Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES WARREN, IN MASSACHUSETTS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO JAMES WARREN, IN MASSACHUSETTS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VII (1778-1779).
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TO JAMES WARREN, IN MASSACHUSETTS.
Middlebrook, 31 March, 1779.
I beseech you not to ascribe my delay in answering your obliging favor of the 16th of Decr. to disrespect, or want of inclination to continue a correspondence in which I have always taken pleasure & thought myself honored.
Your Letter came to my hands in Philadelphia, where I attended, at the request of Congress, to settle some important matters respecting the army & its future operations, and where I was detained until some time in Feby. During that period my time was so much occupied by the immediate & pressing business which carried me down, that I could attend to little else; & upon my return to camp I found the ordinary business of the army had run so much behindhand, that, together with the arrangements I had to carry into execution, no leizure was left me to indulge myself sooner in making the acknowledgment I am now about to do, of the pleasure I felt at finding that I still enjoyed a share of your confidence and esteem, and now & then am to be informed of it by letter. Believe me, Sir, when I add, that this proof of your holding me in remembrance is most acceptable and pleasing.
Our conflict is not likely to cease so soon as every good man would wish. The measure of iniquity is not yet filled; and, unless we can return a little more to first principles, and act a little more upon patriotic grounds, I do not know when it will, or what may be the issue of the contest. Speculation, Peculation, Engrossing, forestalling, with all their concomitants, afford too many melancholy proofs of the decay of public virtue, and too glaring instances of its being the interest and desire of too many, who would wish to be thought friends, to continue the war. Nothing, I am convinced, but the depreciation of our currency, proceeding in a great measure from the foregoing causes, aided by stockjobbing and party dissensions, has fed the hopes of the Enemy and kept the B. arms in America to this day. They do not scruple to declare this themselves, and add, that we shall be our own conquerors. Cannot our common country, Ama., possess virtue enough to disappoint them? Is the paltry consideration of a little dirty pelf to individuals to be placed in competition with the essential rights and liberties of the present generation, and of millions yet unborn? Shall a few designing men, for their own aggrandizement, & to gratify their own avarice, overset the goodly fabric we have been rearing at the expense of so much time, blood, & treasure? And shall we at last become the victims of our own abominable lust of gain? Forbid it Heaven! Forbid it all & every State in the Union! by enacting & enforcing efficacious laws for checking the growth of these monstrous evils, & restoring matters in some degree to the pristine state they were in at the commencement of the war!
Our cause is noble. It is the cause of mankind, and the danger to it is to be apprehended from ourselves. Shall we slumber and sleep, then, while we should be punishing those miscreants, who have brot. these troubles upon us, & who are aimg. to continue us in them; while we should be striving to fill our battalions, & devising ways and means to appreciate the currency, on the credit of wch. every thing depends? I hope not. Let vigorous measures be adopted; not to limit the prices of articles, for this I believe is inconsistent with the very nature of things, and impracticable in itself; but to punish speculators, forestallers, & extortioners, and above all to sink the money by heavy taxes, to promote public & private economy, Encourage manufactures &c. Measures of this sort, gone heartily into by the several States, would strike at once at the root of all our evils, & give the coup de grace to British hope of subjugating this continent, either by their arms or their arts. The first, as I have before observed, they acknowledge is unequal to the task; the latter I am sure will be so, if we are not lost to every thing that is good & virtuous.
A little time now must unfold in some degree the enemy’s designs. Whether the state of affairs in Europe will permit them to augment their army with more than recruits for the Regiments now on the continent, and therewith make an active and vigorous campaign; or whether, with their Florida & Canadian force, they will aid & abet the Indians in ravaging our western Frontier, while their shipg. wh. detachments, harass, (and if they mean to prosecute the predatory war, threatened by the administration through their commissioners) burn, & destroy our seacoast; or whether, contrary to expectation, they should be more disposed to negotiate than to either, is more than I can determine. The latter will depend very much upon their apprehensions from the court of Spain, & expectations of foreign aid & powerful alliances. At present we seem to be in a chaos. But this cannot last long, as I suppose the ultimate determination of the British court will be developed at the meeting of Parliament after the holydays. Mrs. Washington joins me in cordial wishes & best respects to Mrs. Warren. She would have done herself the pleasure of writing, but the present conveyance was sudden. I am, with sincere esteem and regard, dear Sir, &c.