George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Mordecai Gist, 1 June 1779

To Brigadier General Mordecai Gist

Head Qrs Middlebrook June 1st1 1779.

Dear Sir,

I intended to send the inclosed by you, but hurry of business prevented it.2 The letter for Colo. Rogers you will be so good as to deliver, or cause to be delivered, safely.3 The other for a Mr Bowers, with his letter to me (also inclosed) I am embarrassed about. However well meant these things are they rather distress than please, especially when they proceed from men of whom we have no knowledge, either of their political or moral characters—In this predicament I stand with respect to Mr Bowers, & therefore take the liberty of ⟨m⟩aking you an Agent in the business.

If Mr Bowers is a man in such ⟨c⟩ircumstances, and of such character, ⟨a⟩s not to ⟨r⟩ender the acceptance of his cloth ⟨i⟩mproper, I request the favor of you to forward my letter to him; but even in this case, if I could offer him something as an equivalent ⟨I⟩ should be better pleased provided he would not ⟨t⟩hink himself hurt at the idea of pay—On the other hand—if upon enquiry, or your own knowledge ⟨of⟩ Mr Bowers, you should judge it not ⟨r⟩ight in me to receive any thing from him as a present, I beg the favor of you ⟨to⟩ withhold the letter, & advise me of it, ⟨th⟩at I may return the Cloth.4 I unwilling⟨ly⟩ give you this trouble, but I know you will excuse it in Dr Sir Yr most Obedt Se⟨r⟩.

G. W——n

ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Mutilated portions of the draft manuscript are supplied within angle brackets from the Varick transcript.

1Gist’s reply to GW on 21 June indicates that the letter sent him was dated 3 June.

2Gist had left camp for Baltimore, where Maryland officials had requested him “to head the Militia” being deployed to thwart potential British attacks like recent ones on the Virginia coast (Maryland Delegates to GW, 23 May; see also GW to Maryland Delegates, 25 May, and to Gist, 27 May). For Gist’s arrival at Baltimore on 1 June, see his letter to Thomas Johnson, that date (Md. Archives, description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends 21:438).

3The enclosed letter for Nicholas Rogers has not been found, but see GW to Rogers, 28 May. Rogers, who had resigned from the Continental army as a brevet lieutenant colonel, had painted miniatures of GW and Martha Washington (see GW to John Parke Custis, 1 Feb. 1778, n.1, and Rogers to GW, 6 May 1779, and n.1 to that document).

4The enclosed letter from Daniel Bowers to GW has not been found, but the other enclosure was a version of GW to Bowers, 28 May, which acknowledged a letter from Bowers of 26 April “accompanied by a piece of Cloth made of Buffaloes hair, & manufactured in your own family.”

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