the county, owing to the difficulty of procuring provisions along the way. He sends Boush with a recommendation Jefferson commission him to command the Commissary.

Transcription

Sir. Leatherwood April 29th. 1781

The Bearer Mr. Thomas Boush waits on you with a proposition,1 the Nature of which he will explain to you. Nothing but a Conviction of an almost Impossibility of complying with your Excellencys Requisition for two hundred & fifty men from the County, could induce the Officers to trouble you on the Subject. I can only say that I am satisfy’d the Difficulty of getting provisions here & on the Route southerly, is extremely great, if not impossible to surmount—If your Excellency inclines to hearken to Mr. Boush’s proposals, I think he will be as fit to command the Company as any man I know in this County; & therefore I beg Leave to recommend him for the Comission. With great Regard I am Sir

Your Excellency’s most obedient Servant

P. Henry

I beg yr Leave for the Paper & Ink


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Jefferson, Thomas

Date Created

1785-03-30

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Vi–Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 288.

Transcription

Sir: In Council, March 30. 1785.

You will see by the enclosed advice of council the nature of the business which I have committed to Mr. Barclay. I could have wished that the sum to be laid out had been more adequate to our want of arms. But the pressure of our debts and the circumstances of our country seem to forbid for the present its increase. However I am to hope that the great business of laying up arms and military stores will be invariably prosecuted, and that every year will afford a respectable sum for this purpose, till the great object is fully accomplished.

I beg of you, sir, to be pleased to afford Mr. Barclay your patronage and assistance in fulfilling his commission, and speedily sending to us the articles wanted, and I have hope that your well known zeal for the safety of our commonwealth will be my excuse for giving you this trouble.

If I could lay before the Assembly favorable proposals for furnishing the residue of the arms and stores we want, perhaps it would induce them to make an exertion to find the requisite sum of money to complete, or nearly accomplish, this great work.

For this end I have desired Mr. Barclay to look out for such proposals, and write me.

I am &c.

P. Henry. The Hon. Thomas Jefferson, Minister to France.

 

 

Patrick Henry to Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier marquis de Lafayette, 2 Letters, ca. 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lafayette, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de

Date Created

1785-01-29

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 262.

Transcription

Sir: In Council, January 29, 1785.

When the duties of office correspond with the feelings of the individual, there is a double pleasure in discharging them. This satisfaction I feel most Sensibly, when I forward the enclosed, and am happy in the opportunity of assuring you how perfectly I coincide in opinion with the legislature on this subject.

That the gratitude of those who claim you as their fellow-citizen may be as conspicuous as the merit it wishes to perpetuate, the Bust which was to have been presented to yourself is now to be erected in the City of Paris, and as we cannot have the happiness of your personal residence, another is to grace our capital, which none will behold with more lively sensations of affection and admiration, than Sir, Yours, etc.,

P. Henry. To the Honorable, the Marquis de la Fayette.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lafayette, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de

Date Created

1785-03-30

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 289.

Transcription

Sir: In Council Richmond March 30. 1785.

The General Assembly at their last session directed the Executive to lay out £10,000. in the purchase of arms, powder, flints and cartridge paper. I have written to Mr. Thomas Barclay, & commissioned him to make the purchase, and ship the articles for this place as quickly as possible. Perhaps that gentlemen may not readily understand from what hands he may obtain the arms and the powder of such quality on which it may be proper to trust the public safety. If he should be at a loss in that particular I entreat that you will be pleased to afford him your patronage and assistance.

The present season of tranquility is the most proper for providing arms for our militia. And a much larger sum than that now to be laid out would have been employed for this great purpose, was it not that our public debts forbid it. However I trust that every shilling which frugality in public establishments, and strict economy in every department, may be able to spare, will be applied to accomplish it.

Your past attentions, sir, which have in the most trying circumstances distinguished you as the generous friend and defender of this commonwealth, afford me the hope that I shall be excused for giving you the trouble of this application.

I am &c.

P. Henry. To the Marquis de La Fayette.

Patrick Henry to Henry Laurens, 7 Letters, ca. 1778

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Laurens, Henry

Date Created

1778-06-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DNA–U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of the Continental Congress

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 177.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh June 18th, 1778.

General Washington sent me an Account of the Drafted Soldiers that have joined the army from this State; & it appears that not one half the number voted by the Assembly have got to Camp. Truth obliges me to add, that very few more of the Drafts will ever be got into the Service. I lament this Capital Deficiency in our Quota of Troops; but no efforts of the Executive have been sufficient to prevent it. The Assembly at their late Sitting, have directed three hundred and fifty Cavalry, & two thousand Infantry to be forthwith raised, & to join the grand Army. Some of the former will be raised, but from every appearance, I am sorry to say, there is but too little reason to expect any success in getting the Infantry. I can only assure you Sir, that I shall pay due regard to the Requisition you are pleased to make for compleating our Quota of Men, by exerting myself to the utmost, altho’ I fear it will be in vain.

The honble Dudley Digges Esq. lately wrote you a Letter, on the subject of furnishing Congress with a large Quantity of Goods lately purchased by this State. I wish to be favor’d with an Answer to that proposition as quickly as possible, because the goods cannot be disposed of ’til it arrives, and their laying long on Hand will produce some Capital Inconveniences. Tobacco in payment will be greatly prefer’d to Cash, of which we have a Superabundance, producing Evils of the most alarming nature.

With the highest Regard I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient & very humble Servant,

P. Henry. To the Hon. President of Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Laurens, Henry

Date Created

1778-07-04

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 178.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh July 4th 1778.

I have the Honor of your Despatch of the 27th, accompany’d by several packets for the Ambassadors of the United States at Paris. Altho’ I have not any particular Conveyance in view at present, I make no Doubt but in the course of a Week I may find some vessel going to France; and they shall go by the first opportunity that appears a good one.

Yours of the l3th, to which you are pleased to refer as an Answer on the subject of the Goods purchased from the frere Rodorique, part of which were offered to Congress, contains an offer to give £450 Vrga. money for £100 first Cost pay’ble in Tobacco at £.3 per cent. Several Letters I have had the Honor to write have informed you that these Goods cost this State 6/ for each Livre they cost in France, & that we are to pay for them in Tobo at £4 per cent. delivr’d alongside the french ship. Congress had from me, & by a Letter written by the honble Mr. Digges, who at that time presided, an offer of a large quantity of them at the same price they cost us, payable in Tobo on the same terms. Several reasons were adduced to shew that payment by Congress in Tobacco was more eligible than in money.

If I am to consider the Terms now referred to as an answer to this offer, they amount to a refusal. And indeed I am at much loss how to act, as the Goods are wanted here by the people at Large.

A great quantity of coarse linen is sent up the Bay for Overalls, agreeable to a Request of the Board of War. I shall wait a few days before a Definitive step is taken with the other articles, as perhaps my last Express may bring some Orders from you relative to the subject.

I beg Leave to present you my congratulations on our repossessing Philadelphia, & the pleasing aspect of American affairs, & to make you, Sir, my best acknowledgements for your attention in sending me the very interesting Intelligence contain’d in your last.

With the highest regard I have the honor to be, Sir, Yr most obedient & very hble Servant,

P. Henry. The Hon. President of Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Laurens, Henry

Date Created

1778-07-08

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DNA–U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of the Continental Congress

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 180.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh July 8th 1778.

Some Resolutions of Congress & proceedings of the Board of War, have been lately transmitted to me, by which it appears that an Expedition against Fort Detroit is resolved on. In order to effect the purposes of it, 2000 of the Militia, together with Amunition, provisions, horses, military stores, Cloathing &c. &c. are requested to be furnished by this State: I should most cheerfully exert myself in accomplishing the Desires of the Board of War, & to provide without Delay whatever this Country could afford for the Expedition, agreeable to the Resolution of Congress, did not Reasons of the greatest importance arrest me in the first step. I entreat for the Candour and attention of Congress, while I submit to their consideration some of the reasons which have induced me to think the Expedition to Detroit, as announced to me by the Board of War, utterly impracticable at this Season of the Year, & under our present circumstances. In the first place, it is impossible to procure flour in time. I observe it is proposed to be purchased in the County of Goochland. Neither that, or the adjacent counties or County can afford the Quantity wanted. Suppose the Contrary, the transportation of it is absolutely impossible by the Time required.

The Horses may possibly be got, but I will venture to say that the immediate purchase of 5000 & upwards, which are required, will raise the price to four times the Estimate, and amount I think to near half a million of pounds.

Indeed I am satisfied upon a view of the Articles wanted for this Expedition, that the preparations ought to have begun early in the winter, & that those now making cannot be compleated before next Spring. 5000 pack saddles, tight seasoned casks for carrying the powder, collecting the cattle together, transporting 30,000lb Lead from the mines, fabricating 1000 horse Belts, 400 felling axes, 3000 Hatchets, Kettles made of rolled iron, procuring Tents, Knapsacks, Haversacks, complete suits of clothes for the Regulars, the recruiting, arming, accoutring & Disciplining them; forming magazines of provisions and military Stores, finding the means of Transportation through that country. These and a vast variety of other particulars, which I do not enumerate, cannot be accomplished of a sudden: On the contrary, from a scarcity of workmen & materials, from the want of waggons, from the exhausted State of this Country as to several articles called for, and the distressed Situation of our People, Resources and supplies, I think the next Spring is as soon as the march proposed can be thought of. My perfect reliance on the wisdom of Congress makes me wish by no means to touch upon any Matter that lays within their province to determine. And I should not say anything now touching the general expense of this Expedition, did not the advanced price of most articles in this Country, joined to the nature of the proposed service & the plan for effecting it, make it my Duty to hint, that in my opinion the amount will far exceed the Ideas of Congress; and perhaps approach to a Comparison with the sum which the grand army of Infantry costs the United States for the same length of time. All I request is, that Congress will be pleased to review the estimate of expenses, the nature of the Business, and the time for executing it; and if they shall be pleased to persist in the first plan, I shall think it my duty to forward to the utmost what they direct.

In the mean time, Lieutenant Colonel Campbell, who brings me the Despatches on this subject, is now here, having the Stores of the State thrown open to him, & is desired to select such articles of Clothes as the Troops to be raised may want, and can be found in them. Orders to the Lead mines will also be sent, to forward some Lead towards Fort Randolph or Pittsburgh

The miseries of the people of Virginia who live exposed to the assaults of the savages, affect me most sensibly. And in my anxiety to see something doing for their protection, I hope for excuse from Congress when I suggest, that if an Expedition is directed against the hostile tribes nearest our Frontiers, very good consequences might result. Such a step seems to be free from the objections which are hinted against the attack of Detroit, where a post will be difficult to maintain while the great intermediate country is occupied by Hostile Indians, & from which it seems easy for the enemy to Retreat with all their stores while they are superior upon the adjacent waters.

Our Frontier people wish for offensive measures against the Indian towns, & will enlist freely for that purpose. But I cannot help doubting whether the apparent difficulties of succeeding against Detroit at present, will not be an obstacle with them against engaging in the service.

I beg to be favoured with the Decisions of Congress upon this matter quickly as possible; that necessary measures may not be delayed, or useless purchases or Expenditures for preparations be made, by the several Agents who are already engaged in their respective Departments.

The Sentiments contained in this letter come from a full board of Council as well as from me.

I beg to be informed whether it is necessary to push forward the Cavalry and Infantry voted by the last Assembly here. They are to serve but a short time, and if they are not wanted, much Expence will be saved by knowing it in time, & preventing their Inlistments, which will be made upon a most expensive plan, & which nothing but a supposed necessity induced the Legislature to adopt.

With great Regard, I have the Honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient & very humble Servant,

P. Henry.

P. S. The Express has orders to wait for an answer to this, & indeed the State of affairs seems to require it speedily.

The Honble Henry Laurens, Esqr. President of Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Laurens, Henry

Date Created

1778-07-10

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DNA–U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of the Continental Congress

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 183.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh July 10, 1778.

Just after sending away to you my Letter of the 8th on the subject of the Expedition to Detroit, the enclosed Letter from Mr. Lockhart came to my hands. As it is impossible to furnish him with the Capital articles he wants, & as the Beef Cattle cannot be taken from the Monopolizers he mentions, I think additional reasons appear for postponing the Expedition. However, referring to my last, and to Mr. Lockharts, the whole business is submitted to the Decision of Congress, whose Resolves I shall ever take pleasure in executing to the utmost.

With great pleasure I have the Honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient & very humble servant,

P. Henry. The President of Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Laurens, Henry

Date Created

1778-07-16

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 185.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburg July 16. 1778.

I am honor’d by the rect of your Favor of the 9th with the several inclosures. Intelligence recd from you on occasions so critical & interesting as the present, cannot but be highly acceptable; & I beg you to be pleased to accept my Thanks for that which you have inclosed to me by this Messenger.

On Sunday Even’g the 5th instant, a firing was seen and heard at our Eastern shore, & continued till about 4 o’clock in the morning. Report says here that a French fleet of 16 sail fell in with 5 English men of war, two of which they sunk, two they took, & run the other ashore. Another account says 8 French Ships attacked two English, and took only one; but it is confidently said the French sailed for New York, taking pilots to conduct them thither. I make no doubt this is the Count D’Estaing’s Fleet.

With the greatest Regard I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient & very humble Servant,

P. Henry. The President of Congress.

P.S. I have sent an Express with your despatches to Govr Caswell.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Laurens, Henry

Date Created

1778-11-09

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 197.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh Novr 9th 1778.

No time was lost in laying the Resolutions of Congress for the march of militia from this State to So Carolina, before the General Assembly. The Law did not empower me to march the militia to the assistance of the neighboring States, only in cases of actual invasion; But an act is now passed by which that Power is given in Cases of expected or apprehended invasions. The march was planned, & the Countys to furnish the requisite numbers were selected, when intelligence from Govr. Johnson of Maryland arrived, by which it seems pretty certain the enemy are gone northwardly. The Council upon this advised me to suspend the march of the Troops: And in this State of uncertainty the matter now remains.

I shall be happy on all occasions to forward the views of Congress & contribute to the safety of the United States, & beg Leave to assure you of the most perfect Esteem with which I have the honor to be Sir, Your most obedient Servant,

P. Henry. Honble Henry Laurens Esqr. President of Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Laurens, Henry

Date Created

1778-11-23

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DNA–U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of the Continental Congress

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 203.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh Novr 23d 1778.

I am Honoured with the Receipt of your Favour of the 14th instant covering two acts of Congress, viz, one of the 10th instant for obtaining from this State & Maryland, Gallies to attack East Florida, another of the 11th for requesting permission to export from Petersburg in Virginia a Quantity of Flour and Bread for the use of his most Christian Majesty.

No Time has been lost in giving Efficacy & Despatch to both these Measures. Orders are issued at the Naval office to permit the exportation of the Flour and Bread as requested. I only wish that the French Gentlemen might be informed, that the quality of our Flour this Year is by no means equal to what it is in Common Harvests, owing to the Weavel & other Accidents.

In the Deliberation which was had on the subject of furnishing the requisite aid to attack Florida, the Council, with myself, ever anxious to forward the views of Congress, were not a little embarrassed. W le have two vessels called Ship Gallies, drawing eight or nine feet water, carrying about eighteen 3 or 4 pounders, & one of them formed to use two heavy Guns in the Bow in still water with men, & about Six smaller Gallies, calculated for service in the Bay or rivers. The latter it is thought cannot without great danger of Sinking be sent to Sea—The former are therefore pitched upon to go on the service required, if Congress think them fit. In the meantime Orders are given for them to be got in readiness which I’m informed may be in three weeks; and they will proceed to Charlestown unless they are countermanded by Congress.

Besides these two vessels there is the Ship Caswell belonging to this State stationed in North Carolina to protect the Trade. She carries about Guns, 12, 9 and 6 pounders, and 135 men, & draws about 5 feet water. I write to-day to Governor Caswell to know if she can be spared and if possible to get her added to the other two above described, for the expedition. When Congress were pleased to call for vessels fitted for this particular service, their designs might have been answered if the service had been explained. Not being favor’d with any such explanation I have been obliged to proceed with uncertainty.

When General McIntosh was directed to begin his operations on the frontiers against the Indians, I gave orders to fourteen Counties beyond the Mountains to furnish him with any number of militia he should call for. His Requisitions were sent to such of them as he chose long since. The number of Men sent to him, I know not. But a few Days ago three County Lieutenants appeared before the Council Board & informed, that their Counties & two others adjacent, were called upon by the General to send him 1,000 men immediately. These Gentlemen easily convinced the Executive that it was impossible to comply with this demand, because it would be the 20th December before the men could be assembled at some rendezvous to begin the march, & that no Tents, Kettles, Horses, provisions or Necessaries were to be had for the service, and because many of the Troops would have 400 miles to proceed thro’ a Country chiefly Desert, & utterly unfurnished with those things which are essential to the support of human life at that inclement season when the snows are several Feet Deep on the great Ridges of Mountains, many of which lay in their Route. Knowing therefore the utter impossibility of the measure, the Council unanimously concurred with me in judging it necessary to countermand General McIntosh’s orders, & I have accordingly done so. The General shall be apprized of it as soon as possible, and will take his measures accordingly.

I did myself the Honor to inform you by Letter, which I doubt from yours has not reached your hands, of several matters respecting the marching of the militia from this State to Charles Town as was requested by Congress. When the requisition arrived here the Assembly were sitting. It became necessary to lay the matter before them as the Law gave the Power of marching the militia to a sister State only in cases of actual invasion. An act was thereupon passed to enable the Executive to send out the Militia when certain Intelligence of an intended Invasion should be received. Just in that instant, when Orders were going to be sent to put the men in motion for Charles Town, a Letter from Governor Johnston arrived, by which it was apparent that the Enemy had no designs on that place but it is said meditated a Descent on the Eastern Shore. Upon this the Council thought with me it was proper to suspend the matter, & it has remained in that Suspense ’till the present time.

I send inclosed a List of Sundry Acts of Congress received since September last, most or all of which I thought I had acknowledged the Receipt of by particular addresses which I had the honor of sending you.

The variety of Matter which the present occasion calls on me to mention, will, I hope, plead my Excuse for the length of this letter.

I beg to be presented to Congress in the most acceptable manner, & in Terms expressive of that High Regard with which I have the Honor to be, Sir, Yr mo. obedt & very hble servt,

P. Henry. The Hon. President of Congress.

P.S. I am looking out for a Messenger to carry your Despatches to Govr Caswell.

Patrick Henry to Francis Lightfoot Lee, May 8, 1775

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Francis Lightfoot

Date Created

1775-05-08

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 287.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Hanover, May 8, 1775.

