George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Thomas Nelson, Jr., 23 March 1779

From Brigadier General Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Philada March 23d 1779.

My Dear General

I had the satisfaction of receiving your Letter of the 15th by Colo. Laurens and I would have answer’d it by Colo. Harrison but I had not the pleasure of seeing him (being from home when he call’d on me) till he was about to leave the City.1

I am happy that my taking a seat again in Congress meets with your approbation; and shall be still more happy, if by my advice or assistance, America shall be reliev’d from her present distresses; for in my opinion she has not, at any time, since the commencement of this War, been in so much danger as she is now, and principally from the state of our finances, which seem to me to be in strange confusion. What may be the result of the late determination of Congress for calling in the Emissions of April & May 77 & 78 I know not; but the present effect is very contrary from what was expected.2 Our immediate Country is almost thrown into convulsions by it. I fear it has given a deadly stab to the Credit of any Paper Money that may hereafter be issued by Congress. Let us however profit by experience and endeavor to apply a remedy to the sore, before it make the bone caries. I propose certainly to pay you a visit in the Spring; for believe me when I assure you that I am with the greatest regard & esteem Your Obedt Servt & affectionate friend

Thos Nelson Jr

I beg you will present my Compts to Mrs Washington.

ALS, DLC:GW. The docket reads in part, “25th Mar. 1779,” possibly indicating a reply that has not been found.

1GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison apparently was back at Middlebrook by 24 March (see GW to John Jay, 24 March, and the source note to that document). GW’s aide-de-camp John Laurens, on his way to South Carolina to assist in that state’s defense, had left Middlebrook on or shortly after 13 March, the last date he is known to have drafted a letter for GW (see GW to Israel Putnam, 13 March; see also John Laurens to Henry Laurens, 17 Feb., in Laurens Papers description begins Philip M. Hamer et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Laurens. 16 vols. Columbia, S.C., 1968–2003. description ends , 15:59–61).

2Nelson is referring to Congress’s resolution of 2 Jan. withdrawing the 20 May 1777 and 11 April 1778 currency emissions from circulation by 1 June (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 , 13:21–23).

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