Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Heinrich Gerlach, [27 March 1781]

From Heinrich Gerlach

[27 March 1781]


I beg leave to acquaint your Excellency that I am arrived in the flag of truce Genl. Riedesel from New York under passports from his Excellency General Washington at Hampton road.

This flag contains (refreshments) some stores, Cloathing and money. Majr. Genl. Riedesel directed me to express to your Excellency his wishes, that you would permit the Quartermasters, or such other officers as may be thought proper to come to the said Ship to that place how your Excellency directed me to go, and to receive the different articles consigned to them; and that you would have the goodness to allow myself to go to the troops for a short time when your Excellency and the Executive power of Virga. shall think proper.

I herewith send you some Letters for yourself as also some for the officers of Convention, which Majr. Genl. Riedesel has desired me to beg your Excellency to forward by express to the Commanding Officer of those troops.

And I beg leave to inform your Excellency that I have still a box of Letters in my possession for the Troops of Convention, which with your Excellencys approbation I mean to deliver to a commanding officer here, or otherwise dispose of them as you may please to desire.

Tr (DLC: PCC, No. 71, ii); at head of text: “Copy of a Letter from Lt. Gerlack dated on board the Ship Genl Riedesel at Hampton road the 27. March 1781. to Governor Jefferson”; enclosed in TJ to Samuel Huntington, 31 Mch. 1781, q.v. Tr (DLC: TJ Papers). Enclosures: Riedesel to TJ, 19 Mch. 1781, q.v.; the other enclosures have not been identified.

The passport for the flag vessel General Riedesel was issued by Washington on 9 Dec. 1780; see Richard Barron to TJ, 26 Mch.; TJ to Huntington, 31 Mch. and to Gerlach the same day; Gerlach to TJ, 29 Apr.; and Riedesel, Memoirs, ii, 265. In the Steuben Papers in NHi there is a letter from Capt. Callis to Weedon, dated at Hampton, 28 Mch., which may partially explain what Gerlach meant by some letters for yourself. This letter reads in part as follows: “I have just returned from on board a Flag from New York with Cloathing &c. for the Convention Troops. The Accompanying Letters are forwarded to you at the instance of Capt. Garlech. … There is on board a Lad, the Son of a particular friend of mine, who wishes to reside with his friends at Urbanns; he has letters from Genl Woodford in his favor, which are inclosed in the pacquet to our Governour, which letters were obtained in consequence of the polite treatment of the Lads Father to Genl. Woodford: if you will permit him to come on shore and me to send him to his friends you will confer on me a great obligation.” Woodford’s letter to TJ has not been found, but the boy to whom it referred was Alexander Frazier Gregory; see TJ to Weedon, 31 Mch.

Index Entries