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I have absolutely got above all Fatigue from Pomp and Parade. it has no Effect upon me. one may be familiarized to any Thing. My house stands in a very public Place at the Confluence of Several, much frequented streets. There are generally half a dozen Chariots at a Time, rolling by upon the Pavements, for at least one and twenty hours out of the four and twenty making an incessant Roar, like the Falls of Niagara. Yet I dont hear it. I write, read, etc., as if all were still. The imposing Glare of a Court, at present has as little Effect on me. I am as insensible to it, as an Indian would be.
I have indeed, Madame, been horridly neglected in the Article of Intelligence. I have endeavoured to correspond with Members of Congress, but before my Letters could reach them they had retired. I have been Shamefully uninformed of what has passed at Philadelphia and Boston. But I hope for better Times.
It was with very Affecting Sentiments that I learned, the Death of Mr. Otis, my worthy Master. Extraordinary in Death as in Life, he has left a Character, which will never die, while the Memory of the American Revolution remains, whose Foundations he laid, with an Energy, and with those masterly Abilities which no other Man possessed.
With very great Respect and Esteem I have the honor to be, Madam, your Sincere Friend and very humble Servant,
ARTHUR LEE TO JAMES WARREN
PRINCETON, Sepr. 17th, 1783
MY DEAR SIR, — Not having expected Mr. Higgenson's 1 going so soon, I have but a moment to write you. His conduct in Congress has been that of an able and upright friend to his Country; and I therefore much regret his leaving us. He will communicate to you all the News we have here. My private Letters give me reason to expect that the definitive treaty will soon arrive.2
I Stephen Higginson (1743–1828).
2 The treaty was laid before Congress December 13, 1783.
I have thought it my duty to move Congress for information from the Super-intendant of Finance; what Cloathing has been purchased with the public money and why the Soldiers have not receivd what was orderd by Congress. The Superintendant has answerd, that he does not know what has been purchasd, and that he thought it was more proper to sell the Cloathing than distribute it to the Soldiery. In laying out the public Money Commissions accrue to his friends, in selling the things so purchasd, new Commissions arise to the Sellers. In this case, it is his Clerk, Mr. Swanwick,1 who is to have this emolument. In the mean time the Soldiers have been fifteen months without their cloathing tho two millions of dollars have been taken out of the public Coffers for that purpose. Thus while fallacious reports on this man's conduct are publishd in all the Papers, and his tools are filling the Papers with praises calculated to deceive the public; the public money is lavishd away, the Soldiery, defrauded and the public plunderd. I wish this matter were stated in Your Papers. Those of Philadelphia are altogether in his pay.
I hope the location of my Grant is made and well made; and shall be obligd to you for information on the subject.
I beg my best respects to Mrs. Warren and the rest of your Family, and when you see that of Mr. Bodwoin, that you will have the goodness to remember me to them. Farewell.
P.S. I enclose you the motions I made relative to the Soldier's Cloathing, with the short speech which introducd them, together with an Account of the Monies said to have been laid out in purchasing Cloathing, but not accounted for. All this you will put into the Papers if you see fit.
Mr. A. Lee having in his place stated to Congress That he had seen a part of the Massachusetts line march thro' Princeton, and observing that the Soldiers were ill-cloathd, and knowing that much larger Sums of public money had been chargd as laid out for cloathing than woud have cloathed the whole Army compleatly, and that by a Resolve of Congress the Army shoud have receivd Cloath
1 John Swanwick, who was cashier in Morris' firm.
ing once a year; he enquird of the Commanding Officer of those Troops, how it happend that the Soldiers were so ill cloathd; and having been informd by him that the Soldiers had not receivd their Cloathing the last twelve months, but that their Uniforms were turnd and new facd—which information was farther confirmd by a General Officer with this addition, that the Soldiers were obligd to sell their Certificates at Philadelphia for part even of what they wore Mr. A. Lee thought it his duty to his Country and to the Soldiery to move the following Resolutions: 1
ARTHUR LEE TO JAMES WARREN
DEAR SIR, I receivd your favor of the Ist by last post. No day is fixd for entering upon the business of Consuls, and it seems the opinion of some that no minister above them shoud be continued in Europe unless for very extraordinary [reasons]. We tried upon another occasion to obtain a resolution that none but Citizens shoud be eligible to the Office of Consul, which woud have excluded a great number of Candidates. But we lost the question.2
The attempts to get us into Philadelphia tho strenuous, have been hitherto resisted and I hope will continue to be so, or I am satisfyd we shoud have the most ample reason to rue it.
I enclose you a continuation of some strictures on the philadelphia Address, which I observe were printed in one of your Papers. They are necessary to compleat the proof of the impudence of the Addressers. I shall be obligd to you [to] send these to the same Printer that he may insert them also.
