George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Charles Lee, 16 February 1777

To Major General Charles Lee

Morristown February 16th 1777.

Dear Sir

I received the favor of your Letter of the 9th Instt on Friday night about 10 OClock.1 It was accompanied by One for the Congress & by several Others, the whole of which were transmitted by an Express the next morning, whom I directed to proceed without delay.

Mr Eustace being in Virginia and Mr Bradford at Rhode Island, I cannot comply with your request respecting them. Mr Morris who was your Aid till of late, is expected here, and I doubt not will be ready to render you any services in his power; When he comes he will wait on you, if Genl Howe will grant permission.2 Your Dogs are in Virginia. This circumstance I regret as you will be deprived of the satisfaction & amusements you hoped to derive from their friendly and companionable dispositions. I am Dr Sir with great regard Yr Most Obedt sert


Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The previous Friday was 14 Feb. 1777.

2Jacob Morris (1755–1844) of New York City, who in 1775 left King’s College to become a major in the New York militia, served as Lee’s aide-de-camp from October 1776 to October 1778. The British did allow Morris to visit Lee during his captivity at New York, and Lee rewarded Morris for his loyalty by naming him the heir to ⅓ of Lee’s landed estate in Berkeley County, Va., land which adjoined property owned by GW. In the spring of 1777, Morris alienated GW by refusing the offer of a majority in the 5th New York Regiment, and as a result Morris was passed over when Maj. Gen. John Sullivan nominated him to serve as a deputy quartermaster general (see Morris to GW, 10 April 1777, GW to Morris, 17 April 1777, and GW to Thomas Mifflin, 29 May 1777). After leaving the army in 1778, Morris apparently became a merchant in New York, and in the 1790s he served as county clerk in Otsego County and as a member of the New York state assembly.

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