George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Nathaniel Peabody, 25 October 1780

From Nathaniel Peabody

Morristown [N.J.] October 25th 1780. 8. Ck P.M.

Dear Genl

I have the Honr to inclose Your Excellency A Philadelphia paper of Yesterday, Containing some Very favourable intelligence from the southward.1

Sensible Your Excellency Must feel Great Anxiety on account of the deranged & Distressd Situation of our Affairs in that Quarter, and esteeming it of Vast importance that your Excellency should have the earliest advice of every interesting Occurrence, have dispatched an Express for that purpose—I most Sincerely Congratulate Your Excellency on the happy occasion And Ardently hope it may be Succeeded by a series of Similar Events till our affairs shall be more than reinstated in the Southern States.

I take the liberty to add, it is my present intention to wait on your Excellency at Head Quarters some day Next Week. With the most intire Consideration of Esteem, I have the Honr to be Your Excellency’s Most obedit And Very Humble Servt

Nathl Peabody

P.S. it is reported here that a Certain Mr Ross of Virginia has lately been apprehended for inlisting Soldiers for the British Service—that he had in his possession a Commission of Brigadier Genl for himself and Blank Commissions for the officers of his intended Brigade—but I am uncertain how this account Comes, So can Say Nothing of its authenticity2—There are various accts in private letters which Speak Some what more particular of our Success at the Southward than what is published.3


ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, ViMtvL. The postscript appears only on the ALS.

1The Pennsylvania Evening Post (Philadelphia) and The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser (Philadelphia) for 24 Oct. printed letters about the Battle of Kings Mountain (see also Samuel Huntington to GW, 23 Oct., source note).

2For another report regarding the imprisonment of David Ross, who purportedly received a brigadier general’s commission from the British to arm Convention Army prisoners, see Hugh Shiell to Anthony Wayne, 22 Oct., in Stillé, Wayne description begins Charles J. Stillé. Major-General Anthony Wayne and the Pennsylvania Line in the Continental Army. 1893. Reprint. Port Washington, N.Y., 1968. description ends , 237–38.

David Ross (c.1739–1819), a Scottish immigrant, became a wealthy tobacco merchant and shipowner in Petersburg and Richmond. He served as commercial agent for Virginia in late 1780 and in the state legislature in 1782. Ross sought payment in June 1781 for British damage to his property (see Saberton, Cornwallis Papers description begins Ian Saberton, ed. The Cornwallis Papers: The Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in The Southern Theatre of the American Revolutionary War. 6 vols. Uckfield, England, 2010. description ends , 5:267–68).

3GW replied to Peabody from headquarters at Preakness on 26 Oct.: “I am exceedingly obliged by the very agreeable and important intelligences communicated in yours of last Evening. This blow, if rightly improved, may give a total change to Southern Affairs.

“I am glad to hear that your health is so far mended as to make you think of going abroad—It will give me great pleasure to see you at Head Quarters” (LS [photostat], in Tench Tilghman’s writing, ViMtVL). For Peabody’s illness, see his letter to Benjamin Lincoln, 22 Sept., in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 16:103–4; see also GW to Peabody, 14 September.

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