Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

CHAP. XIV.]

the authority of the joint committee on the Library, the whole or any part thereof to be printed as the said committee might direct." The Library committee employed Professor Henry A. Washington of Virginia to edit the papers. This, which we have generally mentioned as the Congress Edition of Mr. Jefferson's Works, was published in nine volumes octavo in 1853 and 1854.

PUBLICATIONS OF HIS WORKS.

565

The most cursory reader of this biography cannot fail to see how much we must have been indebted for personal information and details to Mr. Jefferson's family in a great many instances where no express acknowledgments have been made. Accordingly, without suggestion from them or from any other quarter, we feel desirous to say that in no instance have that family evinced an inclination to re-open or wage any controversies through these pages. Where personal circumstances have required their explanations, their information has stopped at the boundaries of necessary defence. While we make no apology for the truth in whatever form we have presented it, we are not willing that others incur any portion of what is our own proper and sole responsibility.'

1 For an important correction in regard to Patrick Henry, see APPENDIX No. 38. Should other errors of fact or omissions be discovered before the completion of the work, they will be included in same Appendix.

APPENDIX.

APPENDIX NO. I.-VOL. I. p. 123.

Six Letters from Mr. Jefferson to his Brother-in-Law, Francis Eppes, in 1775.

PHILADELPHIA, June 26th, 1775.

DEAR SIR: You will before this have heard that the war is now heartily entered into, without a prospect of accommodation but through the effectual interposition of arms. General Gage has received considerable reinforcements, though not to the whole amount of what was expected. There has lately been an action at the outlet of the town of Boston. The particulars we have not yet been able to get with certainty; the event, however, was considerably in our favor as to the numbers killed. Our account says we had between 40 and 70 killed, and 140 wounded. The enemy has certainly 500 wounded and the same account supposes that number killed; but judging from the proportion of wounded and slain on our part, they should not have perhaps above two hundred killed. This happened on Saturday, and on Monday, when the express came away, the provincials had begun to make another attack. Washington set out from here on Friday last as generalissimo of all the provincial troops in North America. Ward and Lee are appointed major-generals and Gates adjutant. We are exceedingly anxious till we hear of their arrival at Boston, as it is evident to every one that the provincial encampment is the most injudicious that can possibly be conceived. For the sole purpose of covering two small towns near Boston they have encamped so near the line of the ministerial army that the sentries may converse. Gage, too, being well fortified, is in little danger of an attack from them; while their situation is such that he may attack them when he pleases, and if he is unsuccessful, they cannot pursue him a foot scarcely, on account of the ships and floating batteries bearing on the Neck of Boston. If no evil arises from this till General Washington arrives, we may expect to hear of his withdrawing the provincial troops to a greater distance. The Congress have directed 20,000 men to be raised, and hope by a vigorous campaign to dispose our enemies to treaty. Governor Carleton has been spiriting up the Canadian Indians to fall on our back settlements; but this we hope will be prevented. Governor Skeene, appointed to take charge of the fortresses on the lakes, was intercepted here, and as we had already taken possession of those fortifications and provided a governor, there was no occasion for

him to proceed. He is now, therefore, our prisoner. My best affections attend Mrs. Eppes and family. I am, dear sir,

FRANCIS EPPES, Esq.,

At the Forest, Charles City.

FRANCIS EPPES, Esq.,

In Charles City County, Virginia.

Your friend and servant,
TH. JEFFERSON.

PHILADELPHIA, July 4th, 1775. DEAR SIR: Since my last, nothing new has happened. Our accounts of the battle of Charleston have become clear, and greatly to our satisfaction. Contrary to what usually happens, the first accounts were below truth; it is now certain that the regulars have had between 1200 and 1400 killed and wounded in that engagement, and that of these 500 are killed. Major Pitcairn is among the slain, at which everybody rejoices, as he was the commanding officer at Lexington, was the first who fired his own piece there and gave the command to fire. On our part were killed between 60 and 70, and about 150 wounded. Among those killed was a Dr. Warren, a man who seems to have been immensely valued in the North. The New Englanders are fitting out light vessels of war, by which it is hoped we shall not only clear the seas and bays here of everything below the size of a ship of war, but that they will visit the coasts of Europe and distress the British trade in every part of the world. The adventurous genius and intrepidity of those people is amazing. They are now intent on burning Boston as a hive which gives cover to regulars; and none are more bent on it than the very people who come out of it and whose whole prosperity lies there. This however, if done at all, it is thought better to defer till the cold season is coming on, as it would then lay them under irremediable distress. Powder seems now to be our only difficulty, and towards getting plenty of that nothing is wanting but saltpetre. If we can weather out this campaign, I hope that we shall be able to have a plenty made for another. Nothing is requisite but to set about it, as every colony has materials, but more especially Virginia and Maryland. My compliments most affectionately to Mrs. Eppes. Mr. and Mrs. Skipwith, I expect, have left you. Adieu.

