Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Weedon, 23 April 1781

To George Weedon

Richmond Apr. 23. 1781.


The inclosed letter was forwarded to me by Baron Steuben. I suppose it contains an answer to the proposition for exchange of prisoners, and am anxious for a communication of it.

On the 18th. the enemy came from Portsmouth up James river, their force unknown. They landed in two bodies, the one at Burwell’s ferry, the other near the mouth of Chickahominy. This latter circumstance obliged Colo. Innes to retire lest he should be found between the two fires. The upper party proceeded to the Shipyard. What injury they did there is not yet known to me. I take for granted they burnt the Thetis. The stores had been all removed 8 or 10 miles higher up. The two small gallies also retired up the [river]. Whether by this they have been saved is not yet known. The enemy left Wmsburg yesterday morning. Where next the event alone will shew. Tho’ this is the 5th day since every man able to bear arms in Hanover, Goochld, Henrico, Chesterfd., Powhatan, Dinwiddie and Prince George and half those of Amelia and Cumberland were ordered to assemble at Petersburg and this place, without waiting to be formed into companies in their own counties, yet we have here only a little upwards of 300. How many at Petersburg I know not, but probably not many more. I am with much respect Sir Your mo. ob. servt.,

Th: Jefferson

RC (PPAP); addressed (without place) and franked. Enclosure missing, but the fact that TJ assumed it referred to the subject of an exchange and, more particularly, the fact that he declined to open it and yet took for granted that Weedon would communicate its contents to him prove that it was from William Phillips to Weedon. It was obviously Phillips’ letter of 12 Apr. 1781, transmitted with Weedon’s letter to TJ of 25 Apr. 1781, q.v. Steuben does not mention such an enclosure in any of his letters to TJ between 12 and 23 Apr. and it may be that he forwarded Phillips’ letter separately.

Index Entries