Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Rediscovering George Washington
Washington: Father of His Country The Washington Collection
Washington in the Classroom About the Program
Timeline: George Washington's Life Milestones
Multimedia Room Search the Site
Gilder Lehrman Collection Documents
Gilder Lehrman Collection Images
Other Documents
Gilder Lehrman Collection Documents
  Letter to Anthony Wayne, September 6, 1780
George Washington. Autograph letter signed: Head Quarters, to Anthony Wayne, 1780 Sept. 6. 2 p. + address leaf.

Head Qrs. Sep: 6th. 1780.

Dear Sir

I have received your letter of the 3d. and return you my warmest thanks for your professions of friendship. These are the more pleasing as I am convinced they are founded in the strictest sincerity, and I hope it is needless for me to tell you at this time, that an equal regard for you, prevails on my part. I am concerned however, that you should have given yourself the trouble of writing me on the subject of your Letter. I did not want any assurance or any proofs upon the point, because I entertain no idea, that you encouraged the unhappy measure, to which you allude, and which I wish to be buried in oblivion. Your former assurances, your anxiety to which I was a witness – the interesting part you took to compromise & settle the matter were sufficient to remove every belief of the sort.

I do not know with certainty the person to whom you allude, as having attempted to injure you; but from what I have heard and not without much pain, it is probable I could conjecture who it is. If I am not mistaken with respect to the person [2] I mean, I can with the greatest truth assure you, that he never mentioned a syllable to me in his life injurious to you in the least possible degree, nor have I any reason to believe that he ever did to any Gentn. of my Family.

The bare report of a coolness which is said to subsist between you & the Gentn. I have in view, has given me great concern, because I have a warm friendship for both & consider harmony essential to our interest. There is nothing if he is the person, which would give me more pleasure than to hear that you were in perfect amity again.

Let it be the case – let all differences subside – the situation of our affairs never required it more - and in the emphatical terms of your and General Irvine’s letter of which you inclosed a copy – Let all be as a band of Brothers & rise superior to every injury whether real or imaginary and persevere in the arduous but glorious struggle in which we are engaged till peace & Independence are secured to our Country. I am certain you will do it - and I will only add that

I am with the most perfect
Yr. Friend & Obedt. Servt.
Go: Washington
General Wayne
[Address leaf]

Notes: Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 20: 1-2. Washington refers to the appointment of Major William McPherson to the Light Infantry at the insistence of General Arthur St. Clair. Other majors felt slighted and threatened to resign. Wayne and General Irvine managed to keep them in service by writing a letter, quoted here in the last paragraph. However Wayne never forgave St. Clair. See Paul David Nelson, Anthony Wayne: Soldier of the Early Republic, pp. 111-112.