Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO RICHARD HENRY LEE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO RICHARD HENRY LEE. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. IV (1776).
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 RICHARD HENRY LEE.
Cambridge, 4 April, 1776.
Your favor of the 26th ult. came to my hands last night, by the post; but as I am upon the point of setting out for New York, (by the way of Providence and Norwich,) I can do little more than acknowledge the receipt of it, and thank you for the proceedings and ordinances of the Virginia Convention, which came safely to hand.
At present, the lakes are in an impassable state, neither being clear of ice, nor covered with such as will admit of transportation; at present also, our troops are at different stages, on their march from hence to New York; nor is it possible for me, till I get there, as the Congress have annexed conditions to my sending the four battalions to Canada, to tell whether they can be spared or not, as I am unacquainted with the number of men, or strength of the works at that place. No time shall be lost in forwarding three battalions if there is a possibility of doing it with safety; as no person can be more sensible of the importance of securing Canada than I am. A letter of the 27th ult. from General Schuyler, informs me that there are many men now stopped at Albany, on account of the state the ice is in on the lakes. I thank you for your friendly congratulations on the retreat of the king’s troops from Boston. It was really a flight; their embarkation was so precipitate; their loading so confused, (after making greater havoc of the king’s stores than Dunbar did upon Braddock’s defeat, which made so much noise,) that it took them eleven days to fit their transports, adjust the loads of them, and take in water from the islands in Nantasket Road after they had fallen down there. The coast is now clear of them, except the Renown, (a 50 gun ship,) and one or two frigates, which remain here for the protection of such transports as shall be bound to this port. I pray you to make my best wishes acceptable to the good doctor, his lady, and family, &c., and believe me to be, as I really am, &c.1
[1 ]“I received yours of the 9th instant, and could wish that it was in my power, consistently with the duty I owe my country, to grant you the relief you desire. I have made repeated applications to General Howe for an exchange of prisoners, but he has not thought proper to return me any answer. It has been in his power to set you at liberty; and if you are still continued a prisoner, the blame must lie entirely upon him.