From James McHenry
Near Downingstown [Pa.] 2 Octbr 1797
I was too much hurried with business before leaving Philada to answer your last letter of the 14th of Augt and since my arrival here I have had a bilious fever, and more business than if I had remained in Philada, according to which reasoning I ought not to answer it now. The fact is I perhaps should have suspended the pleasure a little longer, if I had not received to-day the enclosed letter from my friend Mr Murray. I send it to you for your perusal, as I shall neither have time nor oppertunity to write him before you can return it.1
I hope you get Porcepine & the Aurora under a war office cover Biddle will dispose of the articles in my keeping on the return of winter and I shall of your presents on my return to Philada.2 Sincerely & Affectionately yours
1. This may have been William Vans Murray’s letter to McHenry from The Hague of 11 Aug. 1797 (Steiner, Life and Correspondence of McHenry, description begins Bernard C. Steiner. The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry: Secretary of War under Washington and Adams. Cleveland, 1907. description ends 248–49).