George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Chittenden, 16 March 1782

Arlington March 16th 1782.


I had the Honor to receive your Excellency’s favour of the 1st of January, by Express—I am not insensible that the Delicacy of your Station in the Empire, renders it ineligible for you to address me in my public character.

Your noticing us therefore, in your private Capacity, under our Circumstances, I beg leave to esteem as the strongest mark of your Magnanimity and Friendship.

While we receive, with gratitude, the Resolves of Congress of the 7th and 21st of august last, it affords us great Satisfaction that your Excellency is willing to consider them as implying the Right which Vermont claims to be a State within certain described Bounds.

And as the dispute of Boundary is the only one that hath prevented our Union with the Confederacy, I am very happy in being able to acquaint your Excellency that, that is now removed, on our part, by our withdrawing our Claims upon New Hampshire & New York, and by confining ourselves solely (or very nearly) to that Tract of Country which is described in the Resolve of Congress of the 21st of August last. Since therefore, we have withdrawn our jurisdiction to the Confines of our old Limits, we entertain the highest Expectations that we shall soon obtain, what we have so long been seeking after, an acknowledgement of Independence and Sovereignty. For this we have appointed Commissioners with plenary powers, to negociate an Alliance with the confederated States, and, if they suceed to take Seats in Congress.

Should Heaven prosper the Design of their Negociation, we please ourselves much that we, who are of one Sentiment in the Common Cause—and who have but one Common Interest, shall yet become one Nation, and yet be great and Happy.

The Glory of America is our Glory, and with our Country we mean to live or die, as her Fate shall be.

I have no need to acquaint Your Excellency that our local as well as our Military, (not to say political) Situation, as an extended Frontier, awfully exposeth these infant plantations to the power & Fury of the Common Enemy—Might we be so happy as to draw the Attention of our Country; we hope to be favoured with your particular Exertion. I have the Honor to be Sir, with great Respect, Your most Obedient and Humble Servant

Thos Chittenden

P.S. (omitted in place) This will be delivered by one of our Agents, to whom I beg leave to refer your Excellency for the more particular Situation of this State, with regard to Military preparations and State of Defence. I am Sir

Thos Chittenden

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

Index Entries