From G. H.
Philada 13th June 1793
Having lately seen several most infamous and inflammatory pieces appear in the American Daily Advertiser under the Signature of Veritas!1
I have presumed to offer You my Conjectures (and conjecture it is in me) as to the Author, something wispers me it is a person who calls himself Stockdon, who says he lives near Richmond in Virginia. he came by water from Wilmington to Charlestown, where he staid a few Days. & then came to Philadelphia in the Schooner Polly Capt. McCormack (about 20th May).2 I may be doing Mr Stockdon a piece of Injustice by making thus free with his Name. and he may be a very differant Charector, but from his profess’d attachment to the French Cause, & his very extravegant conversation on Board, I am induced to think he is the Man. probably you have better information as to the person—but I trust you will see my intentions are Honest, and will pardon the Liberty I have taken in thus adressing You. I have the Honor to be Your Excellency’s Most obedient Hble Servant
1. The anonymous Veritas wrote 3 letters addressed to GW for publication in the Philadelphia newspapers. These letters are very critical of the administration’s foreign policy toward France, especially as embodied in the Neutrality Proclamation of 22 April 1793. Dated 30 May and 3, 6 June, they first appeared in the National Gazette (Philadelphia) on 1, 5, and 8 June. All three letters were also published in the 13 June issue of Dunlap’s American Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia).
2. The 21 May issue of the General Advertiser (Philadelphia) reported the arrival at Philadelphia of the schooner Polly from Charleston, South Carolina. Its captain, John McCormick, resided on German Street, between Second and Third Streets, in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Directory 1793 description begins James Hardie. The Philadelphia Directory and Register . . .. Philadelphia, 1793. description ends ). The only Stockdon reported by the Federal census of 1790 as living in Virginia was George Stockdon of Frederick County.