Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 19 March 1780

To George Washington

Williamsburg. Mar. 19. 1780.


Since writing to your Excellency on the subject of the expedition against Detroit, the want of men, want of money and difficulty of procuring provisions, with some other reasons more cogent if possible and which cannot be confided to a letter, have obliged us to decline that object. I thought it therefore necessary to notify this to your Excellency that no expectations of our undertaking it may prevent any enterprize of that kind which you may have had in contemplation. That nest is too troublesome not to render the relinquishment of the attempt to destroy it very mortifying to us.

I have the honor to be with all possible esteem and respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson

RC (CSmH); endorsed.

It may be that the other reasons alluded to so mysteriously by TJ in this and in the letter to George Rogers Clark of the same date included the deteriorating military situation to the southward of Virginia and the fear of invasion from that quarter or from the sea.

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