Nuts for Future Historians to Crack

By Horace Wemyss Smith and John Cadwalader

´╗┐Project Gutenberg's Nuts for Future Historians to Crack, by Various

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Title: Nuts for Future Historians to Crack

Author: Various

Release Date: September 17, 2008 [EBook #26647]

Language: English


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   [Transcriber's note: Many instances of misspelled words and
   inconsistent punctuation occur in this e-book. They have been
   retained as printed in the original. The most obvious instances
   have been marked [TN].]



Future Historians to Crack.





etc., etc., etc.



For some years I had been engaged in collecting material for a life of my
great grandfather, the Rev. William Smith, D. D., Provost of the University
of Pennsylvania, and in doing so, I read all the Bibliographical and
Historical works which I thought could in any way make mention of him. In
no case did I find anything said against his character as a man, until I
read Wm. B. Reed's Life of his grandfather, Gen. Joseph Reed. His remarks
were uncalled for and _ungentlemanly_; what they were, _amount to nothing_,
as they were _untrue_; and therefore not worth repeating. My first idea was
to speak of Gen. Joseph Reed in the same manner, though with more truth;
but finding the truth had been suppressed, and that to publish all I could
wish in regard to Reed, would take up too much room in my work, and be
departing from my original design, I therefore, concluded to publish all
the historical facts in regard to Reed in a small volume by itself, and to
publish such an edition, that it could not be bought up and destroyed.

I have taken the liberty of using the following extracts from an article
published in the Fireside Visitor--by J. M. Church. Whom it was written by
I do not know, but the writer evidently understood his subject.

       *       *       *       *       *

"When it was announced that Mr. Irving was about to present to the public a
life of Washington, we hailed the information with feelings of delight, not
unmingled with gratitude, that the illustrious author of 'Columbus,' the
Sketch Book, and Knickerbocker should make the crowning work of his life
and literary labors, the history of the greatest and purest of patriots, so
dear to the hearts of all his countrymen, and one who, the more time and
investigation develop and explain his motives and actions, the greater and
nobler he appears. Our expectations were great when we contemplated the
vast field that time had laid open to the historian; and though Marshall
and Sparks had left but little to do, we felt there was still enough to
make Mr. Irving's the greatest history of that greatest of men.

On the appearances of the first volume, a number of errors were noticed by
the press, which were subsequently corrected. The most important one, that
in relation to Major Stobo, we are glad to see fully explained and
corrected in a note at the end of the second volume. In the early part of
the second volume, however, a far graver error occurs, we mean Mr. Irving's
estimate of the conduct and character of Gen. Reed, and is it mainly the
object of this communication to set that matter in its true light.

Who can read without emotion of the trials and difficulties that beset
Washington throughout the whole of his career? A Congress so corrupt, that
Livingston writes, 'I am so discouraged by our public mismanagement, and
the additional load of business thrown upon me by the villainy of those who
pursue nothing but accumulating fortunes, to the ruin of their country,
that I almost sink under it.' False friends and traitors intrigue against
him--even Gen. Reed, the very man Mr. Irving so delighted to honor, and an
inmate of his household, writes a letter to Gen. Lee, the aspiring rival of
Washington, reflecting, with harsh severity, on the conduct and character
of his commander and benefactor. Lee's answer fell into the hands of
Washington, and was read by him during the absence of Reed, who made no
attempt at an explanation until Lee was taken prisoner. He then endeavored
to explain the delay, by saying that he had been in the meantime
endeavoring to get possession of his letter, in order that he might show to
Washington that it contained nothing to call forth the violent answer of
Gen. Lee, and, 'In the meantime,' writes Reed, 'I most solemnly assure you,
that you would see in it nothing inconsistent with that respect and
affection which I have, and ever shall bear to your person and character.'
Who can read this without being shocked at the falsehood of the man!

It was, indeed, fortunate for Reed, that Washington never saw that letter.
But how could Mr. Irving quote a portion of so important a document, while
he suppressed the material part? Indeed, we are tempted to believe that
some other hand had supervised those pages, before they were presented to
the public.

We conceive it to be the duty of an impartial historian to collect facts,
and present them to his readers, and he is guilty of falsifying history who
suppresses them. His readers have the same right to _all_ the evidence that
bears upon important occurrence that he has, and though the author may give
his views and conclusions, the reader is not of necessity compelled to
agree with him. We for one, must beg leave to differ from Mr. Irving in his
estimate of Reed's character, and we doubt not that every one reading his
letter will sustain us in our opinion, that his conduct was false and
treacherous in the extreme.

In order properly to appreciate the baseness of Reed's conduct, it is
necessary to consider the circumstances under which it occurred. It was
immediately after Washington had experienced the most trying reverses. Fort
Washington had just been captured; over two thousand men had been taken
prisoners, and his own eyes had beheld his men, partners of his toil,
bayoneted and cut down while they begged for quarter. The Jerseys were
overrun, and Philadelphia threatened by the enemy. Add to this, the
accounts he received from Congress of the state of affairs at home, and it
wanted but the discovery of such treachery to crush a spirit less mighty
than his.

It appears strange that Mr. Irving should form such an undue estimate of
Reed's character, nor can we believe him to be ignorant of what was his
real position and standing among his brother officers. As early as 1776,
when Reed contemplated resigning his commission as Adjutant General, the
announcement was hailed with pleasure, for Reed had few friends. Col.
Trumbull, writing to a member of Congress on the subject, says, "I heard
Jos. Reed had sent his resignation some time ago; in the name of common
sense, why is it not accepted? That man's want of abilities in his office
had introduced the greatest disorders and want of discipline into the army;
it ought to originate from that office. Then he had done more to raise and
keep up a jealousy between the New England and other troops, than all the
men in the army besides. Indeed, his _stinking pride_, as General George
Clinton expresses it, has gone so far, that I expect every day to hear he
is called to account by some officer or other; indeed, he is universally
hated and despised, and it is high time he was displaced." If Mr. Irving
has not seen that letter, we refer him to the New York Gazette, of December
the 9th, 1776, or to Mr. Peter Force's American Archives, if that work be
more accessible to him.

We have still another complaint of omission to make against Mr. Irving, and
we think it too important a point in the history of Gen. Reed to be

A few days previous to the battle of Trenton, when affairs were most
gloomy, and not a single star appeared to give the faintest glimmer of
hope, Reed appeared despondent: "He felt the game was up, and there was no
use of following the wretched remains of a broken army; he had a family,
and it was but right that he should look after their interests; besides,
the time had nearly expired during which they could avail themselves of the
pardon offered by Gen. Howe to all those who should go over to the enemy."
Such were the lamentations of Gen. Reed, until, in the agony of his fears,
he communicated them to Gen. Cadwalader. The feelings of that high-minded,
chivalrous soldier can hardly be imagined--his first impulse was to order
Reed under the arrest, but was deterred for fear of the effect the example
might have on the men. He, however remonstrated with him, and his arguments
appeared for the time to restore his composure. During the night previous
to the battle of Trenton, Reed lay concealed in Burlington, in anxious
expectation of the result of Washington's great master-stroke.

He had opposed the enterprise in his communications with Washington, by the
most discouraging representations, and now anxiously awaited the result.

His fears were worked up to the highest pitch; and the burthen of his
conversation was, how he should protect himself. He had with him a
companion in his weakness, and the determination they both came to was, to
go over to the enemy early in the morning. Before, however, they could
execute their intentions, the news arived[TN] of the victory of the
Americans, the turning point in our country's fortunes, which gave hope to
the people and courage to Gen. Reed.

A few years after these transactions, Reed was accused in the public
newspapers of having meditated a desertion to the enemy. He replied in a
pamphlet, in which he attempted to defend himself, and addressed it to Gen.
Cadwalader, whom he conceived to be the author of the charges and between
whom and himself there was some unfriendly feelings, arising out of
pecuniary transactions between them. Cadwalader came out with a crushing[A]
"Reply," in which though he denied having published the statements in the
newspapers, he yet affirmed the truth of them, and brought such
overwhelming _proofs_ to sustain his charges, that the public lost all
confidence in Reed, and failed to re-elect him to the office he had just
held. It is not within the limits of an article like this to go through
Gen. Cadwalader's pamphlet, suffice it to say, he was supported by
Alexander Hamilton, Dickinson, Doct. Rush, Bradford, and numerous others.
Among other things, it was proved that previous to the battle of Trenton,
Reed had sent to Count Dunop, who commanded at Bordentown, to ask if he
could have a _protection_ for himself and _a friend_. The messenger
narrowly escaped being hanged, through the intercession of a friend of
Count Dunop. This is corroborated by an extract from the Diary of "Mrs.
Margaret Morris."

Extract from a Journal kept by Margaret Morris, for the amusement and
information of her sister Mitcah Martha Moore. Her residence at the time,
was on the "bank" at Burlington, N. J., at the corner of Ellis Street.

       *       *       *       *       *

"January 4th, 1777, we were told by a woman who lodged in the same room
where General Reed and Colonel C---- took shelter, when the battle of
Trenton dispersed the Americans, that they (Reed and C----) had laid awake
all night consulting together about the best means of securing themselves,
and that they came to the determination of setting off next day as soon as
it was light to the British Camp, and joining them with all the men under
their command. But when the morning came an express arrived with an account
that the Americans had gained a great victory. The English made to flee
before the ragged American Regiments. This report put the rebel General and
Colonel in high spirits, and they concluded to remain firm to the cause of
America. They paid me a visit, and though in my heart I despised
them--treated them civilly, and was on the point of telling them their
conversation the preceding night had been conveyed to me on the wings of
the wind, but on second thought gave it up--though perhaps the time may
come when they may hear more about it."

There is still another page in the life of Gen. Reed that remains to be
told, and that is the attempt alleged to have been made by Mrs. Ferguson to
bribe him. All are familiar with his intensely patriotic reply, refusing
_ten thousand pounds_, and the best office in the colonies, in his
Majesty's gift. To be sure, Gov. Johnstone,[B] in a speech before
Parliament, most emphatically denied having employed[C] Mrs. Ferguson to
offer to Gen. Reed any bribe whatever, while at the same time he admits
that _other_ means besides persuasion were used. Does he allude to the pair
of elegant pistols that Reed accepted after the attempt to bribe him, and
with which he was charged in the public papers? But Mr. Irving has not yet
approached this delicate subject, and to his able hands we leave it, fully
conscious he will give it the attention so important a circumstance

Should he fail, however, to do justice to Gen. Reed in this matter, he will
pardon us if we again take the liberty of addressing him on the subject.

