From Edmund Pendleton
Tr (LC: Force Transcripts). In the left margin at the top of the transcription, the clerk wrote “MSS [Mc] Guires.” See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , I, xxii, xxiii. Another copy of the original is printed in the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 2d ser., XIX (1905), 158–59. An extract is given in Stan. V. Henkels Catalogue No. 694 (1892).
Virga. Augt 12th 1782
Not having the pleasure of a letter from you last week1 and little Interesting Intelligence here, my letter, as to frequently happens, will be a very dull one. The French Fleet hath left us, but the Port it sailed from, as well as its destination are secrets to Us;2 One of their Frigates hath sent in a sloop of War taken from the British off our Coast.3 Savanah is certainly evacuated, which I consider as a prelude to the Abandonment of Charles Town.4
Pray is it true that the Dutch have a large Fleet arrived at Surinam? And did they on their passage make prizes of 4 British Ships of the line & 4000 troops bound to the West Indies? such is the agreeable news our printers have given Us, but not such proofs as are satisfactory.5
The torture of Colo. Crawford by the Indians to the Westward I suppose was in Revenge for the Massacre of the poor Moravians by our people some time agoe;6 yet resentment for this will take place in our back people, and perhaps continue for years a scene of mutual bloodshed.
A light Rain or two which has fallen since my last have been of some service to our corn, but not sufficient to relieve Us7 from our Apprehensions of want in that Article; a short crop of that & tobacco, will I believe be inevitable, and yet the Merchants talk8 of giving Us but two Dollars p ct9 for the latter, which some necessitous people take on Rappa. On James & Pamunky Rivers they give 20/.10 I am
Dr Sr Yr affe Servt
1. If JM wrote to Pendleton between 23 July (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 431–32) and 6 August 1782 (q.v.), the letter is lost and no reference to it has been found.
2. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 446; 447, n. 8; 448. Instead of “Port,” the copyist first wrote, then canceled, “Post.”
3. The source of Pendleton’s information is unknown, but it may have been the issue of the Virginia Gazette, and Weekly Advertiser of 10 August 1782, no copy of which is known to be extant. Although the frigate “Émeraude” on 4 August entered Chesapeake Bay with her prize, it is described in the Pennsylvania Packet of 17 August as the sixteen-gun British sloop “Polecat” and in Acomb, Journal of Closen description begins Evelyn M. Acomb, trans. and ed., The Revolutionary Journal of Baron Ludwig von Closen, 1780–1783 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1958). description ends , p. 224, as a “small privateer of 8 cannon.”
5. Virginia Gazette description begins Virginia Gazette, or, the American Advertiser (Richmond, James Hayes, 1781–86). description ends , 3 August 1782. This erroneous story appeared also in the Pennsylvania Packet of 30 July. Both newspapers based their accounts upon rumors heard in Haiti about 3 July by an American ship captain. The Virginia Gazette description begins Virginia Gazette, or, the American Advertiser (Richmond, James Hayes, 1781–86). description ends of 10 August 1782 included a report from London, dated 18 April, that a Dutch squadron of nine warships, convoying twelve merchantmen, had sailed from the Texel for Surinam and Curaçao.
6. Harried by Indian raids, a band of whites from the Monongahela Valley retaliated in March 1782 by massacring nearly one hundred Christian members of the Delaware tribe, who dwelt peaceably in their villages along the Muskingum River in the Ohio Country. Thereafter, the war along the border increased in scope and ruthlessness. On 4–5 June a party of British rangers from Detroit and of Indians, who chiefly lived in the upper Sandusky River valley, defeated a force of militia led by Colonel William Crawford and took him captive. Although he had not shared in the Muskingum outrage, the Delawares exacted further retribution by torturing him slowly to death by fire on 11 June 1782 (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , I, 189, n. 3; IV, 120, n. 5; C[onsul] W. Butterfield, An Historical Account of the Expedition against Sandusky under Colonel William Crawford in 1782 [Cincinnati, Ohio, 1873], passim; Calendar of Virginia State Papers, III, 122–24, 232, 235; James Alton James, ed., George Rogers Clark Papers, 1781–1784 [Springfield, Ill., 1924], pp. xxxvii–xliii, 71–73; James H. Anderson, “Colonel William Crawford,” Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications, VI , 1–34).
8. The copyist at first wrote “talking” and then crossed out the “ing.”
9. A hundredweight.
10. On 27 September 1782 the Governor in Council authorized the Virginia commercial agent to sell state-owned James River tobacco for between 18 and 20s. a hundredweight and Rappahannock River tobacco for between 14 and 16s. 8d. The trend of tobacco prices was upward (Journals of the Council of State description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (3 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , III, 150–51, 168–69).