Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Hay, 21 April 1781

From William Hay

Richmond April 21st. 1781


I am this Moment favoured with a Letter from Mr. Nicolson from Fredricksburg containing very agreeable Intelligence of which the following is an Extract,

“By a Gentleman immedeatly from Philada. we have the Agreeable Information of the Arrival of the second Division of the French Fleet off the Capes of Delaware consisting of 9 sail of the Line and 7 Frigates. They were spoke with by a Brig which is arrived at Philadelphia.”

I have the Honour to be respectfully Sir Your Excellencys Most Ob. Sert,

Wm Hay

RC (Vi); addressed and endorsed.

TJ’s prompt recognition of the importance of this encouraging news and his immediate use of it for the purpose of boosting the morale of Virginia forces at this critical juncture has not, apparently, been noticed. Within twentyfour hours the extract quoted by Hay was in print and TJ was distributing copies to Innes, Steuben, Muhlenberg, and perhaps Weedon; see TJ to Innes and to Steuben, 22 Apr. 1781. No copy of the broadside appears to have survived; it was no doubt printed by the new printer, James Hayes.

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