We have been careful in our strictures upon the character and conduct of
Gen. Reed to assert nothing that unquestionable evidence does not sustain;
and if by our remarks we have lowered him from the undeserved eminence to
which the injudicious zeal of interested parties has so industriously
labored to elevate him, this result must rather be attributed to the
weakness of the support, and the frailty of the statue, than to the vigor
of the blows we have bestowed upon it.

The most we have done has been to remove the deceptive varnish, and the
idol has fallen to pieces.

                                                               T. S. P.

Proceedings of a General Court Martial of the line, held at Raritan in the
State of New Jersey, for the trial of Major General Arnold, Published by
order of Congress, Philadelphia.

Printed by Francis Bailey in Market Street, 1780.

Extract from the defence of General Arnold.

       *       *       *       *       *

"On this occasion I think I may be allowed to say, without vanity, that my
conduct, from the earliest period of the war to the present time, has been
steady and uniform. I have ever obeyed the calls of my country, and stepped
forth in her defence, in every hour of danger, when many were deserting her
cause, which appeared desperate. I have often bled in it; the marks that I
bear, are sufficient evidence of my conduct. The impartial public will
judge of my services, and whether the returns that I have met with are not
tinctured with the basest ingratitude. Conscious of my own innocence, and
the unworthy methods taken to injure me, I can with boldness say to my
persecutors in general, _and to the chief of them in particular_, that in
the hour of _danger_ when the affairs of America wore a _gloomy aspect_,
when our illustrious general was retreating through New Jersey, with a
handful of men, I did not propose to my associates basely to quit the
general, and sacrifice the cause of my country to my personal safety, by
going over to the enemy and making my peace.

"I can say I never basked in the sunshine of my general's favour, and
courted him to his face, when I was at the same time treating him with the
greatest disrespect, and villifying[TN] his character when absent. _This is
more than a ruling member of the Council of Pennsylvania can say," as it is
alleged and believed._

The first edition of the Cadwalader Pamphlet was published in the year
1782, within the last twenty years all the copies, or nearly so, have been
spirited away--where or by whom no one knows. They have been stolen from
the public libraries and from the book cases of private individuals. In
1848 a second edition was issued. The publisher of this edition was
threatened with prosecution, and although but six years have passed, it is
now looked upon as a valuable curiosity. To the second edition was prefixed
the following Introduction.

"A few years since a writer, over the signature of "Valley Forge,"
published in an evening paper of Philadelphia, called the "_Evening
Journal_," and put forth certain statements connected with our
revolutionary history, which caused a great excitement, and led to a
challenge of an interview with the author, by the descendants of a person,
whose character was considered as involved in doubt, as to his being a
patriot of 1776. The party challenged failed to attend the proposed
meeting, and this pamphlet will give a clue to the whole writings of
"Valley Forge," and justify completely the course pursued by the editor of
the "_Evening Journal_," who is not now of this world, and of course a
matter immaterial perhaps to his friends and relatives.

    NOTES.--"The allusion to the disrespectful treatment of the
    General refers in part, (I fancy) to the letter addressed by
    General Charles Lee to Reed, which came to head quarters and
    was opened by Washington."--See Life of Joseph Reed.

    "Joseph Reed at the time of the prosecution of Arnold was
    President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania,
    and as is well known, took an active and prominent part
    against him."--See Spark's Life of Arnold, page 140.

The letter of Major Lennox and P. Dickinson refer to a person whose name is
not mentioned, who was included in the application to Count Donop for a
protection. There certainly must be in the possession of some of the
descendants of revolutionary families, evidence to show who this person
was: and it may yet be produced, to do justice to the memory of the men who
figured in those times.

_Trenton, December 26th, 1846._

The Valley Forge Letters were originally published in the Evening Journal,
edited by Reuben Whitney, Esq., in the year 1842. I have given the printer
the cuttings from that paper, so that the reader will get them in the exact
condition in which they appeared, perhaps not in the same order.



Genl. JOSEPH REED'S Remarks





By General John Cadwalader.


  Gen. George Washington, Gen. Alexander Hamilton, Major David
  Lennox, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Gen. P. Dickinson,
  Gen. Henry Laurens and others.

       *       *       *



In Front Street, the fourth door below the Coffee-House.



When an appeal is made to the public by a person who has interested himself
in the affairs of America from the beginning of the present revolution, he
has a claim to their attention, with respect to transactions that reflect
either upon his political conduct or principles as a patriot.

I wish, most sincerely, that all prejudices in favor or against General
Reed or myself, may be laid aside on the present occasion, and that truth
and justice may influence the determination of the public.

The world is now in possession of General Reed's address to me, relating to
a conversation I had with him at Bristol, in the winter of 1776, and as it
contains the grossest reflections upon my character, as a man of veracity
and a patriot, it is incumbent on me to reply.

Mankind have been much the same, in every age, with respect to their
conduct in political life. Their minds have been inflamed by the same
passions, prejudices, and resentments, and parties have been supported by
complaints and representations, which naturally grow into invective and
personal abuse.

From these principles, General Reed has deduced those arguments and
conclusions, which he vainly affects to think will justify him in
asserting, that my conduct has been influenced by motives of hatred,
resentment, and disappointed ambition. But when it shall appear, from the
testimony I have inserted in the following sheets, that the conversation
alluded to was spoken of by me in confidence, at a time when he asserts
that all former personal dislike was removed, and that "we united in
confidence and danger at the battle of Monmouth;" at a time, too, when he
admits, that "no party or prejudices existed, (at least as to him,") the
premises from which he has drawn his conclusions must be removed, and
consequently his arguments fall with them.

If my bare affirmative against his negative was the only foundation on
which the public were to found their judgment, our several characters, in
the article of veracity, would be fairly weighed by candor, and a verdict
given in favour of the preponderating scale. If, then, I had hazarded an
assertion, without other (the most respectable) testimony to support it,
the consciousness of my own integrity would have suppressed any fears with
respect to the public opinion.

The many and hasty movements of my family during the present contest, have
displaced several valuable papers relating to property as well as military
affairs. I do not, however, despair of yet finding important ones relating
to this matter, that may some time hence be published. But what need is
there of more than I shall here adduce; since every prejudiced mind must
feel (if not acknowledge) the testimony too respectable and powerful to
admit of apology or reply. Testimony, too, obtained, (in many instances,)
from persons to whom I am scarcely known,--persons residing in other
States, who cannot be supposed to be the particular enemies of General
Reed, or in any way connected with the politics of Pennsylvania.

Many other certificates, supporting and confirming those I shall here offer
to the public are omitted, as it is thought they will swell the publication
to an unnecessary size; and affidavits may, if required, be obtained to all
the certificates which appear in this pamphlet.

       *       *       *       *       *

As the publication signed "Brutus," addressed to General Reed, containing
certain queries, is referred to, it is thought necessary to reprint it.

          _To the Printer of the Independent Gazetteer._

    SIR,--It is much to the honor of America, that in the present
    revolution, there have not been many instances of defection
    among officers of rank in the Continental army. In Oliver
    Cromwell's time, we frequently see a general fighting one day
    for the King, another for the Parliament; so unstable and
    wavering were the opinions of those republicans.

    The corruption of the times is now become a universal
    complaint, and one would be almost tempted to believe, that
    the former days were better than these; that our forefathers
    were possessed of greater moral rectitude than the present
    generation, did not history and experience convince us of the
    contrary. There is, however, one great evil peculiar to this
    age--that of assuming the credit of being endowed with virtues
    to which we are perfect strangers. Cunning, address, and
    eloquence, have often misled the honest but too credulous
    multitude, and they have been taught to consider many a man as
    a patriot and a hero, whose real character was marked with
    nothing but deceit and treachery to his country. It is also
    amazing, that such men should meet with the highest success,
    and bear their blushing honors thick upon them, whilst modest
    merit and true patriotism could neither gain the suffrages of
    the people, nor the approbation of those who held the reins of

    The reflections I am now making have, in a striking manner,
    been verified in this State. I should be extremely sorry to
    accuse without a just foundation, or to adduce a charge, were
    I not convinced that it is of the utmost importance that the
    public,--the people at large--should be enabled to form a
    right opinion of such men, who have been honoured, or may be
    honoured with their suffrages, and thereby exalted to places
    of the highest trust and confidence.

    Impressed with this idea, and with a design to elucidate such
    characters, I shall take the liberty to propose to the public
    the following queries:

    1. Was not General R----d, in December, 1776, (then A----t
    G----l of the Continental army,) sent by General Washington to
    the commanding officer at Bristol, with orders relative to a
    general attack intended to be made on the enemy's post at
    Trenton, and those below, on the 25th, at night?

    2. Two or three days before the intended attack, did not
    General R----d say, in conversation with the said commanding
    officer at his quarters, that our affairs looked very
    desperate, and that we were only making a sacrifice of

    3. Did he not also say, that the time of General Howe's
    proclamation, offering pardon and protection to persons who
    should come in before the 1st of January, 1777, was nearly
    expired, and that Galloway, the Allens, and others, had gone
    over, and availed themselves of the pardon and protection
    offered by the said proclamation?

    4. Did not he, General R----d, at the same time say, that he
    had a family, and ought to take care of them; and that he did
    not understand following the wretched remains of a broken

    5. Did he not likewise say to the said commanding officer,
    that his brother, (then a colonel or lieutenant-colonel of
    militia,) was at Burlington with his family, and that he had
    advised him to remain there, and if the enemy took possession
    of the town, to take a protection and swear allegiance?

    It is well for America, that very few general officers have
    reasoned in this manner; if they had, General Howe would have
    made an easy conquest of the United States. And it is very
    obvious, that officers of high rank, with such sentiments, can
    have no just pretensions to patriotism or public virtue, and
    can by no means be worthy of any post of honour or place of
    trust, where the liberties and interest of the people are
    immediately concerned.


