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Tell Mr. Rogers I have received His letter & will forward it by the Post. Little Sally is as a merry as a Cricket & plays enough for Ten; says U. Sam very plain. Harriet B is well.
Hetty & Mrs. W. are gone out riding.
Your aff. brother,
JOSEPH WEBB. Be thankful for these short Letters, for that's the way to get more.
What's become of Bailey, the Cutler ?
Samuel B. Webb's Letter.
CAMP, 7th Feb’y, 1781. DEAR GENERAL :— Enclcscd you have a list of eight men who are naked, and quite a burden to the regiment. I mean, if I have your approbation, to discharge them to-morrow. The bearer, Asa Leonard, waits on you in his Sunday-go-to-meeting dress; his time not expiring till the 7th of May, I dare not discharge him without your order.
If you'll be so obliging as to lend me a gallon of spirits and a few potatoes I'll see to repay you soon.
I am, Dear General,
SAM'L B. WEBB.
Major-General Parsons' Letter. General Parsons' compliments to Colonel Webb, informing him he is of the opinion the service will be benefited by discharging all the men named within, bearer included.
The spirits are at Colonel Webb's service when he sends for them.
6th February, 1781.
General Webb to Joseph Barrell.
NEW YORK, Jan'y 13th, 1875. DEAR BARRELL :-We were made joyful by last evening's post on the news of Connecticut having adopted the Constitution, but a dampness is thrown on our spirits by information that at the Convention of Massachusets are much divided. Should that State re• ject it we are ruined. On them depends everything. Every Federal man in this city looks up to your State for our political salvation, for then if Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire accepts it with tolerable unanimity, this state dare not refuse; but on the contrary, should they reject it, the anti-Federal Junto here will increase and come forward.
The fact is that the sense and property here all are universally in favor, this city is very unanimous; but we have as you have before heard four or five characters violently opposed, none, however, whose influence is to be feared but Governor Clinton's. His has been astonishing in the country, but it is undoubtedly daily lessening.
The Legislature is now sitting at Poughkeepsie, 80 miles up the river; what they will do we are at a loss to determine; that they will appoint a convention we haven't a doubt, but suppose the anti-federalists will be for delaying its meeting to as distant a period as possible. However, as I said before, almost everything depends on your State. I wish in your next you would dip a little into this subject. Let me know how the convention proceeds, and what the prospects are.
God forbid that Adams should have much influence among you.
We have in the press a pamphlet written by Colonel Hamilton, under the signature of Publius on the subject of a Federal Government, which I will send you by the first conveyance. He is undoubtedly one of the most sensible men in America, tho’yet not much more than thirty years old. I hold bim one of my warmest friends and he possesses my undivided esteem.
We have no late arrivals from Europe, but several ships are daily expected, when it is probable we shall know whether peace is continued.
I think a war in Europe would be advantageous to our politics tho' our commercial reputations are so bad (or rather the want of any general regulations) that I am fearful the mercantile interests would not be able to take the advantages which would be presented
Present me affectionately to Sally and Hetty, in which Aunt Polly joins.
Your friend & B'r,
SAM'L B. WEBB.
Gen'l Sam'l B. Webb to Joseph Barrell.
WETHERSFIELD, Aug. 10th, 1779. I wrote you by yesterday's post, but had not then time to be so particular as I wished, by Mr. Reilly, who sets off to-morrow.
I have the pleasure to inform you that on my arrival at headquarters General Washington politely returned me the certificate with full power to negotiate the exchange as I thought proper. From this I proceeded to onr posts, and by a flag wrote Mr. Loring (and I enclosed a copy of the certificate) and requested him to meet me, acquainting him at the same time that I was fully authorized to exchange them.
After waiting a week I received for answer that it was quite needless for him to meet me, as he had lately been with our Commissary of Prisoners and agreed on Major General Phillips and Reidesel being sent in. Brigadier Generals Thomson, Waterbury, , Colonel Magaw and myself should be at liberty, and I have since found the two first-named are sent from Virginia, so that I have reason to suppose three or four weeks at the furthest will release me. However, for fear of accidents I have kept the certificate by me; nor do I intend giving it up until my exchange is final.
I find that a prize or two of the Gates has got into the eastward; I shall be glad to know how they turn out. I think they must have cleared us before this.
We are all extremely anxious about the Penobscot Fleet, knowing that several king's ships have sailed about twenty days since from New York.
We are told that Mr. We has at length met the Temple; let bim bow at the shrine, and if he does not worship with zeal, fervency and true manly feeling, I'll venture to say that he has not half the religion about him that attends your humble servant. Good luck attend them.
We have no news in this quarter, but that the enemy have abandoned their design against Charleston. General Greene, in his letter to me, of the 6th instant, says : “We have certain accounts that the enemy have retreated from before Charleston, and have all gone back to Savanna and Beaufort, in Georgia."
A fleet is preparing to sail from New York with troops. We conjecture they must be bound to the southward, as they have taken on board their heavy baggage, artillery wagons, &c., &c., the officers lay in from three to five months' stores. This may be depended on, as I saw a man who left New York about six days since ; having been sent there for intelligence.
Remember me to the circle of our friends. Hetty desires her love to you, as does
Your affec. Bro.,
SAM'L B. WEBB. P. S.-We expect Jack to pay us a visit in about ten days. I wish Martha was in a proper condition for you to accompany her here.
I think we should have a few social hours. Adieu.
Capt. S. W. William's Letter.
CAMPS, PEEKSKILL, Nov. 23d, 1781. DEAR COLONEL :-I am informed by Belden, who arrived this evening with your horse, that you sailed for Wethersfield on Wednesday last. If your voyage has been agreeable as I could wish, yourself and family are now very happy in a circle of Wethersfield friends. Am very happy to hear that your lady enjoys a much better state of health than when you wrote last.
A few days since I enclosed a letter of yours from Lt. Col. Huntington to Capt. Bulkley, which conclude you will receive before this finds you. With this is enclosed one from Col. Smith, those he wishes to have forwarded to his father, and gone on.
The surrender of his Lordship was celebrated here on Wednesday last. An entertainment was provided in the open field for all the officers in the army, where we made use of 120 gallons of maderia, with a quantum sufficit of spirits, &c. A more sociable time I never experienced ; every one was happy-many perfectly so, Indeed, the whole week has been but cne continued hurrah, from right to left.
As to the regimental matters, they are much in statu quo. Capt. Parsons joined us a few days since, and is now in command at New Bridge. Lt. Taylor, with a small command of chosen men, has now command. Officers has been absent near ten days; what the object of his expedition is remains a secret ; but as we have heard nothing from him yet, except that he was at Stamford, we conclude he will effect nothing.
We most sincerely wish to see you here as soon as the circumstances of your family will admit. Friend Ned, we expect, will return within a few days, as he proposed being absent but a short time.
We have reports here that the Raritan fleet has returned much damaged, and that is all we know about it. However, it is the general opinion that the young Prince will have but a poor story to tell his dada when he returns.
With my compliments to your brother and family, and the dear circle about you,
I am, with esteem and friendahip,
Your most humble servant,
G. W. WILLIAMS.