The Conway Cabal

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Whatever its interpretation, the Conway Cabal confirmed Washington as the indispensable man that Flexner, and Freeman before him, described. No one put it more concisely than Lafayette, in a letter to Henry Laurens. Speaking as one who loved him, the Frenchman lamented that Washington “does not deserve that neglect, I say more that kind of insult.” He asked the ultimate question: “If you should loose that same man, what would become of the American liberty? Who could take his place? Certainly some body should raise from the earth—for now I do not [know] any body, neither in the south, neither in the north, neither Gates neither Mifflin, neither Greene . . . who could keep an american army for six months.” After reflection, the politicians, the people, and the generals all agreed: There was no one else.