Difference between revisions of "Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776"

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[[George Wythe]] tells [[Thomas Jefferson]] that he will return to help write laws for Virginia, when Jefferson and the Speaker of the house of Delegates think it would be best for him to do so. In a postscript addition after the end of the letter, Wythe mentions the [[wikipedia:Battle of Fort Washington|Battle of Fort Washington]], a British victory where 2,000 Americans surrendered allowing Britain to take over the garrison.
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Wythe asks a question about being a chancery judge and what it entails. He closed the letter by acknowledging that Jefferson wishes to change the proposed great seal of Virginia. Wythe was a member of a committee of Virginia Delegates who designed the seal of Virginia, along with Richard Henry Lee, George Mason, and Robert Carter Nicholas.
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[[File:WytheToJeffersonNovember181776p1.jpg|right|thumb|400px|<p>"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 1." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib000217 Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.''</p>]]
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[[File:WytheToJeffersonNovember181776p2.jpg|right|thumb|250px|<p>"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 2." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib000217 Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.''</p>]]
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[[File:WytheToJeffersonNovember181776p3.jpg|right|thumb|250px|<p>"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 3." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib000217 Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.''</p>]]
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[[File:WytheToJeffersonNovember181776p4.jpg|right|thumb|250px|<p>"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 4." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib000217 Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.''</p>]]
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==Letter text==
 
===Page 1===
 
===Page 1===
[[File:WytheToJeffersonNovember181776p1.jpg|right|thumb|200px|<p>"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 1." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib000217 Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.''</p>]]
 
  
GW to TJ<br />
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<blockquote>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Whenever you and the speaker think I should return to Virginia to engage in the part which shall be assigned to me in revising the laws, I shall attend you. As to the time and place of meeting and my share in this work, I can accommodate myself to the appointment, and be content with the allotment my collegues shall make. In the mean time, I propose to abide here, if the enemy do not drive me away, an event some think not improbable. What to think of it myself I know not: especially if a report we heard today, that the garrison in fort Washington, consisting of 2,000 men<br />
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[[George Wythe|GW]] to [[Thomas Jefferson|TJ]]
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Whenever you and the speaker think I should return to Virginia to engage in the part which shall be assigned to me in revising the laws, I shall attend you. As to the time and place of meeting and my share in this work, I can accommodate myself to the appointment, and be content with the allotment my colle<sub>^</sub><sup>a</sup>gues shall make. In the mean time, I propose to abide here, if the enemy do not drive me away, an event some think not improbable. What to think of it myself I know not: especially if a report we heard today, that the garrison in fort Washington, consisting of 2,000 men
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</blockquote>
  
 
===Page 2===
 
===Page 2===
[[File:WytheToJeffersonNovember181776p2.jpg|right|thumb|200px|<p>"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 2." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib000217 Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.''</p>]]
 
  
men, surrendered themselves prisoners, ‘at the first Summons,be confirmed. Are the judges in chancery, whilst they are on the circuits, to hear cases in equity? if not, are forty days in the year sufficient for that business? I suppose not. I will inquire tomorrow <strike>how</strike> by whom the regimental paymasters are to be appointed; and if I have time before the departure of the post, will let you know: if by congress your recommendation of Mr. Moore shall be remembered.  The journals shall also be sent to you, if they can be procured.  The conveniency of my house <strike>and</strike> servants and furniture to you and Mrs. Jefferson adds not<br />
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<blockquote>
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men, surrendered themselves prisoners, 'at the first Summons,' be confirmed. Are the judges in chancery, whilst they are on the circuits, to hear cases in equity? if not, are forty days in the year sufficient for that business? I suppose not. I will inquire tomorrow <strike>how</strike> by whom the regimental paymasters are to be appointed; and if I have time before the departure of the post, will let you know: if by congress your recommendation of Mr. Moore shall be remembered.  The journals shall also be sent to you, if they can be procured.  The conveniency of my house <strike>and</strike> servants and furniture to you and Mrs. Jefferson adds not
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</blockquote>
  
 
===Page 3===
 
===Page 3===
[[File:WytheToJeffersonNovember181776p3.jpg|right|thumb|200px|<p>"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 3." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib000217 Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.''</p>]]
 
  
not a little to their value in my estimation. Our best respects to the lady.  Be so kind as let me know if our general assembly hath agreed to give any additional bounty to the noncommissioned officers and soldiers of the new levies more than what congress had offered. The eastern states, or some of them, by doing a thing of that kind, have much embarrassed us.  I understood by the person employed to draw the figures for our great seal that you intended to propose an alteration in those on the reverse. I wish you<br />
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<blockquote>
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not a little to their value in my estimation. Our best respects to the lady.  Be so kind as let me know if our general assembly hath agreed to give any additional bounty to the noncommissioned officers and soldiers of the new levies more than what congress had offered. The eastern states, or some of them, by doing a thing of that kind, have much embarrassed us.  I understood by the person employed to draw the figures for our [[Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia|great seal]] that you intended to propose an alteration in those on the reverse. I wish you
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</blockquote>
  
