From Thomas S. Manning
Philadelphia 15th Novr. 1811.
In addressing you, I am at a loss to know whether I might address you by the endearing appellation I could one of your predecessors, were he living; but be that as it may, I have ventured to arrest your attention by forwarding you the 7th No. of The Freemason’s Magazine. I do not wish you to throw away your precious moments in delving through 80 pages of a periodical publication, nor shall I detain you to con a lengthy epistle from an obscure individual. Will therefore hastily conclude by a request, that you would bestow a few minutes in the perusal of a National Article, entitled “Valley Forge.”1 With sentiments of esteem
T. S. Manning2
1. The first number in the second volume of George Richards’s Freemason’s Magazine and General Miscellany for October 1811 (Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 22873) contained the essay entitled “Valley Forge” (pp. 47–54). The contents included a brief description of Washington’s camp in 1778 as well as a more extended plea for the erection of a monument on the site. Invoking the example of the ancient Greeks and the Jews who built monuments to their deities or “set up stones as a memorial of a covenant or any other remarkable transaction,” the author argued that Americans should do likewise in order to instruct “the great mass of people”—who lacked the leisure to become acquainted with the history of the nation—and thus attach them “to the laws of their country.”
2. Thomas S. Manning was a printer with premises at the corner of Eleventh and Spruce Streets in Philadelphia (James Robinson, The Philadelphia Directory, for 1811 [Philadelphia, 1811; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 23676], second p. 206).