George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Lee, 25 October 1780

Light Camp 25 October 1780

My friend got safe into Newyork. He was before Sir Henry Clinton & has passed all the forms of the garrison. He accidentally met Col. Arnold in the street which has paved a natural way for further acquaintance. The party entertain high hopes of success; I fear their patience will be exhausted; therefore am of opinion it ought to be expressed on their minds at every meeting. I informed Mr Baldwin, that I was under orders to march south: that I would see him tomorrow & send on some officer from you who should transact the business on your Excellencys part in case of my departure. I also promised him ten or twelve guineas. I was induced to do this, because I apprehended he would fail in his assiduity unless he received some part of his promised reward. On hearing from your Excelly, I shall be able tomorrow to ascertain with Mr Baldwin the next interview, the time, the place & the person—The time and place I will communicate to my successor.

Should I leave this army, I entreat your Excellencys attention to my sergeant, and should be happy he could be sent on to me.

I beg leave to thank your Excellency for the confidence and friendship you have been pleased to give me since I became a soldier. I flatter myself I shall enjoy a continuation of it, tho absent, & that I shall be called on to perform any services private or public you may wish to execute, convenient to my local situation, & not superior to my ability or station. I sincerely pray for your health, happiness, & success. May you never again experience a second base desertion, & may you live to put an end to a war, which you have hitherto conducted happily admidst many and so great difficultys. I have the honor to be sir with the highest respect & most sincere esteem your Excellency’s most ob. h. Servt

Henry Lee Junr

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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