Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Patrick Henry, 29 April 1781 [document added in digital edition]

From Patrick Henry

Leatherwood April 29th. 1781


The Bearer Mr. Thomas Boush waits on you with a proposition, the Nature of which he will explain to you. Nothing but a Conviction of an almost Impossibility of complying with your Excellency’s Requisition for two hundred & fifty men from the County, could induce the Officers to trouble you on the Subject. I can only say that I am satisfy’d the Difficulty of getting provisions here & on the Route southerly, is extremely great, if not impossible to surmount—If your Excellency inclines to hearken to Mr. Boush’s proposals, I think he will be as fit to command the Company as any man I know in this County; & therefore I beg Leave to recommend him for the Comission. With great Regard I am Sir

Your Excellencys most obedient Servant

P. Henry

I beg yr. Excuse For the Paper & Ink—

RC (NIC; tipped into Washington Irving, Life of George Washington, 5 vols. [New York, 1855-59], v. 3, following p. 398); addressed: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Governor of Virga. Richmond.”

Captain Thomas Bush (Boush) brought an undated proposition from Abraham Penn to Henry (Vi: Executive Papers) that set forth the difficulties of furnishing militia for General Nathanael Greene from Henry County—there were already 70 county men in the militia service—proposing that the additional militia quota be replaced by 50 horsemen under Bush’s command. This letter from Penn is endorsed in part: “I would recommend Capt. Thos. Bush for Capt. and he appoint his officers. A Penn.” An additional endorsement, signed by John Salmon, clerk of the Council, indicates that the Council approved a proposed substitution of 50 horse for the call on the militia: “Memo. not omit complying with the Governors orders In rendezvouse the Militia in order to march. That if should be found Adviseable from the Governor &c. to direct 50 horse instead of the militia now ordered and such Orders received in time to Justifie the Commanding officer of this County will be agreeable to the Council now seting which is ordered to be Certified.” But TJ rejected the proposal; see Robert Lawson to TJ, 1 May, and TJ’s letters to Lawson and Penn, 4 May.

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