Horatio Gates to Alexander Hamilton,
James Duane, and William Duer
Travellers Rest (Virginia)
5th February 1787
I received The packet you Honoured me with1 by The Bearer Mr. J. Nourse,2 and immediately forwarded your Letter with The Books to the State Secretary T. Merriwether Esqr. at Richmond,3 with a Letter from myself, requesting him to Present it to The Committee, that is appointed to attend The General Meeting in Philadelphia.4 Previous to my receiving your Letter, I had The Honour to receive a packet from His Excellency General Washington, inclosing his Circular Letter to all the State Meetings of The Union,5 & herewith, you will receive a Copy of my Answer to His Excellency. The distance I live from Richmond, 200 Miles, ⟨– – – – – – – –⟩6 & the Risque of Health at that Severe Season prevented me from going to the State Meeting in November, and I have not yet received the Minutes of what was transacted there. From the President Generals Resignation, I Augur the most unfavourable consequences to The Order, The Honour & Prosperity, of which, I have so much at Heart. with Great Regards, I am Dear Sirs, Your most Obedient Humble Servant
P.S. The Bearer will return here in Ten days.
James Duane & William Duer Esqrs.
ALS, New-York Historical Society, New York City.
1. As president of the Virginia Society of the Cincinnati, Gates received a copy of the circular letter which H, as chairman of a committee of the New York Society, had written to the several state societies on November 1 (Circular Letter to the State Societies of the Cincinnati, November 1, 1786).
2. Joseph Nourse was the register of the Treasury and a resident of Virginia.
3. Thomas Meriwether was a major in the First Virginia State Regiment during the American Revolution.
4. The general meeting of the society was to be held on May 17, 1787.
5. Washington’s letter, announcing the triennial meeting of the society and his refusal to accept the office of president general, was dated October 31, 1786. It is printed in GW description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington (Washington, 1931–1944). description ends , XXIX, 31–33.
6. At this point approximately eight words were erased either by Gates or by some unknown person at a later date.