For the several facts relative to the transactions of the Hanover Volunteers, who marched in consequence of the Governor’s conduct in the affair of the powder, and the reprisal made by us, I refer you to the public papers, which I expect will give a true recital of that matter. I find it is now said by those who opposed the measure we took, that the powder belonged to the King. And it is very remarkable the Governor, in his late proclamation, seems to rely upon that as a principal fact on which he is to be justified. But I rely on the address of the city of Williamsburg, and his answer to it also, to prove the contrary. Why does he promise to return it in half an hour? And again what powder was he to return, or did he take? I answer the powder mentioned in the address; to wit, that which was provided for the safety of the Colony, and for the loss of which Williamsburg was so much alarmed. But I ask, suppose it was the King’s, what right had any one to deposit it in the magazine, built expressly for the purpose of receiving such ammunition as was at any time necessary for our safety? His Majesty can have no right to convert the houses, or other conveniences necessary for our defence, into repositories for engines of our destruction. So that the presumption is, that the powder being there it was ours. It was a trespass to open that place for the reception of any other. Add to this what is contained in his lordship’s answer referred to above, and no doubt can remain but that the pretence of the Crown having a property in it is a quibble. For the sake of the public tranquility, as well as of justice, I chose to be active in making the reprisal. And having designedly referred to the Convention whether any of the money ought to be returned, lest presuming too much might be alleged against me, I trouble you, sir, with this, to be an advocate for the measure if you think it right. I suppose my attendance at the Congress may prevent me from being present at the Convention, where perhaps an attempt may be made to condemn the measure and misrepresent my conduct. I trust that the moderation and justice of the proceeding will fully appear from a great variety of circumstances. And that my countrymen will support me in it, especially when we consider the hostilities to the Northward would have justified much greater reprisals, which I chose to decline as the Convention might probably so soon meet. To the collective body of my country I chose to submit my conduct, and have to beg you will excuse the trouble I have given you by this long letter. I only mean to beg your attention to the subject, that you may not be surprised at some objections against my proceedings, which I fear will be made by some gentlemen from below.

Will you be so good as to excuse inaccuracies? Hurry obliges me to use the pen of a young man to transcribe. The few reasons intimated above are indeed unnecessary to you, whose better judgment is able to inform me. You will readily perceive the absurdity of the pretence, that the King can have a property in anything distinct from his people, and how dangerous is the position that his protection (for which we have already paid him) may be withdrawn at pleasure. If any doubt remains as to the fitness of the step I have taken, can it lay over until I am heard? I can mention many facts which I am sure will abundantly warrant what is done. Wishing you every good thing, I remain with sentiments of the highest and most perfect esteem and regard, Dear sir,

P. Henry. To Francis Lightfoot Lee Esq.

 

 

Patrick Henry to Henry Lee, July 14, 1794

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Henry

Date Created

1794-07-14

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

322

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 547.

Transcription

Sir: Long Island, July 14th, 1794.

Last night I was honor’d by the Receipt of your Excellency’s Despatch by the Express, with your appointment to a seat in the Senate of the United States, vacated by the Resignation of Mr. Monroe.

It gives me great pain to declare that existing circumstances compel me to decline this appointment, so honorable at all Times, but rendered more particularly so by the manner in which you are pleased to communicate it to me. I should be greatly wanting on this occasion if I failed to press .the highest sense of this unmerited Honor; & I am comforted by a Reliance, that the same goodness that dictated the appointment, will admit my apology for declining it, as arising from my Time of life— combined with the great Distance to Philadelphia.

I want Words to express my gratitude for the favorable Sentiments you are pleased to entertain for me; & I have only to regret the want of ability for those Exertions which the arduous situation of affairs calls for.

In my Retirement I shall not cease to pray for the prosperity of our united country, & to retain the highly pleasing impression which your Excellency’s Goodness gives me, & shall rejoice in every opportunity to testify how much I ever am, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and obliged h’ble Servant,

P. Henry. His Excely Govr Lee.

Patrick Henry to Richard Henry Lee, 18 Letters, ca. 1776-1790

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1776-05-20

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 410.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Williamsburg, May 20, 1776.

Your two last favors are with me; and for them both, I give you many thanks. Ere this reaches you, our resolution for separating from Britain will be handed you by Col. Nelson. Your sentiments as to the necessary progress of this great affair correspond with mine. For may not France, ignorant of the great advantages to her commerce we intend to offer, and of the permanency of that separation which is to take place, be allured by the partition you mention? To anticipate therefore the efforts of the enemy by sending instantly American Ambassadors to France, seems to me absolutely necessary. Delay may bring on us total ruin. But is not a confederacy of our states previously necessary? If that could be formed, and its objects for the present be only offensive and defensive, and guaranty respecting Colonial Rights, perhaps dispatch might be had, and the adjustment of Representation, and other lesser matters, be postponed without injury. May not the Fishery be a tempting object? I think from the great French force now in West Indies some person of eminent rank must be there to guide it. The Mississippi should be tho’t of. I thank you for the hint of the back lands. I gave an opinion, as a lawyer, to Brent, on the subject of his and Croghan’s purchase and not withstanding solicitations from every great land company to the West, I’ve refused to join them. I think a general confiscation of Royal and British property should be made. The Fruits would be great, and the measure in its utmost latitude warranted by the late act of Parliament.

The grand work of forming a constitution for Virginia is now before the convention, where your love of equal liberty and your skill in public counsels, might so eminently serve the cause of your country. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I fear too great a bias to Aristocracy prevails among the opulent. I own my self a Democrat on the plan of our admired friend J. Adams, whose pamphlet I read with great pleasure. A performance from Philada is just come here, ushered in, I’m told, by a colleague of yours, B—— and greatly recommended by him. I don’t like it. Is the author a whig? One or two expressions in the Book make me ask. I wish to divide you, and have you here, to animate by your manly eloquence the sometimes drooping spirits of our country, and in Congress, to be the ornament of your native Country, and the vigilant determined foe of Tyranny. To give you colleagues of kindred sentiments is my wish. I doubt you have them not at present. A confidential acc’t of the matter to Col. Tom, desiring him to use it according to his discretion, might greatly serve the public, and vindicate Virginia from suspicions. Vigor, animation, and all the powers of mind and body, must now be summoned and collected together into one grand effort. Moderation, falsely so called, hath nearly brought on us final ruin. And to see those who have so fatally advised us, still guiding, or at least sharing our public counsels, alarms me. Adieu my dear Sir; present me to my much esteemed F.L.L. and believe me, Yr. very affect. and obliged,

P. Henry, jr.

Pray drop me a line now and then.

To Col. R. H. Lee.

P. S.—Our mutual friend the General will be hampered if not taken. Some Gentry throw out alarms that a Cong power has swallowed up everything. My all to I know how to feel for him.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1777-01-09

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 511.

Transcription

Williamsburgh, Va, January 9, 1777.

I congratulate you my dear Sir on our well timed success at Trenton. I trust the honor of our arms will be retrieved.

Our levies go on pretty well in many places; in some the great want of necessary clothing & blankets, retards them. Orders issue this day for the officers to hold themselves & soldiers ready to march by companies & parts of companies, & in a little time they’ll go off, but in want of every thing.

I observe our people (a few excepted) are firm & not to be shaken. A great number of volunteers may be had. I hope all the enlistments may be filled, but doubt if it can soon be done. I am endeavoring at vigorous measures. Languor seems to have been diffused thro’ the Naval department. However I hope it will mend. The Cherokees are humbled, but I fear hostility about Pittsburg in the spring, & have provided ammunition and provisions in that quarter, & shall be able to muster a formidable militia thereabouts. The powder is not yet sent, but I wait only for the result of a council of war where to deposit it. Our sea coasts are defenseless almost. Arms & woolens are wanted here most extremely. We are making efforts to secure them. I do indeed pity your situation. I guess at the many perplexities & difficulties that attend you. I know how much the vigorous counsels of America are indebted to you for their support. I know how much you detest the spirit of indecision and lukewarmness that has exposed our country to so much peril. Let me tell you that altho’ your fatigue is almost too much to bear, yet you must hold out a little longer. Many people pretend they perceive errors in Congress, & some wicked ones are greatly pleased at the hopes of seeing the respect due to that assembly succeeded by contempt.

Make my most affe. compliments to Col. Frank. Has he forgot me? Indeed he may ask me the same. Tell him that from morning till night I have not a minute from business. I wish it may all do, for there are a thousand things to mend, to begin.

Adieu my dear Sir, & believe me your affectionate, humble servant,

P. Henry. To Richard Henry Lee, Esq., at Congress.

P.S. I beg you’ll tell me what is the best method for doing Justice to Gen. Stephen as to his rank. I think he ought to be raised above his present rank.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1777-03-20

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

332

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 513.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Wmsburgh, March 20, 1777.

Every possible method has been taken to hasten the march of the new Levys. I am sorry to observe a remissness among the officers, over whom the executive of this country can exercise no command in the opinion of most people. Indeed they have a general want of necessarys to struggle with. But they do not in general exert themselves as they ought. I’ve sent express twice to each colonel, & besides have had public advertisements repeatedly in the papers. All won’t do. They are remiss. I guess two-thirds of the continental Recruits are enlisted, but in broken Quotas. Our three Battalions are more than half full. The inlistments for Georgia (agt. my opinion permitted by the assembly) have greatly hurt ours. A fellow called the Dragging Canoe, has seceded from the nation of Cherokees & 400 Warriors have followed his fortune, lying in the Woods & making War on us notwithstanding the peace made with Col. Christian. We have a Treaty on foot still with that people. Orders were issued a few days since for destroying Pluggy’s Town. Three hundred Militia are ordered on that service from the Neighbourhood of Fort Pitt. Five swift sailing Boats are gone for arms to the West Indies. Our Factorys are making some. Perhaps we may arm our own Troops & some others, especially if the importation succeeds. A French ship & 2 Briggs are lately arrived here. ‘Tis said they’ve warlike stores. If so my next will tell, as I’ve sent to purchase them—I hear to-day the people on the Eastern Shore are very uneasy, and that from the great number of disaffected in Maryland and Delaware the Whigs of Virginia are inclined to move away their Family’s. I suppose the number is small and those of the richer sort. The poor can’t remove. The affairs of that shore puzzle me. Pray advise me what it is best to do. What can be the reason of no mails from the North? Adieu my dear friend. May your powerful assistance be never wanted when the best Interests of America are in Danger. May the subterfuges of Toryism be continually exposed and counteracted by that zeal and ability you have so long displayed, to the peculiar Honor of your native country, & the advantage of all the United States.

I am, Yr. ever affte.

P. Henry To Richard Henry Lee, at the Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1777-03-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

333

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 515.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Williamsburg, March 28th, 1777.

The practise of engrossing all foreign goods & Country produce has gotten to an enormity here, particularly in the latter articles. Corn flour and meat are bought up (as I was informed by Col. Aylett) in so much that it is almost impossible to furnish the public demands, in such time as the necessitys of the army require. A gentleman here in partnership with Mr. Morris, has speculated very largely in such articles as the army wants. The public agent complains he is anticipated. I hope the practise will be effectually stopped, or fatal consequences must ensue. I write to the General that our enlistments go on badly, Indeed they are almost stopped. The Georgia Service has hurt it much. The terrors of the smallpox, added to the lies of deserters and the want of necessarys, are fatal objections to the continental Service. Perhaps two-thirds of the six new Battalions are enlisted, but in broken quotas scattered far and wide, they move slowly. How long will you sit at Philadelphia? I fear you will come away again before the campaign is long begun. I heartily pray for your prosperity and welfare, and as the messenger waits I must conclude this scrawl from Yr. afft. friend,

P. Henry Jr.

Can you tell us nothing from France?

To Richard Henry Lee, at Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1777-08-30

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 89.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Wmsburgh Aug 30th 1777.

Many thanks are due to you for your agreeable Favor by post. The fleet went up the Bay long since, & before this you must have heard of their movements. I have not heard of the Troops landing. The whole affair strange and unaccountable. Our Eastern Shore is alarmed, but not intimidated so much as expected, several Recusants having taken the oath on sight of the fleet. I have ordered some Reenforcements there, vizt 2 Galleys, & 2 or 3 companys of Regulars; & I do think it may be of essential service to throw a large number of men there, if the Enemy form lines from the waters of Elk to Delaware. Graham’s draft is not forged. He was yery useful to this State in furnishing necessaries on a liberal plan. I hope therefore he may meet with civility and receive his money.

Burgoyne’s progress alarmed some, but I hope the N. England men will repel him. The affair of Tyconderoga was mortifying. Hurry obliges me to conclude, begging for all the Intelligence possible to be had at this critical and interesting period. Farewell, my dear sir, I am affectionately yours,

P. Henry. Hon. R. H. Lee. At the Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1777-09-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

335

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 94.

Transcription

Wmsburgh Sept 12th 1777.

Your agreeable favor my dear sir, gave me great pleasure. I rejoice at our success over Burgoyne, & I rejoice because the New England men had so great a share in it. For a malevolent set are continually endeavouring to spread jealousys of these our honest, best, & most faithful allys. In proportion as I hear them traduced my Esteem for them encreases. I hope now we shall hear no more to their prejudice. Indeed I’m not a judge how far they have lately complyed with the Requisitions of Congress, but only speak of them as they stood when I was a member. My plan was to throw a Body of Troops on the Eastern shore, but the Enemy’s ships have made that impracticable in some measure. I’ve sent pressing orders, & repeatedly, to Colo Gibson to go on, & he will do so whenever the men are able. I laid the Requisition for the Cables &c. before our Navy Board, but their answer is that the size of them is too large. I shall send it enclosed. I am much pleased to hear of the spirit with which the militia turn out. Their ardour is great. We have a few corps of them here, but they are impatient to go home.

Hearing from undoubted intelligence that our lost officers are imprisoned at N. York, & having one Lieutenant and 3 midship men of the Enemy’s prisoners here, I’ve ordered them close prisoners in gaol by way of Retaliation. I have resisted the first impulses to this measure, but repeated proofs of inhuman Treatment to our people wfll suffer no longer hesitation.

Seventeen Cherokees with Colo Gist are gone to the Eastern shore with two companys of Regulars. The Ohio Indians are troublesome, & General Hand meditates some offensive measures. As the Defence of this country now rests on the militia, & they cannot be kept constantly embodyed, it becomes necessary for the public safety to receive the quickest Intelligence of the Enemy’s motions. I’m not without Hopes that they may be forced to embark again, & in that case they may ravage to great extent, unless there is time for preparation to receive them. I have sent Capt. Pierce to the camp for the sole purpose of gaining Intelligence, & in the mean time shall be exceedingly obliged to you to continue yr agreeable Intercourse, by which I receive so much pleasure, & the public is availed of those Incidents that so much concern it to know.

Wishing you Health, & the enjoyment of every good thing, I remain My dear sir, Your affectionate humble servant,

P. Henry. R. H. Lee, Esq.

Baron Kalb’s trunk shall be sought for.

P. S. Lieutenant Colo Carrington having made every concession that was proper, I have to entreat that congress will, if agreeable to them, erase the Resolution respecting him, that nothing to his prejudice may appear hereafter.

P. H.

The Navy Board answer they can’t without difficulty get Hemp to supply our own little navy.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1777-11-10

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 115.

Transcription

Wmsburgh Novr 10th, 1777.

I have to make my best acknowledgments to you, my dear sir, for your many interesting letters lately recd. The authority of them served to fix the belief of our late glorious successes, when others seemed to doubt them, producing sundry testimonys from the north which had well nigh set us to mourning. Col Lane to day gave me yours of the 14th October. The matters it contains was highly interesting. Yours to Co1o Richd. of the 5th Novr he has showed me to day. I congratulate you on the events it mentions. Our assembly has been sitting 4 weeks, & not a Bill passed, or anything done. I have dispatched two agents to Carolina in pursuit of Woolens for the grand army. They might have been had some time ago, but tis uncertain now. I propose to draw on congress for the am’t. The Goods will be very high, tho’ I shall not stand at a small matter. I have it in contemplation to dispatch a messenger to Havanah & Orleans to negotiate a loan of money to Virginia. Pray what think you of it? Pray keep it close, & mention it to no one. Your sentiments may help me out on the subject. Our Credit is almost gone. Twas fatal to omit taxing when you proposed it. Will you send me a copy of a letter rec’d from Orleans by the committee (I believe) of secret correspondence? Gibson’s trip may be improved to great purposes. I’ve proposed to establish a post at the mouth of the Ohio, if the Spaniards will bring the Goods there in their own bottoms. I’ve sent letters to Havanah & Orleans by an agent who is to try the Experiment of a Vessell round by sea. If the Northern Army can arrive at Delaware, Howe may possibly be embarrassed, & so a prospect open for that sweet enjoyment of the repose, which your incessant & distinguished labors so richly deserve. I shall tell you of Mr. Loyeauté in a letter to the Delegates, & for that I have so long kept the express. Adieu my dear sir. Comend me to Colo Frank & believe me, Yr affectionate servant,

P. Henry.

P. S.—After keeping yr Express till the 15th I send him away at last without the Resolution respecting Mr. Loyeaute. The lower House has resolved to allow that Gentn £450 pr Ann. as director of a military academy to teach Gunnery & Fortification. The Senate has not yet agreed to it, I think they will in a few days, & then shall inform the Delegates of it. The Express will stay no longer.

Yrs &c.

P. Henry.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1777-12-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

337

Repository

PPRF–Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 133.

Transcription

Wmsburgh, Decr 18th, 1777.

I am favored, my dear Sir, with yrs from Baltimore to-day, & with that from Potomack yesterday. The Governor of Maryland was requested by me, to send some Galleys to join two of ours, that had orders to prevent, if possible, the evil designs of the enemy on that River. The Assembly took up the subject & desired this plan to be prosecuted. I hope it will answer. Every one here seems persuaded that watering is their object in that Quarter.

I wish I could inform you of anything satisfactory on the subject of Mr. Loyeauté. I really did desire to serve him as you wished, & did recommend him in a public address to the Assembly, as well as confidentially to some. But General Washington’s recommendation of Colo Marshall stopped my mouth. His last proposition is now before the two Houses, & what its Fate may be I cannot tell. Time will not permit the discussion of many matters that wait, & have long waited for a decision. Can you think it? Not one law of importance is passed. It is resolved I hear not to adjourn for Xmas, but to remain ’til the Business is finished. In this suspense, when matters of vast concern are on the Tapis, your Friends think the general interest of America, & the welfare of this state, call you here. I should think so too, did I not know that your whole time & attention have been bestowed on the American contest since its first beginning. Fine parts are seldom join’d to industry, & very seldom accompany such a degree of strength & toughness as your long combat with Torys required. I know how necessary a little repose is to you. Tis cruel to deny it. But I cannot help fearing that our country may date the Era of calamity at the time you are absent from the public councils. The Confederation is passed they say nem. con. though opposed by some who opposed Independency. This I hear, & I hear other things, tho’ I shall forbear to enlarge, because I still entertain some hope you will be here to see & to hear for yourself, & by seeing & hearing, once more eminently serve the cause of Whiggism & your country.

I hear this Evening that Colo Frank has written some body in Town, that Genl Howe has marched to attack Genl Washington. I hope our encampment is well fortify’d. I’ve no news to write you, except that a Shawanese chief & 3 warriours are killed while on a visit at Point Pleasant, the fury of our people being ungovernable, on seeing the body of one who was slain by the Indians brought into the Fort—From the late intelligence a well grounded Hope seems to be deduced, that a French War must soon happen.

