Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Robert Lawson, 23 November 1780

To Robert Lawson

Richmond Nov. 23. 1780.


The last intelligence from the enemy having indicated that they were on the point of departure, and it being probable that not only the force from hence but a new embarkation is destined Southwardly Genl. Greene has recommended strongly the hastening on succours to the South. For this purpose Baron Steuben is left here. He entertains hopes of receiving more immediate support from your corps than any other we have. Should it not be inconvenient to you to take a ride here the Baron is very anxious to see and confer with you on the equipments still necessary for them. If you will do me the favor to call at my house I will send for the baron, and contribute my aid towards determining what is necessary and practicable to be done. I am Sir with great respect Your most obedt. humble servt.

Th: Jefferson

RC (facsimile in Sotheby Parke Bernet Catalogue, 25 Jan. 1977, Lot 164); endorsed.

Point of departure: a reference to the withdrawal from Virginia of Major General Alexander Leslie’s 2,200-man British invasion force, which for more than a month had been raiding various parts of the state to facilitate Earl Cornwallis’s invasion of the Carolinas (Selby, Revolution description begins John E. Selby, The Revolution in Virginia, 1775–1783, Williamsburg, 1988 description ends , 216–21).

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