George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Laurens, 4 October 1780

Philadelphia 4th Octob. 1780.

With the triumph of a republican, and the more tender emotions of one who sincerely loves his General, I congratulate Your Excellency on your late providential escape—I congratulate my country whose safety is so intimately united with yours and who may regard this miraculous rescue of her champion, as an assurance that heaven approves her choice of a defender, and is propitious to her cause. in fact all the ascendancy that could be given by virtue genius and valour, would only have furnished a deplorable example of unfortunate merit—if by the divine interposition you had not prevailed over the most impenetrable perfidy that has yet disgraced mankind—this happy event must inspire every virtuous citizen of America with new confidence and transfix her enemies with awful terror—André has I suppose paid the forfeit which public justice demanded—example will derive new force from his conspicuous character. Arnold must undergo a punishment incomparably more severe in the permanent increasing torment of a mental hell.

I am waiting in anxious expectation of an answer from Captain Wallop—a man of great interest and credit among the british—who was indulged with a limited parole to negotiate my exchange by composition—Sr H. Clintons late sanguine expectation of success may have suspended business of this kind, and produced some delay—but I still derive great hopes from that quarter—I need not inform Your Excellency how I have languished in so long a separation from you—and how anxious I am to assure you in person of the veneration and attachment of your faithful Aid.

John Laurens.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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