    _Philadelphia, September 3, 1782._


In the first part of your late publication, which is no less an invective
against me, than it is a defence of yourself, you have, with sufficient
art, insisted on my remarkably contentious, factious,[D] and jealous
spirit, which suffers no man, undisturbed, to enjoy his well-earned fame; a
circumstance in my character you expected to derive considerable benefit
from in the controversy between us. For this point being once gained, every
suggestion, every article of charge against you, which has its foundation
and support in me, would naturally be referred to those fierce and
malignant passions you have so unsparingly bestowed on me, and no longer
rest upon the general credit and reputation I trust I have acquired and
maintained. But as I cannot, without injustice to myself, make this
concession to you, I must declare my general tenor of conduct to have been
far otherwise,--that in my private life I have been at peace and harmony
with all mankind; and in my public, at enmity only with such public men as
have disgraced their country by their vices or injured it by their crimes.

Wherein until the present, except in a single instance, have I drawn the
public attention by attacks upon the character of any man? and that
instance, an impostor, like yourself, who had got into a seat of honor. In
this, it was virtue to become his accuser.

If you rely upon _your_ instance, as affording a proof of my eagerness for
controversy, it will not answer your purpose. I have not brought you to the
public bar; for, whatever was the amount of your offences, I neither urged
nor wished a public inquiry; another has brought you there, and I appear
only as a witness against you, challenged and defied by yourself.

This being premised, I shall enter upon my subject, and reply to such parts
of your pamphlet as respect me, and therefore specially concern me to

Your remarks, you say, are with propriety addressed to me; because though
not the actual author, it is to me you are really indebted for the
insidious attempt on your reputation.

That the public may have the most authentic proofs of the manner in which I
have been involved in this controversy, I think it necessary here to insert
the original letters that passed in the course of our correspondence, last
fall, on this subject.

    SIR,--I have, for a long time, treated the anonymous abuse
    which disgraces our public papers with the contempt it
    deserves. But in Oswald's paper, of last Saturday, are a set
    of queries, signed Brutus, in which the author, not daring to
    make an open assertion, has insinuated, that in 1776 I
    meditated a desertion to the enemy. Though my soul rises with
    indignation at the infamous slander, I should treat it with
    scorn, if it did not seem to deserve some credit from a
    reference to you. Prejudiced, as I know you are, I should be
    sorry to suppose you capable of propagating such a sentiment,
    or decline the opportunity of doing justice to my character,
    and in some degree your own. And this for two reasons: first,
    the gross falsehood of the insinuation; and, secondly, to
    preserve a consistency in your own character, which must
    suffer from your placing such confidence in me, with respect
    to the military operations of that period, and permitting
    General Washington to do the same, after such a conversation
    as these queries suppose. I need make no apology, in this
    case, for requesting an immediate answer,--and am, sir,

                              Your obedient humble servant,
                                                     JOSEPH REED.

    _Market Street, Sept. 9, 1782._
      Gen. Cadwalader.

    SIR,--In answer to your letter, which I received last evening
    by Mr. Ingersoll, relating to queries published in Mr.
    Oswald's paper of last Saturday, signed Brutus, I can assure
    you, (as I did Mr. Ingersoll,) that I am not the author of
    that publication; nor have I published one single word, since
    I came from Maryland, relating to the politics of this state;
    yet my character has, unprovoked, been traduced by you, or
    some of your friends. But, sir, I have repeatedly mentioned
    the substance of those queries to individuals immediately
    after the conversation alluded to happened; and since that
    time in many mixed companies. As charges of the same nature
    had some time since been made against you, to which you never
    made a reply, the world very justly concluded they were true;
    especially as the rank and character of the person who made
    the charge (at that time) merited your notice. From this
    circumstance, it occasioned an additional surprise, that you
    should, in this instance, undertake to investigate the matter,
    and declare in your letter to me, that the "insinuation" was
    "a gross falsehood." I therefore now assert, that in a
    conversation with you at the time and place mentioned in the
    above publication, signed Brutus, that you expressed the
    substance, and I think the very words, contained in the
    queries. If my character for veracity wanted credit with the
    world, one or two other gentlemen could be named, who, at
    nearly the same time, heard expressions from you, which
    created in them sentiments unfavourable to your character. You
    seem to insinuate that there is an inconsistency in my
    conduct, because I afterwards reposed a confidence in you, and
    because I permitted General Washington to do the same. It
    would have been very dangerous, at that critical period, to
    have exposed your weakness and timidity to the militia, as
    such an example might have been attended with the most fatal
    consequences to our cause. And as your conduct, upon this
    occasion, appeared to me to proceed from want of fortitude,
    and not the baser motives,--and as from the observations I
    made to you at the time, you seemed to resume more spirited
    sentiments in conversation, as well as from political motives,
    I continued to show an appearance of confidence, and concluded
    it best not to mention it to the General. The successes that
    soon followed gave a happy turn to our affairs, and thus, you,
    (with many others,) appeared to possess firmness in prosperity
    who had shown a want of it in times of imminent danger.

    If your conduct in civil life had been such as could have been
    approved of, former transactions might have been buried in
    oblivion. But when I see a man endeavouring to injure the
    reputation of those, whose principles and conduct, from the
    beginning of the contest, have been uniformly exerted to
    obtain those ends intended by the revolution; and when he
    denies all merit to those who are not equally violent with
    himself, it is difficult to be silent.

                I am, sir, your obedient servant,

    _Philadelphia, 10th Sept., 1782._              JOHN CADWALADER.

      General Reed.

                                   _Philadelphia, Sept. 10, 1782._

    SIR,--After waiting some time, and being just about to set off
    for Bucks, I received your letter of this morning, and am at a
    loss which to admire most, the depravity of your heart, or the
    weakness of your understanding. Your quoting General Arnold's
    testimony to vindicate your own falsehood is perfectly
    consistent. You shall hear further from me on my return from
    Bucks. In the mean time, I have made inquiry of Messrs. T.
    Smith and Shippen, whom you mentioned to Mr. Ingersoll as
    hearing from you sentiments similar to those in the queries,
    with a view of communicating them to me; which they never did,
    because they deny the least recollection of any such
    information; which must have been too striking to them, and
    interesting to me, to have passed unnoticed. Your talent for
    invention is also displayed on this occasion most probably.

    Whatever you may suppose, several of my friends well know,
    that I have been anxious to trace some loose reports that I
    had heard, which your residence in Maryland, and the
    improbability of your saying such things, had induced me to

    As to your insinuation of my writing against you in the
    newspapers, or its being done with my privity, it is equally
    groundless with all the rest. I have not wrote in the
    newspapers for a long time, nor at any time in my life
    respecting you.

                 I am, sir, your very humble servant,

    General Cadwalader.                              JOSEPH REED.

                      _To General Reed._

    SIR,--I shall make no reply, _at this time_, to the
    expressions contained in your letter of the 10th inst.; but as
    you inform me that you are on the point of setting off for
    Bucks, I do not think it incumbent on me to remain here until
    you return, especially as I informed Mr. Ingersoll, that I
    intended leaving town as soon as the dust was laid, and wished
    you to take your measures as soon as possible, as I should
    make my arrangements accordingly. Some of my servants are
    gone, and I have every thing packed up; it will, therefore, be
    very inconvenient to detain my family, as you do not mention
    when you purpose returning. As you say I shall hear from you
    on your return from Bucks, I must inform you, that the post
    leaves this city for the Eastern Shore every Wednesday, at
    three o'clock; be pleased to direct to me, in Kent County,
    Maryland, to be left at Stewart's. You shall have my answer by
    the return of the post, or if necessary, I shall attend in
    person for further investigation.

               I am, sir, your obedient servant,

    _Philadelphia, 12th Sept., 1782._             JOHN CADWALADER.

    SIR,--Mr. Clymer delivered me your letter of the 12th instant.
    Your sudden departure from this city was indeed
    unexpected,--your declaration to Mr. Ingersoll not implying it
    to be so very soon;[E] and I should have supposed that my
    letter of the 10th, would have some weight to protract your
    journey. Before I received yours of the 10th, I had prepared a
    small publication, which the receipt of your letter did not
    influence me to alter or delay; as no signature could change
    the nature of things, and make falsehood truth, or truth
    falsehood. Having there declared the insinuation in Oswald's
    paper of the 7th instant to be false, I now apply the same
    epithet to your avowal of them; and am sorry, though not
    surprised, that your violence of temper should have occasioned
    such a deviation from the line of veracity so essential to the
    character of a gentleman.

    I am already possessed of sundry authentic documents; a few
    days will complete them,--not to show my innocence,--the
    improbability of your charge, and inconsistency of your own
    conduct, making that unnecessary; but to show to what lengths
    a rancorous heart, puffed up by sudden and accidental wealth,
    can push a man of weak judgment and ungovernable passions.

    I need not give you my address, though I think it incumbent on
    me to assure you, that if by investigation you mean a personal
    interview, I will endeavour to make it as convenient as
    possible, and will shorten the distance between us.

              I am, sir, your obedient humble servant,

    _Philadelphia, 23d Sept., 1782._                JOSEPH REED.

    General Cadwalader.

                                _Maryland, 30th September, 1782._

    SIR,--I received yours of the 23d inst. by the post. From the
    style of your first letter, (9th Sept.) in which you required
    an "immediate answer," I fully expected an immediate
    interview. As you declined the interview I proposed through
    Mr. Ingersoll, and left town the next morning, without saying
    when you proposed returning, and having determined not to
    "alter or delay" the "small publication," which you "had
    prepared before the receipt of my first letter,"--I am at a
    loss to know what could have occasioned your surprise at my
    departure, before your return from Bucks. After having
    promised to the public the most satisfactory proofs, that no
    such conversation as alluded to in the queries ever passed, it
    was reasonable to allow you some time to prepare your
    "authentic document." Your last letter (23d Sept) informs that
    they were not _then_ completed. And could you reasonably
    expect that I should have remained in town till this is
    completed? or could you suppose I would suffer your
    publication, worked up, as it no doubt will be, with all the
    cunning and misrepresentation you are master of, to pass
    unanswered? As you have protracted this affair by your
    _engagement_ to the public, I shall not put it in the power of
    _accident_ to deprive me of the opportunity of laying the
    facts I am possessed of open to public view. The question will
    then be, whether what I have avowed is true? My wealth,
    judgment, or passions, can have no influence, either way, with
    impartial men. My own character, the character of others
    concerned, and all the circumstances combined, will determine
    the judgment of the public. This business being ended, an
    interview may reasonably be expected.