 
===Page 4===
 
===Page 4===
[[File:WytheToJeffersonNovember181776p4.jpg|right|thumb|200px|<p>"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 4." Image from the [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib000217 Library of Congress,] ''The Thomas Jefferson Papers.''</p>]]
 
  
you would propose it; for though I had something to do in designing them, I do not like them. Let me know of the alteration, if any; and send a neat impression made by the old seal. It will be useful to the workman. Adieu. <br />
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<blockquote>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Philadelphia, 18 November, 1776<br />
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you would propose it; for though I had something to do in designing them, I do not like them. Let me know of the alteration, if any; and send a neat impression made by the old seal. It will be useful to the workman. Adieu.  
My compliments to Mr. Page. I wrote to him several weeks since, and desired him to send me an impression made by the old seal – that I received no answer I attribute to his ill health. I wish it better. <br />
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This morning (19 Nov.) we hear fort Washington was not taken last Sunday morning the day after the garrison was supposed to have surrendered by the report mentioned above; but it seems it is invented. <br />
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Philadelphia, 18 November, 1776
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My compliments to Mr. Page. I wrote to him several weeks since, and desired him to send me an impression made by the old seal – that I received no answer I attribute to his ill health. I wish it better.
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This morning (19 Nov.) we hear fort Washington was not taken last Sunday morning the day after the garrison was supposed to have surrendered by the report mentioned above; but it seems it is invented.
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</blockquote>
  
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==See also==
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*[[Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia]]
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*[[Seal of Virginia]]
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*[[Seals of Virginia]]
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*[[Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 11 November 1776]]
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*[[Thomas Jefferson to Wythe, 1 November 1778]]
  
 
[[Category:Letters from Wythe]]
 
[[Category:Letters from Wythe]]
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[[Category:Letters and Papers]]
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[[Category:Wythe's Signature]]

Latest revision as of 13:47, 29 October 2019

George Wythe tells Thomas Jefferson that he will return to help write laws for Virginia, when Jefferson and the Speaker of the house of Delegates think it would be best for him to do so. In a postscript addition after the end of the letter, Wythe mentions the Battle of Fort Washington, a British victory where 2,000 Americans surrendered allowing Britain to take over the garrison.

Wythe asks a question about being a chancery judge and what it entails. He closed the letter by acknowledging that Jefferson wishes to change the proposed great seal of Virginia. Wythe was a member of a committee of Virginia Delegates who designed the seal of Virginia, along with Richard Henry Lee, George Mason, and Robert Carter Nicholas.

"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 1." Image from the Library of Congress, The Thomas Jefferson Papers.

"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 2." Image from the Library of Congress, The Thomas Jefferson Papers.

"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 3." Image from the Library of Congress, The Thomas Jefferson Papers.

"Wythe to Thomas Jefferson, 18 November 1776, pg 4." Image from the Library of Congress, The Thomas Jefferson Papers.

Letter text

Page 1

GW to TJ

Whenever you and the speaker think I should return to Virginia to engage in the part which shall be assigned to me in revising the laws, I shall attend you. As to the time and place of meeting and my share in this work, I can accommodate myself to the appointment, and be content with the allotment my colle^agues shall make. In the mean time, I propose to abide here, if the enemy do not drive me away, an event some think not improbable. What to think of it myself I know not: especially if a report we heard today, that the garrison in fort Washington, consisting of 2,000 men

Page 2

men, surrendered themselves prisoners, 'at the first Summons,' be confirmed. Are the judges in chancery, whilst they are on the circuits, to hear cases in equity? if not, are forty days in the year sufficient for that business? I suppose not. I will inquire tomorrow how by whom the regimental paymasters are to be appointed; and if I have time before the departure of the post, will let you know: if by congress your recommendation of Mr. Moore shall be remembered. The journals shall also be sent to you, if they can be procured. The conveniency of my house and servants and furniture to you and Mrs. Jefferson adds not

Page 3

not a little to their value in my estimation. Our best respects to the lady. Be so kind as let me know if our general assembly hath agreed to give any additional bounty to the noncommissioned officers and soldiers of the new levies more than what congress had offered. The eastern states, or some of them, by doing a thing of that kind, have much embarrassed us. I understood by the person employed to draw the figures for our great seal that you intended to propose an alteration in those on the reverse. I wish you

Page 4

you would propose it; for though I had something to do in designing them, I do not like them. Let me know of the alteration, if any; and send a neat impression made by the old seal. It will be useful to the workman. Adieu.

Philadelphia, 18 November, 1776

My compliments to Mr. Page. I wrote to him several weeks since, and desired him to send me an impression made by the old seal – that I received no answer I attribute to his ill health. I wish it better.

This morning (19 Nov.) we hear fort Washington was not taken last Sunday morning the day after the garrison was supposed to have surrendered by the report mentioned above; but it seems it is invented.

See also