I beg you to be assured that with great affection I am, My dear friend, Yours ever,

P. Henry. To Richard Henry Lee, Esq., Westmoreland.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1778-04-07

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 559.

Transcription

Wmsburgh, Apl 7th 1778.

Your letter from Belleview came to hand, my dear sir, by the last post, & I assure you I wish all your letters may be as long. As usual I am in great hurry, & seize a moment by this Messenger to tell you that the necessity of adopting vigorous measures in the Comissariate induced me to appoint Hawkins, over whom I exerted all my personal. Influence, & with great difficulty got him to undertake the Business. He has given one-half his salary, which appears at first view large, to an able hand (.Rd. Morris) who is a fine accountant & man of Fortune. I am really shocked at the management of Congress in this Department. John Moore’s appointment gave me the most painful feelings. Good God! Our Fate committed to a man utterly unable to perform the task assigned him! Raw, inexperienced, without weight, consequence or acquaintance with men or business; called into action at a time when distinguished talent only can save an army from perishing. I tell you, & I grieve at it, Congress will lose the respect due—but I forbear. Tis my business to exert all my powers for the Common Good. I must not be depended on for anything in that line if Hawkins is rejected by congress. If he is continued, pray supply him with plenty of money. He is really superior to any one in that way, & of established credit to any amount.

I’ve advanced money, & published repeated orders for the march of the new Levys, & on receipt of yours have addressed the continental Officers on the subject. But there is great Langor among them. I’ve sought for good hands to set out on the recruiting Business you mention, & will make an effort, & by the success of that shall judge if any thing can be done. Gilmour, I think, ought to be dealt with, but the powers of the Executive will not reach so far as the seizing of papers. Tis indeed too much cramped. However will think further on the subject. I am really so harrassed by the great load of continental Business thrown on me lately, that I am ready to sink under my Burden, & have thoughts of taking that rest that will I doubt soon become necessary. For my strength will not suffice. You are again traduced by a certain set who have drawn in others, who say that you are engaged in a scheme to discard General Washington. I know you too well to suppose you attempt any thing not evidently calculated to serve the cause of Whiggism. To dismiss the General would not be so: ergo &c. But it is your fate to suffer the constant attacks of disguised Torys who take this measure to lessen you. Farewell my dear Friend. In praying for your welfare I pray for that of my country, to which your life and service are of the last moment.

I am in great Haste, Yr affte,

P. Henry. To Richard Henry Lee, at Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1778-05-15

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 166.

Transcription

Williamsburg, May 15th 1778.

I beg leave, my dear sir, to give my most cordial congratulations on the late happy events that have taken place. May we be wise enough to improve these favorable occurrences into the Permanent happiness of our country!

Yours of the 7th came to hand last night. I have got one swift boat now ready to sail. Another shall be provided in some short time. Ocracock is blocked up pretty much. The boats will go out of our capes. The Assembly is sitting; 500 horse were voted yesterday. Some may be quickly got. However, the affair will be suspended a few days on hearing the enemy are preparing to leave the continent.

God bless you sir, Yours,

P. Henry. Richard Henry Lee Esq.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1778-05-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

338

Repository

ViW–College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.

Subcollection

Patrick Henry Papers

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 174.

Transcription

My Dear Sir: Wmsburg. May 28. 1778.

Your favor of the 18th is this moment handed me. The despatches you speak of dated the 16th, were safely delivered, and the messenger proceeded to New Bern. For your sake, and because you desired it, I gave great attention to Loyeauté, but to no purpose. When he claimed command of the regiment of Artillery, I was obliged to interfere till the Assembly met. The officers refused to obey him, except some of the lower. On referring the affair to the Assembly, they resolved he had not a right to command, and he resigned. He has really given me pain. I revere his nation, and have great regard for all its people. I could not gratify Loyeauté, I could not, though I tried hard for it, make him happy; while I doubt not of his great zeal for America, I must of his abilities. I am not singular. Give me leave now to mention another Frenchman, Capt Cotteneau. He seems to possess discernment and enterprize. I like much his scheme of attacking our foes in Africa. Tis very plausible and bids fair for success. Remember how Goree was taken, I think a 20 gun ship of this state might aid the attempt. Will it not distract their attention profitably?

I long for something of the eclat that would attend success in such an enterprize. However, listen the Capt yourself and judge. While I am writing this a 50 gun ship is arrived in James, 49 days from Rochford (I know not if she is royal property) and a brigg with a large quantity of goods. No news as yet come from them. The English are at length departed with all their ships. They went 10 days ago. I had a fine sailing boat to carry the dispatches you told me of; but she would not miss the fine opportunity offered for her departure. Another or two will be ready in a week. When shall I receive the letters? Tell me what is to be done with Capt Young if they dont come. The intelligence of 100 drafts from the Eastern shore going to the English is false.

Our Assembly are voting 350 horse and 2000 infantry for the grand army. I doubt their being got. No attempt, (I regret it) to restore public credit.

Pray try to get us six or eight heavy canon for a Fort to protect the ships of our allys. Such a one is much wanted here.

Adieu my dear friend. Yours ever,

P. Henry. R. H. Lee, Esq.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1779-05-19

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 30.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Wmsburgh, May 19th 1779.

Yesterday I received your last favor by express and laid it before the Assembly. The enemy are here and I suppose them the same embarkation you mention. Their number is about two thousand land forces. Their ships 1, 64, the Raisonable, the Rainbow, 44, the Otter a new sloop, and one or two other sloops and some privateers. The ‘rest are transports, in number about 15, making in all about 35 sail. They took Portsmouth with little opposition, our force there being under 100 Regulars. Four or five vessels of value and some force were lost one of which fell into the enemy’s hands. From thence they proceeded to Suffolk last Friday, where they burnt the town and all the continental possessions. there, about I believe 1200 barrels of pork. No flour was destroyed, nor did .they get anything they could carry off except the .plunder of houses, which they indiscriminately robbed and despoiled of everything valuable, and then set fire to many. They retreated back to Portsmouth where they now are and as yet have not destroyed the town. It is, however, expected daily to share the fate of Suffolk. Our militia could not be embodied in time to attack the ravagers on then’ march, but we have now 2000 or 3000 in arms, and I trust we shall be pretty secure in these parts against their future operations. But the extent of our shores hinders the possibility of defending all places. Seven Frenchmen, it is said and believed, have been murdered in cold blood. Others add that they were even strangled by the British. I shall take care to investigate that matter and inform Congress if I find it true. Our Assembly have called General Scott and the new recruits to our aid. Yesterday also Bland’s cavalry were sent for here. Will it not disgrace our country thus to cry out for aid against this band of robbers? However the Assembly have done it and I must submit.

Govr Hamilton of Detroit is a prisoner with the judge of that country, several “captains, lieutenants, and all the British who accompanied Hamilton in .his conquest of the Wabash. Our brave Colo. Clark (sent out from our militia) with 100 Virginians besieged the Governor in a strong fort with several hundreds, and with small arms alone fairly took the whole corps prisoners and sent them into our interior country. This is a most gallant action and I trust will secure our frontiers in great measure. The goods taken by Clark are said to be of immense amount, and I hope will influence the Indians to espouse our interests. Detroit now totters; and if Clark had a few of McIntosh’s forcesthe place would be ours directly. I’ve lately sent the French there all the State papers, translated into their language, by the hands of a priest who I believe has been very active. I cannot give you the other particulars of Clark’s success, his messenger tome being killed and the letters torn by the Indians.

Adieu, my dear sir. May you continue your labors for the public good, which has been so much forwarded by you for so long a time.

Yrs. in haste,

P. Henry. To Richard Henry Lee,


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1778-06-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 564.

Transcription

My Dear Sir: Williamsburg June 18th, 1778.

Both your last letters came to hand to-day. I felt for you, on seeing the order in which the balloting placed the delegates in Congress. It is an effect of that rancorous malice, that has so long followed you, through that arduous path of duty which you have invariably travelled, since America resolved to resist her oppressors. Is it any pleasure to you, to remark, that at the same era in which these men figure against you, public spirit seems to have taken its flight from Virginia? It is too much the case; for the quota of our troops is not half made up, and no chance seems to remain for completing it. The Assembly voted three hundred and fifty horse, and two thousand men, to be forthwith raised, and to join the grand army. Great bounties are offered, but I fear, the only effect will be, to expose our State to contempt, for I believe no soldiers will enlist, especially in the infantry. Can you credit it; no effort was made for supporting, or restoring public credit! I pressed it warmly on some, but in vain. This is the reason we get no soldiers. We shall issue fifty or sixty thousand dollars in cash, to equip the cavalry, and their time is to expire at Christmas. I believe they will not be in the field before that time. Let not Congress rely on Virginia for soldiers. I tell you my opinion, they will not be got here until a different spirit prevails. I look at the past condition of America, as at a dreadful precipice, from which we have escaped, by means of the generous French, to whom I will be everlastingly bound by the most heartfelt gratitude. But I must mistake matters, if some of those men who traduce you, do not prefer the offers of Britian. You will have a different game to play now with the commissioners. How comes Governor Johnstone there? I do not see how it comports with his past life. Surely Congress will never recede from our French friends. Salvation to America depends upon our holding fast our attachment to them. I shall date our ruin from the moment that it is exchanged for anything Great Britian can say or do. She can never be cordial with us. Baffled, defeated, disgraced by her colonies, she will ever mediate revenge. We can find no safety but in her ruin, or at least in her extreme humiliation, which has not happened, and cannot happen until she is deluge with blood, or thoroughly purged by a revolution, which shall wipe from existence the present king with his connexions, and the present system, with those who aid and abet it. For God’s sake, my dear sir, quit not the councils of your country, until you see us forever disjoined from Great Britian. The old leaven still works. The flesh pots of Egypt are still savoury to degenerate palates. Again, we are undone if the French alliance is not religiously observed. Excuse my freedom. I know your love to our country, and this is my motive. May heaven give you health and prosperity.

I am, yours affectionately,

Patrick Henry. To Richard Henry


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1785-01-09

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

340

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 265.

 

Transcription

Dear Sir: Richmond Jan’y 9th 1785

Your very agreeable letter came to my hands some few days ago, and Colo Grayson, who is going from hence tomorrow morning, is the first good conveyance to you that has presented since the arrival of my Family at this place. The Revolution of affairs has, as you observe, placed us nearly in the same situation which we held during the early part of the late war. Give me leave to add, my hearty wishes are that the same friendly intercourse, from which I then received so great pleasure, & my country so much advantageous information, may again take place, & receive no interruption. The elevated station you so justly hold will enable you to learn at the earliest periods, the origin, progress and tendency of those systems of policy in various parts of the World, by which our prosperity and happiness will be affected. You will easily see how fortunate it will be for me to receive intimations of these matters from you, especially if you will add such observations of your own as may occur occasionally on the present politics of Europe & America, with which my late situation has caused me to be unacquainted. It shall be my endeavour to repay you the best way I can, by telling you of such events here as may be worth your notice, from time to time. They will not be very interesting of themselves, but will be worth writing to you chiefly on account of their coming from your own country.

I am not able to give you the History of the last session of Assembly which ended three days ago, the printer as usual being tardy. Some excuse he has now on account of his being obliged to remove his office to a new situation. Before I close this letter I will get from him everything I can find worthy your perusal, which he has printed on the subject. One circumstance, which I regret attended the conclusion of business at the end of this session, & which I fear may give unfavorable impressions of their candor, is, that 2 Bills—to which both houses assented, but which were not reported from the upper House—dropped for want of a sufficient number to proceed to business in the lower. One was a bill for regulating the collection &c of the customs, the other for paying British debts by installments. I do believe the true reason was a severe frost had closed up the river, & prevented 8 members, who lodged at Manchester, from crossing the Water on Wednesday last, to make up the necessary number of members. These gentlemen were known friends to both Bills which have fallen thus; But the world at large will not probably know this circumstance.

A seemingly fixed purpose, and which is generally adopted, promises great and valuable improvements in our inland navigation. I hope our country will ever long assume a new appearance from that attention which is given to our uncommon natural advantages. Indeed Virginia seems to me to concentre within its limits natural benefits not only enough to render her own people happy, but can also contribute largely to make her neighbors so, by inviting them to a participation. You know too much of our geography to need particular enumerations or explanations. Acts for clearing Potowmack and James Rivers, and opening a canal from the Carolina waters to those of Elizabeth, are passed without opposition, and to the general satisfaction.

Tobo is down to 36/—but from hearing of high prices in Ireland &c, we are induced to expect the price here will rise. Our other produce sells well, and generally our people I think must feel themselves able to pay taxes. One half the last tax payable this year, is done away. You know by frequent postponing we accumulated the demands for this year.

With every sentiment of Regard and esteem I am, Dear sir, your humble servant,

P. Henry. The Hon. Richard Henry Lee, in Congress.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1788-11-15

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

324

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 428.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Richmond, Novr 15, 1788.

I postponed answering your favor until I could have the pleasure of congratulating you on your election to the office of senator for Virginia in the new congress, which I now do. The friends of the system are much displeased that Mr. Madison was left out of the choice. They urged his election most warmly, claiming as a sort of right the admission of one Federal member; but in vain—For to no purpose must the efforts of Virginia have been expected to procure amendments, if one of her senators had been found adverse to that scheme. The universal cry is for amendments, & the Federals are obliged to join in it; but whether to amuse, or conceal other views seems dubious. You have been too long used to political measures not to see the grounds of this doubt, and how little dependance can be placed on such occasional conformity, and you know too well the value of the matters in contest to trust their safety to those whose late proceedings, if they do not manifest enmity to public liberty, yet show too little solicitude or zeal for its preservation.

Your age and mine seems to exempt us from the task of stepping forth again into the busy scenes which now present themselves—I am glad to know that you have health and spirits enough to decline no exertion. I shall not claim it further than it will extend to distant operations. I mean not to take any part in deliberations held out of this state, unless in Carolina, from which 1 am not very distant and to whose politics I wish to be attentive. If congress do not give us substantial amendments, I will turn my eyes to that country a connection with which may become necessary for me as an individual. I am indeed happy where I now live in the unanimity which prevails on this subject; for in near 20 adjoining countys I think at least 19/20ths are antifederal, and this great extent of country in Virginia lays adjoining to No Carolina, and with her forms a great mass of opposition not easy to surmount. This opposition it is the wish of my soul so see wise, firm, temperate. It will scarcely preserve the latter eipthet longer than congress shall hold out the hope of forwarding ammendments. I really dread the consequences following from a conduct manifesting in that body, an aversion to that system. I firmly believe the American union depends on the success of amendments. God grant I may never see the day when it shall be the duty of whiggish Americans to seek for shelter under any other government than that of the United States. The old charges of turbulence and ambition have been plentifully bestowed on me. You have not escaped; but as to us who have so long been accustomed to despise these attempts, they will have little effect further than to excite pity.

I have no correspondencys at present on the subject of politics. For that Reason I beg you will now and then drop me a line when you may find leisure. The progress of things under the new government in its commencement, will be highly interesting and important to be known. Letters addressed to the care of George Fleming Esq. in this city will reach me.

After expressing my ardent wishes for your welfare and success in your late appointment, and every other circumstance, I beg leave to tell you of the high esteem and regard with which I am, Dear Sir, Affectionately yours,

P. Henry. Honorable R. H. Lee, Esq.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1789-08-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

396

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 397.

Transcription

Dear Sir: P. Edward, August 28th 1789.

As I have had occasion to address a joint letter to you & the other gentn from Virga, I could not let slip the opportunity of writing to you tho’ but briefly, as the Business of the district Court presses on me just now. I have rec’d both of your favors, although’ they were long on the Road. I am very sorry to perceive that the malice of Genl Martin’s Enemies has carried them so far as to charge him with exciting the Indians to war. I am satisfied there’s not any truth in the charge. Tis a pity the affair was not fully discussed. As to my opinion of the Amendments, I think they will tend to injure rather than serve the cause of liberty—provided they go no further than is proposed as I learn. For what good end can be answered by Rights, the tenure of which must be during pleasure. For Rights, without having power & might is but a shadow. Now it seems that it is not proposed to add this force to the Rights by any amendments. It can therefore answer no purpose but to lull Suspicion to talk on the subject. While Impediments are cast in the way of those who wish to retrench the exorbitancy of power granted away by the constitution from the people, a fresh grant from them is made in the first moments of opportunity, & of a nature and extent too which full success in the Business of amendments could scarcely compensate. I mean the uncontrolled power .of the President over the officers. See how rapidly power grows, How slowly the means of curbing it. That the president is to be accountable for the general success of government is precisely the principle of every Despotism— because if we look to him for success in every department he must have power over them, & having that power, which is necessary to secure success, he is ipso facto, a despot. Being so far from the seat of intelligence I can tell you nothing worth your hearing. Your letters, always acceptable, are more particularly so at this important time. May you long continue the friend and support of your country’s best interests, and enjoy every good thing, is the sincere wish of, dear sir, Your Affectionate friend and Servant,

P. Henry. The Honble Richard Henry Lee of the Senate at New York.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1790-01-29

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

344

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 412.

Transcription

Dear Sir: P. Edward, Virga. Jan 29th 1790.

After thanking you, as I do most sincerely, for your communications previous to your recess, I beg leave again to trouble you on the subject of General Martin’s application for the agency of Indian affairs to the south. This I do at his most earnest request. Indeed the allegations against him seem to call for some vindication of his conduct, which would be easily effected but for the great distance from the seat of government. You will see by the papers which I inclose that he has brought on an enquiry into his conduct, & how it has terminated, and that Govr Martin has written to the President in his favor, and has sent to General Martin a copy of what he wrote. I shall here relate the substance of his communication to me when I was last in the Executive, and while he acted as superintendant for this state of Indian affairs. He [General Martin] informed me McGilvray had several times sent him word to make him a visit and carry on a correspondence, and at length wrote him a letter, which he put into my hands, the substance of which was as above. He desired my opinion on the matter. I encouraged him so far to cultivate McGilvray as, if possible, to fathom his views and keep the Indians from our people; at the same time by means of the Indians or others to discover the extent and nature of McGilvray’s connections with the Spaniards. I am satisfied Mr Martin proceeded on this Idea: for he quickly satisfied me of the Spanish policy respecting the Indians, sending me a commission given to a Creek Indian by the Spanish governor constituting him an officer. How necessary it must be to discover these and similar practices with the Indian tribes, it is easy to see; & that the interest of the U. States and of this state required, that McGilvray’s ill designs, if he had any, should be turned against him. General Martin’s conduct so far as I could discern in that affair was really praiseworthy. He frequently gave me intelligence of Creek Indian affairs, and of the intercourse between other Indians and the Spaniards that was interesting. I am satisfied the correspondence as above took its origin as I have stated, and that General Martin in no respect turned it to the prejudice of any American state or citizen, on the contrary that he made it subservient to the purpose of gaining useful intelligence. How cruel then is it thus to blast the Reputation of a public servant, whose employment in a peculiar manner exposed him to the hatred and malevolence of the many intruders on Indian rights, and these indeed I believe he has constantly opposed, as they are constantly attacking him in one shape or other.

