George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Mathews, 30 October 1780

From John Mathews

Philadelphia Octr 30th 1780

My Dear sir

I Received your Excellencys favor of the——inst. a few days ago by Genl Greene.1 And am extremely obliged to you for your kind care & attention respecting my application for Mrs Mathews’s going to Carolina: permit me at the same time to assure you sir of her most gratified acknowledgemt for your benevolent intentions towards her—I was surprized the Board of War had not wrote to you about the flag, however the matter seems now to be pretty well fixed.2

I am made happy by Congress having at last agreed on the plan for the army on such a footing as is likely to produce the desired effect.3 Had they but done this at first, there would have been little doubt of its success, but there is yet room to hope for important benefits from it, tho’ late.

By a letter this day received from the Governor ⟨of⟩ Virginia, we learn the enemy have landed at Portsmouth in that state—I suppose a little time will point out their real object4—I hope Genl Greene will not be detained above a day or two longer here. I am Dear sir with the most sincere esteem Yr Obedt servt

Jno. Mathews


1See GW to Mathews, 23 Oct., found at Mathews to GW, 14 Oct., n.8. Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene had traveled to Philadelphia on his way to take command in the southern department (see his letter to GW, 31 Oct.; see also GW to Greene, 14 Oct., and notes 2 and 3 to that document).

2GW’s request for Mary Mathews to sail to Charleston on a flag vessel was denied (see his letter to Henry Clinton, 16 Nov., and Clinton to GW, 29 Nov.).

3For this reform of the Continental army, see Samuel Huntington to GW, 26 Oct., n.1.

4Virginia governor Thomas Jefferson had written Samuel Huntington, president of Congress, on 22 Oct. that a British fleet had arrived in Chesapeake Bay “and that a Debarkation of some light Horse in the Neighbourhood of Portsmouth seems to indicate that as their first Scene of Action” (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 4:58; see also JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 18:994). For the British expedition to Virginia, see GW to Huntington, 17 Oct., n.2, and Greene to GW, 31 Oct., n.4.

Index Entries