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respect to the German redemptioners, you know I can do nothing, unless authorized by law. It would be made a question in Congress, whether any of the enumerated objects to which the constitution authorizes the money of the Union to be applied, would cover an expenditure for importing settlers to Orleans. The letter of the revolutionary sergeant was attended to by General Dearborn, who wrote to him informing him how to proceed to obtain his land.
Doctor Eustis's observation to you, that certain paragraphs in the National Intelligencer,' respecting my letter to you, .supposed to be under Mr. Jefferson's direction, had embarrassed Mr. Jefferson's friends in Massachusetts; that they appeared like a half denial of the letter, or as if there was something in it not proper to be owned, or that needed an apology,' is one of those mysterious half confidences difficult to be understood. That tory printers should think it advantageous to identify me with that paper, the Aurora, &c. in order to obtain ground for abusing me, is perhaps fair warfare. But that any one who knows me personally should listen one moment to such an insinuation, is what I did not expect. I neither have, nor ever had, any more connection with those papers than our antipodes have ; nor know what is to be in them until I see it in them, except proclamations and other documents sent for publication. The friends in Massachusetts who could be embarrassed by so weak a weapon as this, must be feeble friends indeed. With respect to the letter, I never hesitated to avow and to justify it in conversation. In no other way do I trouble myself to contradict any thing which is said. At that time, however, there were certain anomalies in the motions of some of our friends, which events have at length reduced to regularity.
It seems very difficult to find out what turn things are to take in Europe. I suppose it depends on Austria, which knowing it is to stand in the way of receiving the first hard blows, is cautious of entering into a coalition. As to France and England we can have but one wish, that they may disable one another from injuring others.
Accept my friendly salutations, and assurances of esteem and respect.
[The following, in the hand-writing of the Author, is inserted in
his MS. of this period. Whether it was published, or where, is not stated.]
Richmond, 1780, December 31. At 8 A. M. the Governor receives the first intelligence that twenty-seven sail of ships had entered Chesapeake Bay, and were in the morning of the 29th just below Willoughby's point (the southern cape of James river); their destination unknown.
1781, January 2. At 10 A. M. information received that they had entered James river, their advance being at Warrasqueak bay. Orders were immediately given for calling in the militia, one fourth from some, and one half from other counties. The members of the legislature, which rises this day, are the bearers of the orders to their respective counties. The Governor directs the removal of the records into the country, and the transporta tion of the military stores from Richmond to Westham (on the river seven miles above); there to be carried across the river.
January 3. At 8 P. M. the enemy are said to be a little below Jamestown; convenient for landing, if Williamsburg is their object.
January 4. At 5 A. M. information is received that they had passed Kennon's and Hood's the evening before, with a strong easterly wind, which determines their object to be either Petersburg or Richmond. The Governor now calls in the whole militia from the adjacent counties.
At 5 P. M. information, that at 2 P. M. they were landed and drawn up at Westover (on the north side of the river, and twentyfive miles below Richmond); and consequently Richmond their destination. Orders are now given to discontinue wagoning the military stores from Richmond to Westham, and to throw them across the river directly at Richmond.
The Governor having attended to this till an hour and a half in the night, then rode up to the foundery (one mile below Westham), ordered Captains Boush and Irish, and Mr. Hylton, to continue all night wagoning to Westham the arms and stores still at the foundery, to be thrown across the river at Westham, then proceeded to Westham to urge the pressing the transportation there across the river, and thence went to Tuckahoe (eight miles above and on the same side of the river) to see after his family, which he had sent that far in the course of the day. He arrived there at 1 o'clock in the night.
January 5. Early in the morning, he carried his family across the river there, and sending them to Fine Creek (eight miles higher up) went himself to Britton's on the south side of the river, (opposite to Westham). Finding the arms, &c. in a heap near the shore, and exposed to be destroyed by cannon from the north bank, he had them removed under cover of a point of land near by. He proceeded to Manchester (opposite to Richmond). The enemy had arrived at Richmond at i P. M. Having found that nearly the whole arms had been got there from Richmond, he set out for Chetwood's to meet with Baron Steuben, who had appointed that place as a rendezvous and head-quarters ; but not finding him there, and understanding he would be at Colonel Fleming's (six miles above Britton's), he proceeded thither. The enemy had now a detachment at Westham, and sent a deputation from the city of Richmond to the Governor, at Colonel Fleming's, to propose terms for ransoming the safety of the city, which terms he rejected.
January 6. The Governor returned to Britton's, had measures taken more effectually to secure the books and papers there. The enemy, having burnt some houses and stores, left Richmond after twenty-four hours' stay there, and encamped at Four Mile Creek (eight or ten miles below); and the Governor went to look to his family at Fine Creek.
January 7. He returned to Britton's to see further to the arms there, exposed on the ground to heavy rains which had fallen the night before, and thence proceeded to Manchester and lodged there. The enemy encamped at Westover.
