George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Glover, 28 January 1781

From Brigadier General John Glover

Garrison West Point 28 Jany 1781


Its now about Eight weeks Since I made Application to your Excellency, for Leave of Absence, at which Time flatterd myself with hopes of being Indulged in the Cours of the winter when it Could be Granted, without injury to the Service.1

Neither business, or Amusements, of any kind, however advantagous, pleasing, or Satisfactory, in the Enjoyment, would have induced me to Addressd your Excellency, A second Time on the Subject. but Duty and Affection, to my helpless Orphan Children, (for So I must Call them in my Absence) Calls Aloud, & urges the necessity, of my makeing them A Visit, before the Campaign oppens; or they must unavoidably Suffer, being all Very young, by no means Capable, of Takeing Care of themselves, excepting a Daughter, of Eighteen, who, has the Charge of Eight others, a burden much too Great, for So young a person;2 and what makes it exceedingly more So, they Live in a Sea Port Town, where the necessaries of Life, are Very Dear, and hard to be Come at, even were they Posesd of the means, which at present (I am Sorry to Say) they are not;3 nor is it in my power to furnish them, not haveing recived any pay, for twenty months.

A few days Ago, I recived a Letter from my Daughter, the purport of which, must have Roused & Awakend The Attention; of the most unnatural parent, much mo⟨re⟩ one who, is Very particularly attachd to his Children;4 This may be Calld A weakness in me: however, its Such A weakness as I at all Times take pride in Shewing.

The State and Situation, of my family, haveing been Communicated, with any reserve, or the Least, Colouring; which Sir, you may Depend on, are founded on facts, Should th⟨ey⟩ have any Waite with your Excellency; the favor will be most Greatfully Acknowledged. I am Sir Very Respe[c]tfully your Excell[e]ncys Most Obdt Hble Sert

Jno. Glover B. General

LS, PHi: Dreer Collection.

1No letter from Glover to GW on this subject has been found.

2Glover’s wife, Hannah Gale Glover, had died on 13 Nov. 1778 (see Glover to GW, 28 Jan. 1779). On 1 March 1781, Glover married Frances Hichborn Fosdick (see Billias, John Glover description begins George Athan Billias. General John Glover and His Marblehead Mariners. New York, 1960. description ends , 184–85).

3Glover’s children lived in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

4This letter has not been identified.

GW replied to Glover from New Windsor on 29 Jan: “I could have wished, as General Howe is about to make his journey (in consequence of leave formerly granted him) that you could have remained at the point till his, or General Pattersons return—but as this seems inconvenient, from a pressure of family matters, I yield my consent to your immediate departure thence, provided Genl Heath sees no particular inconvenience resulting from it at this time” (ALS, in private hands; ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW).

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