George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Joseph Reed, 29 March 1779

To Joseph Reed

Middle brook Mar. 29th 1779.

Dear Sir,

Since mine of yesterday, I have received the inclosed extract of a Letter from General Maxwell at Elizabeth Town; which I send lest the suggestion contained in my letter should have made a deeper impression than I intended;1 which was no more than to hint at the advantages which might result from a systematical plan of assembling the Militia at certain points, on any sudden exigency2 & with more expedition & less expence than it could be effected in the ordinary course of proceeding—Such a measure would, I am certain, be eligable in one point of view, but how far it can be planned without giving an alarm to our friends, and setting the numerous tribe of speculators & stock jobbers to work, you can judge better of than I. I am with great esteem and regard Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, RPJCB; ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The enclosed extract, which has not been found, was taken from William Maxwell to GW, 28 March. GW’s letters to Reed of 28 and 29 March, as well as the item from Maxwell, were presented to the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council on 1 April (Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 11:732). For the proclamation promulgated on 2 April after consideration of these letters, see Reed to GW, 2 April, and n.8.

2At this place on his draft, GW wrote “immergency” rather than “exigency.”

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