George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General James Potter, 6 April 1779

From Brigadier General James Potter

Northumberland County [Pa.] April 6th 1779

Dear Sir

I Receved your favour of the 2d of march a few days ago it Gives me plesure to see that my Ideas in any mesure Corresponds with yours—and mutch more to find that you have turned your thoughts to wards the Defence of our fronteers.

Should any part of our apreations be carreid on from the Westren part of Pennsylvania you are pleased to Assk my opinion what Number of Volenteers Could be got.

I had been sounding the people on tha⟨t⟩ Subject for some time before I Receved your letter they seem to Object and say they would have to Fight for the land and Gentlemen woud Get it and Sell it to the pore at a high price but Give them the Land and they will go and Fight for it with plesure I find that if land is Given to each man that engages in this Servece and proper parsons appointed to Reais them ther⟨e⟩ may be a large Number of Good woodsmen Got as Volenteers for the Campain I think as maney as will be wanted.

on the thirteenth of march last I informed our Govrner and Assembley the Disposition that I found preveling among the people and Recommended to them if they entended to Reais any Volenteers to Give them land in Stead of bounty eledging that it would come Lower to the State to pay the lord of the Soile for the land, then to Give a bounty to Reais men and Answer the end mutch better.1

I have not Receved any Answer to my letters as yet2 my setuation is desagreable at present I am in one of the fronteer Garrisons in this County with out men exep on them of my own famliy of cours can Receve little entellige⟨nce.⟩ I Have the Honour to Subscribe myself your Excellancey Most Obedt Humble servant

Jas Potter

P.S. I assk pardon for the plunder of not deating my letter it was wrote in Philadelphia about the 17th of Feby last. 3

ALS, DLC:GW. Robert Hanson Harrison docketed the manuscript in part: “no Ans[we]r necessary.”

1Potter’s letter or letters of 13 March to Pennsylvania president Joseph Reed and the Pennsylvania assembly have not been found, but see Reed to GW, 2-5 April, and GW to Reed, 8 April (RPJCB).

2Potter wrote Reed from Penn’s Valley, Pa., on 17 April: “Your favour of the 27th of March, in Council, and yours of the 3d of April, I received the one two days ago, and the other yesterday; it gives me pleasure to see that the business is left to Council, and General Washington. Your letters, I am convinced, will answer a very good end, encouraging the frontiers.... P.S. Before I received your favour, I received a letter from General Washington, which gave me a full account of what he was determined to do for our relief, but I was not allowed to publish it” (Reed, Joseph Reed description begins William B. Reed. Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed, Military Secretary of Washington, at Cambridge; Adjutant-General of the Continental Army; Member of the Congress of the United States; and President of the Executive Council of the State of Pennsylvania. 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1847. description ends , 2:84–85).

3This letter has not been found.

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