George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major Apollos Morris, 6 June 1777

To Major Apollos Morris

Head Quarters Middle Brook 6th June 1777


I am favd with yours of the 26th and 29th of May, from both of which it is evident to me that you have at length determined upon the part which you are to taken in this great dispute.

I will not argue with you upon the propriety of your conduct, but I cannot help saying, that I think it very odd, that after being denied an answer to your political Queries, which appears from Mr Allens letter to you of the 2d April, you should, upon the bare assertion or rather opinion of that Gentleman, expressed in his letter of the 8th of May, conclude that matters between this Country and Great Britain might have been adjusted, had any terms short of Independance been insisted upon.

I must tell you in plain terms, that at this time a neutral Character is looked upon as a suspicious one; and I would therefore advise you to leave a Country with the majority of whom you cannot agree in Sentiment, and who are determined to assert their liberties by the ways & means which necessity and not the love of War has obliged them to adopt. I thank you for your expressions of personal regard, and am Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS (photocopy), in Tench Tilghman’s writing, ViMtvL; LS, sold by Paul C. Richards, Autographs, catalog no. 62, item 72, 15 Sept. 1972; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. This letter was enclosed in GW’s letter to Robert Morris of this date. Congress read both letters on 9 June and referred them to the Board of War (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 8:428–29). On the following day Congress tabled a resolution ordering this letter to be delivered to Apollos Morris and permitting him to go to Europe “under the restrictions of a Parole, not to give any Intelligence directly or indirectly to the Enemies of the United States” (ibid., 450). The resolution that Congress passed on 20 June permitting Morris to go to Europe or the West Indies makes no mention of the delivery of this letter (ibid., 489).

Index Entries