George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Hugh Henry Brackenridge, 8 September 1779

To Hugh Henry Brackenridge

Wt Pt 8th Septr 1779


I have to thank you for your favor of the 10th of August, and your Eulogium.1

You add motives to patriotism, and have made the army your debtor in the handsome tribute which is paid to the memory of those who have fallen in fighting for their country.


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

Hugh Henry Brackenridge (1748–1816) of Philadelphia, a graduate of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), authored a number of plays extolling the American military character. Although not an ordained minister, Brackenridge served as a chaplain in the Continental army. In 1778 he left the army and returned to Philadelphia, where in 1779 he edited the United States Magazine. After the magazine ceased publication at the end of the year, Brackenridge studied law with Samuel Chase in Annapolis and in 1781 moved to Pittsburgh, where he established a newspaper and became a prominent lawyer. Brackenridge was elected to the Pennsylvania legislature in 1786, where he served one term, and in 1799 Brackenridge was appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In 1801 he moved to Carlisle, Pa., where he lived until his death.

1This letter has no been found. Brackenridge’s eulogium was entitled “An Eulogium of the brave men who have fallen in the contest with Great Britain” (published in 1779 in Philadelphia by Francis Bailey). Congress adjourned at 12 noon on 5 July to hear the eulogium delivered as part of an Independence Day celebration Congress held in Philadelphia that day (Smith, Letters of Delegates, description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends 13:144–45). A copy of the eulogium is in DLC.

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