George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel Richard Varick, 21 October 1780

To Lieutenant Colonel Richard Varick

Head Quarters Prackness Oct. 21st 1780


I have received your letter of the 12th—I would willingly comply with your request for an inquiry on the extensive ground you place it did I think it could be done with propriety. But in order for it to be a real, and not a nominal inquiry, the Court would be obliged to go into a investigation1 of particular facts, which is impossible as there are no allegations and no witnesses so that they could only proceed upon such materials as you would furnish them—There seems to me to be too much generality in the inquiry and that it is besides unnecessary as your character is, so far as I am informed, unimpeached—In my opinion the proper line is to confine the inquiry to your conduct during your connection with Arnold, and as your former character will be a presumptive evidence of your present innocence, or the contrary the Court I presume will admitt your testimonials respecting it, by the way, and in this light.2

Col. Meade I am informed has sent you his deposition and the papers you requested—His going to Virginia prevented his personal attendance.

I write to General Heath by this opportunity, directing him to appoint a Court.3 I am with regard Sir Your Most Obed. ser.

G. W——n

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Hamilton initially wrote “a long investigation” and then struck out the middle word.

2See Document XV.

3See Document XIX. For Varick’s reply to GW, see Document XX.

Index Entries