Pardon me sir, for reiterating this affair. I mean never to say any more of it; but General Martin asks it of me as a piece of justice to his character, and that which no other person could so properly state as myself.

If any other correspondence ever existed between Martin and McGilvray I never knew it, or had the least reason to suspect that the former swerved from his duty in it, but on the contrary had the best views as I think. As I troubled you formerly on this subject I thought it best through you to say thus much in justification of one to whom I do think great injustice has been done respecting this affair.

I wish it were in my power to tell you of any thing by way of news worth your hearing. I live too much secluded, & at this season there is but little intercourse here. No doubt you will hear of me or my doings in the Georgia purchase. All the companies together get 15,000,000 acres it is said. I am a partner in one, and I own to you that some late occurrences in politics first suggested the thought. For if our present system grows into tyranny is not a frontier possession most eligible? and a central one most to be dreaded? Is the seat of federal government desirable in any other view than the goodness of that government? I do indeed suppose that these speculations of mine relate to times when you and I shall be gone off the stage; but it is natural for us both to feel anxiety for our numerous families, besides the concern common to every citizen. I am refining perhaps too much, & looking to a period too distant in my estimate of things. This last can be known only by beholding and mixing with the actors in the principal scenes of Business. A comfortable prospect of the issue of the new system would fix me here for life. A contrary one sends me southwestward. It may be that in some leisure moment you may give me your thoughts on our public affairs and their tendencies. In the business of the lately proposed amendments I see no ground to hope for good, but the contrary. Your friends think themselves under great obligations to you for your noble exertions, although they were not successful. Make my best regards to my friend, your son Ludwell, when you see him. I did not know his abilities till of late, or I should have congratulated you sooner on having such a son. His modesty concealed them: but his sweetness of disposition will enhance them. Adieu my dear sir and believe me your friend and servant

P. Henry. To the Hon. Richd Henry Lee.

P. S. I have just received a copy of an act of assembly of North Carolina for ceding to congress all the territory on the western waters, or nearly all, together with the people. So many reservations of land rights are contained in the act, that I fancy little will remain for congress. But indeed I am astonished at the depravity which marks this transaction. Careful as they have been to save all just rights (& I believe more) in the lands, they have violated every right of citizenship; for, as I hear, no convention of the people ceded was had to consult on the subject of this transfer, but they and their country are voted away to congress by a majority of the legislature of the old state. In this the district ceded had comparatively a very small number. If this proceeding is countenanced by congress, it will form a precedent alarming as I think, and strongly tending to establish this belief, that state governments are not to be trusted: Besides the invitation it will give to intrigue and faction. But if congress accept the cession will they not sanction the most manifest violation of rights that can be committed. For expatriation of a part of the community is not a power included among those exercised by assemblys in America convened for ordinary legislation. If then the act of cession is unconstitutional can congress derive any right under it.

I hear the number of people ceded is more than 20,000 of all ages; perhaps near 30,000.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lee, Richard Henry

Date Created

1790-02-08

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

315

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 415.

Transcription

Dear Sir: P. Edward, Feb. 8th 1790.

A few days ago I wrote you a letter of some length; and among other things I mentioned Genl. Martin, and his affairs about which I have given you so much trouble. It is with reluctance I mention his business so often. It should have ended with the first mention of it, had not accusations against him been brought forth. It seemed necessary for his vindication and in some measure for those who had recommended him, that the charges should be refuted. You should have been spared the Trouble of this had I not entirely forgot to enclose in my last the papers I now send herewith. I beg you to make just such use of them as may serve to wipe away the aspersions thrown on the person intended to be ruined in the public opinion. You will find the same party also endeavoured to ruin his son, Wm Martin, by accusing him of joining the Indians in their murdering parties. Will you be so good as to communicate what relates to Genl. Martin to our Friend Col. Grayson, as also the Hints I drop on the subject of the No. Carolina cession. The more I think of this the more dangerous it appears. I am told the people ceded are 30,000 Souls. Some say more, and some less. These people placed under a military Government together with the troops which may and will be placed there, will give energy and Force to northern councils in a part of the country very convenient for the Views of consolidation, if such shall govern. The Geography of the place renders the proceeding dangerous in the extreme to this country and to all the southern states. These observations go not to the Right of ceding a people to congress with their consent signified in a constitutional way, to wit: by a free convention of the people. Whether our Rulers will deem this Right of the people to be consulted on such an Occasion worth preserving, or whether it shall with so many other popular Rights be yielded up, I know not. But to me it is evident that the Right in question is one of the most valuable. Indeed without its full admission it seems no political Right whatever can exist. My conjecture is that the leading characters in the district are silenced by the receipt, or expectation, of certain things more flattering than the struggle for Rights, which promise nothing but an equality, which ambition abhors—a precedent of cession like the present will go great lengths by and by.

Whenever you have leisure to touch upon this Point, or upon any other, you will give me very high gratification.

I am, Dear Sir, Your Friend & servant,

P. Henry. Honble R. H. Lee, Esq.

N. B. If this cession is permitted, the country from the lakes to Georgia is under Congressional power. Is not this cause of alarm?

Patrick Henry to Lieutenant of Frederick County, August 6, 1778

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lieutenant of Frederick County

Date Created

1778-08-06

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 189.

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburgh, August 6. 1778.

By the resolutions of Congress which accompany this, you will perceive that the expedition against Detroit is laid aside; but that, in order to protect the frontiers, the war is to be carried into such of the enemies towns as General Mackintosh shall direct. This measure, so necessary to relieve the distresses of many worthy citizens of this State, I am very desirous to promote; and, in order to assist it in a proper manner, I desire you will draw out so many men from the militia of your county as General Mackintosh may demand, in order to comply with the directions of Congress. You are to take care, as the season is far advanced, that no time be lost to rendezvous the men according to the General’s orders; and that every article of equipment which he calls for be furnished, in the most speedy and complete manner that circumstances will admit.

You are to transmit to me an account of the steps you take, in consequence of the orders you may receive from the General, to whom I shall mention the counties that I order to furnish men upon his requisition.

I am Sir, Your most humble servant,

P. Henry. To the County Lieutenant of Frederick.

Patrick Henry to Archibald Lochrey, November 28, 1778

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Lochrey, Archibald

Date Created

1778-11-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 206.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh Nov. 28th 1778.

I recd your Letter & the copys of Dopos accompanying it, by Mr. Rice; But as no person’s name is signed to the Letter, I am left to conjecture after the Author of it. Mr. Rice tells me you are the Author. I should have taken no notice of such an Epistle had it not been on such a subject as that of yours. Yesterday I laid the contents of all the papers you sent me before the general assembly that is now sitting here. And I have hopes that they will take some step, for restoring peace & Harmony to the unhappy people who live in the disputed Territory. When they do, I shall lose no Time in doing what shall be my part in the Business. In the mean Time I recommend to you, to use all your Influence, to exert all your power & authority, to preserve peace between your people & the Virginians. Do every thing, suffer every thing, to attain this good End. Consider we have Enemys enough of the British & the Indians, without making Enemys of our own Brethren. For our People are Brethren, notwithstanding their little Feuds & Differences. We aim at the same thing. I verily believe, that if the Enemy make another Campaign, our differences will be the only thing that encourages them to do it. We will disappoint them and be friends.

I write to Colo Stephenson on the subject, and to several others. My desire, my earnest wish, is peace with our brethren. Let them not build too much on that, and be induced to behave amiss, but let them bear with their unlucky situation a little longer, and justice will be done. Communicate this very letter to your people whom I greet, and am sir, Yr h’ble servant,

P. Henry. Col. Archd Loughrey, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

Patrick Henry to James Madison, March 1, 1787

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Madison, James

Date Created

1787-03-01

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 312.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Richmond, March 1, 1787

The documents to be forwarded to you in my public letter will prove the truth of your suspicion that the occlusion of the Mississippi to Virginia would throw the western settlers into an immediate state of hostility with Spain. If the subject be canvassed, it will not be sufficient to negative it merely; but a negative with some emphasis can alone secure Mr. Henry to the objects of the convention at Philadelphia. I have essayed every means to prevail on him to go thither. But he is peremptory in refusing, as distressed in his private circumstances. General Washington will be pressed again and again; but I fear ineffectually. My present office is replete with employment.

Patrick Henry to Thomas Madison, 2 Letters, ca. 1789-1792

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Madison, Thomas

Date Created

1789-09-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

326

Repository

NjP–Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Subcollection

Patrick Henry Collection

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 401.

Transcription

Dear Sir: P. Edwards, Sept. 28th 1789.

A few Days past I wrote you a Letter by Mr Fontaine on the subject of my Brother’s Bond. The Transaction is of long standing & I may have forgot what passed relative to it.- But that I may give you all the Light I can, your Letter to me on the subject accompanies this. I send also by Neddy your Bond to me with the Endorsement made by Col. Christian. I will thank you for all the Information you can recollect on the subject of that also, for really it has escaped me, & I have no Entry relative to that affair. I wrote you that my Brother’s personal Estate did not pay his Debts. The Fact is it fell short near one half, & there remains a British debt to be settled which he paid into the Treasury of about 200 Dollars I believe. I wish you to make such a statement of the Affair between us as you think right, as I have the most perfect Reliance on what you shall think proper to do, & will be content therewith. The Bearer, my son, can give you & his Aunt all the Family, News. My Wife joins in Love to my dear sister & the children & I am, dear sir, Yr Afft.

P. Henry. Thomas Madison Esq., Botetourt.


Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Madison, Thomas

Date Created

1792-09-19

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

361

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 479.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Prince Edward, Sept. 19, 1792.

I am under very high and lasting obligations to you for your attention and goodness to my son Neddy. He is also very sensible himself how much he is indebted to you for your kindness. I hope he will show himself worthy and grateful. I shall be better pleased to see him independent by his own industry than ever so rich by the favor of any person he might marry. I must turn him loose to shift for himself, after giving him a plantation and some negroes at Leatherwood this fall. I am getting over my illness, thank God, but severely feel the loss of not attending Court, as I have to pay a great deal of money, and my negroes do not gain anything. If any papers are wanting for the backwoods lawsuit, pray describe them particularly.

“I commit Neddy to your care to dispose of him as you think best. I hope it may be in my power return the obligation at some time or other. Give my love to my dear sister, and believe me to be Yr ever obligd & afft,

P. Henry. To Colonel Thomas Madison.

Patrick Henry to Joseph Martin, 3 Letters, ca. 1785-1790

Patrick Henry to Joseph Martin, April 16, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Martin, Joseph

Date Created

1785-04-16

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 294.

Transcription

Sir: In Council April 16. 1785

Observing by your favor of the 26th of March last that the people inhabiting the country called by them Franklin, have erected themselves into a separate state claiming sovereign power, I consider it as a matter of consequence to conduct our affairs with propriety respecting them. Indeed, when I consider the encroachment which you inform me they are making on the Cherokee lands, I find it necessary to direct you to give very particular attention to the subject. If you shall discover that their resentment is likely to terminate in hostilities, which in the common course must reach our settlements, you are to communicate to the Indians in some fit and proper manner a solemn and pointed assurance, that the state of Virginia is not party aiding or assisting in the encroachment on their territory, that we wish not to have any kind of dispute with them, that the boundary line of Virginia was not extended until they were paid for the lands it included, and southward of that line, we claim no lands. As we are therefore not concerned in the dispute, you are to insist upon the observance of a strict neutrality towards the citizens of Virginia, assuring them that our people will not molest them or give assistance in the dispute to either party. Nothing will prevent the continuance of this neutrality on our part, but hostility committed on our people; and they are easily distinguished, as they all live on this side of the boundary line with which the Indians are acquainted.

You are to consider this as a very important and most delicate affair, and the time and manner of making this communication to the Indians must be chosen on the most mature consideration, and with the greatest prudence and judgment. I can describe neither, but in general direct that you wait until you are certain that matters have gone so far towards hostilities that your application is become necessary to preserve our citizens, and that in the manner of delivering yourself to the Indians you avoid every idea of influencing or encouraging them to war against the people of Carolina who have assumed a distinct government. For these people were lately allied to us by every sacred tie. They may be so again. I wish to consider them as brethren. Nothing can so much contribute to this as their observance of strict justice and peace. Perhaps in the progress of affairs you may find it prudent to have communications with some people in the new district.

If their conduct shall show a disposition to injure the Indians so as to bring war, it may be proper to warn such of them as your own prudence will point out, of the orders I now give you to inform the Indians of the intended neutrality which I wish to preserve for Virginia. And if notwithstanding every friendly endeavour to prevent encroachment, and preserve peace with the Indians, you shall find such provocations given them as necessarily to produce war, you are to give them the information above respecting our neutrality, and our strict adherence to all our former treaties and talks had with them.

In general, sir, I wish you to consider an Indian war as a fatal evil, and to be avoided if possible. Besides the cruel suffering brought on individuals, it will create expenses that in the present situation of our finances and debts must produce total derangement, confusion, and final ruin of public credit, which we are laboring to establish. And I wish you also to observe and circulate, that the present situation of affairs with Spain render it highly impolitic to provoke the Indians, for they will naturally throw themselves into the arms of the Spaniards, and fly to them for protection from our oppressions and injustice. This circumstance might induce an obstinacy in withholding from us the western navigation, which is at this moment the subject of negotiation.

You observe that by the despatches from Congress, which accompany this, the time fixed for meeting the other commissioners at Charleston is so distant, that before the Indians can be assembled at a general treaty the summer will be advanced. I therefore think it highly necessary, that critically as affairs are now circumstanced, you should watch attentively and discover whether danger may not follow from waiting so long for the treaty. If you judge it necessary in the mean time, for the preservation of peace, to hold talks or meetings with the Indians, or to take measures for disposing them to meet at the general treaty, and in the interim to suspend their resentment, you are to do so. The expenses attending this I suppose may be properly charged to Congress. But in case payment cannot be had from that quarter, I engage on behalf of this state to pay the reasonable expense so incurred. In order to give weight and force to your endeavors that the Indians may distinguish between the citizens of this state and those persons of any other description who may do them wrong, I send you herewith some copies of an act of assembly which I wish to be dispersed and explained among them. I shall be glad also to send some of them to the Spanish commandants on the Mississippi. But especially one to the Governor at New Orleans. This I should have done, but no conveyance offered.

As to what relates to the trade with the Chickasaws, that matter, and every other of a similar nature, will fall under your notice as a commissioner under the authority of Congress.

The goods which are public property and remain in your hands ought to be sold, and every debt due the public collected as soon as possible. If the state of affairs shall be found to require it, presents to the Indians may be made out of the goods on hand, taking an account of them that payment to the state may be made by Congress.

As you tell me Colo. Arthur Campbell refused to furnish the men ordered to your station by Governor Harrison, I desire to have certain information whether he received the orders. Please to be explicit and clear on this subject, for I shall in no instance permit disobedience to orders to escape with impunity.

I am &c,

P. Henry. To Col. Joseph Martin.


Patrick Henry to Joseph Martin, October 4, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Martin, Joseph

Date Created

1786-10-04

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 374.

Transcription

Sir: Richmond, Octo 4th 1786.

I received your note by Mr. Ford, and soon afterwards the other letters you wrote me. The disorderly Behavior of the Franklin people, as they call themselves, gives me concern. If they will not be subservient to the Rules and Regulations respecting Indian affairs, which prevail in all the States, they must expect none of the advantages of the Union. If they excite War with their neighbors, they will thereby oblige this government to give the Indians information, that Virginia will take no part in the contest. And this will become necessary to preserve our citizens from an undistinguishing vengeance which the Indians will endeavor to take for their supposed Wrongs. But I would have you postpone any communications of this Nature, lest the Indians may take it as a hint or as Encouragement to make War on the people of Franklin, whom I pity for their errors. Perhaps some Time for Reflection, may bring them back into the Bosom of their Country, & will show them the Folly of attempting to set up a separate State as yet. In the way they now go on they will have Enemies all around them, The old State on one side, the Cherokees on another, & if they are not careful, Virga on the other. And all this, while the Spaniards are endeavoring to deprive them of the navigation of the Mississippi. This requires the strictest Union among the Americans. Otherwise the Spaniards will carry their point, and thereby crush all our Hopes of prosperity for the western Country. The Southern States are now hard set to prevent that navigation from being given up, and nothing has been omitted by me, towards making a resolute and firm opposition to so iniquitous a project. But how poor a figure will the fourteen States make, if the Franklin people stir up animosity and Disturbances, which, while they hurt the general interest, will bring absolute Ruin on themselves. For if they injure the Virginians, they may be certainly assured that ample Satisfaction will be had for the Injury. How will their Rights of Navigation and Commerce be secured from Spain and other States, but by a strict Friendship & connection with the 13 States ? If they once involve themselves in an Indian War, they’ll have several nations on their Backs, as soon as it is known that our State will not assist them. Indeed I sincerely pity those people, whose situation is becoming very critical. If their own State will agree to their separation, and Congress shall admit them into the alliance, then, an not ‘til then, can we take them by the Hand as Friends. And why are they in such a hurry to separate? I know the History of their improper Treatment when they were given up to Congress. But that proceeding has been given up & atoned for. It was certainly wrong; but as it is not persisted in, why is the Resentment springing from it continued? Why do not the people imitate our Kentucky friends? They are to have a separate State as soon as they are able to support one. So would the Franklin people if they would conduct themselves as our Western Friends do. We are determined to support them, ‘til they can stand alone. That ought to be the case with Franklin; and I am persuaded No Carolina now sees the propriety of imitating a conduct so necessary to cement and strengthen the American Union, all the Weight and force of which are particularly necessary at this Juncture to secure the Enjoyment of those material privileges, without which our commerce, particularly to the Westward, must sink to nothing. I lament that I cannot make it my Request to the governing powers of that people, to consider of these Things. I cannot address them, because by so doing I might incur the censure of our neighboring State of No Carolina. She would justly take umbrage if I should hold correspondence with people in her Charter Limits, that have revolted against her, & continue revolted, & not recognized by Congress. If therefore these Matters can be seriously considered by these people of Franklin, it would give me pleasure, tho’ I am deprived of the satisfaction of making the Communication. I have gone into this subject to you, with a View of impressing your. mind with the Importance of setting right such of these people as you may fall in with; and with such as prudence may point out to you, I wish you to converse in a cool and friendly Manner. Their setting up Independence and living adjacent to our State, embarrasses me. The complaint you make to me of their maltreating Jno. Martin, who I guess is a Virga citizen, calls from me some step towards obtaining satisfaction for the Injury. I dread to take that step, because it leads into a path that is strange to me, & may lead to misery. It is easy to take the first step, but hard to foretell what it leads to. It will grieve me to be accessory to the Hurt of any American, much more to a Community of those whom Blood and Interest ought to cement in the tenderest of Tyes. I love these people as Americans; but I dare not own them as Friends while they go on in their present course. If they are real Friends to America, let them join in an address with the old state, with this State, & all the Southern States, to Congress, & earnestly solicit that Body to secure the Western Navigation. This is a matter that is now in Danger of being finally lost, if the Southern People do divide. It is a Matter that may ruin the Western Country, which must principally support the Glory of America in future Times. Let us all then unite; & when united, we shall scarcely be sufficient to counterbalance the Weight of those who are laboring to check & keep down our Western Settlements. What can poor Franklin do if separated? The scheme of the Spaniards & other States will not be defeated by her little Commonwealth, when perhaps all America may not be able to secure our Commercial Rights.