                 I am, sir, your humble servant,
      Gen. Reed, Philadelphia.                   JOHN CADWALADER.

Having for several years given over every expectation of seeing those
changes made in the constitution of Pennsylvania, which I have ever thought
necessary to secure that happiness and liberty intended by the revolution,
I retired, and have never since even expressed my sentiments concerning the
politics of this state, except among my particular friends. Your vexatious
administration hath furnished an example, to what a dangerous length the
authority of government may be carried under such a constitution.

The particular circumstances of my family made it necessary to spend a few
months in this city, last summer, without an intention of taking up my
residence here till the conclusion of the war; and though I never
interfered in politics here, except among my particulr[TN] friends, I was
attacked, in the public papers, by a party blindly devoted to you and your
measures; I made no reply, from a confidence that such intimations could
not injure me with those whose good opinion I regarded. But whether a
friend published the piece signed Brutus, in the mere spirit of
retaliation, or whether it was calculated for political purposes, at the
last election, let the author determine. The conversation, alluded to in
the queries, was known to many long before that period; among whom were
some of your friends, in proof of which I offer Mr. Prior's

Having mentioned the conversation _publicly_, those who heard it were
certainly at liberty to make what use of it they saw proper.

Being entrusted with the command of the militia and a New England brigade,
which lay at Bristol in December, 1776, I had permission from the
Commander-in-chief to make an attack on the enemy, whenever I thought it
could be done with success; I was prepared on the evening of the 22d
December, to attempt the enemy's post, above the Black Horse, with seven
hundred men; and about nine or ten o'clock, P. M., I received a letter from
the general, requesting, if the enterprise was not too far advanced, to lay
it aside, as he intended a general attack on the enemy's posts in a few
days. From this circumstance, it appears, that the general gave me the
information relating to the intended attack, the evening before you
received his letter of the 23d December, in which the precise time was
fixed. As he knew my intention to command the party myself, and therefore I
might not be at Bristol the next day, this will account for his letter, of
the 23d being directed to you. But here you mean to convey an idea that a
preference in this communication was intended to you, though he had given
me, in effect, the same information the evening before. This, too, you
adduce as a proof of the general's "unbounded confidence in you," and you
say you were sent by General Washington for the "express purpose of
assisting me;" and "whatever my abilities were, that I had less experience
of actual service than you had,--that you were received with cool civility,
and very few marks of private attention;" though you acknowledge that I, at
the same time, consulted you without reserve on our "military affairs." I
will admit, that your opportunities of acquiring experience were greater
than mine; and considering the extensive command I then had, (which was in
number nearly equal to the force under the immediate command of General
Washington,) I should have thought it no reflection on my abilities; nor
would it have hurt my feelings, if an officer of superior abilities and
rank had been sent to take the command,--or even an _inferior_ officer to
assist me. But whether your appointment was of the mere _motion_ of the
commander-in-chief, or at your instance, (for assisting me or _other
purposes_,) may at least become a _question_.

That I received you "with cool civility, and very few marks of private
attention," I do not remember; but to give what you mean to convey its full
force, I will not hesitate to acknowledge it in its fullest extent; as you
have granted, that I consulted "without reserve on our military affairs."
In this instance, the world will do me justice, as it appears that I did
not suffer personal dislike to interfere with public duty.

Though the world have little to do with the causes of private animosities,
I shall think myself perfectly excusable, here to say a few words on this
subject, as you have assigned causes for the interruption of our intimacy
different from the true ones, and with a view of creating prejudices
against me.

I acknowledge that such intimacy subsisted between us in early life, and
you malignantly date its "dissolution" at the time of my sudden accession
of fortune as owing thereto. If I were to admit, that you could properly
date this breach from the moment you mention, I flatter myself, you would
find it very difficult to persuade those who know me, to believe that to be
the true cause. But this was really not the fact. The unworthy measures you
took to evade the payment, (till compelled by a judgment of the court,) of
Mr. Porter's order on you in favor of my brother and myself, which you had
accepted, (to be paid out of a bond assigned by said Porter to you in
trust,) was the true motive of that dissolution you complain of. If you
turn to the records of the court, or review the correspondence with my
brother on that subject, you must blush at such a subterfuge. From _that_
time, and owing thereto, I avoided your company. I could here make the
proper reflections, with respect to your veracity and integrity, but the
world will do you justice.

The critical situation of our affairs, in the winter of 1776, is well known
to every inhabitant of the United States; but those only who were at that
time in the field, can have a true idea of the circumstances which often
threatened the dissolution of the militia. My situation gave me better
opportunities of knowing the feelings and temper of both officers and
privates, than any other person; and the happy expedients used on several
occasions, to prevent their going home in a body, are well known to many
officers whom I then had the honour to command.

The first intimation we had of the capture of General Lee, was received by
a flag which arrived at my quarters. To determine whether this was a
misfortune, or an advantage to the cause of America, is at this time
immaterial. It was then, however, generally thought a matter of great
magnitude, in the British as well as in the American camp. The effect it
had on our army is well remembered by those who were present, but
particularly on the militia.

That men attached to a cause upon principle, should persevere in a
prosperous situation of affairs, is not uncommon. We were at that time
separated from our enemies only by a river, which we expected every day
might be passable on the ice,--greatly inferior in number and discipline,
and almost destitute of everything necessary even for defence. Add to this,
a proclamation of General Howe, offering pardon and protection to those who
should submit and swear allegiance before the first of January, 1777, and
this time nearly expired. I say, under such circumstances, it would be
wonderful indeed, if no officer of the army sunk under the apprehension of
those dangers that threatened him. That there were more than _yourself_, I
well know, whose expressions discovered a timidity unworthy an officer and
a patriot, who, notwithstanding, from the well-timed and spirited
remonstrances of their friends, were induced to assume a firmer tone of
behaviour, and have since rendered their country considerable services.

Having fully stated the temper of men's minds at this alarming period, and
the situation of public affairs, I shall now recite the conversation and
circumstances relating thereto, which I have avowed in my letter to you of
the 10th September, as having passed between us at Bristol.

I had occasion to speak with you a few days before the intended attack on
the 26th December, 1776, and requested you to retire with me to a private
room at my quarters; the business related to intelligence; a general
conversation, however, soon took place, concerning the state of public
affairs; and after running ever a number of topics,--in an agony of mind,
and despair strongly expressed in your countenance and tone of voice, you
spoke your apprehensions concerning the event of the contest,--that our
affairs looked very desperate, and we were only making a sacrifice of
ourselves; that the time of General Howe's offering pardon and protection
to persons who should come in before the first of January, 1777, was nearly
expired; and that Galloway, the Allens, and others, had gone over, and
availed themselves of that pardon and protection, offered by the said
proclamation; that you had a family, and ought to take care of them, and
that you did not understand following the wretched remains (or remnants) of
a broken army; that your brother (then a colonel or lieutenant-colonel of
militia,--but you say of the five months' men, which is not material,) was
then at Burlington, with his family; and that you had advised him to remain
there, and if the enemy took possession of the town, to take a protection
and swear allegiance; and in so doing he would be perfectly justifiable.

This was the substance, and I think nearly the very words; but that "_you
did not understand following the wretched remains (or remnants) of a broken
army_," I perfectly remember to be the _very words_ you expressed.

That our situation was critical, and the dangers that threatened us great,
were universally acknowledged; but I was astonished to hear such
expressions from the _Adjutant-General_ of the army, as your conduct had
been approved of by report; for your good behaviour was not personally
known to me. Judging from appearances, and from all circumstances at the
time, I imputed these sentiments _solely_ to timidity; and therefore, to
rouse your feelings, and give new vigor to a mind weakened by fear, I
recalled to your memory your former public professions and conduct, and
endeavoured to paint, in the strongest colours, the fatal consequences,
that would ensue from such an example, particularly to the militia; that if
officers, (more especially one in your station,) discovered a want of
firmness, we could not reasonably expect private soldiers to remain in the
field; and added, that as I was commanding officer there, I should not pass
over such expressions in future; appearing to be invigorated by these
remonstrances, your subsequent conversation induced me to hope from you a
more honourable resolution. The immediate turn in our affairs confirmed
this hope. I had, besides, at the moment, a still stronger dissuasive. I
foresaw that an "arrest," or discovery, on my part, would produce all the
bad effects naturally to be apprehended from actual desertion; I mean with
respect to the discouragement which such an example would have caused in
the army, but particularly in the militia; and especially, as at that time
the militia were assembling at Philadelphia, under General Putnam, from
every part of the country, influenced by the example of the city troops, as
well as by a sense of danger and duty. If, then, the city militia had
disbanded, no person can hesitate to determine what would have been the
fate of those from the country.

The reasons of my concealing it from the General were, that nothing but an
arrest, on his part, could have prevented the execution of this plan of
desertion, and the bad consequences ensuing from it, the betraying of
secrets; and such arrest would have wrought the _other_ ill consequences I
have spoken of. In this dilemma, I used a discretion which I considered
most advantageous to my country; and trusted to my hopes, that so important
an event, as your defection, would not happen, and thus avoid the
_immediate_ and _certain_ EVIL. And besides, I have, in every stage of the
war, shown a disposition to overlook political weaknesses, conceiving that
every man we could retain in the service an acquisition, tending to draw
forth the whole strength and abilities of my country against the common

That the conversation alluded to is a new tale, devised in the malignancy
of party, has been asserted by you; and on this assertion is founded many
of your strongest conclusions in favour of your own innocence. But what
must the world think of your effrontery, when they read the following
letter of Col. Alexander Hamilton, who was then Aid-de-Camp to the
Commander-in-chief, and now a delegate in Congress; whose conduct and
character are well known and approved by the citizens of every State in the
Union,--a gentleman, who, being a resident of the State of New York, cannot
be supposed in any manner concerned in the politics of Pennsylvania?

                                 PHILADELPHIA, _14th March, 1783_.

