George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Charles Lee, 5 April 1777

From Major General Charles Lee

N. York April the 5th [1777]

My Dr Sir

It is a most unfortunate circumstance for myself and I think not less for the Publick that the Congress have not thought proper to comply with my request—it cou’d not possibly have been attended with any ill consequences, and might with good ones at least it was an indulgence which I thought my situation entitled me to—but I am unfortunate in all things and this stroke is the severest I have yet experienc’d—God send You a different Fate. Adieu, My Dr General—Yours most truly and affectionately

Charles Lee

P.S. The inclosd for Philadelphia—I beg You will forward—and that if My Servant comes up You will dispatch him immediately.1

ALS, DLC:GW. Robert Hanson Harrison docketed the cover of this letter: “5th April 1777.”

1Lee undoubtedly enclosed the letter that he wrote his servant Guiseppi Minghini on 4 April asking Minghini to bring to New York his summer clothes, several books, and any of his dogs that were with Minghini (see Lee Papers description begins [Charles Lee]. The Lee Papers. 4 vols. New York, 1872-75. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 4–7. description ends , 2:367–68). There apparently were several other enclosures, including a letter from Lee to Robert Morris that has not been identified but which is mentioned in the letter that Tench Tilghman wrote Morris on 8 April. “The inclosed Letters from General Lee,” Tilghman writes Morris, “came out Yesterday by a Flagg, his Excellency [GW] has one of a similar Nature to that to you. His meaning is still a Mystery. If he desires to communicate any thing that really concerns the public, why can it not be mentioned by Letter? at least more at large, than what he has heretofore done. I hope he will not allow them to tamper with him, and make him an Instrument of decieving us. If you could take the liberty of desiring him to be more explicit, perhaps some good might come of it” (DLC: Robert Morris Papers).

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