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DEAR SIR : By an express which Colonel Finnie sent to camp, I enclosed you an anonymous letter, which I hope got safe to hand. I am anxious to hear something that will serve to explain the strange affair, which I am now informed is taken up respecting you. Mr. Custis lias just paid us a visit, and by him I learn sundry particulars concerning General Mifflin, that much surprised me. It is very hard to trace the schemes and windings of the enemies to America. I really thought that man its friend : however, I am too far from him to judge of his present temper.
While you face the armed enemies of our liberty in the field, and by the favour of Grod, have been kept unhurt, I trust your country will never harbour in her bosom the miscreant who would ruin her best supporter. I wish not to flatter ; but when arts, unworthy honest men, are used to defame and traduce you, I think it not amiss, but a duty, to as sure you of that estimation in which the public hold you. Not that I think that any testimony I can bear is necessary for your support, or private satisfaction ; for a bare recollection of what is past must give you sufficient pleasure in every circumstance of life. But I cannot help assuring you on this occasion, of the high sense of gratitude which all ranks of men in this your native country bear to you. It will give me sincerest pleasure to manifest my regards, and render my best services to you or yours, do not like to make a parade of these things, and I know that you are not fond of it, however I hope the occasion will plead my excuse.
The assembly have, at length, empowered the executive here, to provide the Virginia troops serving with you with clothes, &c. I am making provision accordingly, and hope to do something towards it. Every possible assistance from government is afforded the commissary of provisions, whose department has not been attended to. It was taken up by me too late to do much. In deed, the load of business devolved on me is too great to be managed well. A French ship, mount ing thirty guns, that has been long chased by English cruisers has got into Carolina, as I hear last night.
Wishing you all possible felicity, I am, my dear Sir,
Your very affectionate friend,
and very humble servant,
His Excellency GENERAL WASHINGTON.
- Patrick Henry