George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Elbridge Gerry, 18 March 1784

From Elbridge Gerry

Annapolis [Md.] 18th March 1784


By the last Post I received from the president of the Senate of Massachusetts a Letter, inclosing the papers herewith transmitted, & requesting me to write to your Excellency on the Subject.1 As I have no other Knowledge of the Matter, than what is derived from Colo. Gridley’s Letter & the Resolve accompanying it, I can only say, that when your Excellency is at Leisure, if You think it expedient to make any observations on the Subject or Answer to the Resolve, & should inclose them to me, I will direct them to Colo. Gridley.2

I flatter myself with the Hopes that since your Retirement from publick Life You have not only enjoyed, Health, peace & Competence, but Likewise the pleasure of seeing all your Friends in the same happy Circumstances.

My Respects to your Lady, & be assured Sir I remain with every Sentiment of Esteem & Respect your most obedt & very humble sert

E. Gerry


Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814) was at this time attending the Congress of the Confederation at Annapolis as a delegate from Massachusetts. In 1783 he had been one of the most effective opponents of Alexander Hamilton’s proposals for a peacetime military establishment, and he strongly disapproved of the Society of the Cincinnati (see Gerry to John Adams, 23 Nov. 1783, quoted in Billias, Gerry, description begins George Athan Billias. Elbridge Gerry: Founding Father and Republican Statesman. New York, 1976. description ends 110).

1Samuel Adams was president of the Massachusetts senate. The enclosures have not been found. See GW to Gerry, 31 Mar. 1784.

2In his letter of 31 Mar. to Gerry, GW indicates that the letter from Gridley to Adams which Gerry had enclosed was dated 21 Feb. 1784 and was written by one of the sons of Col. Richard Gridley (1710–1796). It was probably written by Maj. Scarborough Gridley, who was an officer in his father’s regiment in 1775 (see General Orders, 2 Sept. 1775, n.1, printed in Papers, Revolutionary War Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series. 22 vols. to date. Charlottesville, Va., 1985—. description ends , 1:397–98).

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