Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. 1 - The Writings, vol. 1 (1769-1783)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. 1 - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 1 (1769-1783) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 1.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.1
Philadelphia, June 2, 1780.
It appears from sundry accounts from the frontiers of New York and other Northern States, that the savages are making the most distressing incursions, under the direction of British agents, and that a considerable force is assembling at Montreal for the purpose of wresting from us Fort Schuyler, which covers the northwestern frontier of New York. It is probable the enemy will be but too successful this campaign in exciting their vindictive spirit against us, throughout the whole frontier of the United States. The expedition of General Sullivan against the Six Nations, seems by its effects rather to have exasperated than to have terrified or disabled them. And the example of those nations will add great weight to the exhortations addressed to the more southern tribes.
Rivington has published a positive and particular account of the surrender of Charleston on the twelfth ultimo, said to be brought to New York by the Iris which left Charleston five days after. There are, notwithstanding, some circumstances attending it which, added to the notorious character for lying of the author, leave some hope that it is fictitious. The true state of the matter will probably be known at Richmond before this reaches you.
We have yet heard nothing further of the auxiliary armament from France. However anxiously its arrival may be wished for, it is much to be feared we shall continue to be so unprepared to co-operate with them, as to disappoint their views, and to add to our distress and disgrace. Scarce a week, and sometimes scarce a day, but brings us a most lamentable picture from Head-Quarters. The army are a great part of their time on short allowance, and sometimes without any at all, and constantly depending on the precarious fruits of momentary expedients. General Washington has found it of the utmost difficulty to repress the mutinous spirit engendered by hunger and want of pay: and all his endeavours could not prevent an actual eruption of it in two Connecticut regiments, who assembled on the parade with their arms, and resolved to return home or satisfy their hunger by the power of the bayonet. We have no permanent resource, and scarce even a momentary one left, but in the prompt and vigorous supplies of the States. The State of Pennsylvania has it in her power to give great relief in the present crisis, and a recent act of her legislature shows, they are determined to make the most of it. I understand they have invested the Executive with a dictatorial authority from which nothing but the lives of their citizens are exempted. I hope the good resulting from it will be such as to compensate for the risk of the precedent.
[1 ]From the Madison papers (1840).