George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Gouverneur Morris, 28 November 1788

From Gouverneur Morris

Philadelphia 28 Novr 1788

Dear General

The Robbery lately committed on the Southern Mail obliges me to trouble you with a mighty insignificant Letter to tell you of that Accident that in Case you had sent Letters by that Post they might be renewed1—You will oblige me by mentioning the Circumstance to Colo. Humphreys—In about ten Days hence I expect to sail for Havre and as I mentd in a former Letter shall hope to be favored with your Orders.2

Our friend Maddison who is now here will I am perswaded give you fuller Information than I can of the several occurrences worth Notice. It is the general Opinion of those with whom I converse that the fœderal Ticket will prevail thro this State with a very great Majority I sincerely hope that it may and that the Citizens of Virginia will in their Choice of Representatives compensate for the Appointment the Legislature have made to the Senate.3

Mr & Mrs Morris4 join in Respectful and affectionate Regards to yourself and Mrs Washington with Dr Sir your friend and Servant

Gouvr Morris


1A notice from the Philadelphia post office, 23 Nov. 1788, notified “merchants and others, that an express arrived this evening, informing that the southern mail, due on Saturday afternoon at four o’clock, was robbed by three negroes, between Head of Elk and Kincade’s tavern, near Iron Hill. The merchants are requested to pursue every measure in their power to secure themselves, and discover the villains” (New-York Journal, and Weekly Register, 27 Nov. 1788).

3In addition to the election of federalist Robert Morris, the Pennsylvania assembly sent William Maclay (1737–1804), a relatively unknown spokesman for the state’s small landed interests, to the Senate where he became a vociferous critic of the Washington administration’s policies.

4Robert Morris (1734–1806) resumed his business activities in Philadelphia after his departure from the Finance Office, turning increasingly to the highly speculative ventures in land and securities that resulted in his arrest for debt in 1795. The Morrises had established a warm friendship with GW during the Revolution, and he stayed with them during the weeks he attended the Constitutional Convention. Robert Morris, with his wife and children, had visited Mount Vernon as recently as July 1788 while Morris was in Virginia overseeing business matters relating to his tobacco contract with the French Farmers General (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:360, 361).

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