    DEAR SIR:--Though disagreeable to appear in any manner in a
    personal dispute; yet I cannot, in justice to you, refuse to
    comply with the request contained in your note. I have delayed
    answering it, to endeavour to recollect, with more precision,
    the time, place and circumstances of the conversation, to
    which you allude. I cannot, however, remember with certainty
    more than this: that some time in the campaign of
    seventy-seven, at head-quarters in this State, you mentioned
    to me and some other gentlemen of General Washington's family,
    in a confidential way, that at some period in seventy-six, I
    think after the American army crossed the Delaware in its
    retreat, Mr. Reed had spoken to you in terms of great
    despondency respecting American affairs, and had intimated,
    that he thought it time for gentlemen to take care of
    themselves, and that it was unwise any longer to follow the
    fortunes of a ruined cause, or something of a similar import.
    It runs in my mind, that the expressions you declared to have
    been made use of by Mr. Reed were, that he thought he ought no
    longer to "risk his life and fortunes with the shattered
    remains of a broken army:" but it is the part of candour to
    observe, that I am not able to distinguish with certainty,
    whether the recollection I have of these words arises from the
    strong impression made by your declaration at the time, or
    from having heard them more than once repeated within a year

    I am, dear sir, with great esteem, your obedient servant,
                                                       A. HAMILTON.
    To General Cadwalader.

At the time I communicated the contents of Colonel Hamilton's certificate
to him, in confidence, it appears by your own acknowledgment, that[G] "no
party or prejudices existed, (at least as to you,")--"the intercourse
arising from these mingled duties and services, which were continued until
the army went into winter quarters, at the VALLEY FORGE, soon did away the
coolness which had for some years subsisted, and in no small degree revived
our former habits of friendship;"--"but it was our lot to meet again, a few
days before the battle of Monmouth; here we were again united in confidence
and danger. After the battle, we left the army together, and that period
closed our friendly intercourse forever." From these, (your expressions,)
you affect to believe, and wish the world to think, that our former
friendship was restored. It was not so; I cannot call it friendship. The
transaction I have mentioned occasioned the dissolution of that intimacy,
contracted in early life, which but little accorded with my notion of
perfect integrity. From that time, and owing solely to that cause, I took
the resolution to avoid your company, as a private gentleman, and which I
constantly adhered to. Meeting in the army, where we served most of the
time in the character of volunteers, I did not think it right to suffer
former dislikes to interrupt the duties and services required of us by the
commander-in-chief, so necessary for mutual and general safety. If, then,
my dislike to you did not proceed from such motives as sometimes induce men
to seek for opportunities of gratifying their resentments, for what purpose
could I have invented such a "_tale_?" or if my resentment was such as you
represent, why did I not gratify it by making it public immediately? at
that time, my mind could not have been "inflamed by party;" because you
admit, that no parties then existed, ("at least as to you;") nor could my
ambition have been disappointed,--because, being commanding officer of the
Pennsylvania Militia, (the council of safety, who then held the powers of
government,) could not gratify me further. I could not have "mistaken a
conversation with some other person," because there was not that "distance
of time," which you suppose, nor can it be conceived by the most credulous
to be "some jocular expression;" because the situation of affairs rather
suppressed than excited in you the appearance of mirth. Having mentioned
this conversation long before parties were formed here, it must appear to
every impartial person, that it could not have been the mere invention of
my own "brain," suggested in the spirit of party; and it is still more
absurd to suppose, that I could have foreseen that you, who then thought as
I did concerning the essential objections to the constitution of
Pennsylvania, should refuse the appointment of Chief Justice, because you
could not, in conscience, take the oath of office; that Mr. Wharton (the
first President,) should die; and yet that you should afterwards accept the
chair of government. It is, however, incontestibly proved, that the
conversation alluded to was spoken of by me at an early period, and long
before your appointment to the chair of government; and yet you say, "the
prosecution of General Arnold, I have no doubt, gave rise to it." If I was
to leave it to your ingenuity to explain to the world my motives for
inventing such a "tale," to what purposes could you possibly impute my
design? It could not be to gratify my resentment for the injury you
attempted upon my property; because I did not then make it public; it could
not be occasioned by any personal offence taken in 1777, (when I privately
mentioned it to Colonel Hamilton,) because you contend that our "former
habits of friendship" were revived, and acknowledge, that I never made it
public for several years afterwards. Here, then, the man of humanity may
ask me, why did you, at so late a date, publicly mention a circumstance
injurious to General Reed's reputation, as adjutant-general of the army and
a patriot, which after-services ought to have consigned to oblivion? The
question is a natural one, and I will give it an answer. The first occasion
of my mentioning this matter publicly was this: soon after our return to
the city, in the year 1778, among the victims selected for public examples,
there was a young gentleman, with whom I had formed an intimacy in early
life. I considered him, as he was by many, (and his acquittal justified the
opinion,) as unjustly persecuted; but General Reed, who had resumed his
original profession, _voluntarily_ aided the prosecution, and with all the
force of declamation, labored to inflame his judges and jury against him.
It was then, recollecting how near he once appeared to the commission of
the same offence which he charged upon the other, or at least to a
defection from the cause, that my indignation broke out at the trial,
saying to those around me, that "_it argued the extremity of effrontery and
baseness, in one man to pursue another to death, for taking a step which
his own foot had been once raised to take_!"[H] This was anterior to his
elevation to the Presidency, and whilst his powers of doing mischief, were
he so inclined, were circumscribed by the narrowness of his sphere of
action; at such a time, could I think his loss of fame so essential to the
public good, or, if he will, to the purposes of party, as to be willing to
attempt it, at the expense of my private veracity, my honour and

The inconsistency of such ostensible conduct, and the baseness of a
meditated defection, is not irreconcilable to those who have had
opportunities of knowing that he is not incapable of such vast extremes;
who have seen him at the bar of the assembly he himself disqualified by the
non-compliance with the test of laws, as since fully appears by a
publication signed Sidney, unblushingly attempt to set aside the famous
Chester election, upon the suggestion of its having been carried by
electors disqualified from the like circumstances.

It is thus I would have answered the question, why I have mentioned
publicly your meditated defection, and I trust that such provocation
merited those reflections which might otherwise have remained in my own

The objection to the force of my single testimony thus obviated, did no
other offer to corroborate it, I should not hesitate to submit it, under
such circumstances, to the judgment of the public, resting _their_
determination upon the credit of _my_ veracity against _yours_. Having
supported an unblemished character, I dare defy any person to produce an
instance where I have even been suspected of an untruth, or of a base or
dishonourable action. Conscious of the truth of what I have asserted, I
have no fears that my conduct will ever "dishonour me with the wise and

The reason I have assigned for the dissolution of our intimacy antecedent
to the war, will afford a better proof of your ingenuity than your
integrity; and further, (with respect to your veracity,) if any other
instance is necessary, let me add one which happened at camp, (at
head-quarters,) in the year 1777, soon after the battle of Germantown, when
in my hearing, and in the presence of three officers of the first rank in
the army, you was charged to your face with a falsehood, and which was
fully proved the next day, by the general officer who made the charge.

And now, before I introduce the concurrent testimony in support of my
assertion, I shall take but a momentary notice here of those disrespectful
expressions with which you have decorated your pamphlet. Weakness of head,
is an accusation of a kind which it would equally puzzle the fool and the
wise to reply to; but against that of badness of heart, my known tenor of
conduct, in private and public life, must be my defence; if that fails, it
must be needless in me to set up any other.

But if even prejudiced men should still doubt the truth of my assertion,
with respect to the conversation alluded to, in the above representation,
every doubt must be removed upon reading the following certificates.

                                   _Hermitage, 5th October, 1782._

    DEAR GENERAL,--In the winter of 1776, after we had crossed the
    Delaware, General Reed, in conversation with me, said that he,
    and several others of my friends, were surprised at seeing me
    there. I told him, I did not understand such a conversation;
    that as I had engaged in the cause from principle, I was
    determined to share the fate of my country; to which he made
    no reply, and the conversation ended. As I had the honour of
    commanding the militia of New Jersey, both duty and
    inclination led me to use every exertion, in support of a
    cause I had engaged in from the purest motives. I was really
    much surprised at General Reed's manner, considering the
    station he then acted in, and his reputation as a patriot; but
    I considered it as the effect of despondency, from the then
    gloomy prospect of our affairs.

    This I mentioned to several of my friends at the time, who all
    viewed it in the same point of light.

                     I am, dear General, yours,

    General Cadwalader.                              P. DICKINSON.

    I do hereby certify, that in December, 1776, while the militia
    lay at Bristol, General Reed, to the best of my recollection
    and belief, upon my inquiring the news, and what he thought of
    our affairs in general, said that appearances were very gloomy
    and unfavourable; that he was fearful or apprehensive the
    business was nearly settled, or the game almost up, or words
    to the same effect. That these sentiments appeared to me very
    extraordinary and dangerous, as I conceived they would, at
    _that time_, have a very bad tendeney[TN], if publicly known to be
    the sentiments of General Reed, who then held an appointment
    in the army of the first consequence.

    _Philadelphia, March 12, 1783._                    JOHN DIXON.

    A few days before the battle of Trenton, on the 26th of
    December, 1776, I rode with Mr. Reed from Bristol to Head
    Quarters near New Town. In the course of our ride, our
    conversation turned upon public affairs, when Mr. Reed
    expressed himself in the manner following.

    He spoke with great respect of the bravery of the British
    troops, and with great contempt of the cowardice of the
    American, and more especially of the New England troops. So
    great was the terror inspired by the British soldiers into the
    minds of our men, that he said, when a British soldier was
    brought as a prisoner to our camp, our soldiers viewed him at
    a distance as a superior kind of being.

    Upon my lamenting to him the supposed defection of Mr.
    Dickinson, who it was unjustly said, had deserted his country,
    he used the following words: "Damn him--I wish the devil had
    him, when he wrote the Farmer's letters. He has began an
    opposition to Great Britain which we have not strength to

    Upon my lamenting that a gentleman, of his acquaintance, had
    submitted to the enemy, he said, "that he had acted properly,
    and that a man who had a family, did right to take that care
    of them."

