Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Nathaniel Burwell, 30 March 1781

From Nathaniel Burwell

Carter’s Grove, James City County, 30 Mch. 1781. Encloses names of six militia ordered by court martial to serve as regular soldiers for six months and adds: “I expected there would have been more.” Three have already gone off, and if there is no objection, “as there are some circumstances that make in Favor of the other three,” they will be delivered at the prison, “that by being near their Families they may be of some assistance to them.”

RC (Vi); 2 p.; endorsed, in part: “4th April 1781.” Enclosure (Vi): The list of six names, signed by Burwell, contains this puzzling statement: “the first three were turned over on the 15th. Febr. the other three on the 22d. of the same month.” In all cases the dates are clearly written and, since the endorsement would seem to indicate that the letter was received on 4 Apr., it is probable that the date of 30 Mch. is correct (though the figure “30” seems to have been written over something else). If the letter was written on 30 Mch., then the reference to the six soldiers being “turned over” on 15 and 22 Feb. can only be explained on the assumption that these were the dates at which the courts martial delivered them into Burwell’s custody. This letter is apparently Burwell’s reply to TJ’s letter of 1 Mch. 1781, q.v.

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