TH. JEFFERSON.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 10th, 1775.

DEAR SIR: I wrote to Patty [Mrs. Jefferson] on my arrival here, and there being then nothing new in the political way, I inclosed her letter under a blank cover to you. Since that we have received from England news of much importance, which coming through many channels we believe may be confidently relied on. Both the ministerial and provincial accounts of the battle of Bunker's Hill had got to England. The ministry were determined to push the war with vigor, a measure in which they were fixed by the defeat of the Spaniards by the Moors. Ninety brass cannon were embarked from the Tower, and may be hourly expected either at N. York or Boston. Two thousand troops were to sail from Ireland about the 25th Sept.; these we have reason to believe are destined for N. York. Commodore Shuldam was to sail about the same time with a great number of frigates and small vessels of war, to be distributed among the middle colonies. He comes at the express and earnest intercessions of Ld. Dunmore, and the plan is to lay waste all the plantations on our river sides. Of this we gave immediate notice to our Committee of Safety

569

by an express whom we dispatched hence last Friday, that if any defence could be provided on the rivers by fortifications or small vessels it might be done immediately. In the spring, 10,000 men more are to come over. They are to be procured by taking away two-thirds of the garrison at Gibraltar (who are to be replaced by some Hessians), by 2,000 Highlanders and 5,000 Roman Catholics, whom they propose to raise in Ireland. Instead of the Roman Catholics, however, some of our accounts say foreigners are to be sent. Their plan is this. They are to take possession of New York and Albany, keeping up a communication between them by means of their vessels. Between Albany and St. John's, they propose also to keep open the communication, and again between St. John's, Quebec, and Boston. By this means they expect Gage, Tryon, and Carleton may distress us on every side, acting in concert with one another. By means of Hudson's River, they expect to cut off all correspondence between the northern and southern rivers. Gage was appointed Governor-General of all America; but Sir Jeffery Amherst consented afterwards to come over, so that Gage is to be recalled; but it is believed Amherst will not come till the spring; in the meantime Howe will have the command. The cooperation of the Canadians is taken for granted in all the ministerial schemes. We hope, therefore, they will all be dislocated by the events in that quarter. For an account of these I must refer you to Patty. My warmest affections attend Mrs. Eppes. Adieu.

TH. JEFFERSON.

APPENDIX-NO. I.

MR. FRANCIS EPPES, in Charles City County, Virginia.
To be sent by the Williamsburgh post.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 24, 1775.

DEAR SIR: Since my last, we have nothing new from England or from the camps at either Cambridge or St. John's. Our eyes are turned to the latter place with no little anxiety, the weather having been uncommonly bad for troops in that quarter, exposed to the inclemencies of the sky without any protection. Carleton is retired to Quebec, and though it does not appear he has any intimation of Arnold's expedition, yet we hear he has embodied 1,100 men to be on his guard. A small vessel was the other day cast away on the Jersey shore (she was one of the transports which had some time ago brought over troops to Boston), on board of which were a captain, with his subordinate officers and marines, amounting to 23 in all, and also a Duncan Campbell, who was going to recruit men at New York for General Gage, he having some time before undertaken the same business in the same place, and actually carried off 60 men. The marines and their officers were all taken immediately, except their captain and the recruiting gentleman; these pushed off in a little boat, and coasted it to Long Island, where they got on board a sloop which was to have sailed in an hour, when the party sent after them came upon them. They were brought to this city this morning, the marines having been here some time. Our good old Speaker died the night before last. For the particulars of that melancholy event I must refer you to Patty. My affections attend Mrs. Eppes. Adieu.

TH. JEFFERSON.

To MR. FRANCIS EPPES,
At the Forest, in Charles City County, Virginia.

« AnteriorContinuar »