My wish is to give you a View of the Situation of Franklin according to my Ideas of the Matter, and from this it results that the present Establishment there cannot. long stand. The people are unable to support Government: For how can they do it, when even Virginia finds it a burden almost too heavy to bear? When the present Errors come to be seen the people will again join themselves to the Union, & then I have not a Doubt good Neighborhood will be established. In the mean Time, try to cultivate Goodwill towards them, and prevent any Bars from being put into the Way of returning Harmony. If Extremities are to happen, let the necessity of them not lay at our Doors. Let the World be witnesses of our Justice & Forbearance to them.

I have provided as much Rum as the Bearer Mr Ford can carry for you, which is two Barrels, say about 60 Gallons, good West India. I have also hurried the Silver Smith to finish the 5 large Medals of the purest silver, for such of the Indian Chiefs as you judge fittest to bestow them on. I trust to you to deliver such messages to the Indians as you think most conducive to establish firm peace with them.

I sent you one large medal & a package of goods by Wm Parks, pray did they come safe? Write me about it & every other Thing you think proper. I shall let you hear from me before long, & in the mean Time, I am, Yr Ob. Servant,

P. Henry. To Col. Jos. Martin.


Patrick Henry to Joseph Martin, January 25, 1790

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Martin, Joseph

Date Created

1790-01-25

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

343

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 409.

Transcription

Dear Sir: January 25th 1790.

I was sorry it did not suit you to come down, and indeed I think it is probable Congress might not like that you should meddle in any matters with the Indians, or Indian purchases, while you are applying for an appointment under them. But one’s being a purchaser from the State cannot justly offend any body; although’ I know the Northern people will dislike it, knowing that you had spent the prime of your days in serving the public, & that after all the Hazards you have run, that you have not acquired so much property as many others would have done in your situation, I was desirous to throw something in your way by which some fine lands would have been offered to you in our purchase. But being under the necessity of sending out instantly, the Company have agreed with another gentleman as it did not suit you—I yet hope you may do some fixing in the Land way about the Bent, as I know you have done something thereabouts, but what, I don’t know—if you will write me, I will endeavour to serve you in that affair, as Cox is to come this way soon, & doubtless will not scruple to allow all just claims, because I think they can be forced from him. Before I could serve you effectually in it, I must see every paper you have & know what has been done under the first Resolutions of the Georgia Assembly. I think it mere necessary for you to stir now, as this is the last time any thing can be done in that way—I was induced to write you about our company’s business, as Congress & the president seem unwilling to trust Indian affairs to people this way, & the appointment of Lincoln, Humphreys, & Griffin confirmed the Conjecture—The Northern people will probably embarrass Indian affairs—otherwise the Balance of power will come to the South. This I fear there is ground to apprehend from some late transactions—but keep this hint to Yourself—My Friends Lee, Grayson & Bland wrote me they should take every opportunity to promote your interest, but that some Georgia gentlemen made a great noise against you about the letter to McGilvray, and they doubted of your success on that account. I sent on your letters, which Piamingo brought down, by a safe hand, and shall send on those which Mr. Fontaine brought by the first good opportunity. But it is worth considering whether you might not do something clever in the land way, which may be in the end more advantageous than the bare opportunity of agent—especially as I hear No Carolina has again ceded her western lands and people to congress. If this is really the case, it will make a fine opening, & you may turn it to vast advantage by rightly managing the affair. The people must have a convention, and a vast opening presents; for they must be Considered as the proprietors of the soil. I am not certain what the act of assembly says—pray write me and let me know particularly what it contains, & whether it gives the people & the territory to congress. I made several applications to congress respecting your pay—They have failed because they did not come through the several offices of congress with vouchers. My friend Mr. Deane informed me he had put the affair into the hands of Mr. Dunscombe, who had hopes of settling it to satisfaction. But I have never yet heard the event. I observe Ballew’s advertisement, & think it is done by way of joke upon him. If you see the Mountain Leader, great caution must be used with him, for fear of giving him bad impressions, of our purchase, which I know many people wish to do out of envy; but I think you had better see Mr Ross & me before you do go out; for we both think great fixings may be done, if the western country of Carolina is given to congress, & can make you sensible of it, if the country is given away.

I cannot with propriety write to the president on your affair, but I will inclose the report you now send & other papers in your favor to our senators as quickly as I can. I will also state what I do remember respecting MeGilvray’s letter, & my ideas of your corresponding with him. It is in substance as you mention.

I send back Ballew’s paper and find the land he mentions is included in our grant I look on him as a trifling fellow. It will be hard indeed if a Sevier should be preferred to you. But there is no rule to judge by these times. My letters in your favor shall go by the first safe hand, but I fear some time may elapse before I get one this dead time of the year. In case you fail of that, it may be well for you to look out for some chance to get western lands as the. time for it will soon be over. I mean you to keep the boy, and I accepted your offer to take 250 Dollars, If congress will pay them. I have been at much trouble about the affair, and for your sake as well as my own, intend to plague them out of it, if possible. I drew an order in your name, & I think the next time I see Mr. Deane, I can be able to inform you whether there is any prospect of ever getting the money paid—I shall prepare my letters respecting you tomorrow, and wait sending them ‘til a safe conveyance offers—pray write me, and let me know about the Carolina act of Assembly particularly— perhaps mr Fontaine, or George, can tell you of an opportunity to send me a letter. I intend to buy a share in the Tennessee company if Cox is not too dear with it, I am Dear Sir, Yr Friend & Servant,

P. Henry. To Colonel Joseph Martin.

I enclose all the papers which Gov Martin sent you to my friends in congress—If you go to see Piamingo, pray see me & Mr. Ross first. We are joined in interest in western land matters.

 

Patrick Henry to George Mason, 1 Letter, ca. 1779

Patrick Henry to George Mason, March 27, 1779

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Mason, George

Date Created

1779-03-27

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 45.

Transcription

[March 27, 1779]

I view things very differently, I fear, from what people in general do, who seem to think that the contest is at an end, and to make money, and places, the only thing now remaining to do. I have seen without despondency (even for a moment) the hours which America has styled her gloomy ones, but I have beheld no day since the commencement of hostilities, that I have thought liberties in such imminent danger as at present and foes seem now to combine to pull down goodly fabric we have hitherto been raising at expense of so much time, blood, and treasure— and unless the bodies politic will exert themselves to bring things back to first principles, correct abuses, and punish our internal foes, inevitable ruin must follow. Indeed we seem to be verging so fast to destruction, that I am filled with sensations to which I have been a stranger till within these three months. Our enemy behold with exultation and joy, how effectually we labor for their benefit, and from being in a state of absolute despair, and on the point of evacuating America, are now on tiptoe. Nothing, therefore in my judgment, can save us, but a total reformation in our conduct, or some decisive turn to affairs in Europe. The former, alas ! to our shame be it spoken, is less likely to happen than the latter, as it is now consistent with the views of the speculators–various tribes of money makers and stock jobbers of all denominations, to continue the war for their own private emolument, without considering that their avarice and thirst for gain must plunge everything (including themselves) in our common ruin. . . .

I cannot refrain lamenting in the most poignant terms, the fatal policy too prevalent in most of the states, of employing their ablest men at home in posts of honor or profit, till the great national interests are fixed upon a solid basis. . . . I allude to no particular state, nor do I mean to cast reflections upon any one of them—nor ought I, it may be said, to do so upon their representatives; but as it is a fact too notorious to be concealed, that Congress is rent by party, that much business of a trifling nature and personal concernment withdraws their attention from matters of great national moment at this critical period—when it is also known that idleness and dissipation take the place of close attention and application, no man who wishes well to the liberties of his country and desires to see its rights established, can avoid crying out, where are our men of abilities?. why do they not come forth to save their country?. Let this voice, my dear sir, call upon you, Jefferson, and others. Do not, from a mistaken opinion that we are about to sit down under our own vine, and own .fig-tree, l.et our hitherto noble struggle end in ignominy. Believe me when I tell you there is danger of it. I have pretty good reasons for thinking that administration a little while ago, had resolved to give the matter up and negotiate a peace with us upon almost any terms;but I shall be much mistaken if they do not now, from the present state of our currency, dissensions, and other cumstances, push matters to the utmost extremity. Nothing, I am sure, will prevent it, but the interposition of Spain, and their disappointed hopes from Russia.

Patrick Henry to Mayor of Richmond, 1 Letter, ca. 1785

Patrick Henry to Mayor of Richmond, January 13, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Mayor of Richmond

Date Created

1785-01-13

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 267.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber, Jan. 13, 1785.

At the last General Court sentence of death was passed on a number of Criminals, and they are now awaiting the execution of that sentence. With respect to some of them the punishment of death seems disproportionate to the crime; to free them however from restraints by an unconditional pardon, and thereby turn loose on society persons of their description, will probably be attended with consequences fatal to the public peace and to the good of the Government. This last consideration is an impediment in the view of the executive, who have a wish to pardon such of the criminals whose cases make it proper to do so, provided the Corporation of Richmond can find the means to prevent escapes while those people are kept to servile but useful labour, such as the corporation shall direct for years more or less as their pardons may express respectively. If it shall be found practicable, this city, and consequently the public at large, will derive some advantage from this mode of proceeding, and at the same time, by the example it will hold out, every end of punishment will be answered.

I have to request Sir, that this matter may be laid before the Corporation, and that you will be so good as to favor me with the result as soon as it can be had.

I am with respect &c

P. Henry. To the Hon. Mayor OF Richmond.

Patrick Henry to Montgomery County Lieutenant, 1 Letter, ca. 1777

Patrick Henry to Montgomery County Lieutenant, March 10, 1777

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Montgomery County Lieutenant

Date Created

1777-03-10

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 44.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh, March 10th, 1777.

You are to embody fifty men of your militia under the usual officers, and order them to Kentuckie. In conjunction with fifty others from Botetourt, they are to Protect and defend the Settlers there, ’til further orders. In case it shall be judged impossible to hold the Country with this Reinforcement joined to the Inhabitants there, they are to escort all the People with their Effects to the nearest place of safety, and then to disband, if no other orders are given by me, or by my Direction.

This detachment to Kentuckie must be victualled there, as I understand Provisions are plenty and cheap.

The great variety of War in which this State is engaged, makes it impossible to spare such a number of men for this Expedition as I could wish; and also requires that you raise the men in the interiour parts of your County least liable to Invasion.

You will give the officer you send orders conformable to the above. If a field officer of Kentuckie should be on the spot, he will take the comand. If not, the eldest Captain that comands the Reinforcement.

I am Sir, yr mo. obt. h’ble servt,

P. Henry, Jr.

P. S.—There is powder I hear arrived at Kentuckie. Lead must be had with you. An order accompanys this.

Lieutenant of Montgomery County.

Patrick Henry to John Montgomery, 1 Letter, ca. 1778

Patrick Henry to John Montgomery, December 12, 1778

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Montgomery, John

Date Created

1778-12-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Vi–Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

Subcollection

Governor Patrick Henry Executive Papers Digital Collection, 1776-1779

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 216.

Transcription

December 12, 1778.

You are forthwith to put on foot the recruiting of men to reinforce Colonel Clarke at the Illinois, & to push it on with all possible expedition. As soon as the number of one hundred can be collected, let them be sent on under the proper officers and join Colonel Clarke. If you think that number too small to go in safety, add to it until you judge the number large enough to resist the attacks that may be expected from the Indians.

You will cause the proper vessels for transporting the Troops down the Cherokee River to be built and ready before they are wanted. Let no time be lost in doing that. Mr. James Buchanan you must direct to lay in the provisions necessary. You will get powder and flints from Colonel Fleming’s, and lead from the mines, sufficient for the use of the parties on their march.

Blank Commissions for the officers of five Companies are delivered you, to be filled up as the numbers of men they recruit shall entitle them as to date and Rank. If any officer who is intrusted to recruit shall fail to enlist and produce his quota in a reasonable time, such as the Exigence & pressing necessity to relieve and secure the Illinois Country do require, in that case the officer so failing is to give up the men he has enlisted together with his recruiting instructions to you, or such other person as you appoint to succeed him, and if the person you appoint to succeed him fails, in due time, to enlist and produce the Quota for which he undertakes to recruit, you are to make a new appointment until every Quota is full, or so near full as to be fit to march. You are to take especial Care to appoint men proper to be officers; and as this matter from the necessity of the Case is intrusted to you, an improper appointment will reflect great dishonour upon you.

As soon as the State of affairs in the recruiting business will permit, you are to go to the Illinois Country & join Colonel Clarke. I need not tell you how necessary the greatest possible Dispatch is to the good of the service in which you are engaged. Our party at Illinois may be lost, together with the present favorable Disposition of the French and Indians there, unless every moment is improved for their preservation, & no future opportunity, if the present is lost, can ever be expected so favorable to the Interest of the Commonwealth. I therefore urge it on you, to exert yourself to the utmost to lose not a moment to forward the great work you have in hand, and to conquer every difficulty in your way, arising from an inclement season, great distances, want of many necessaries, Opposition from enemies, and others I can’t enumerate, but must confide in your Virtue to guard against & surmount.

Captain Isaac Shelby it is desired may prepare the boats. But if he can’t do it, you must get some other person.

You receive ten thousand pounds cash for Col Clarke’s Corps, which you are to deliver him, except two hundred pounds for Captain Shelby to build the boats, and what other Incidental Expenses happen necessarily on your way, which are to come out of that sum.

Yours &c,

Patrick Henry. Lieutenant Colonel John Montgomery.

Patrick Henry to James Monroe, 1 Letter, ca. 1791

Patrick Henry to James Monroe, January 24, 1791

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Monroe, James

Date Created

1791-01-24

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

DLC–U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Subcollection

Papers of James Monroe

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 459.

Transcription

Dear Sir— Prince Edward, Jan. 24th. 1791—

This will be handed you by my Neighbour, Tarlton Woodson, who is trying to get some Claims for his Services in the Army allowed at your Metropolis—I should introduce him to you, but as you know him it would be needless.

I thank you for yours of the 22d Decr. which I got a Week ago— And altho’ The Form of Govemt. into which my Countrymen determined to place themselves, had my Enmity, yet as we are one & all imbarked, it is natural to care for the crazy Machine, at least so long as we are out of Sight of a Port to refit—I have therefore my Anxietys to hear & to know what is doing, & to what point the State Pilots are steering—& to keep up the Metaphor, whether there is no Appearance of Storms in our Horizon? For accounts here say, there is to be a sad Combustion in Europe. But I live so much secluded that my Intelligence is from Sources not to be rely’d on, even as The Reports of the Day—

As to the Secretary’s Report with which you favor’d me, it seems to be a consistent Part of a System which I ever dreaded—Subserviency of Southern to N——n Interests are written in Capitals on its very Front; whilst Government Influence, deeply planted & widely scatter’d by Preceding Measures, is to receive a formidable Addition by this Plan—But I must suppress my Feelings—They prompt me to speak of the Detail of the Business, of which I am sure you are well informed—I console myself with hoping that the Advocates of Oppression may find the Time when the Measures of Iniquity shall give place to just & enlightened Policy—I conjecture that Indian Affairs are becoming serious—so as to force into Notice, certain Infractions of Neutrality as well as of Treaty, which have been studiously kept out of Sight, & occasionally plaistered over with abundance of Federal Address, when vulgar Observation blundered out her plebeian Feelings & called them Infractions—What, my dear Sir! can it be possible that these Indians are to be supply’d whilst at open War with us, with the Articles which all Nations call contraband & this from places which are our own property: while the utmost care is taken to give full Scope to claims on our Citizens, to question which has ever excited an Indignation hard to account for—But now seems the Time when something on the Subject must come out. The late Comander to the Westward is as generally execrated as I have ever known any person, whether justly I can’t say. However appearances are against him.

I wish I could tell you the News of the Country as to the progress of the Assumption; but I have not heard what course our Creditors will take—It would indeed give me pleasure to your return you something entertaining in Exchange for the high gratification I shall derive from corresponding with you; but that is not likely to happen, & all I can promise you is, that I will be sparing of Complaints agt. the Government, & find Fault as little as my fixed Habits of thinking will permit. I perceive that unless I keep some guard over myself, that all I should write or say would be to criminate the late & present proceedings so far as I have Knowledge of them—The little Stock of good Humour which I have towards them, is increased by reflecting that some Allowances ought to be made, & some Hopes indulged of future Amendment—Whether these Hopes are well grounded, you can better judge—

Do give me the news when your Leisure permits—with your opinions on such matters as may be the Subject of Letters—And in Return I will try to find out something, & spin it out into the Size of Letter & send it to you with a sincere Wish my Situation would furnish more valuable Matter to comunicate. And when you are assured of the Sincerity of that Wish I know your Goodness will absolve me.

With unfeigned Regard I ever am my Dear Sir your Friend & Servant,

P. Henry. The hon’ble Jas Monroe, Esqr.

 

Patrick Henry to George Morgan, 1 Letter, ca. 1777

Patrick Henry to George Morgan, March 12, 1777

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Morgan, George

Date Created

1777-03-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 46.

Transcription

Gentlemen: Williamsburgh, March 12th, 1777.

You will perceive by the Papers which accompany this, that the Indians at Pluggy’s Town are to be punished in an exemplary manner. When you apply to the Shawnese & Delawares on the subject, it may not be amiss to observe to them, that these villainous Indians, by their frequent mischiefs, may breed Suspicions against innocent friends & Allies; for it is often difficult to tell what Nation are the Offenders.

Willing to cultivate that good understanding that subsists between Virginia & their Nations, the Shawnese & Delawares cannot take umbrage at the march against the Pluggy’s Town people, more especially as the latter march through the Country of the former when they attack us. You will readily understand the delicacy of the Business in opening this matter to the Chiefs. Many, if trusted, may not keep the secret. If the Enemy have warning, the Expedition will produce but little good compared to what may be expected if they are attacked by surprise.

You will please to communicate to the Allies of this State the strict orders given to the Officers & Soldiers, not to molest or offend any but the Enemy of Pluggy’s Town; & that orders are given to spare the Women and Children, and such men as submit.

I take the liberty to remind you, that the success of the Enterprise depends upon the address & propriety which will, I hope, distinguish your conduct in communicating this affair to the Shawnese & Delawares.

I trust Gentlemen, that you will leave nothing in your power undone, that may tend to give success to a measure so necessary for the well being of your Country; and that you will not confine yourselves to the strict line of duty, with respect to what falls into the business of each Officer respectively, but act on the most liberal plan for promoting the enterprize.

I have the Honour to be, Gentlemen Yr most Obt h’ble Servt,

P. Henry, Jr.

P. S.—You will communicate every thing necessary to the Officer who is to command in chief.

P. S.—If it is judged best to go part of the way to Pluggy’s Town by water, let it be so—this may avoid perhaps all offence to other Indians.

