Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Huntington, 26 February 1781

To Samuel Huntington

Richmond, Feby. 26th. 1781.


I gave you information in my last letter that Genl. Greene had cross’d the Dan at Boid’s ferry, and that Ld. Cornwallis had arrived at the opposite shore. Large reinforcements of militia having embodied both in the front and rear of the enemy, he is retreating with as much rapidity as he advanced. His route is towards Hilsborough. Genl. Greene crossed the Dan, the 21st. in pursuit of him. I have the pleasure to inform you that the spirit of opposition among the people was as universal and ardent as could have been wish’d. There was no restraint on the numbers which embodied but the want of arms.

The British in Portsmouth lie close in their lines. The French Squadron keep them in by water, and since their arrival, as they put it out of the [power of the]1 enemy to cut off our retreat up Nansemond river, our force has been moved down close to their lines.

I have the honor to be with great respect Sir Your most obedt. & mo hble. Servt.,

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: PCC, No. 71, ii); in a clerk’s hand, signed by TJ; endorsed: “Letter from Govr Jefferson Feby. 26. 1781 Read March 5.” Evidently Congress ordered copies of this letter circulated to the state executives, for transcripts have been located in Ct, RPA, and among the Joseph Reed Papers in NHi. A copy in French was enclosed in La Luzerne to Rochambeau, Philadelphia, 5 Mch. 1781 (La Luzerne’s Letter Book, Archives de la Guerre, Archives Nationales, Paris). FC (Vi). Tr (DLC). An identical letter was sent by TJ directly to Washington on this day.

1Words in brackets omitted in RC to Huntington; supplied from RC to Washington.

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