January 8. At half after 7 A. M. he crossed over to Richmond, and resumed his residence there. The enemy are still retained in their encampment at Westover by an easterly wind. Colonel John Nicholas has now three hundred militia at the Forest (six miles off from Westover); General Nelson, two hundred at Charles City Court-House (eight miles below Westover); Gibson, one thousand, and Baron Steuben, eight hundred, on the south side of the river.
January 9. The enemy are still encamped at Westover.
January 10. At 1 P. M. they embark : and the wind having shisted a little to the north of west, and pretty fresh, they fall down the river. Baron Steuben marches for Hood's, where their passage may be checked. He reaches Bland's mills in the evening, within nine miles of Hood's.
January 11. At 8 A. M. the wind due west and strong, they make good their retreat.
During this period, time and place have been minutely cited, in order that those who think there was any remissness in the movements of the Governor, may lay their finger on the point,
and say, when and where it was. Hereafter, less detail will suffice.
Soon after this, General Phillips having joined Arnold with a reinforcement of two thousand men, they advanced again up to Petersburg, and about the last of April to Manchester. The Governor had remained constantly in and about Richmond, exerting all his powers for collecting militia, and providing such means for the defence of the State as its exhausted resources admitted. Never assuming a guard, and with only the river between him and the enemy, his lodgings were frequently within four, five, or six miles of them.
M. de la Fayette about this time arrived at Richmond with some continental troops, with which, and the militia collected, he continued to occupy that place, and the north bank of the river, while Phillips and Arnold held Manchester and the south bank. But Lord Cornwallis, about the middle of May, joining them with the main southern army, M. de la Fayette was obliged to retire. The enemy crossed the river, and advanced up into the country about fifty miles, and within thirty miles of Charlottesville, at which place the legislature being to meet in June, the Governor proceeded to his seat at Monticello, two or three miles from it. His office was now near expiring, the country under invasion by a powerful army, no services but military of any avail ; unprepared by his line of life and education for the command of armies, he believed it right not to stand in the way of talents better fitted than his own to the circumstances under which the country was placed. He therefore himself proposed to his friends in the legislature, that General Nelson, who commanded the militia of the State, should be appointed Governor, as he was sensible that the union of the civil and military power in the same hands, at this time, would greatly facilitate military measures. This appointment accordingly took place on the 12th of June, 1781.
This was the state of things, when, his office having actually expired, and no successor yet in place, Colonel Tarleton, with his regiment of horse, was detached by Lord Cornwallis to surprise Mr. Jefferson (whom they thought still in office) and the legislature now sitting in Charlottesville. The Speakers of the two Houses, and some other members of the legislature, were lodging with Mr. Jefferson at Monticello. Tarleton, early in the morning, (June 23, I believe,) when within ten miles of that place, detached a company of horse to secure him and his guests, and proceeded himself rapidly with his main body to Charlottesville, where he hoped to find the legislature unapprized of his movement. Notice of it, however, had been brought both to Monticello and Charlottes
ville about sunrise. The Speakers, with their colleagues, returned to Charlottesville, and, with the other members of the legislature, had barely time to get out of his way. Mr. Jefferson sent off his family, to secure them from danger, and was himself still at Monticello, making arrangements for his own departure, when Lieutenant Hudson arrived there at half speed, and informed him the enemy were then ascending the hill of Monticello. He departed immediately, and knowing that he would be pursued if he took the high road, he plunged into the woods of the adjoining mountain, where, being at once safe, he proceeded to overtake his family. This is the famous adventure of Carter's Mountain, which has been so often resounded through the slanderous chronicles of Federalism. But they have taken care never to detail the facts, lest these should show that this favorite charge amounted to nothing more, than that he did not remain in his house, and there singly fight a whole troop of horse, or suffer himself to be taken prisoner. Having accompanied his family one day's journey, he returned to Monticello. Tarleton had retired after eighteen hours' stay in Charlottesville. Mr. Jefferson then rejoined his family, and proceeded with them to an estate he had in Bedford, about eighty miles southwest, where, riding in his farm some time after, he was thrown from his horse, and disabled from riding on horseback for a considerable time. But Mr. Turner finds it more convenient to give him this fall in his retreat before Tarleton, which had happened some weeks before, as a proof that he withdrew from a troop of horse with a precipitancy which Don Quixote would not have practised.
The facts here stated most particularly, with date of time and place, are taken from the notes made by the writer hereof, for his own satisfaction, at the time : the others are from memory, but so well recollected, that he is satisfied there is no material fact misstated. Should any person undertake to contradict any particular, on evidence which may at all merit the public respect, the writer will take the trouble (though not at all in the best situation for it) to produce the proofs in support of it. He finds, indeed, that, of the persons whom he recollects to have been present on these occasions, few have survived the intermediate lapse of four and twenty years. Yet he trusts that some, as well as himself, are yet among the living; and he is positively certain, that no man can falsify any material fact here stated. He well remembers, indeed, that there were then, as there are at all times, some who blamed every thing done contrary to their own opinion, although their opinions were formed on a very partial knowledge of facts. The censures, which have been hazarded by such men as Mr. Turner,