Patrick Henry. To George Morgan, & Colo. John Nevill, Or in the Absence of the latter, To Robert Campbell, Esq., Pittsburgh.

Patrick Henry to Robert Carter Nicholas, 1 Letter, ca. 1775

Patrick Henry to Robert Carter Nicholas, May 4, 1775

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Nicholas, Robert Carter

Date Created

1775-05-04

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 284.

Transcription

Sir: May 4, 1775.

The affair of the powder is now settled, so as to produce satisfaction to me, and I earnestly wish to the Colony in general. The people here have it in charge from the Hanover Committee, to tender their services to you as a public officer, for the purpose of escorting the public Treasury to any place in this Colony, where the money would be judged more safe than in the City of Williamsburg. The reprisal now made by the Hanover Volunteers, though accomplished in a manner least liable to the imputation of violent extremity, may possibly be the cause of future injury to the Treasury. If therefore you apprehend the least danger, a sufficient guard is at your service. I beg the return of the bearer may be instant, because the men wish to know their destination.

With great regard, I am, Sir, your most humble servant,

Patrick Henry, Junior.

 

Patrick Henry to Josiah Parker, 1 Letter, ca. 1786

Patrick Henry to Josiah Parker, June 28, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Parker, Josiah

Date Created

1786-06-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 360.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber June 28th 1786

It is with concern I am to inform you that sundry parts of your conduct are found to deserve reprehension. In the case of captain Folson it appeared a very capital mistake was committed in your office. In several other instances it appears that your permits do not specify the marks or numbers of the packages of goods, agreeably to the instructions sent to you by me, bearing date of 24th of March last. In your advertisements for selling merchandises for non payment of the duties, you omit the marks and numbers of the packages, by which a great part of the information necessary to the owners is withheld from them.

From this conduct it is too plain that the business of your office is transacted in a manner so loose, as to expose the trade on one hand to unnecessary embarrassment and vexatious suits, and on the other, the practise of fraud is rendered easy to those who wish to evade the payment of legal duties.

I was in hopes that your own reflection on the subject would have produced a conformity to the law in your official transactions; but as that is not the case, I do hereby warn you, that if any further neglect of duty shall appear in your conduct, I shall proceed against you in the manner which the nature of the case shall render proper.

I am, &c.

P. Henry. To Col. Josiah Parker, Naval Officer, Portsmouth.

Patrick Henry to Charles Pearson, 1 Letter, ca. 1785

Patrick Henry to Charles Pearson, March 28, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Pearson, Charles

Date Created

1785-03-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 285.

Transcription

Sir: In Council, March, 28, 1785

You are to take under your care the prisoners, Francis Wilson, Bartholomew Taylor, Christopher Clark, Thomas Humphrees, George Miles, & Philip Davis, from the hands of William Rose, Goaler, and to cause them to labor upon such streets and ways of communication in the City of Richmond, as the Directors of the public buildings shall point out to you from time to time. The said Davis for 5 years, and all the others for three years. You are to observe such a degree of humanity towards these people as their condition will permit, in every thing that relates to them. You will take the necessary measures to prevent escapes—In order to this you are to cause them to wear such irons as are absolutely necessary for that purpose.

Particular care must be taken that they have plenty of wholesome food, and that their clothes be warm and comfortable. Two Duffell blankets must be had for each man, and they are to lodge of nights in the Public Jail. You are to take care that their clothes and lodging be kept clean, and that their labor be confined to the usual hours and good weather. In case of sickness you are to apply to Doctor Foushee for medical assistance.

From the state of confinement in which these people have remained lately, it is necessary for you to be careful that they avoid such a degree of exposure and labor as may be safely practised by persons who have not been confined. Their progress to a full share of labor must be gradual—You are to see that they be not restrained from attending divine worship, and attend them accordingly. You are to apply to the directors of the public buildings for food for the laborers. Clothes will be furnished by Colo Merewether, and as a full compensation for your services herein you are to be allowed one hundred pounds per annum, to be paid quarterly out of the Contingent Fund.

I am &c,

P. Henry. To Charles Pearson. Sergeant of Richmond.

Patrick Henry to Edmund Pendleton, 4 Letters, ca. 1775-1776

Patrick Henry to Edmund Pendleton, December 19, 1775

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Pendleton, Edmund

Date Created

1775-12-19

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 3.

Transcription

Sir: Hampton, Decr 19th, 1775, 8 O’clock, P. M.

I arrived here last night & found the Troops in tolerable good condition. The Inhabitants are pretty quiet. But from the small Distance that separates them from the Enemy, the officers think it necessary for the Troops to perform Duty that is very severe.

Understanding that a large Ship & Sloop were in the Bay abt 15 Miles below, I thought it advisable to order out a party of Soldiers to make Discovery, & bring them in if possible.

Capt Barron accordingly set out with 20 men in a swift sailing Vessel & has brot in a Sloop from Turks Island having on board 900 Bushels Salt, a peice or two of Popns & Irish Linens, & a few other articles. The sloop is just now brot within the bar, & her Cargo waits the Disposition of the Convention. The Ship is very suspicious. I can’t form a probable guess whether she is a friend or a Foe. I shall order out another party very early in the morning to attempt something with her.

Capt James Barron, who is so kind as to be the Bearer of this, will hand you a large Bag of Letters which seem to have been concealed by Capt Harris, & kept back when the former papers brot by him were discovered. A small parcel of Goods are found on him which I judge belong to Sprowle of Norfolk, agreeable to an Invoice among Harris’s first Letters, & very probably some of these may ascertain the Matter.

Inclosed are sundry papers relative to the Sloop Agatha now detained here. I should be exceedingly glad if the Convention would please to determine what is to be done with the several Vessels now in this port. The near Neighbourhood of the Enemy makes it almost certain, that every one of them that go out from hence will fall into their Hands.

I perceive Sir, from the situation of things here, that a pilot Boat is indispensably necessary for the Safety of this place, & the furtherance of the Service. I have therefore, from the Necessity of the Case, order’d Latimer’s Boat into the Service.

If the Convention disapprove of it I shall give orders for her discharge. With sentiments of the purest Regard & Devotion, I beg you to lay me before the Convention, & be assured that I am proud of having the Honor to be Sir, Yr mo. obt & very h’ble Sert,

P. Henry Jr. The Honble Edmd Pendleton, Esqr., President of the Convention.


Patrick Henry to Edmund Pendleton, December 23, 1775

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Pendleton, Edmund

Date Created

1775-12-23

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

PHi–Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Subcollection

Dreer Collection

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 4.

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburg, Decr 23. 1775.

I have the pleasure to inform you, that an Express from Colo. Ellet at Hampton brings the agreeable News, that we have taken a Vessel of the Govt. bound to the Eastern shore for provisions, commanded by Capt. Collett & manned with 16 Negroes. Another Vessel of the same sort was Yesterday pursued by our people, & little doubt remained of taking her also. A third Vessel with 2,400 Bushels Salt is also taken, but not quite brot. into the Harbor, the Tide falling.

The Captives inform Colo Ellet, the Liverpool is, as I’m inform’d, laden with Guns, but the Brig with military stores. Both together have 400 men, & have been 3 months & 3 days at Sea.

The Enemy Exult greatly on their Arrival, & threaten Vengeance agt that Neighbourhood, Hampton &c. The Salt is said to be McAlester & Brown’s at Norfolk. Colo Ellet, notwithstanding I know his Zeal & Activity, finds himself greatly at a Loss to secure the Salt, & at the same Time keep up the necessary Duty by Land & Water. He thinks more men wanting there. I am of his opinion. The Colo also thinks it best to send up the prisoners, all hands there being busy.

Collett the Capt, who is from every Circumstance a great Vilian, is closely confin’d & seems a dangerous person. He says 57 men only were killed, wounded & taken at great Bridge.

You have now Sir, the whole of the Intellegence I’m favour’d with. Any Comands you may please to have shall be instantly comply’d with. An indisposition prevents my waiting on you in person. I have the Honor to be Sir, Yr mo. obt Sert,

P. Henry, Jr.

P. S.—I hope the Vessel I order’d into the Service may be order’d to continue, she being found so successfull. I beg a line for that purpose.

To Edmd Pendleton, Esqr., President of the Convention.


Patrick Henry to Edmund Pendleton, October 9, 1776

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Pendleton, Edmund

Date Created

1776-10-09

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

PHi–Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Subcollection

Dreer Collection

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 18.

Transcription

Honble Sir: In Council, October 9th, 1776.

The Schooner, Polly, having arrived from Bermuda with a Cargo, the Partculars of which will appear from the Invoices inclosed; and, the Master, Capt. Bascome, being desirous of obtaining Permission to dispose of the same within this State; I am advised by the Council to lay the Case before you, for the Direction of the Honble General Assmebly. I am to inform you, Sir, that this is the same Vessel which cleared out for Hispaniola the 25th of July last, in Relation to which the Proceedings of the Council are herewith sent.

Altho’, Sir, the Board are of opinion that it would be highly beneficial to indulge the freest Trade with all Countries, and in the particular Instance before them wish to be empowered to grant the Permission asked for, the original Object of the Association having, in their Opinion, vanished ever since the Declaration of Independence, yet as that Association has never been formally abolished, it is requested that the General Assembly would be pleased to instruct the Board, for their Conduct in this Affair, & other similar Instances.

I also send you an Order of Council respecting the Disposition of Capt. Michael Bowyer’s Company of Regulars, which you will also be pleased to communicate to the Assembly. It may be necessary to add, that since the Date of that Order, I have received Information from Gentlemen, well acquainted with the Frontiers, that that Company might be much better employed at Point Pleasant, now Fort Randolph, in strengthening the Garrison there.

I have the Honor to be Sir, yr mo. obt. & very h’ble sert.,

P. Henry, Jr. To The Honble The Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Patrick Henry to Edmund Pendleton, December 6, 1776

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Pendleton, Edmund

Date Created

1776-12-06

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 1: 474.

Transcription

Hon. Sir: Williamsburg, Dec. 6th 1776.

As by the act of Government it is directed that the Governor with the advice of the privy Council shall exercise the executive Powers of Government, a Doubt arises whether the Governor alone may issue a warrant upon the Treasury for the Payment of any money on accounts certified by the Commissioners. From experience it is found impracticable to attend to many matters of consequence to the safety of the State, if the Council are, not only to advise the issuing of Warrants upon such Certificates, but also to keep Records of the same. We think it proper to acquaint the General Assembly with these our Sentiments; and we beg leave earnestly to recommend it to their consideration, whether it would not be to the advantage of the State if the Commissioners were empowered finally to transact this Business, or some other regular mode adopted for the future settling & passing the accounts against this State.

By advice of Council

P. Henry Jr. To the Hon. Edmund Pendleton, Speaker of the Ho. of Del.

Patrick Henry to People of the United States, 1 Letter, ca. 1796

Patrick Henry to People of the United States, November 3, 1796

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

People of the United States

Date Created

1796-11-03

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Printed Source–Gazette of the United States

Transcription

To the People of the United States. Nov. 3d, 1796.

I am informed that some citizens wish to vote for me at the ensuing election, to be President of the United States. I give them my thanks for their good will and favorable opinion of me. But on a serious consideration of the subject, I think it incumbent on me thus to declare my fixed intention to decline accepting that office if it should be offered to me, because of my inability to discharge the duties of it in a proper manner.

Although I am not so vain as to suppose that a majority of the electors would call me to that high appointment, yet as this communication may tend to prevent embarrassment in the suffrages, I have thought that candor obliged me to make it.

I am consoled for the regreat that I feel on account of my own insufficiency, by a conviction, that within the United States, a larger number of citizens may be found, whose talents and exemplary virtues, deserve public confidence, much more than any thing I can boast of.

That wisdom and virtue may mark the choice about to be made of a President, is the earnest desire of your fellow-citizen and well-wisher,

Patrick Henry.

Gazette of the United States.

Patrick Henry to Richard Peters, 2 Letters, ca. 1776

Patrick Henry to Richard Peters, December 6, 1776

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Peters, Richard

Date Created

1776-12-06

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 32.

Transcription

Sir: Williamsburgh, Dec. 6, 1776.

I lost no Time in laying your Letter before our Assembly, & late last night they did resolve, that the Troops of Horse (Six) shall be marched to join General Washington. I have issued the necessary Orders this morning to the Major Comandant to prepare for the march. But before it can be begun I fear a considerable Time will elapse, owing to the Troopers being in want of many necessarys. I shall as soon as possible transmit to you an Acct of such things as cannot be had here for them, that they may be got with you. The prisoners of War are scatter’d in different places in this State, but will be collected & sent to Brunswick. I am, Sir, Yr mo. obt Servt,

P. Henry Jr


Patrick Henry to Richard Peters, December 18, 1776

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Peters, Richard

Date Created

1776-12-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 33. A note at the end of the document in WWH reads: “[Enclosure: ‘List of necessarys’ referred to.]” Enclosure not printed in WWH.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburgh, Decr 18th, 1776.

Inclosed is a List of Necessarys wanted for the Cavalry of this Commonwealth, which are order’d to Join Genl Washington agreeable to a Requisition of Congress. A few things comprised in this List have been furnished here. Perhaps 100 arms or thereabouts will be found in the Troops when they arrive with you. I have the Honor to be Sir, Yr mo. hble Servt,

P. Henry, Jr.

P. S. The Prisoners of War are not yet sent. The Operations your way may possibly induce some alterations of the former Requisitions. Please to inform me.

P. H.

 

Patrick Henry to Robert Pleasants, 1 Letter, ca. 1773

Patrick Henry to Robert Pleasants, January 18, 1773

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Pleasants, Robert

Date Created

1773-01-18

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

PHC–Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania

Description

Robert Pleasants (1722–1801) was a prominent Virginia Quaker merchant and founder of the Virginia Abolition Society organized in 1790. He freed his own slaves and those of his father after his death, and he encouraged his manumitted slaves to remain at his plantation “Curles” in Henrico County, Virginia. Pleasants was a clerk of the Virginia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends, a group that petitioned the legislature to allow slave owners to manumit their slaves (Robert Pleasant’s Letterbook, 1771-1781, College of William and Mary, Special Collections; A Guide to the Pleasants family Papers, 1745-1898 [Library of Virginia]).

  1. Anthony Benezet (1713–1784) was a French-born abolitionist leader who lived in Philadelphia. He founded the first American anti-slavery society, the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage. A Quaker, he also founded a school to teach black children in Philadelphia and was the author of numerous works against the slave trade (“Anthony Benezet,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; “To Benjamin Franklin from Anthony Benezet, 27 April 1772,” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-19-02-0083 [last update: 2015-11-02]). Source: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 19, January 1 through December 31, 1772, ed. William B. Willcox. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1975, pp. 112–116).
  2. The book was Benezet’s Some Historical Account of Guinea, Its Situation, Produce and the general Disposition of its Inhabitants which included an address by Arthur Lee, a frequent correspondent of Henry’s, to the Virginia Gazette dated 19 March 1767, claiming slavery to be a “violation of both justice and religion” (Philadelphia: J. Crukshank, 1771, p. 44; Evans 11985). Henry owned two books by Benezet in his library at Red Hill (Kevin Hayes, The Mind of a Patriot: Patrick Henry and the World of Ideas [Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008], 65-67, 111).

Transcription

Dear Sir. Hanover January 18th . 1773

I take this opportunity to acknowledge the Recet: of Anthoy . Bennezet’s1 Book against the Slave Trade.2 I thank you for it.

It is not a little surprizing that Christianity, whose chief Excellence consists in softening the human Heart, in cherishing and improving its finer feelings should encourage a practice so totally repugnant to the first Impressions of Right and wrong, what adds to the wonder is that this abominable Practice has been introduced in the most enlightened Ages. Times that seem to have Pretensions to boast of high Improvements in Arts, Sciences and refined Morality, have brought into general Use and guarded by many Laws a species of Violence and Tyranny which our more rude and barbarous, but honest Ancestors detested. Is it not amazing, that at a time when the rights of Humanity are defined and understood with precision; in a Country above all others fond of Liberty, that in such an Age and such a Country we find Men professing a Religion the most humane, mild, meek, gentle and generous, adopting a principle as repugnant to humanity as it is inconsistent with the Bible and destructive to Liberty. Every thinking honest man rejects it in Speculation; how few in Practice From conscientious Motives? The World in general has deny’d your People a Share of its Honors, but the wise will ascribe to you a just Tribute of virtuous praise for the practice of a Train of Virtues, among which your Disagreement to Slavery will be principally ranked. I cannot but wish well to a people whose System imitates the Example of him whose Life was perfect, and believe me I shall honor the Quakers for their noble Effort to abolish Slavery.

It is equally calculated to promote moral and political Good.

Would any one believe that I am Master of Slaves of my own purchase? I am drawn along by the general Inconvenience of living without them. I will not, I cannot justify it. However culpable my Conduct, I will so far pay my Devoir to Virtue as to own the Excellence and Rectitude of her precepts, and to lament my want of Conformity to them.

I believe a time will come when an Opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable Evil, every thing we can do is to improve it, if it happens in our Day, if not let us transmit to our Descendants together with our Slaves, a pity for their unhappy Lot and an abhorrence for Slavery—If we cannot reduce this wished for Reformation to practice let us treat the unhappy Victims with Lenity, it is the farthest Advance we can make towards Justice, it is a Debt we owe to the purity of our Religion, to shew that it is at Variance with that Law which warrants Slavery.

Here is an Instance that Silent meetings (the Scoff of reverend Doctors,) have done that which learned and elabourate preaching could not effect, so much preferable are the genuine Dictates of Conscience and a steady Attention to its feelings above the Teachings of those Men who pretend to have found a better Guide.

I exhort you to persevere in so worthy a Resolution, some of your People disagree, or at least are lukewarm in the Abolition of Slavery, many treat the Resolution of your Meeting with Ridicule, and among those who throw Contempt on it are Clergymen, whose surest Guard against both Ridicule and Contempt is a certain Act of Assembly.

I know not whereto stop. I could say many things on this Subject, a serious Review of which gives a gloomy perspective to future times. Excuse this Scrawl, and believe me with Esteem your humble Servant

Patrick Henry junr.

Copy (Haverford College), not in Patrick Henry’s hand. On the back: “Copy of a Letter from Patrick Henry jr. to Robt. Pleasants.” This letter was widely republished especially among the Quaker community and its recipient frequently misidentified.

Patrick Henry to Oliver Pollock, 1 Letter, c. 1785

Patrick Henry to Oliver Pollock, October 12, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Pollock, Oliver

Date Created

1785-10-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 324.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber October 12th 1785.

Your letter addressed to Mr. Randolph was this day presented to me. I think it would be much to your interest to come on to Virginia, so soon as you receive this, as you will then have time to get your accounts settled, and lay them immediately before the Assembly, who alone can determine at what time any farther payment can be made. I am sorry that I cannot authorize you to draw a bill on the treasury for the hundred pounds proposed to be advanced you, for your support, whilst attending to the adjustment of your affairs at Richmond. The only fund on which any warrant can be drawn in your favor, will not be in cash earlier than the 30th of December, tho’ these warrants can be very readily negotiated here.

