George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Blair McClenachan and Robert Morris, 20 June 1780

To Blair McClenachan and Robert Morris

Head Qrs at Spring-field 20th June 1780.


I am honored with your favor of the 3d and have received—in good order—the pipe of Spirits you were pleased to present me with.1 for both permit me to offer my grateful thanks, and to assure you that, the value of the latter was greatly enhanced by the flattering sentiments contained in the former.

In a struggle like ours—perplexed with embarrassments—if it should be my fortune to conduct the Military helm in such a manner as to merit the approbation of good men and my suffering fellow Citizens it will be the primary happiness of my life because it is the first & great object of my wishes.

To you Gentn I shall commit the charge of making a tender of my respects & thanks to the rest of the owners. with much esteem & personal regard I have the honor to be Gentn yr most obedt & oblig’d

Go: Washington

ALS, in private hands; ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1On 3 June, McClenachan and Morris wrote GW from Philadelphia: “Upon unloading the Ship Commerce a Prize lately Captured & sent into this Port by the Privateers, Holker of this place, Sloop Hancock & Schooner Ranger of New London, We discovered a pipe of what is deemed fine Spirits by good Judges. Believing the owners of the other Privateers are equally sensible of your important Services, with ourselves We take the liberty on behalf of the whole to pray your acceptance of this pipe of spirit, as a small token of the high Sense they entertain of your Excellency & a mark of that gratefull regard they in Common with the Citizens of United America entertain for you.

“We shall apply to the Commissary to give this pipe a passage to Camp presuming on your doing us the Honour of a favourable complyance with our request” (LS, CSmH).

The Connecticut Courant, and the Weekly Intelligencer (Hartford) for 6 June reported under a dateline of 24 May at Philadelphia: “Yesterday was sent in here the ship Commerce, Capt. Coran, of 16 guns, and 80 men, belonging to Liverpool, bound from Barbados for New York, with 350 puncheons and 60 tierces of rum, 60 casks and 150 bags of cocoa. She was captured by the brig Holker, of this port, the sloop Bunker Hill, and schooner——, belonging to New England.”

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