Page images

I suppose is what may have given rise to the report you have heard ;'

I was suspicious, as I think I wrote you in my last, that the report of Lord Dunmore's granting Patents was rather premature; for after declaring to the Officers of his own Government that, he did not conceive himself at liberty to Issue Patents for Lands on the Western Waters, I could scarce think he would change his opinion without giving them some intimation of it, either in a publick, or private manner; and yet there are some words in his Letter (which I have mark’d) which seems to Imply an expectation at least, of doing it.-It remains therefore to be considered, whether the Officers claiming under his Majesty's Proclamation of 1763 have a better chance of securing their Lands elsewhere; and if they have not whether the known equity of their Claims—the prevailing opinion that Bullet is proceeding by authority in the Surveys he is now making—and the united endeavours of the Officers to obtain Patents for the Lands actually Survey'd, may not discourage other Emigrants from Settling thereon; and, in the end, induce Government to comply with their just requisitions by fulfilling its own voluntary Promises.- I own it is a kind of Lottery, and whether the chance of a price, is not worth the expence of a Survey, is the point in question ?--As Subjects and Individuals of the community at large, we are at least upon a par with those who are occupying the Country ; but whether any of these Pleas, under the present discouragem'ts of Government, will avail any thing; is mere matter of Speculation, on which every person must exercise their own Powers of Reflection.

With very great esteem sam

Dear Sir
Y'r most Obed't Serv't,


From General Washington to the Same.


Dear Sir, I have received your favor of the 10th Inst. by Col. Blaine, and thank you for it. Never was there an observation founded in more truth than yours of my having a choice of difficulties—I cannot say that ye resolve of Congress which you allude to has increased thein, but with propriety I may observe it has added to my embarrassment in fixing on the least, inasmuch as it gives me powers without the means of execution when they ought at least to be co-equal.

The cries of the distressed of the fatherless and the widows-come to me from all quarters. The States are not behind hand in making application for assistance, notwithstanding scarce any one of them, that I can find, is takeing effectual measures to compleat its quota of continental troops, or have even power, or energy enough to draw forth their militia-each complains of neglect, because it gets not what it asks—and conceives that none other suffers like themselves because they are ignorant of what others experience, receiving the complaints of their own people only. I have a hard time of it, and a disagreable task. To please every body is impossible-Were I to undertake it, I should probably please nobody-If I know myself I have no partialities—I have from the beginning, and I hope I shall to the end, pursue to the utmost of my judgment and abilities, one steady line of conduct for the good of the great whole—this will, under all circumstances administer consolation to myself, however short I may fall of the expectation of others.

But to leave smaller matters. I am much mistaken if the resolve of Congress hath not an eye to something far

The pow

beyond our abilities. They are I conceive, sufficiently acquainted with the state and strength of the army-of our resources and how they are to be drawn oui. ers given may be beneficial, but do not let Congress deceive themselves by false expectation, founded on a superficial view of things in general and the strength of their own Troops in particular; for in a word I give it to you as my opinion, that if the reinforcement expected by the enemy should arrive, and no effectual measures be taken to compleat our battalions and stop the further depreciation of our money, I do not see upon what ground we are able, or mean to continue the contest. We now stand upon the brink of a precipice, from whence the smallest help casts us headlong—at this moment our maney does not pass-at what rate I need not add, because the unsatisfied demands on the Treasury affords too many unequivocal and alarming proofs to stand in need of illustration. Even at this hour every thing is, in a manner, at a stand, for want of this money (such as it is) and because many of the States instead of passing laws to aid the several departments of the army, have done the reverse, and hampered the transportation in such a way as to stop the supplies which are indispensably necessary, and for want of which we are embarrassed exceedingly.

This is a summary of our affairs in general, to which I am to add that the officers unable any longer to support themselves in the army, are resigning continually, or doing what is worse, spreading discontent, and possibly the seeds of Sedition. You will readily perceive my dear Sir that this is a confidential letter, and that however willing I may be to disclose such matters or such sentiments to particular friends who are entrusted with the government of our great national concerns, I shall be extremely unwilling to have them communicated to any others; as I should feel much compunction if a single word or thought of mine was to create the smallest despair in our own people, or feed the hope of the enemy who I know pursue with avidity every track which leads to a discovery of the sentiments of men in office. Such (that is men in office) I wish to be impressed-deeply impressed with the importance of a close attention, and vigorous exertion of the means for extricating our finances from the deplorable situation in which they now are-I never was,—much less reason have I now, to be afraid of the Enemy's arms; but I have no scruple in declaring to you, that I have never yet seen the time in which our affairs, (in my opinion) were at so low an ebb as they are at present, and without a speedy and capital change, we shall not be able in a very short time to call out the strength and resources of the Country. The hour, therefore, is certainly come when party differences and disputes should subside, when every man (especially those in office) should with one hand and one heart, pull the same way, and with their whole strength. Providence has done-and I am persuaded is disposed to doa great deal for us, but we are not to forget the fable of Jupiter and the Carman. With great truth and sincerity, I am D’r Sir, Y'r most obed't and affect. H’ble Serv't,


P. S.-I am not insensible to the force of y'r remark contained in the P. S. to y'r letter and can assure you that the person you allude to, was not appointed from motives of partiality, or in a hasty manner. After long and cool deliberation-a due consideration of characters and circumstances, and some regard to military rules and propriety, I could do no better-I must work with such means as I am furnished. You know, I presume that the com'd was offered to Gen'l G—tes who declined the acceptance of it.


[The service which the author of Junius's Letters, whoever he was, incidentally rendered to the cause of American liberty, will always give us a special interest beyond that of mere literary curiosity in the rather puzzling questiou of his identity, which still continues to exercise the wits of our British writers. With this view, we readily adopt the following article, being part of a much longer one which has recently appeared in the Dublin University Magazine, entitled “ Touching the Identity of Junius," and which, for this portion of it, we think our readers will find both useful and agreeable, as it contains a lively and pleasant resumé of the controversy from the beginning.]

It is not true, as some may be disposed to think, that the puzzle of Junius has lost its interest, and become an obsolete matter. This writer has connected himself with the governmental history of his day in England in a manner too striking to permit the mere lapse of time to nullify him. He waged war with the government of George the Third before the Thirteen Colonies did, for nearly as long a space, and on something of the same constitutional principle. This alone would give him claims to an undying consideration, and such consideration is further secured by the mystery which has always a power of fascination over the human mind. If we were disposed to forget his powerful pen, his provoking mask would not let us. Then, posterity must always be anxious to know who it was who left behind him some of the most elegant and masterly specimens of epistolary literature in the language.

About eighty years ago, Junius boasted, with the confi. dence of Isis in the old temple of Sais, that nobody should ever be able to lift his mask; that he was the sole depositary of his secret, and that it should perish with him. Since that time a hundred books and a vast number of articles

« PreviousContinue »