George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Colfax, 26 March 1780

26th day March 1780


I am sorry I have occasion to Address your Excellency on a subject so disagreeable to me; or draw your attention from Objects of greater importance.

Major Gibbs has inform’d me, that my conduct was such, in his absence, as has incur’d your Exclys displeasure. my surprise can only be equalled by my concern: I hope I may be able to remove every impression of that Nature. Conscious of having done my duty, and presuming on Your Exellency’s goodness, I have ventered to exculplate myself from those Charges which have been alledg’d against me; as injurious and without foundation. I have uniformly endeavoured, in Major Gibb’s Absence, to do every thing that appertain’d to him when present; I never refused to give every necessary order, or assistance to the Stewart when required. That I ever sent away a servant with a Damn; Alledging that the affairs of the family was out of my Line of Duty; in justice to my-self I am constrain’d to assert, is a willfull falsehood. Your Excellency’s personal requests, I not only chearfully went about them, but always felt a sensible pleasure in those services.

I had rather have subjected myself to the inconveniences insepperable from my present Duty in not keeping a horse; than to have experienced that indulgence, which I could but think myself entitled to, & draw on me Censure, Corps not larger than this, have received from the public the Emoluments given to P. Master—Adjts—& Q. Masters exclusive of forrage. I have been of no burthen to the public but that of forrage for a Horse; & without the priviledge it will be very inconvenient & almost impossible to do the several duties. these circumstances might not have occur’d to your Ex[elly] in the conference with Major Gibbs but if the impropriety should remain I will send my Horse home, or from C[amp] imediately.

The Close of the ensuing Campaign may put a period to my service; and as it has been my Ambition to serve with a degree of Reputation, so it would be my wish to leave it without once merriting the frowns of the Comdr in Chief. I have the Honor to be Your Exelys Most Obedt Hble servant

Wm Colfax

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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