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Lee, Arthur (1740-1792) to Elbridge Gerry

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01450.456 Author/Creator: Lee, Arthur (1740-1792) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 6 December 1780 Pagination: 1 p. : address : docket ; 23 x 19 cm.

Summary of Content: Docketed in Gerry's hand. Tells Gerry that Congress has finally decided to satisfy his accounts "declaring that no charge against me have been proved." Comments that he thinks "a serious inquiry into the conduct of the Commissioners, must soon commence" and defends the quality of the military supplies he secured from Gardoqui & Co. in France. Briefly relates news of advantages against Lord Cornwallis and General Leslie's evacuation of Virginia. Lee had been recalled from France, suspected of abusing his diplomatic post.

Background Information: Arthur Lee was an American diplomat, politician, and political writer. He, along with Silas Deane and Benjamin Franklin, was appointed Commissioner to France by the Continental Congress (1776) in order to ...negotiate a treaty and solicit aid. Lee also sought aid in Spain and Germany and served in the Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress (1781-1784).
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Full Transcript: Dear Sir Philadelphia Decr. 6th. 1780
After every delay, from a side of the House Such I need not mention to you, Congress have agreed to a report for the liquidation ...of my Accounts, & declaring that no charges against me have been provd, & that I was not recalld from any dissatisfaction with my conduct. The Committee, consisting of Messrs Maddison, Bee & Clark, had added - that Congress were satisfyd of the zeal & fidelity with which I had dischargd my duty. But Mr. Duane had influence enough to have this rejected. If they continue always as frugal of their approbation, it will be very valuable when obtaind. Coud five years constant Service, in the most dangerous situations have merited their thanks, I might have flatterd myself with receiving them.
As I think a serious inquiry into the conduct of the Commissioners, must soon commence, I shall be much obligd to you for obtaining & transmitting to me thro Mr Lovell the most authentic attestations of the goodness of the Supplies which I sent thro the Gardoquis for the Public. Perhaps too it may be in their power to obtain information of the quality of the Muskets Gun- barrels & Soldiers Clothing send from France by Dr. Franklin Mr Deane & Mr. Williams. From this, I imagine, it will appear that; however great the impositions were in the prices, they were still greater in the quality of the things sent.
The Militia have gaind several advantages in S.C. over Party. of Cornwallis's flying Army, but Genl. Leslie has evacuated Virginia to reenforce the East, & I apprehend he will then be enabled to retrieve his ground. Please to offer my respects to Genl. Warren & other friends with you
I have the honor to be, with the greatest esteem
Dear Sir, Yr most Obedt. Serv.t
Arthur Lee
[address leaf]
The Honble
Elbridge Gerry Esqr.
Member of Congress
Whila Letter
Hone A Lee Esqr
Decr 6th 1780 and
Jany 8 1781

political Letter
From Jany 1st
1780 to 1781
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People: Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792
Gerry, Elbridge, 1744-1814

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarCorruption and ScandalFinanceDiplomacyCongressGovernment and CivicsContinental CongressMilitary HistoryMilitary SuppliesGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyFranceBattle

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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