George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Captain Thomas Nelson, Jr., 18 August 1777

To Captain Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Neshamini Camp [Pa] Augt 18th 1777.


I have been favoured with your Letter of the 7th Inst.1 You plead so powerfully and urge so many reasons to leave the ⟨Ar⟩my, that I cannot refuse your request2 altho it is with regret I see a Gentlem⟨an⟩ go out of it. The principal cause of your Application, However, you have no⟨t⟩ expl⟨icit⟩ly ⟨s⟩tated, But yet I p⟨res⟩ume my Conjectures respecting It, are just and right. I suppose it is your Marriage with Miss Cary. You will be pleased to accept my ⟨be⟩st wishes for your mutual happiness, & to ma⟨ke⟩ a tender of my Compliments to your Father & Friends upon the occasion. I am Sir with esteem & regard Yr Most Obedt Servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, MoSHi; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is mutilated and supplied from the draft.

Thomas Nelson, Jr., of Yorktown, Va., who had been appointed a captain in the 1st Virginia Regiment in February 1776, was a son of Thomas Nelson (1715–1787), the former deputy secretary of the colony and a member of the governor’s council. Nelson’s marriage to Sally Cary (1762–1779), a daughter of Col. Wilson Miles Cary (1734–1817) and his first wife Sarah Blair Cary (1738–1799) of Richneck and, later, Ceelys and Carysbrook, took place in September 1777. Sally Cary had been named for her father’s sister Sally Cary who had married GW’s old friend George William Fairfax.

1Nelson wrote GW from Yorktown, Va., on 7 Aug. to resign his commission, citing as reasons the “ties of domestic Felicity” and the poor prospects for recruiting men to fill his company (DLC:GW).

2The rest of this sentence is interlined in GW’s writing.

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