Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3

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Author: John Mathews

U.S. History

From John Mathews.

Philadelphia, 30 January, 1781.

DEAR SIR,

As the intelligence received yesterday possibly may not be conveyed to you through any other channel at this time, and being well assured it will afford you much satisfaction to be informed of it, I have therefore taken the liberty of communicating it to you. Though the information does not come officially from the State, yet it comes in such a manner that it is to be depended on,—that Maryland has at last agreed to confederate. We have the resolves as they passed the lower House, which have since passed the upper House. This is a most important circumstance, and comes very seasonably to our relief; for Congress have been disputing, for a long time past, what powers were necessary to enable them to prosecute the business intrusted to them, and were, at this moment, as far from agreeing about it as when we began. I hope, now we have some certain principles to act upon, we shall be steady and decisive. Though the powers of the Confederation are very inadequate to vigorous prosecution of the present war, yet we must endeavour to make the most of them we can; and it is better to have some authority to regulate us, than (as for some time past has been the case) have none.

Virginia has agreed to a cession of their back lands, with some reservations. This is also a very important matter, our present circumstances considered. I flatter myself it will give us some credit, which we stand much in need of, and may possibly give a spring to our affairs.

Congress have been seriously engaged, for the last ten days, in a Committee of the Whole, considering of the ways and means for defraying the expenses of the present year. They have agreed to call upon the States for a duty of four per cent. on all goods imported; the like duty on all prize goods; and one eighth of a dollar per ton on all foreign shipping.

This, it is computed, will produce about six or seven hundred thousand specie dollars. This is but a trifle when compared with our wants; but, however, we are going on.

Please to make my most respectful compliments to Mrs. Washington; and believe me to be, my dear General, yours &c.,

JOHN MATHEWS.

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Chicago: John Mathews, "From John Mathews.," Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3 in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, ed. Jared Sparks (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1853), 218–220. Original Sources, accessed February 4, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=85HYBUS7BV1NH8G.

MLA: Mathews, John. "From John Mathews." Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3, in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, edited by Jared Sparks, Vol. 3, Freeport, NY, Books for Libraries Press, 1853, pp. 218–220. Original Sources. 4 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=85HYBUS7BV1NH8G.

Harvard: Mathews, J, 'From John Mathews.' in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 3. cited in 1853, Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, ed. , Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, NY, pp.218–220. Original Sources, retrieved 4 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=85HYBUS7BV1NH8G.