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October 18, 1776


Nourse, James

Content Description: 

Gen. Gates fr. James Nourse 10/18/1776 Piedmont, Virginia, Oct 18, 1776 Dear Sir: Mrs. Gates being here with Mr. Gates in their way to the nor'ward, I take the opportunity to express my hopes of your favouring me with a line now and then. I thank you for the respectable footing you have established our affairs on, on the lakes. Your private concerns here, I think, go on as well as can be expected when the primum mobile is from home. Your overseer would make rather a better second than first upon the plantation. Shall therefore take the liberty to interfere more with his manoeuvres than I chose to do the first year. I am angry with you for not taking my pistols when you left here, as I lately learn you wanted a pair. How like you the Constitution of the State? Religion being likely to come next upon the carpet, I offer my services for burgess, in the room of Rutherford who is chosen Senator. Pendleton, Hite, Willis, Henshaw, are also canditates. There are two vacancies, Drew having accepted a place. I burn to kick out the Athanasian creed to which we owe the existence of so many deists and atheists; and that, in the publick worship, we rationally adore the one only self-existent God, through Jesus Christ. General Lee, you'll hear, is arrived at New York. Joseph is returned to us from Philadelphia for a few days. My wife is better, upon the whole than usual. James is captain of a Minute company, and seems inclined, when we set about raising our battalions, of entering into the Regulars, which, I apprehend, will be easy, as several of his men are ready to attend him. But if I should go to Williamsburg, can but illy spare him. However, I only propose being there till I can get the church of Virginia established, and a freedom of conscience and from tax for all other sects. Jacob Hite, you will find, has met with an exemplary punishment. John and Tom are gone out to seek after the wreck of his fortune, and after the good old woman and his daughters. When will our infatuated countrymen give over their oppression? Surely it is a great blot in the character of Lord Howe, to be their instrument in endeavouring to establish the tyranny. May the Almighty confound their devices, and bless my friend with health and success, that we may once more enjoy our tranquil retreat. Ny wife desires her affectionate compliments. Joseph, James, Kate, Charles, etc. etc., to No. 12, their respectful ones; and I am, dear sir, sincerely yours, James Nourse To Major-General H. Gates Copied from the American Archives, 5th Series, vol. ll, 1776

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2715 Q St. NW,District Of Columbia,Washington,20007