    The whole of his conversation upon the subject of our affairs,
    indicated a great despair of the American cause.

    Upon my going to Baltimore, to take my seat in Congress, the
    latter end of January, I mentioned the above conversation to
    my brother. I likewise mentioned it to the Hon. John Adams,
    Esq., with whom I then lived in intimacy, a day or two after
    his return from Boston to Congress. I did not mention it with
    a view of injuring Mr. Reed, for I still respected him,
    especially as I then believed that the victory at Trenton had
    restored the tone of his mind, and dissipated his fears, but
    to show Mr. Adams an instance of a man possessing and
    exercising military spirit and activity, and yet deficient in
    political fortitude. To which I well remember Mr. Adams
    replied in the following words: "The powers of the human mind
    are combined together in an infinite variety of ways."

                                                    BENJAMIN RUSH.

    _Philadelphia, March 3, 1783._

    I went with Congress to Baltimore, in 1776. On the arrival of
    my brother there, a few weeks afterwards, I called to see him.
    To the best of my recollection, Mr. Clerk and Dr. Witherspoon,
    delegates from New Jersey, were in the room with him. The two
    former, after some time withdrew, and my brother then
    mentioned the conversation as related by him above. He
    informed me, also, of some _other_ conversation that passed
    between Mr. Reed and him, which is not necessary at present to

                                                       JACOB RUSH.

    _Philadelphia, March 3, 1783._

    Joseph Ellis, a Colonel of Militia, in the county of
    Gloucester, and State of New Jersey, doth hereby certify, that
    upon the retreat of a body of militia from before Count Donop,
    in the neighborhood of Mount Holly, in Burlington county, in
    the month of December, 1776, he met with Charles Pettit, Esq.,
    _then Secretary of the said State_, that a conversation ensued
    between them respecting the situation of the public dispute at
    that period; that Mr. Pettit, in said conversation,
    representing that our affairs were desperate, Col. Ellis
    endeavoured to dissuade him from such an opinion, when Mr.
    Pettit replied, "What hurts me more than all is, my
    brother-in-law, General Reed, has, (or I believe he has,)
    given up the contest." That a good deal more passed between
    Mr. Pettit and Col. Ellis, during the said cnnversation[TN], but
    omitted here, as being thought unnecessary.

                                                     JOSEPH ELLIS.

    _Woodbury, March 9, 1783._

    I do certify that I was present at the conversation alluded to
    above; that although I cannot recollect the express words made
    use of in the said conversation, yet such conversation did
    take place, and that the substance of it answers to the
    certificate of Col. Ellis.

                                               FRANKLIN DAVENPORT.

    _Woodbury, March 9, 1783._

    These are to certify, that in December, 1776, and January,
    1777, I, the subscriber, was Major of the second battalion of
    Philadelphia Militia, whereof John Bayard was Colonel, and
    then lay at Bristol, and part of the time opposite Trenton, on
    the Pennsylvania side. That while we lay at Bristol, Joseph
    Reed, Esq., joined us; that during his being there and near
    Trenton, he often went out for intelligence, as Col. Bayard
    told me, over to Burlington, in which place the enemy
    frequently were; that being absent frequently all day and all
    night, I as frequently inquired what could become of Gen.
    Reed. Col. Bayard often answered me, he feared he had left us
    and gone over to the enemy. One time in particular, being
    absent two days and two nights, if not three nights, Col.
    Bayard came to me with great concern, and said he was fully
    persuaded Gen. Reed was gone to join the enemy and make his
    peace. I asked him, how he could possibly think so of a man,
    who had taken so early a part, and had acted steadily. He
    replied, he was persuaded it was so; for he knew the General
    thought it was all over, and that we would not stand against
    the enemy; and at the same time wept much. I endeavoured all I
    could to drive such notions from him, but he was so fully
    persuaded that he had left us and gone over to the enemy, that
    arguing about the matter was only loss of time; Col. Bayard
    often making mention, that he knew his sentiments much better
    than I did. After being absent two or three nights, Gen. Reed
    returned, and I never saw more joy expressed than was by Col.
    Bayard; he declared to me, that he was glad Gen. Reed was
    returned, for he was fully convinced in his own mind that he
    was gone over to the enemy.

                                                WILLIAM BRADFORD.

    _Manor of Moreland, Philadelphia County, March 15, 1783._

    Having been called upon by General Cadwalader respecting a
    report which has been propagated concerning Mr. Joseph Reed--I
    declare on my honour, the circumstances are as follows. In the
    spring of 1780, I obtained permission for an interview with my
    brother at Elizabethtown. In the course of conversation, one
    day, he happened to mention that there were men among us, who
    held the first offices, who applied for protection from the
    British while they lay in New Jersey. I was alarmed at this
    assertion, and insisted on knowing who they were;--he said,
    that when the British army lay in Jersey, in 1776, Count Donop
    commanded at Bordentown; that he was often at that officer's
    quarters, and possessed some degree of his confidence; that
    one day, _an inhabitant came into their lines, with an
    application from Mr. Joseph Reed, the purport of which was, to
    know whether he could have protection for himself and his
    property_, (there was another person included in the
    _application_, whose _name_ it is not necessary here to
    mention.) The man was immediately ordered for execution, but
    it was prevented by the interposition of my brother and some
    other persons, who had formerly known him. Perhaps Mr. Reed
    and his friends may say, that Count Donop would not have
    ordered the man executed, had he not thought he came for
    intelligence. No doubt that officer would have justified his
    conduct by putting upon the footing of a spy, but why was
    another person included in the application, and one who was
    not looked on as a trifling character? his name I will mention
    to any one who will apply to me; however, my brother said, the
    man who was sent with the application was a poor peasant, and
    the most unfit person in the world to send for intelligence;
    this argument was what had weight with Count Donop, and which
    saved his life.[I] These circumstances being mentioned by a
    brother, and which he declared to be true, naturally produced
    an alteration in my sentiments of Mr. Reed; for previous to
    this, there were few men of whom I entertained so high an
    opinion. On my return to Philadelphia, I made no secret of
    what I heard; indeed, I thought it my duty to mention it
    publicly, that it might prevent further power being put into
    the hands of a man who might make a bad use of it. The report
    circulated daily, and I was often called on to mention the
    circumstances, which I always did, and which I should have
    done to Mr. Reed, had he applied to me. I remember, among the
    number who came to me, was Major Thomas Moore, who said he
    intended to inform Mr. Reed; but whether he did or not, I
    cannot pretend to say.

    There is another thing I wish to mention. My brother came into
    the river in a flag of truce, on special application of our
    commissary of prisoners, to take a number of prisoners who
    were exchanged, to save us the expense and trouble of sending
    them by land; this was in the month of May, 1781. He was
    detained, about nine miles below the city, upwards of four
    weeks, and never permitted to visit it, although application
    was made for that purpose, by several captains of vessels, who
    had been prisoners, and to whom he had rendered civilities. I
    declined making application myself, as I supposed my being in
    the service from the commencement of the war, and having
    endured a rigorous confinement for eighteen months, in the
    worst of times, to have been sufficient to have obtained
    permission for a brother to have been in my house, in
    preference to a cabin in a small vessel in a river;--however,
    I endeavoured to make his situation as agreeable as possible,
    by visiting him often, and by taking my friends with me. I
    REMEMBER Col. Francis Nichols went with me one day, to whom my
    brother mentioned Mr. Reed's intended desertion, and who, I
    doubt not, will acknowledge it, on any person's applying to
    him; he is at present in Virginia, but is expected in town in
    a few days.

                                                    DAVID LENNOX.

    Having been called upon by General Cadwalader, to certify, so
    far as my knowledge extends, as to the matter hereinafter
    mentioned, I do declare, that in the spring of the year 1781,
    I went with Major Lennox, of this city, on board of a flag of
    truce vessel, then lying in the river Delaware, where she had
    arrived from New York, and heard Mr. Robert Lennox, deputy
    commissary of prisoners under the British king, say, that in
    the year of 1776, a person had arrived at Count Donop's
    quarters, near Bordentown, in New Jersey, who told the Count,
    that he had been sent to him by Gen. Reed and another person,
    whose name I do not think necessary to mention, to procure a
    protection for them; that the Count refused to grant them a
    protection in that manner, and was about to treat the person
    who had applied to him as a spy, but was prevented by the
    entreaties of the said Robert Lennox, and some other

    _Philadelphia, 17th March, 1783._            FRANCIS NICHOLS.

Here, then, it fully appears, that the testimony contained in the above
certificates, all point to the same object, and to the same period
mentioned by me, supporting and confirming each other. They likewise
clearly prove the whole progress of your meditated defection; they prove
that you deceived me by those professions, by which I had been induced to
trust to your appearances of fidelity, as you absolutely made an
application for a protection to Count Donop, in which an intimate friend of
yours was included.

But what opinion must the world form of your veracity, when you are
detected in falsely asserting, that you had not mentioned such sentiments
to your most intimate friends and relations. "Is it not utterly
incredible," you say, "that I should hold such communication or sentiments
from my most intimate friends and relations, and make it to a person with
whom I had held no friendship for many years; who had received me with
coldness." Mr. Pettit is your relation, and Col. Bayard your most intimate
friend, with whom, at that time, you had the freest intercourse. To these
you communicated your sentiments, as appears by the certificates of Col.
Bradford, Col. Ellis, and Mr. Davenport; but your friend, hinted at in
Major Lennox's certificate, had consented to accompany you in your intended
desertion. The height of your iniquity does not end here; you endeavoured,
by your influence, to spread general disaffection, in order to lessen your
share of the infamy, by dividing it among many. Had you conferred with men
whose principles were in every instance like your own, you might have
succeeded, as every person concerned might have carried off his particular
friend with him.

If all the evidence which now appears against you, had been produced at
that time, what would have been your fate, as you then, (being
_Adjutant-General_ of the army,) was subject to the Continental articles of

In the 10th page you say, you can "truly declare, that the subject of the
present slander was not known to you, till its appearance in the
newspaper." Having mentioned it at the Coffee House, (as appears by Mr.
Pryor's certifiate[TN],) in the presence of some of your friends, it was
reasonable to expect they would have informed you of it; but it seems there
is some difference between private information and a public charge made in
the papers. As a gentleman, there can, in my opinion, be no difference; as
you say, in your letter of the 9th Sept. last, that this insinuation seems
to deserve some credit from a _reference_ to _me_. You insinuate, that if
you had heard it, you should have noticed it. To this, however, the world
will give little credit, as you made no public or private inquiry
respecting the charge made in Major Lennox's certificate, though he
communicated it to Major Thomas Moore, son of the late President, whose
permission I have for asserting publicly, that he informed you of what
Major Lennox had related, the very day he heard it.

