George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Andrew Morton, 17 December 1774

From Andrew Morton

17th Decr 1774.


As I mentioned to you Mr Baylor’s Name, I was anxious to get him for my Security, that you might find in me that probity which I wish you to be convinced of: But unfortunately, Mr Baylor has been abroad ever since my Return. The time drawing near for fulfilling my Engagemt of giving you Security, I consulted Major Lowry on the Matter last night, who very chearfully offered to be my Security, either with Mr Baylor, should he return in time, or with any other reputable Gentleman. His Absence only, has delayed the Execution of the Bond:1 But that you might be satisfied I have sent an Express with my Reasons for the Delay2 If Mr Baylor should not return soon, or should he deny me on his Return (For I never had an Opportunity of soliciting him, since I knew your Requisition, but only relied on his professed Friendship) you shall have other Security as unexceptionable as himself. Being thus unexpectedly prevented from being punctual to the Day, I cannot harbour a Thought that you would take Advantage from it; & as the Matter is unquestionable with me, & I hope will be viewed in a proper Light by you, you will not, I presume, put me to the unnecessary Trouble & Expence of coming with, or sending the Bond, before my Removal; as it will suit me so much better to bring it with me, duly executed; & I do not desire to come upon the premises till the Bond is delivered.3

Major Lowry being in company with me this Evening, when I began to write, desired that his Testimony should be laid before you for your Satisfaction, which is the Reason of your being troubled with the enclosed.4 I am, with all Deference, Sir, Your most hum: Servt

A. Morton

ALS, ViMtvL. The letter is addressed by “Mr Merry.”

Andrew Morton (Moreton; died c.1776) arrived in New Jersey in 1760 as a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Bible, and in 1766 he went to North Carolina and from there, probably in 1767, to Caroline County in Virginia. There he married and became rector of Drysdale Parish in Caroline and King and Queen counties. Morton left his ministry under unfortunate circumstances at about the time he came to live at Belvoir plantation (see Morton to GW, 1 Feb. 1775, n.2).

1In the end, both George Baylor (1752–1784), son of GW’s friend John Baylor (1705–1772) of Newmarket in Caroline County and soon to become GW’s aide-de-camp in Boston, and Thomas Lowry, a leading planter of Caroline County and burgess for Caroline County, refused the rector of Dettingen Parish their bond. See Morton to GW, 1 Feb. 1775, n.2. The two men were elected to the first Caroline Committee of Safety on 10 Nov. 1774. Lowry also was a senior member of the vestry of Morton’s Dettingen Parish and a major of the Caroline County militia.

2Morton wrote GW on this date: “Sir, Mr George Baylor, on whom I depended for my Security, I have not yet had an Opportunity of seeing, as he has been from home ever since my Return. Major Thomas Lowry is willing to be my Security with him, on his Return, or with any other sponsible Gentleman. I am Sir, Your most hum. Sr. A. Morton” (NjMoHP).

3For GW’s response to this request, see his letter to Morton of 21 December.

4Morton enclosed this statement dated 17 Dec. by Lowry: “I believe Mr George Baylor to be from home, & if on his return, he is willing to enter himself security, for Mr Andrew Morton, I have no Objection in Joining with him or Others. Thomas Lowry” (NjMoHP).

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