I am, &c.

P. Henry. Oliver Pollock, Esq. Philadelphia.

Patrick Henry to Joseph Prentis, 3 Letters ca. 1786

Patrick Henry to Joseph Prentis, October 16, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Prentis, Joseph

Date Created

1786-10-16

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 377.

Transcription

Sir: In Council., Oct. 16, 1786.

Since the last session of Assembly I have received from Congress a number of letters & papers, which I now transmit for the consideration of the General Assembly, who in their wisdom, will give to the various subjects treated of in these communications, the attention which their importance deserves.

I think it my duty to remark, that it seems to me essentially necessary for the Assembly to proceed with the first opportunity to the choice of delegates to represent this state in Congress.

The last Assembly gave directions that the artillery should be put into proper order for service. This necessary business could not be done for want of money. The contingent fund out of which it was directed to issue, has not been in cash, and the warrants drawn on that: fund would not be received by the workmen; so that the work has stopped, and the business is not completed. No effort for its completion has been spared, and it is hoped that the Assembly will enable the Executive to accomplish it by granting the money necessary for that purpose. A statement of what has been done, and what remains to do, in that business, will accompany this.

The failure of the contingent fund has obliged the executive to direct the treasurer to borrow money from other funds, to supply the exigencies that a variety of occasions have produced. This proceeding it is supposed is justified by the necessity of the different cases that gave rise to it. But I cannot forbear expressing a hope that by a wise and proper arrangement of the finances, similar embarrassment will be avoided in future.

In the course of the year the Indians have committed many murders and depredations on our western people. The management of Indian affairs having been assigned to Congress, I judged it proper to transmit thither information of the hostilities, urging at the same time the necessity of effectual measures to prevent a continuance of them. This department of affairs, so peculiarly interesting to Virginia, 1 thought stood in need of a total reform. I accordingly stated my ideas on the subject to congress by letters, copies of which I send herewith, together with the proceedings which followed thereupon.

No more than 1500 stand of arms have yet arrived from France, owing to unexpected delays in the fabrication of them. I have not a doubt but the remainder of those expected will shortly come. These when added to those we are already possessed of, will form a number too large to he safely deposited at the point of Fork. It is necessary to erect a strong magazine for the reception of the powder, arms and military stores, and it is hoped that the Assembly will see the propriety of providing a sum of money adequate to that purpose. The Executive were somewhat embarrassed how best to employ the searchers they were authorized to appoint by the act of the last session of assembly entitled, “an act for the better securing the revenue arising from customs,” the term being unknown to our laws, and the duties of the office not defined by the act. The result of the deliberation of the board on the subject will appear from the papers enclosed. These regulations, though imperfect, will be found to have increased the revenue, and point out the propriety of a revision of the Trade laws. Should the Assembly proceed to a revision of them, some information may be obtained from the reports made to the Executive by those gentlemen of the Council, who have lately visited & inspected the several naval offices on this side of the Chesapeake.

Spencer Roane Esqr hath resigned his office as a Councillor, as appears by his letter which is sent herewith.

I am with great respect Yours &c

P. Henry. To the Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Patrick Henry to Joseph Prentis, October 28, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Prentis, Joseph

Date Created

1786-10-28

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 302.

Transcription

Sir: October 28th, 1786.

The time for which the last assembly were pleased to elect me to the office of Governor, will expire next month. A new election of some person to fill that place is therefore near at hand. And as a variety of circumstances concur to render retirement necessary for me, I beg you will be pleased to inform the Assembly that it is my request to them, that I may not stand in the nomination for the ensuing year. I embrace this opportunity of presenting to the Assembly my best acknowledgments for their past favors to me, assuring them of my ardent prayers, that their endeavors for the prosperity of the commonwealth may be crowned with success.

With great respect, I am sir, Your most obedient servant,

P. Henry. To the Honorable Speaker of the House of Delegates.


Patrick Henry to Joseph Prentis, November 27, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Prentis, Joseph

Date Created

1786-11-27

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 381.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber, Nov. 27, 1786.

Application has been made to me for arms and ammunition to be sent to the Kentucky District. The posture of affairs there seems to require every possible preparation for defence.

I am sorry to say that there is no money which the Executive can appropriate to procure the arms that are wanted, or to bear the charge of transporting the ammunition from hence to that country. The Executive feel themselves embarrassed at the idea of parting with the arms that form the principle magazine of the state, thinking that the spirit of the laws under which it has been formed is against such a measure in the present instance. However, arms that perhaps are well calculated for the service in question, may be purchased, if the Assembly shall be pleased to direct it.

I am &c.

P. Henry. To the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

Patrick Henry to John Preston, 1 Letter, ca. 1796

Patrick Henry to John Preston, November 29, 1796

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Preston, John

Date Created

1796-11-29

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 424.

Transcription

Dear Sir: Red Hill, Nov 29, 1796.

I am favored with yours by the Express which brot to me an account of my Election to the chid Magistracy—For this great Honor I am truly thankful; & to you sir I am particularly indebted for the very friendly Interest you take in this Business.

It gives me pain to say, that advanced age and decaying Faculties leave me not to choose, but impose upon me the necessity of declining this high Honor, and I leave it open for the further choice of the assembly, well assured that members may be found adequate to the Duties of it.

With perfect Esteem & Regard I am, Dear Sir, Your obliged Servant,

P. Henry. To John Preston Esqr, Richmond Va.

Patrick Henry to Edmund Randolph, 3 Letters, ca. 1785-1794

Patrick Henry to Edmund Randolph, June 21, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Randolph, Edmund

Date Created

1785-06-21

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 303.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber June 21, 1785.

Judy, the black woman whom I mentioned to you, still suggests to me in the strongest terms that there is the most eminent danger of her being forcibly and secretly carried out of the state, and treated as a slave, and that her child is now in close confinement as a slave. I am apprehensive, from a conversation with Mr. Fleming, that his claim to her and child as slaves under the orders of Mr. Vashon will be obstinately insisted on. In order therefore to insure to this poor woman and child the situation to which the law entitles them, & to give them that protection which the Executive owes them; I am to request that you will be pleased to take such measures as the laws warrant for ascertaining their freedom, and preventing their being forced away into slavery.

Fifty shillings for a fee to you for doing the business will be ordered from the contingent fund.

I am &c.

P. Henry. Hon. Edmund Randolph, Atty. Genl of Virginia.


Patrick Henry to Edmund Randolph, February 13, 1787

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Randolph, Edmund

Date Created

1787-02-13

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 311.

Transcription

Sir: Prince Edward, Feby. 13, 1787.

Your Excellency’s favor accompanying the resolution and act of the Assembly, for appointing commissioners for this State to meet with others from the United States, at Philadelphia, in May next, for the purpose therein mentioned, did not reach me until very long after its date, or I should have acknowledged it sooner. And it is with much concern that I feel myself constrained to decline acting under this appointment, so honorable to me from the objects of it as well as the characters with whom I am joined. I have judged it my duty to signify this to your Excellency by the first opportunity, in order, as much as possible, to prevent the loss of time in making another appointment.

With the highest regard, I am, sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and very humble servant.

P. Henry. To His Excellency, The Governor.


Patrick Henry to Edmund Randolph, September 14, 1794

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Randolph, Edmund

Date Created

1794-09-14

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

346

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 548.

Transcription

Sir: Campbell County in Virga Sept. 14th, 1794.

I was this day honored by the receipt of your favor signifying the wish of the president of the United States that I should act in the character of envoy extraordinary to the Court of Madrid on the business of the Mississippi Navigation.

And altho’ it would be highly gratifying to me on all occasions to further the. president’s views, yet in this instance I am constrained from a variety of considerations to decline the appointment. The importance of the negotiation, & its probable length in a country so distant, are difficulties not easy to reconcile to one at my time of life.—But to these are added others which leave me no room to hesitate.

Whilst I sincerely regret the causes which compel me to decline the Honor intended me, I cannot forbear to express my highest obligations to the president for his favorable sentiments. And I beg of you sir, to be pleased to present me to him in terms of the most perfect respect and duty.

I have the honor to be, sir, Your most obedient and very humble servant,

P. Henry. Honble Edd Randolph, Secretary of State.

Patrick Henry to H. Randolph, 1 Letter, ca. 1786

Patrick Henry to H. Randolph, March 24, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Randolph, H.

Date Created

1786-03-24

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 349.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber March 24 1786

I am to desire you to state the accounts of the foreign creditors of the public, in order to make an apportionment or dividend among them respectively of the sum of forty thousand pounds, the amount to be this year issued to them. You will reserve out of Mr Beaumarchais’s claim the amount of certain Iron artillery. The other part of his claim it is meant to pay in the same proportion with the other creditors generally.

You will observe that no preference to any of these creditors is to be given except to Or Pollock, and to his case you will apply the resolution of the Assembly and govern yourself by it. It is desired that this statement should be ready by Wednesday next.

You are to place Monsieur Chaumont assignee of Rene Peree as a creditor on the foreign fund for £820.17.0. with six per cent interest from 13, October 1778, & make the whole an aggregate sum, & for that, make him out his equal apportionment with the other creditors.

In cases where warrants have issued on funds which are discontinued, and the persons to whom they issued are transferred to the foreign fund, you will allow interest on the claims in the same manner as if warrants had not issued up to the 1st of January last, taking care to cancel the warrants.

I am &c.

P. Henry. To H. Randolph, Auditor of Va.

Patrick Henry to Joseph Reed, 1 Letter, ca. 1779

Patrick Henry to Joseph Reed, March 13, 1779

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Reed, Joseph

Date Created

1779-03-13

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 229.

Transcription

Sir: Wmsburg. March 13th 1779.

Your Favor of the 21st ulto is come to hand, & I should gladly cooperate with you in the salutary design of checking the enemy’s depredations on the trade of these states, by laying a general Embargo, if the Law had given authority to do so. But as this is not the case, all I can do will be to lay the matter before the next General Assembly, which meets the first Monday in May. With great regard I have the Honor to be &c.

P. Henry. His Excellency Joseph Reed, Prest &c. Pennsylvania.

Patrick Henry to Anne Roane, 1 Letter, ca. 1798

Patrick Henry to Anne Roane, August 1, 1798

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Roane, Ann

Date Created

1798-08-01

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 426.

Transcription

My dear Annie: Red Hill, August 1st, 1798.

This I expect will be delivered to you by your sister Kitty, who is lately married, & is on her way to Fleet’s Bay. I hope & trust she will find you all well. 1 begin to think it long not to see you, but I hope you & Mr. Roane with the children will visit us now soon, & hope in future your visits will be more frequent. Thanks to God we enjoy health as yet, but this month & the next will try us. However last fall we were healthy. I find my own health & strength declining, but on the whole not more than my time of life might expect. One consolation as to Kitty is, she will not be very far from you & Betsey Aylett. Pray let me hear from you, my dear Annie, & believe me, with love to Mr. Roane & the children, Your ever affectionate father,

P. Henry. To Mrs. Annie Roane, King & Queen.

Patrick Henry to Spencer Roane, 1 Letter, ca. 1797

Patrick Henry to Spencer Roane, August 23, 1797

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Roane, Spencer

Date Created

1797-08-23

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Red Hill Library, Brookneal, Va.

Description

Patrick Henry informs his son-in-law, noted attorney Spencer Roane, that he recently sent “the Certificate of my Oath which you desired.” He also writes of the weather and a hopeful visit from his eldest daughter Anne (Annie) Henry Roane (1767-1799) with their children in the fall.

Transcription

Dear Sir Red hill Augt. 23d. 1797

After waiting a good while for an Oppertunity to send you the Certificate of my Oath which you desired, I last Week put it into the Post Office at Charlotte Cot. house—I did not know of the present Conveyance by Mr. Syme, which is preferable to the other: And now I have nothing of Importance to comunicate—We keep tolerably well; tho’ the Season, & our Situ[a]tion on the River give too much cause to apprehend Sickness—We had Hopes to see you & my dear Annie this Fall with the Children, & do yet continue to hope for that pleasure. Comend all of this Family to all with you & beleive me dear Sir to be affly yours

P. Henry

Patrick Henry National Memorial at Red Hill. Addressed: “To The honble Spencer Roane Esq favd by Mr Syme Esqr King & Queen.”

 

Patrick Henry to Evan Shelby, 1 Letter, ca. 1785

Patrick Henry to Evan Shelby, January 6, 1785

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Shelby, Evan

Date Created

1785-01-06

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 262.

Transcription

Sir: Richmond Jan 6, 1785

I am informed that in Gov. Jefferson’s time a land warrant for 2000 Acres was sent by him to you, or Colo. Jos Martin, to locate for Colo. Lemaire, a French Genl. who had been in the service of this state, as a reward for such service. As the proceedings of the Executive about that time are destroyed, I am forced to take this method, & to request you to let me know if you can find out any thing relative to it. Perhaps your son Col. Isaac Shelby can give information.

Your answer will oblige Your most hble servt,

P. Henry. To Col. Evan Shelby.

Patrick Henry to Adam Stephens, 1 Letter, ca. 1777

Patrick Henry to Adam Stephens, March 31, 1777

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Stephens, Adam

Date Created

1777-03-31

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 51.

Transcription

Wmsburgh, Mar. 31, 1777.

You tell me, my dear General, more in a paragraph, than others do in a page. Continue your agreeable correspondence, & gratify that curiosity which is eager to know every circumstance of the Army at this interesting Period. Poor Thurston met with a Rebuff I hear. I am anxious for him to live, & in the next affair that he may have better Luck.

Pray how are your people armed, & what prospect have you as to arms in future. Great exertions are made here to import & fabricate. I hope Congress have thot of doing so in Time. We have abt 100,000 lbs powder. The Hunters make very fine, & in plenty. I am just sending sulphur to them. It is the only ingredient they want.

The Cherokees are likely to plague us again. Those whose Towns are destroyed lay out & war on our people. I fear their party increases so as to become formidable. Orders are dispatch’d as to Pluggy’s Town. Give me your opinion as to Pittsburgh. Its great importance you know. If that is lost, we shall retain no post from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the mouth of Mississippi. I hear a Fort is building at Sanduske. Stewart is gone to the Ohio Nations, many of whom I fear are Enemys. In this situation may not an armament come agt Fort Pitt; especially if there is no Diversion in Canada. By attacking that Fortress the Enemy will act systematically, as Howe seems to make an impression in Jersey. But I wish for your sentiments as to the number of Troops necessary for that Garrison. I have order’d some Cannon & repairs there. But the great distance wont permit me to know how the Orders are executed. Enlisting goes on badly. Terrors of the small-pox added to the Lies of Deserters &c &c, deter but too many. Indeed the obstacles & discouragements are great.

My Kinsman Winston, whom you mention, is clever. He is a gentleman that may be rely’d on. He commands a company of Continental Regulars from Hanr County. I shall tell him of yours. How many subalterns do you want? An army of them may be had. Is there any certainty of their being provided for? As they are but low in cash they are shy of going so far, unless on a certainty.

Adieu, my dear Sir. May we live to see the happy Days of Victory, & safety which will result. from that alone; & may the present Times be remember’d by us with that pleasure which a wise Improvement of them will give. May you long live in the full enjoyment of that Happiness you struggle to give your country.

Yrs ever,

P. Henry, Jr.

Patrick Henry to Edward Telfair, 3 Letters, ca. 1786-1790

Patrick Henry to Edward Telfair, February 23, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Telfair, Edward

Date Created

1786-02-23

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 348.

Transcription

Sir: Richmond Feby 23d 1786.

The General Assembly have appointed Edmd Randolph, James Madison Jnr, Walter Jones, St George Tucker, Meriwether Smith, David Ross, William Ronald, & George Mason Esquires, Commissioners to meet others from the different states in the Union at a time and place to be agreed on, for the purpose of framing such regulations of Trade as may be judged necessary to promote the general Interest.

I have to request your Excellency’s attention to the subject, & that you will be pleased to make such Communications of it as may be necessary to forward the Views of the Legislature.

I am with great regard, yr Excellency’s most obed’t. Serv’t.

P. Henry. His Excellency The Governor of Georgia.


Patrick Henry to Edward Telfair, June 22, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Telfair, Edward

Date Created

1786-06-22

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 358.

Transcription

Sir: Richmond June 22d 1786.

Your Favor by Express was delivered to me the 20th, amp; yesterday I laid the Contents of it before the Council. As I feel great Anxiety for the present Condition of Georgia, I proposed the Loan of the Arms you asked for. This proposition however, on serious Reflection, appeared inadmissible, the Number of public Arms here being small, amp; totally inadequate to furnish our own People in case of an Invasion.

The Continental Arms deposited here are in so bad condition that they cannot be made to answer for present Use. So that I was obliged to look out for some other Source of Supply. In this I have been successful, amp; have prevailed on Mr Ben Harrison Jr. to agree to ship you the Number you asked from me, amp; several hundred more. I have no Doubt you will consider this as a most fortunate Acquisition, amp; that you will satisfy Mr Harrison for them amp; prevent my being called on for them. The price is uncommonly low, amp; indeed far less than I could have supposed.

As to the Swords, they can’t be had. I hope the size of the Guns will render them proper for Cavalry, amp; in some Measure supply the Want of Swords.

Give me leave, Sir, to recommend a prudent use of the present friendly disposition of the Choctaws—perhaps something capitally favorable to your State might result from it.

I shall ever esteem myself happy to render services to your State, amp; am, Sir, Your most humble Servant,

P. Henry. His Excellency Edward Telfair, Governor of Georgia.

P. S. I enclose you a Duplicate of Mr Harrison’s Letter to his Correspondent on the Subject of the Arms. I am sorry the opportunities of Vessels going to Chs Town are so few. Perhaps you had better employ some Agent to hurry the Arms if you are pressed by the Enemy.


Patrick Henry to Edward Telfair, October 14, 1790

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Telfair, Edward

Date Created

1790-10-14

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

345

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 507.

Transcription

Sir: Prince Edward in Virginia, October 14th, 1790.

The common Expressions of Thankfulness fall far short of what I feel for your Excellency’s polite & friendly Intimation through Mr. Watkins. I beg Leave to offer you my best Acknowledgments for your proffered Hospitality; & have to lament that I am so circumstanced that I cannot have the Satisfaction of paying my Respects to you in Person.

Capt. Scot is again going to your Country on the Business he formerly left unfinished. Some late Occurrences incline me to suppose that the Opposition to our Views will be discovered to be impolitic. If Congress may of Right forbid Purchases from the Indians of Territory included in the Charter Limits of your State, or any other, it is not easy to prove that any Individual Citizen has an indefeasible Right to any Land claimed under a State Patent. For, if the State territorial Right is not ‘Sovereign & Supreme, & exclusively so, it must follow that some other Power does possess that exclusive Sovereignty: and every Title not derived from that other Power must be defective.

I need not, however, point out to you the Danger consequent to all landed Property in the Union from an acquiescence in such Assumptions of Power, because I have understood you had your apprehensions on the Subject. I have only to wish that the Ideas you have entertained may be now acknowledged to be what the Event has shown, I mean those of an enlightened Statesman.