The matters mentioned in Major Lennox's certificate, and in that of Col.
Nichols reach vastly beyond me; here you absolutely apply for protection;
and if one report demanded your notice, in reference to my authorities, why
not another, more alarming to you, your notice in reference to Major

But the consciousness of the communications made to confidential friends,
and others, suggested the fear of other proofs. As long as it was only
communicated by private information, you were willing to submit to private
censure. But when a charge, which originated from me, was made in the
papers, it reduced you to the disagreeable alternative of a tacit
confession, or the hazard of public proof. And in the present instance, if
I am rightly informed, you was perfectly disposed to treat the publication
signed Brutus, with that "silent contempt," which, you say, you have for a
"long time observed, with respect to the anonymous abuse which disgraces
our public papers;" but your friends, feeling the weight of the charge,
goaded you into so unfortunate a measure. _"Unhappy man! against whose
peace and happiness all are combined."_

What answer can you make to the weight of testimony here produced against
you? I see nothing left, but to declare to the world, that the whole is a
wicked combination to destroy you; you may say, "you thought _me_ entitled
to the whole infamy of the insinuation," till the above mentioned witnesses
"consented to divide it with me;" and that, "if you did not sufficiently
measure the malignancy of their dispositions, or thought more favourably of
them than you ought to have done, you are content to acknowledge your
error, and do full justice in this respect hereafter;" and if any person
should ask you, would all these gentlemen hazard such assertions without
foundation? you may answer, "it is difficult to resolve what men of
ungovernable passions will or will not say, when their minds are inflamed
by party, and their breasts burning with disappointed ambition;" may they
not have "mistaken a conversation with some other person, or at this
distance of time, converted some JOCULAR EXPRESSION into such suspicions as
they have mentioned;" and you may add, "the MEMORIES of MEN may fail; their
minds are subject to the warp of prejudice and passion; they may convert
into serious import what was dropped in JEST; and, from false pride,
persist in what they have said, because they have said it, even against the
conviction of their own consciences."

In your letter of the 23d of September last, you say, "you have declared
the insinuations in Oswald's paper of the 7th inst. false; and you apply
the same epithet to my avowal of them." This assertion has been fully
refuted by the concurrent testimony of your _intimate friends_ and others.
In your friends, you thought yourself perfectly secure; but the weakness of
two of them has betrayed you, and the third is proved your accomplice.

It would, indeed, have appeared somewhat extraordinary, if you had not
discovered your intentions to some of your intimate friends and relations;
and that "no circumstance should occur to correspond with this imputation,"
after having communicated the same to me. Nor are proofs wanting, if they
were here necessary, independently of those I have already adduced, with
respect to some of your friends, who at the time held considerable commands
in the militia.

And "though specially sent by General Washington," as you say, "for the
express purpose of assisting me," it may not be here improper to make a
short observation, in which I conceive I shall be perfectly justifiable.
Though the duties of an Adjutant General would naturally confine you to the
Continental army, yet I can easily conceive that there was no difficulty,
by hints thrown out, or by the interposition of a friend, to induce the
commander-in-chief to permit you to come to Bristol, under the _pretence_
of assisting me; being, as _you represent_, well acquainted with the
inhabitants of Burlington, through whom you might obtain information. But
from the evidence which appears against you, it will not be thought
uncharitable to conclude, that you conceived your plan could be better
executed at Bristol, than under the eye of General Washington. Besides, you
might reasonably hope to shake more easily the constancy of untried
officers of militia, than those in the army, whose minds might be supposed
better fortified against such attacks.

I am at a loss for words to express my indignation for the attempt you made
on my integrity; for though I did not see it in that point of view at the
time, yet the whole testimony, as now collected, fully proves such to have
been your intention; and happy I conceive it to be for my own honour and
the safety of my country, that you found in me that strength of mind, which
you might not have experienced in some of your particular friends, had they
been in my situation.

The circumstances relating to the letter you wrote Count Donop, created at
the time no suspicions; nor do I recollect any publication which alludes to
it. This affair, and that mentioned by Major Lenox[TN], are distinct
transactions; but it is not more than probable, that at the interview you
proposed under cover of serving the inhabitants of Burlington, you intended
to confer with Count Donop upon the subject of your own interest and
personal safety? This suspicion, in my opinion, is perfectly warranted by
the indubitable proofs of your intended desertion. Another circumstance
relating to this affair was equally unusual and improper. Mr. Daniel
Ellis,[J] by whom you sent the letter with a flag, was universally known to
be disaffected; having been so long in the service you could not be
ignorant of those obvious reasons, which prove the propriety of sending men
with flags, whose attachment to the cause is well known, and men of

Every page, almost, of your publication is full of reflections against me,
and almost upon every subject; so intent have you been to injure my
reputation. The errors I committed during my command may serve a double
purpose; because he who committed them is subject to censure, and he who
points them out claims the merit of the discovery. That I committed
errors, I readily admit; my friends have marked some, and subsequent
experience discovered others; but I am conscious they proceed from want of
experience, not a want of integrity. Why, then, need I seek to justify
myself, when, from the nature of the war, considerable commands were, from
necessity, entrusted to young officers, there being few amongst us to whom
the profession was not entirely new. But, I confess, it would give me
infinite pain, if, by "a strange inattention of mine to the tide and state
of the river," and the not arriving "one hour" sooner at Dunk's Ferry, we
had lost the opportunity of striking a blow at Mount Holly, of equal glory
with that at Trenton. When you insinuated, in the former part of your
address, a superior knowledge in military matters, by saying you had more
"experience," I gave up the point, and left you the happiness of thinking
so; for why should I have contended a point with a man who, throughout his
pamphlet, assumes to himself the merit of all those brilliant successes, so
highly commended even by our enemies, and which determined the fate of
American independence. And if I was sensible that the charge you now make
was true, or could be thought so, by competent judges, I would scorn to
defend my error.

My orders were, to make the attack one hour before day, and to effect a
surprise, if possible. The impropriety, therefore, of sending the boats
from Bristol to Dunk's Ferry, and marching the troops from the same place
in open day, is evident, as such a movement must have been observed, and
communicated to the enemy. And now, tell me the instance, where even
continental troops have arrived at the point of attack at the given time?
It was General Washington's intention to have made his attack on Trenton
before day; yet, from unavoidable delays, he did not arrive there till
after eight o'clock in the morning. We reached Dunk's Ferry a little before
low water, and can any person believe, that if we had arrived "one hour
sooner," we could have passed over near twenty-five hundred men, four
pieces of cannon, ammunition wagons and horses, and all the horses
belonging to officers, in that time, in the night too, and the river full
of ice, with only five large batteauxs and two or three scows; when it took
us at least six hours, (a day or two afterwards,) to cross above Bristol,
in open day and the river almost clear of ice. Strange "inattention,"
unhappy commander! That "_a single hour_, which we might have enjoyed with
equal convenience and equal risk," should be the only obstacle to a scene
of equal glory with that of Trenton, and yet you have represented to
General Washington, as appears by his letter,[K] dated six o'clock, P. M.,
25th December, 1776, to me, _being the very same night_, and before we
marched to Dunk's Ferry, that you gave him the most discouraging accounts
of what might be expected from our operations below. What, then, were those
discouraging accounts? Why was I not acquainted with them? or were they
thrown out to influence him from making his attempt on Trenton, by
representing that no co-operation from our quarter could favour his
enterprise? In the general's opinion, it is plain, it had that tendency.
But in the heedless fury of this stroke at me, you have incautiously
unguarded your most tender part.

"Anxious to fill up the part of this glorious plan assigned to us," you
"passed over, you say, with your horse, to see and judge for yourself." You
did so. "Having seen the last man re-embarked, you proceeded before day to
Burlington." Here permit me to correct you, because there is no
circumstance better ascertained, than that many of the men were not brought
back till eight o'clock the next morning.

Your motives for going to Burlington that night, were then thought a
mystery; 'tis now no longer so; and the "_other circumstances_," that
permitted you to join us again at Bristol, are now clearly accounted for.
General Washington's success or defeat was, no doubt, to determine whether
you were to remain a citizen of the United States of America, or to be a
shameful deserter of your country.

You say, you went to Philadelphia, at my request, to confer with Gen.
Putnam; that you set out in the evening, (the 24th December,) and reached
Philadelphia about midnight; but what credit, can you reasonably expect,
will be given to your "detail of proceedings," in other particulars, when
you find yourself detected in such gross contradictions in the following

In the 17th page you say, "Upon conference with General Putnam, (at
Philadelphia,) he represented the state of the militia, the general
confusion which prevailed, his apprehensions of an insurrection in the city
in his absence, and many other circumstances, in such strong terms, as
convinced me, no assistance could be derived from him;" and yet, in your
letter to me, dated Philadelphia, 25th December, 1776, 11 o'clock, you say;
"General Putnam has determined to cross the river, with as many men as he
can collect, which, he says, will be about five hundred; he is now
mustering them, and endeavouring to get Proctor's company of artillery to
go with them. I wait to know what success he meets with, and the progress
he makes; but, at all events, I shall be with you this afternoon."

Here the representation stated in your pamphlet is contradicted by a letter
in your own handwriting. Having forgot, perhaps, that you had written such
a letter, your ingenuity furnished materials for a plausible narrative,
suitable to your purposes; not suspecting that such proof could be adduced
in opposition to it.

Having returned to Bristol about daylight on the 26th December, with the
greater part of the troops, I received an account, about 11 o'clock, A. M.,
from a person just arrived from Trenton Ferry, that General Washington had
succeeded in his attack. I immediately despatched a messenger with a line
to General Ewing, for information, but all I could learn was, that the
victory was ours.

