George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Merttins Bird, 6 May 1792

To Henry Merttins Bird

Philadelphia May 6th 1792.


I request you will accept my thanks for your polite attention in sending me the copy of Genl Lloyd’s work which accompanied your letter of the 4th of February.

Mrs Washington joins me in Compliments to Mrs Bird and in acknowledgements for the kind offer of your & her services.1 I am Sir, with esteem, Your most Obedt Servt.

Df, in Tobias Lear’s hand, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1Henry Merttins Bird wrote GW from London on 4 Feb. 1792: “My sincere attachment to the Interests of the United States, & my ardent desire to do all in my Power to promote their welfare must be my excuse for troubling you with this letter, accompanied by a work of General Lloyds lately republish’d, which I understand contains some hints, particularly relative to the use of the Pike, that may be of importance in an Indian War.

“I have heard the success of the Indians against General Sinclair’s unfortunate Army much attributed to the use the Indians made of the Pike instead of the Bayonet, & I feel it my Duty as a friend to America to contribute every thing in my power to avert the repetition of so fatal a misfortune.

“I have too deep a sense of my own compleat ignorance of military affairs, & too high an opinion of the transcendant abilities you have so constantly display’d in the Art of war, to suppose that any hint from me on the subject can be of the least service, & I therefore hope that this letter will not subject me to a charge of presumption, but that it will be attributed to its right motives.

“If General Lloyds work shou’d in the smallest degree contribute to the success of the American Arms, it will greatly contribute to the happiness of Sir, Yr very obedt devoted & oblig’d humble Servt . . . Mrs [Elizabeth Ryan Manning] Bird unites with me in requesting you to offer our most respectful Compliments to Mrs Washington desiring her freely to command our Services in any thing in which it might be our good fortune to be of use to you or her in this Country” (DLC:GW). The enclosure was a copy of Henry Lloyd’s Political and Military Rhapsody on the Invasion and Defence of Great Britain and Ireland (London, 1792), which was inventoried with GW’s other books and pamphlets after his death (Griffin, Boston Athenæum Washington Collection, description begins Appleton P.C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 521).

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