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264.: To LT. COL. ALEXANDER ROSS - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith 
Correspondence of Adam Smith, ed. E. C. Mossner and I. S. Ross, vol. VI of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987).
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To LT. COL. ALEXANDER ROSS
MS., Treasure Room, Widener Libr., Harvard University; Scott 300–1.
Edinburgh, 13 Dec. 1786
My Dear Sir
When I had the honour to wait upon you immediately before you left Scotland, I told you that there was only one Man in India whom I would presume to recommend to your particular countenance and protection; viz, your namesake Lieutenant Collonel Ross cheif Engineer upon the Madras Establishment.1 A very particular circumstance obliges me to depart from this resolution. My old and most valuable friend, Mr William Burke, was appointed deputy paymaster General to the Kings forces in India when his Cousin Edmund was paymaster General. He still continues to enjoy that office. May I most earnestly recommend him, not only to your notice and kindness, but even to your friendship. I am sure you will find him worthy of it. You never knew an honester hearted fellow; social, convivial, perfectly good natured, and quite frank and open; naturally the friend of every man that stood in need of a friend. He is a real man of Business of excellent abilities; and as he went out to India immediately after the first intimation of Lord Pigots affair arrived in England,2 he must by this time have acquired great knowledge and experience in the Affairs of that country. You will, I imagine, find few men more capable of giving both good information and good advice.3
I need not tell you, how much all your friends in this country lament and regret your absence. Nothing but the acquisition of distinguished honour and Glory can ever compensate the comfortable situation you left behind you, or make amends for your separation from all the love and friendship which you enjoyed in this country. Wealth and preferment are most inadequate compensations. But as I know that nothing but your generous Attachment to your friend Lord Cornwallis could have separated you from us, I have no doubt of your acquiring the only adequate compensation for what you have lost. I had the honour of seeing Lord Cornwallis twice at the Earl of Bristols.4 He probably will not recollect me. If he does I beg to be remembered to him in the most respectful manner. I have the honour to be, with the most perfect love and esteem,
My Dear Sir Your most affectionate and most faithful, humble Servant
[1 ]Patrick Ross, Smith’s cousin.
[2 ]Sir George Pigot (1719–77), M.P. 1765–77, Governor of Madras, 1755–63 and 1775–7; created Baronet 1764; suspended two members of the Madras Council and was himself suspended and imprisoned; died in prison.
[3 ]See Letter 263 from Edmund Burke, dated 7 Dec.
[4 ]? Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol (1730–1803), took orders and became Bishop of Derry 1768–1803; studied volcanic phenomena in Italy and Dalmatia; advocated relaxation of Catholic penal laws and abolition of tithes, also parliamentary reform; succeeded his brother, Augustus John, an Admiral, as 4th Earl 1779. Their eldest brother, George William, the 2nd Earl, a diplomat and politician, died in 1775.