It will ever give me Sincere Pleasure to hear of your Happiness and Prosperity: being with Sentiments of the highest Regard and Esteem, Sir, Your Excellency’s obedient & very humble Servant,

P. Henry. His Excellency Edward Telfair, Governor of Georgia.Favd by Capt. Scot.

 

Patrick Henry to John Todd, 1 Letter, ca. 1778

Patrick Henry to John Todd, December 12, 1778

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Todd, John

Date Created

1778-12-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Vi–Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

Subcollection

Governor Patrick Henry Executive Papers Digital Collection, 1776-1779

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 212.

Transcription

To John Todd Esq.: Dec.r 12. 1778.

By virtue of the Act of General Assembly which establishes the County of Illinois, you are appointed County Lieutenant or Commandant there. And for the general course of your conduct, I refer to the law.

The grand objects which are disclosed to the view of your countrymen will prove beneficial or otherwise, according to the virtue and abilities of those who are called to direct the affairs of that remote Country. The present crisis, rendered so favourable by the good disposition of the French & Indians, may be improved to great purposes. But if unhappily it should be lost, a return of the same attachments to us may never happen. Considering therefore that early prejudices are so hard to wear out, you will take care to cultivate and conciliate the affections of the French and Indians.

Although great reliance is placed on your prudence in managing the people you are to reside among, yet considering you as unacquainted, in some degree, with their generous usages and manners, as well as the geography of the country, I recommend it to you to consult and advise with the most intelligent and upright persons who may fall in your way.

You are to give particular attention to Col: Clarke and his corps, to whom the State has great obligations. You are to co-operate with him in any military undertaking when necessary, and to give the military every aid which the circumstances of the people will admit of. The Inhabitants of Illinois must not expect settled peace and safety while their and our enemies have footing at Detroit, and can interrupt or stop the trade of the Mississippi. If the English have not the strength or courage to come to war against us themselves, their practice has been, and will be, to hire the Savages to commit murders and depredations.

Illinois must expect to pay in these a large price for her freedom, unless the English can be expelled from Detroit. The means for effecting this will not perhaps be found in your or Col. Clarke’s power. But the French inhabiting the neighborhood of that place, it is presumed, may be brought to see it done with indifference, or perhaps join in the enterprise with pleasure. This is but conjecture. When you are on the spot, you and Col Clarke may discover its falacy or reality. If the former appears, defence only is to be the object—If the latter or a good prospect of it, I hope the Frenchmen and Indians at your disposal will shew a zeal for the affair, equal to the benefits to be derived from established liberty and permanent peace.

One great good expected from holding the Illinois, is to overawe the Indians from warring on our Settlers on this side of the Ohio. A close attention to the disposition, character and movements of the hostile Tribes is therefore necessary for you.

The Forces and militia at Illinois, by being placed on the back of them, may inflict timely chastisement on those enemies whose Towns are an easy prey in the absence of their Warriors.

You perceive by these hints that something in the Military line may be expected from you. So far as the occasion calls for the assistance of the people comprising the militia, it will be necessary to co-operate with the Troops sent from hence. And I know no better general direction to give than this, that you consider yourself as at the Head of the civil department, and as such having the Command of the Militia, who are not to be under the command of the military, until ordered out by the civil authority and they act in conjunction with them.

You are on all occasions to inculcate on the people the value of liberty, and the difference between the state of free citizens of this Commonwealth, and that Slavery to which Illinois was destined.

A free and equal representation may be expected by them in a little time, together with all the Improvements in Jurisprudence which the other parts of the State enjoy.

It is necessary for the happiness, increase and prosperity of that country, that the Grievances which obstruct these blessings be known, in order to their removal. Let it be therefore your care to obtain information on that subject, that proper plans may be formed for the general utility. Let it be your constant attention to see that the Inhabitants have Justice administered to them for any Injuries received from the troops. The omission of this may be fatal. Col Clarke has instructions on this head, and will I doubt not exert himself to curb all licentious parties of the Soldiery, which if unrestrained will produce the most baneful effects.

You will also discourage every attempt to violate the property of the Indians, particularly in their lands. Our enemys have alarmed them much on that score. But I hope from your prudence and justice, that no ground of complaint will be permitted to exist on this subject.

You will embrace every opportunity to manifest the high regard and friendly sentiments of this Commonwealth towards all the subjects of his Catholic Majesty, for whose safety, prosperity and advancement, you will give every possible advantage. You will make a tender of the Friendships and services of your people to the Spanish Commandant near the Kaskaskias, and cultivate the strictest connection with him and his people. I deliver you a letter which you will hand him in person.

The detail of your duty in the civil department I need not give you. Its best direction will be found in your innate love of Justice, and zeal to be extensively useful to your fellowmen. A general discretion to act according to the best of your Judgment in cases where those instructions are silent, and the laws have not otherwise directed, is given to you, from the necessity of the case: for your great distance from Government will not permit you to wait for orders in many cases of great importance.

In your negotiations with the Indians, confine the stipulations, as much as possible, to the single object of obtaining peace from them. Touch not the subject of lands or boundaries till particular orders are received. When necessity requires it, presents may be made: but be as frugal in that matter as possible, & let them know that goods at present are scarce with us, but we expect soon to trade freely with all the World, and they shall not want goods when we can get them.

The matters given you in charge are singular in their nature, & weighty in their consequences to the people immediately concerned, and to the whole state. They require the fullest exertion of your abilities, and unwearied diligence.

From matters of general concern, you must turn occasionally to others of less consequence. Mr. Rocheblave’s Wife and Family must not suffer for want of property, of which they were bereft by our Troops. It is to be restored to them if possible. If this cannot be done, the public must support them.

I think it proper for you to send me an Express once in three months, with a general account of affairs with you, and any particulars you wish to communicate.

It is contemplated to appoint an Agent to manage Trade on Public account, to supply Illinois and the Indians with goods. If such an appointment takes place you will give it every possible aid. The people with you should not intermit their endeavours to procure supplies on the expectation of this, and you may act accordingly.

Yours &c,

Patrick Henry. Jason Todd Esq.

Patrick Henry to James Townes, 3 Letters, ca. 1797-1798

Patrick Henry to James Townes, March 20, 1797

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Townes, James

Date Created

1797-03-20

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

319

Repository

Red Hill Library, Brookneal, Va.

Description

To James Townes, Jr., Clerk of Amelia County, regarding deed, title, and negotiations for the purchase of Seven Islands from William Marshall Booker.

James Townes served as an intermediary for Patrick Henry’s 1797 purchase of Seven Islands in Halifax County, Virginia, from John Booker, William Marshall Booker, and William’s wife Elizabeth, who sold the property to recover debts. Townes was also involved in other business between Henry and William M. Booker, including transactions in crops, livestock, and slaves. Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill (http://www.redhill.org/about/patrickhenry/patrick-henrys-family [accessed: 2016-05-27]); Genealogy Trails, History of Halifax County, Virginia (genealogytrails.com/vir/halifax/historyhalifaxbook_families.html [accessed: 2016-05-27]); Stanton Scenic River Tour: Seven Islands (http://www.oldhalifax.com/county/SevenIslands.htm [accessed: 2016-05-27]).

Transcription

Sir, Red—hill—March 20. 1797—

Your Letter by Mr. Bookers Servant I have recd. I am not acquainted with the Land he proposes to sell so as to make an offer for it, having not veiwed it. I can only say it will suit me if I can get a good Title to it at a reasonable price—I would wish to see a Copy of the Deed from Jno. Booker to W. M. Booker, & to know whether any thing & what has been done in the Suit below brought by [Terry Dick] Booker & others to obtain the Custody of John & his Estate, & whether that Suit is now depending, or dismissed—This Information is essential & you can easily procure it—The Situation of the Negroes requires attention without Loss of Time. It is said they have no Corn for themselves or the work Beasts. As to other Things you know how they are supplyed— I request therefore that you & M. W. M. Booker will come up imediately bringing a Power of Attorney from Jno. Booker to dispose of the Land in fee simple—Or if Mr. W. M. Booker cannot come, you will bring a Power from him & John to do it. I will then go with you & veiw every part of the Land & so both of us will be enabled to judge of its Value. I must make the Bargain with you, if I do it at all. I have good Grounds to suppose I could make a payment towards it Pretty shortly, & have no Doubt the other might be made to suit—Several Tracts of Land around are offered to me for Sale—But I shall suspend any & all Contracts of that Sort ’til I hear from you—I would propose to take every thing on the Land except the Negroes, if we can agree, & I can supply Corn for the Plantation Use during the Summer—I will expect to hear from you quickly & remain Sir y. ob. hble Serv.

P. Henry


Patrick Henry to James Townes, December 30, 1797

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Townes, James

Date Created

1797-12-30

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Repository

Red Hill Library, Brookneal, Va.

Description

To James Townes, Jr., regarding the ill-condition of cattle purchased. Also with instructions to bring suit against Mr. McNeil if bond payments are not made.

James Townes served as an intermediary for Patrick Henry’s 1797 purchase of Seven Islands in Halifax County, Virginia, from John Booker, William Marshall Booker, and William’s wife Elizabeth, who sold the property to recover debts. Townes was also involved in other business between Henry and William M. Booker, including transactions in crops, livestock, and slaves. Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill (http://www.redhill.org/about/patrickhenry/patrick-henrys-family [accessed: 2016-05-27]); Genealogy Trails, History of Halifax County, Virginia (genealogytrails.com/vir/halifax/historyhalifaxbook_families.html [accessed: 2016-05-27]); Stanton Scenic River Tour: Seven Islands (http://www.oldhalifax.com/county/SevenIslands.htm [accessed: 2016-05-27]).

Transcription

Sir— Red—hill Decr. 30th. 1797

[I] refer you to your Brother for what passed between us—Three of the Negroe men tryed to drive the Steers & Cows, but could not get them across the River, there is so much Ice—Yesterday, [the] Steers got over the Ferry, but are so crippled in their Feet they cannot go further on the frozen Ground[.] Wilbourn has worked them so cruelly as the Negroes tell me, that they cannot go down I have had them put amongst my own Stock at home, where they may be fed ’til you can send for them. Please to write me what to do with the Cows as they are not fit for Beef—

If Mr. McNeil does not pay his Bond on Demand, please to order Suit instantly & put his Bond into a sure Hand from whom the Cash will be got—I am Dear Sir yr. hble Servt.

P. Henry


Patrick Henry to James Townes, May 1, 1798

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Townes, James

Date Created

1798-05-01

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Henkels Catalog Number

371

Repository

Red Hill Library, Brookneal, Va.

Description

Regarding payment for land purchased at Seven Islands to William Marshall Booker through the sale of tobacco. The suit against Mr. McNeil for non-payment of a bond is to proceed.

 James Townes served as an intermediary for Patrick Henry’s 1797 purchase of Seven Islands in Halifax County, Virginia, from John Booker, William Marshall Booker, and William’s wife Elizabeth, who sold the property to recover debts. Townes was also involved in other business between Henry and William M. Booker, including transactions in crops, livestock, and slaves. Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill (http://www.redhill.org/about/patrickhenry/patrick-henrys-family [accessed: 2016-05-27]); Genealogy Trails, History of Halifax County, Virginia (genealogytrails.com/vir/halifax/historyhalifaxbook_families.html [accessed: 2016-05-27]); Stanton Scenic River Tour: Seven Islands (http://www.oldhalifax.com/county/SevenIslands.htm [accessed: 2016-05-27]).

Transcription

Sir. Red—hill May 1st. 1798—

Upon the Sale of my Crop of Tobo. which took place near 3 Weeks ago to Mr. Robt. Campbell, I directed him to pay Mr. W M Booker £150. according to my contract—And because I made it a point in my Bargain with him, he did engage to go to Mr. Bookers House, & in person to pay that Sum for me—This I assured you should be done when I parted with my Crop & I rest perfectly satisfyed it has been done—I hear you have sued McNeil. Pray Sir contrive to get the Money—He has treated amiss, as it was a Cash Transaction last Winter 12 Months. I am yr. obt. & very hble Servt.

P. Henry

Patrick Henry to Nicholas Van Dyke, 1 Letter, ca. 1786

Patrick Henry to Nicholas Van Dyke, March 31, 1786

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Van Dyke, Nicholas

Date Created

1786-03-31

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 349.

Transcription

Sir: Council Chamber Mar 31 1786

I take the liberty to inform your Exc’y, that there is in the public goal, at this place, a certain William May, charged with a felony committed in this commonwealth. The Attorney General has informed me, that there is doubt whether the proof against him will be sufficient to convict him. If it should be insufficient, the man will be liberated, according to the usual course of proceedings. This would give me concern, because Mr Oster, the Consul of France, has informed me that May was condemned to death in your state, for a robbery on certain Frenchmen I think—But whether that, or any other was his crime, I have thought it proper to inform your Excellency, that on a requisition from you, I shall order him to be dealt with as the Confederation requires.

It is necessary to lose no time, as there is a probability his trial will come on here as soon as the quickest conveyance can bring me your answer—With great regard I am &c.

P. Henry. To His Excellency the Govr of Delaware.

Patrick Henry to Robert Walker, 1 Letter, ca. 1790

Patrick Henry to Robert Walker, November 12, 1790

Author(s)

Henry, Patrick

Recipient(s)

Walker, Robert

Date Created

1790-11-12

Type of Resource

text

Genre

Letter

Printed In

William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 2: 508.

Transcription

Sir: Richmond, Novr. 12th, 1790.

The particular Circumstances of this time will I trust excuse me, a stranger as I am, for troubling you with this. Our common Interest as purchasers of western Land, & also, as American Citizens, seems to be attacked by the proceedings the general government, and I am not of a Disposition to bow down before the Threats of power, or the Usurpations of those who, from public servants, are about to make themselves considered in another character. When the late Treaty with the Creeks is considered in all its consequences, it is impossible for those immediately injured by it, to suppress their Emotions. And for those more remote from Georgia to remain unconcerned spectators of it, is inconsistent with the conduct which opposed the Encroachments attempted on American Rights. It is a Deception to urge, that Encroachments the American Government are not dangerous. In fact, they are more to be dreaded at this particular Time in our own Government than from any other quarter. No foreign power can annoy us, Therefore from our own rulers only can Usurpation spring. In the early operations of the new system, when the world will suppose the genuine impressions & the true interpretation of it, are fresh on the minds of men, if precedents like this Treaty shall be found, it is but too easy to see the Examples they will furnish for a Repetition of the like or greater Mischiefs. There is therefore no doubt remaining of the propriety of doing everything which becomes patriots, to rescue your country from the calamitys which must ensue from the present Effects & future mischiefs of this Treaty. If you demand what is to be done, I own myself a loss to answer; but I will give you my present Thoughts unmatured as they are.

I think then, in the first place, a decent but spirited Remonstrance ought to be sent to the seat of power, stating your Right to the Territory, & deducing it from the crown of England down to the present time, in which the Indian Treatys relating to the Subject may also be stated. The proclamation of 1763 gave part of the Country to Georgia, & at the same Time marked out ample limits for Indian hunting-grounds. An acquiescence under these arrangements 27 years has followed. And in the moment of peace to dismember your State was surely enough to astonish Mankind, when it is considered that thereby you are placed under Circumstances proper, only to those who in War own themselves conquered. But, as if this were not enough humiliating, this loss of country is declared not to be, as in every Indian Treaty hitherto has been the case, a temporary Cession of the use only, but an absolute Guaranty: by which is understood a complete Title to the Sovereignty. But this was not all which the Hand of Generosity held out to the new ally. An insulting conqueror, after possessing the country in contest in full sovereignty, could find out nothing to add, except the payment of Tribute from the vanquished, for what remained to them.

It cannot escape observation that in all Indian negotiations under our late regal Government, a Conduct very different from this was constantly observed. Men of sufficient Understanding from the respective colonies were called upon from great Distances to superintend & guard the Interests of all concerned.

The late Congress copied that policy. Instead of dismembering States, guarantying Countrys, & paying Tribute to Indians, they give peace, assigning them Lands to live & hunt upon, &c. But I find myself drawn into a Discussion much too lengthy, & must stop, tho’ on a subject teeming with matter almost too much for Utterance. I will say nothing of the Contemptuous Carriage of those in power, towards the servants of Georgia, who were on the spot, & whose Councils if admitted to a Hearing might have saved their Country from this disaster. Had these gentlemen been at a Distance, some excuse might have been found from a pretended necessity. But I am really distressed to feel conviction in my own mind that no decent Excuse can be found for the Agents in this fatal Treaty.

A Dispassionate, candid Statement of Facts, addressed to every State in the Union, seems to me necessary. The particulars of the Injury you suffer are not known to many persons in the States distant from yours. The whole matter should be fairly explained to the world at large. How else can you be redressed? If unhappily the Government designedly injures your Country (which I hope is not the case), be assured that it is not yet the Sense of the Union to suffer it. For Truth obliges me to declare that I perceive in the Federal Characters I converse with in this Country an honest & patriotic care of the general Good. Remain firm therefore, & redress will be found. Intemperance & Folly only can prevent it.

The British Armys, the Torys & Indians were lately baffled in their attempts upon Georgia. Thank God, your Case is not now so distressing. Pursue the virtuous Course & all is safe. You will find Support amongst the great Bulk of your American Brethren so long as Truth, Justice, Firmness, & good sense mark your Conduct.

Will you pardon, Sir, the Freedom of my Expressions. My real concern for the prosperity of your Country, is my only Motive. The Assembly now sitting here have taken up the Subject of Congressional Oppression—Herewith I send you some Resolutions which will be followed by a Memorial to Congress, and probably, other Resolutions against some proceedings of the Federal Government claiming a Right of Jurisdiction over certain military Bounty Lands beyond the Ohio River. You will see by those I send, the Temper of Virginia is not to submit to the Exercise of unrighteous Government, whilst she pays Respect to proper acts of power.

I hope it is by this Time evident to all with you, that sound policy teaches the Encouragement of those persons who wish to attach themselves to your Soil by making purchases of it—What besides Encreased population, & consequent Weight & Strength can save you from like attempts in Time coming? The reasoning is so clear and cogent, as to need no Enlargement on the Subject.

Endeared as Georgia is to me by the Hope of being possessed of valuable property within her limits, & where I fondly hoped to fix my posterity, I shall anxiously wait the Result of affairs at this session of your assembly—Much depends on the present moment. If it is wisely improved, the Georgia purchases & Georgia itself may be saved & in its future prosperity will amply repay all the Anxiety & Solicitude we now experience.

I beg of you Sir to present me to your much respected Governor in Terms expressive of the most affectionate Attachment- The Wisdom of his Maxims is now apparent—To all our other Friends & fellow-Adventurers, particularly Judge Osborne, I tender my best Respects & hearty good wishes, & am with Sentiments of perfect Esteem, Yr mo. obt. & very hble Servt.

P. Henry.

“P. S.—I would have written to Capt. Scot, but for the uncertainty of finding him with you.

To Robert Walker, Esq., Augusta in Georgia.

Going to the Source: How Historic Documents Reveal Life at Patrick Henry's Scotchtown and Red Hill