George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Varick, 12 November 1780

West Point Novr 12th 1780


I hope the Proceedings of the Court of Enquiry on my Conduct have e’er this reached your Excellency’s Hands. A Consciousness of the Rectitude of my Intentions & Conduct, while in the Service of my Country, induces me to expect an honorary Report from them.

I now remain solicitous, only about properly publishing to my Countrymen & fellow Citizens & especially to my late Brother Officers, in every Part of the American Army, both here & to the Southward, in which I have Friends whose good Opinion I wish to retain; how much I have been injured by my unfortunate Connexion with a Vile Wretch & how little my Conduct both to him & the public have merited it.

As the very Complexion of the Court (being composed of Gentlemen of Sense & Military Reputation) will in no small Degree, contribute to my Credit, I shall be very happy if your Excellency will grant me the Indulgence: That the Names of the Members may be inserted in the Genl Orders, announcing the Report to the Army; That the Transcript thereof may be Transmitted to Genl Heath, as well as Genl Greene and published in their General Orders; And that I may be furnished with a Copy, to be published in the Gazettes of this & the neighbouring States. These are probably the last Indulgencies I shall ever have it in my Power to request from Your Excellency, & Nothing but an anxious Regard for my injured Reputation, would now induce me to ask them.

About the 25th August last, when Genl Schuyler & Mr Duane, were at Arnolds Quarters, on their Way to Orange Town, I mentioned to them the Injustice of my Dismission by Congress & my Inclination to continue in the Army, at least till the Reduction of the Capital of our State, if not to the Close of the War; provided I could have my former Rank restored to me. They gave me Reason to hope, That if I would apply to Congress & state the Facts to them, by Memorial (which they promised to support) I would succeed in my Wishes: The Memorial (Copy of which is I believe in the Hands of Colo. Hamilton) was forwarded by Genl Schuyler about the 2nd or 3rd of September; But the base Conduct of Arnold, which soon succeeded, prevented any Determination thereon by Congress.

The Desolation of a very valuable Part of the State of New York; the Misfortune I have so lately experienced & the Probability of the Continuance of a vigorous War, render it now both prudent & eligible; that I should remain in the Army provided I can do it with Honor to my[self].

I shall therefore esteem it a great Favor, If Your Excellency will be pleased to inform Congress of the Report of the Court of Enquiry & Your Excellency’s Opinion of the Tenor of my past Conducts, from the face of the Proceedings; After which I will solicit Genl McDougall & Mr Duane to renew my Application on the Memorial. I am, with sincere Gratitude & Respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedt & Very Hble Servt

Richd Varick

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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