George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Cadwalader, 4 December 1778

From John Cadwalader

Philada 4th Decemr 1778

Dear sir

The honorable Command given me, lately, by Congress, would have been very agreeable, if I had not conceived the war to be near the close1—You may remember, in the last Conversation I had with your Excellency, I gave my reasons, fully, for declining any command in the Army.

It is no small mortification to me, that by not entering early into the Service, I lost the opportunity of shareing the honors which many officers have gained by serving under your Command.

The Civilities I received from you, whilst I remained in your Family at Camp will ever be remembered with gratitude—and, if our affairs should again take an unfortunate turn, be assured, you have not a friend more ready than I shall be, to share your dangers.

I most sincerely wish you may live to see the Liberties of your Country established upon the broadest Foundation; which I know, has ever been your only object, from the beginning of this Contest. I am Dr sir, with the greatest esteem, your most obet & very hble Servt

John Cadwalader

ALS, DLC:GW. Cadwalader wrote “Col: Laurens” on the cover, presumably because Laurens carried the letter.

1Cadwalader had declined appointment as a Continental brigadier general in September 1778; see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 12:897, 941).

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