Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Huntington, 23 April 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philada April 23. 1780


Your Excellency will receive herewith enclosed an Act of Congress of the 18th Instant with Copies of sundry Papers therein referred to No. 1. and No. 2. by which you will be informed that a Suit at Law is said to be instituted in Yoghogania County against Colo. Broadhead Commanding Officer at Fort Pitt, in Consequence of Orders given by him to some of the Troops under his Command to take Possession of a House occupied by Edward Ward and Thomas Smallman Esquires which he judged necessary for the Safety of that Post.

You will observe that by the Act enclosed Congress have resolved Colonel Broadhead shall be supported in any Acts or Orders which the Nature of the Service, and the Discharging his Duty as Commanding Officer at Fort Pitt hath made or shall make necessary with which I have no Doubt the supreme Power of Virginia will concur, and that proper Measures will be adopted to prevent Colo. Broadhead his being unjustly vexed on Account of any Orders or Act by him given or performed, in the necessary Discharge of his Duty as Commanding Officer.

I have the honour to be &c.,

S. H.

FC (DLC: PCC, No. 14). Enclosures (missing): (1) copy of Daniel Brodhead’s letter to Richard Peters, secretary of the Continental Board of War, Pittsburgh, 27 Feb. 1780, printed in Penna. Archives, 1st ser., viii, 119–20; (2) copy of resolve of Congress, 18 Apr., declaring that Brodhead will be supported in discharging his military duties, printed in JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends , xvi, 373.

Brodhead’s letter of 27 Feb. related the difficulties he had encountered in attempting to fortify a house on an eminence near Fort Pitt against an expected attack by a strong body of Indians. The occupants of the house, Ward and Smallman, after being evicted by troops from the Fort, commenced a suit against Brodhead in the court of Yohogania co., Va., and he was served by the sheriff of that county with a summons to appear in that court or accept judgment in default. Huntington’s reply to Brodhead, 22 Apr., is in DLC: PCC, No. 14; and a letter similar to that sent to TJ was sent to Gov. Reed of Pennsylvania, 23 Apr. (same).

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