Please to make my respects to Mrs. Warren, and remember me to your Son. Farewell.
CONTINUATION OF THE STRICTURES IN A LATE ADDRESS TO CONGRESS FROM SOME OF THE Citizens of PHILADELPHIA &C.
GENTLEMEN, - I had the honor of shewing you, in my former Address that what some of your Citizens had the confidence to assert in their Address to Congress, namely that you had in an essential manner distinguish'd your
I The resolutions and votes are printed in the Journals of the Continental Congressl, xxv. 536.
2 Journals of the Continental Congress, xxv. 620, 637
selves by every exertion which principle coud inspire or fortitude support not quite consonant to truth. That measuring your exertions with your means they appeard the most feeble in the union. That tho' essentially distinguishd from the other States in the Union by the vast profits, emoluments and advantages arising from the residence of Congress — their treasury Officers and the foreign Ministers among you; by freedom from an Enemy or Impress among you for several years; prospering in agriculture, trade, and commerce you had been almost as deficient in the whole of your contributions as those States which were essentially distinguishd from you- by the devastation of their fields the destruction of their Capitols the interruption of their trade, and commerce and by all the calamities, which internal war can bring upon a distressd People.
The object of this Address will be, to prove to you, that if you have been justly chargeable with defective exertions in furnishing your quota to the field, and to the continental treasury your alertness in taking money out of the same treasury for state purposes, has distinguishd you far beyond any State in the Union. This fact will appear most clearly from the following view drawn from the journals of Congress.
MONIES DRAWN OUT OF THE TREASURY OF THE U. S.
N. Hampshire 40,000
312,200 550,000 12,500 257,266 166,200
27,000 78,000 525,000 813,000 73,600 | 1,642,133 316,000 38,000 1,024,000
From this it is plain, that for five years of the war, you were not very free of your fortunes, but exceedingly liberal of your drafts on the Continental Treasury, so that you receivd twice as much as Massachusetts and six times as much as Virginia. Yet these States are to redeem a fifth more than you. If we take the middle of each year for reducing the Sums taken in them respectively, we shall find the whole to amount to 1,152,848 hard dollars, which you have taken out of the United Treasury; and you boast of having put into it 100,000.
The error then of the Addressers seems to be this that they have claimd a general pre-eminence of merit, during the whole war, from having contributed a little more money than most of the States in the Union, during the last year of the war. But surely you will allow it to be just, that when such comparisons are drawn, they shoud flow from a view of the sum total of the Contributions of each State in Men, Money, and Specifics, during the whole war, deducting the monies they drew from the common fund.
When you are forming this estimate, I hope you will not forget, what I know from having servd in that campaign, that at the close of the year 1776, when the Enemy threatnd immediately your State and your City, the State of Virginia alone furnishd two thirds of the Troops, which enabled our illustrious General, to execute an enterprize against the Enemy's posts in the Jerseys, repelld the danger from you at that time and gave an ascendency to our military reputation which it never lost. Had we then depended on the boasted exertions of a City, containing forty thousand Inhabitants, free of their fortunes and their lives, as the Address says, the fact shews that in the most pressing danger to themselves and to the Union, they woud hardly have furnishd Regulars enough to have attackd a Picket of the Enemy. Yet we see, that in the same year your State drew from the public treasury 1,035,000 dlls when paper-money was little if at all depritiated. I shall not repeat the reasons that were then given, for your not making more adequate exertions. The[y] did no honor to your patriotism. It was a misfortune that revolution principles prevaild so little among you. But surely you shoud have had more modesty, remembering those circumstances, than to have boasted, that you were distinguishd for doing, what you were in fact distinguishd for not doing. I perceive that you will attempt to draw some source of defence, from the payments you have made since the close of the year 1782, which I am informd exceed those of any other State. But let it be rememberd, that the preeminence which the residence of Congress gave you in the eyes of Europe, drew almost the whole of the foreign trade to your City on the cessation of hostilities; insomuch that it is matter of common notoriety that in a few months, the duty of 2 pr Ct on Imports, brot into your treasury fifty thousand pounds. So that the whole of your contribution very little exceeds the produce of a single tax.
The same cause drew to you many rich Emigrants, who have deposited large sums of specie in that Bank, which the public money raisd in your City for your sole emolument. The States ought to order an enquiry by what authority so partial a use was made of the public money, while several of them were laid waste by the Enemy for want of Arms, and Ammunition to repel them, while the troops to the southward were destitute of Cloathing, and recruiting their lines, was for that reason renderd impracticable.
Having now fulfilld the purpose with which I addressd you, Gentlemen, I shall take my leave with recommending to you that modesty, without which even merit loses its lustre and its beauty.