George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major Henry Lee, Jr., 3 September 1779

To Major Henry Lee, Jr.

Head Quarters West-point 3 Sepr 1779

Dr Sir

In answer to your letter of this date which I have this minute received.1 As you request my concurrence to the step you propose, I do not find myself at liberty to give it, because it appears to me to be premature and unnecessary. From the time your report was dispatched to Congress, there is no reason to suppose delay.2 I am firmly persuaded the event will shew you they cannot possibly intend you injustice. I should be sorry you would suffer your sensibility to betray you into an error—which on reflexion you would condemn. I am D. Sir &


Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This letter has not been found.

2For Lee’s report on his surprise attack on the British fort at Paulus Hook, N.J., on 19 Aug., see Lee to GW, 22 August. GW forwarded the report to Congress the following day (see GW to John Jay, 23 Aug. [second letter]). Congress read the letter on 27 Aug. and referred it to two committees, but Congress did not pass resolutions commending Lee and his officers until 24 Sept. (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 14:1003 and 15:1099–1102; see also Samuel Huntington to GW, 28 Sept.). GW published the resolutions in the general orders for 8 October.

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