From the continuance of the rain and wind, I concluded the ice must be
destroyed in the course of the day, and instantly sent down to Dunk's Ferry
for the boats. This being an extraordinary service, required of men who had
been exposed to the storm the whole night, was, however, cheerfully
undertaken and executed. I then consulted Col. Hitchcock, who commanded the
New England brigade, to know whether his troops would willingly accompany
us to New Jersey, as I had determined to cross the river in the morning, if
practicable, to co-operate with General Washington. He informed me, that
his troops could not march, unless they could be supplied with shoes,
stockings and breeches; upon which I instantly wrote to the Council of
Safety, and obtained seven hundred pairs of each of the above articles,
which arrived about sunrise on the morning of the 27th December. This
second attempt being determined on, I went with several officers, in the
afternoon of the 26th, to fix upon a proper place for crossing the river
above Bristol, and the next morning before day viewed the Jersey Shore in a
barge, for the same purpose. By your relation, one would imagine you had
been the _life and soul_ of this second movement across the Delaware,--as
little privy to it as the emperor of Morocco,--but it is no unusual thing
for you to intercept the praise due to others of creditable actions.
Instead of being present to confirm my proposed movements, by your advice,
you remained at Burlington, "in a kind of concealment, till the weather and
OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES permitted you to join us at Bristol," after all our
resolutions were taken, and the most of our arrangements made. In the
tissue of your representations, it is your purpose to insinuate my
deficiency in military conduct in the subsequent transactions. Let my
relation of it be heard!

We marched on the 27th, in the morning, and the ice being by this time
chiefly destroyed, we met with little obstruction in passing. The last
division of the troops being embarked, and then crossing, we received
private information, that General Washington had re-crossed the river, and
returned to Newtown, in Pennsylvania, from whence he dates his letter, 27th
December, 1776, informing me of the particulars of the action at Trenton,
and which was not received, contrary to your assertion, till we had marched
above a mile on our way to Burlington; it was then read to the troops, who
were halted for this purpose. We had, however, before given full credit to
the first information of his having re-crossed; on which previous
information I called together the field officers, to consult what was then
best to be done. From this circumstance, Col. Hitchcock, and some others,
proposed returning to Bristol. I instantly declared my determination
against it, and recommended an attack upon Mount Holly, as from the
information we had of the force at that post, we might easily carry it, and
should then have a retreat open towards Philadelphia, if necessary. You
then, "_as a middle course_," advised our going to Burlington; in which
those who had at first proposed our return, joined in opinion. This was the
true cause of that hesitation you remarked with respect to me. Burlington
was in a position, in my judgment, very dangerous; as in case we should be
invested there, and the river impassable, we should be forced to submit at
discretion, for want of provisions, or hazard an action against troops
superior in discipline, and perhaps in number, if their whole force was
collected to that point. Having no other retreat open to us, but that over
the river, it was evident this could not be effected without the loss, at
least, of those who might be ordered to cover the retreat. Having passed
the river in open day, it was probable the enemy might be informed of it;
and, in that case, the post at Mount Holly reinforced. To determine whether
we should take a position, unanimously approved by the council, but which I
thought extremely dangerous; or adhere to my own plan, unsupported by a
single voice, was certainly a question that required more than a momentary
consideration, even for an officer, at this stage of the war. Being pressed
for some resolution, as the day was far spent, I waived my own opinion, and
acquiesced in the desire of marching to Burlington; but it is ridiculous to
suppose, as you say, that your brother's intelligence of Count Donop's
retreat, could have influenced my acquiescence, for it did not arrive till
after our resolutions were taken,--and besides, was not credited; because
if it had reached us before, and been credited, I should not have
acquiesced in such desire; if even after, I should naturally have taken
another course, and pursued the flying enemy, instead of going to
Burlington, which was five miles in the rear.

Late that night, I received certain information, that the enemy had
evacuated all their posts in the neighborhood, and immediately despatched a
messenger to General Washington with the intelligence; in answer to which,
I received his orders, very early next morning, to pursue and keep up the
panic, and that he would cross at Trenton that day. From this circumstance,
it appears that the General had taken his determination before your
pretended information or advice from Trenton could have reached him.

In justification to myself, I have thought it necessary to point out your
false state of facts, in these particulars; the multitude of lesser ones,
relating to military matters, I shall pass over, as this publication is
already necessarily lengthened beyond my first intention.

As I hinted, in my letter of 10th September last, that "charges of the same
nature had been, some time since, made against you," by Arnold; you say,
you "allow full weight to so respectable a connexion and testimony;" to
which you made no reply, though from the rank and character of Arnold at
that time, they merited your notice. Arnold having received his information
from me, it cannot be concluded, that I meant by his testimony to
strengthen my own assertion; but merely to show, that having before been
charged, you did not reply; from which many believed it true. And when he
apologized to me for inserting it in his defence without my permission, I
remarked, that an apology was unnecessary, from the public manner in which
I had mentioned it.

Arnold was commanding officer in this city, very generally visited by
officers of the army, citizens and strangers. I received the usual
civilities from him, and returned them; and often met him at the tables of
gentlemen in the city. To my civilities, at that time, I thought him
entitled from the signal services he had rendered his country; services
infinitely superior to those you so much boast of; he stood high, as a
military character, even in France, and after your prosecution, he was
continued in command by Congress; appointed first, by the
commander-in-chief, to the command of the left wing of the army, and
afterwards to that important post of West Point, where his treacherous
conduct exceeded, I fancy, even your own idea of his baseness. To what,
then, do your insinuations amount? They cannot criminate me, without an
implied censure on Congress and the commander-in-chief. But why contaminate
my name, by connecting it, in this instance, with such a wretch? when you,
yourself, at his trial, with a half-shamed face, seemed to apologize for
being his prosecutor, and became his fulsome panegyrist. It consisted,
however, with that artifice and cunning which has ever been the sum of your
_abilities_, and the whole amount of your _wisdom_.

Your remarks on my letter of the 10th December, 1777, are so inconsistent,
that I shall bestow a few observations on them. "So strong and virulent,"
you say, "was my antipathy to the constitution, and such my enmity to those
who administered it, that you believe I would have preferred _any_
government to that of Pennsylvania, if my _person_ and _property_ would
have been equally secure;" and yet it seems, in the next sentence you say,
"but it was our lot to meet again, a few days before the battle of
Monmouth; here we were again united in _confidence_ and _danger_." If you
really thought I would prefer _any government_ to that of Pennsylvania, why
did you then take so much pains to show, that we again united in
"_confidence_ and _danger_," at the battle of Monmouth, so many months
after I had discovered that virulent antipathy, and which now hath extorted
such gross reflections?

You say, my breast was burning with disappointed ambition; but how does
this appear, when, immediately upon the formation of the new government, I
was appointed the first of three brigadiers, which created me commanding
officer of the militia. Could my ambition be gratified further? But to
obviate every objection, let me suppose you meant, that I wished to rise to
power in the civil line,--which, however, has never been insinuated
before,--let me here call to your memory, how easy the task was for _any
character_ to rise to the first offices of government. I confess, I do not
think so meanly of myself, as to have dreaded any rivalship from some of
the candidates of those days; nor do I mean, by this declaration, to
insinuate any extraordinary merit, when I estimate mine by that of those I
have alluded to. I could not have consented to make the sacrifices
required; but you, however, and some others, as much opposed to the
essential parts of the constitution as I was, freely made them, and broke
through every obligation of faith and honour.

The charge you have brought against a party in the state, of an opposition
to its constitution, deserves some attention. I will digress a little from
my main subject to examine how far this charge is true, and how far the
thing is in itself criminal.

Government is generally so reverenced among men, that those who attempt to
subvert any system of it whatever, have to contend against a very natural
prejudice. But this prejudice can only be in degree with the antiquity of
its establishment; for modern error, how high soever its authority, has but
little claim to our veneration. This concession made, could it be expected
that our novel constitution, liable at first blush to so many important
objections, should not have its opponents; but that in a moment it should
be submitted to, as implicitly as if it had had the sanction of ages? What
circumstance was there, in the production of this whimsical machine, that
should silence, at once, all the remonstrances of reason and sense against
it? Was it not worth a pause to examine, whether this coat, wove for ages,
would fit us or our posterity before we put on; or whether this gift of our
convention would not prove our destruction? From an apprehension that it
would, an opposition was formed, that included a majority of the state. Did
those who composed it, think it criminal to prevent the singular ideas of a
convention, from being carried into execution, against an almost general
sentiment; or did they not rather conceive it safe and better for the
community still to go on in the administration of governmental affairs by
those temporary expedients we had been in the habits of, until their
constitution could be revised?

This idea, patriotic as it was, was defeated by the obstinate enthusiasm of
some, who trembled for this New Jerusalem of their hopes, and by the
scandalous desertion of others, and especially yourself. The ends of
opposition being thus rendered unattainable, but at the hazard of
convulsions, that might endanger the great American cause, the same virtue
that began it, ended it, and it has long since ceased to act.

This is a well-known state of facts; but what it did not suit with your own
by-purposes to admit, could not be expected from your integrity; you have,
therefore, constantly kept up the alarm of a constitutional opposition,
and, on every occasion, referred to this false cause, that honest and
useful opposition which was created by your weak, though violent and
tyrannical administration.

That you was called to the chair of government, by the unanimous vote of
council and assembly, you have often boasted, with a view of conveying to
the world an idea, that even the gentlemen opposed to the constitution
approved the choice. But they neither esteemed you as a gentleman, nor
approved your public conduct. They knew there was a majority in assembly in
favour of your election, and as their grand object was the obtaining a
resolution of that body, recommending the calling a convention for revising
the constitution, some of the party entered into an engagement for this
purpose, and your election was negotiated. _You_ were to use your
endeavours to prevail on the Council to enforce the recommendation of the
assembly by a similar resolution. From your own acknowledgment at the City
Tavern, the resolution of the Council was never obtained, or even moved
for, by you, and for this flimsy reason, that no formal information, of
such resolution having passed, had been communicated to you; though known
to all the world; and that it could not be expected that Council would
"tag" after the assembly, in a measure relating to the public. Yet you had
the effrontery to assert, that "_every engagement on your part_," was
strictly performed.

At this meeting, you say, you "in the most open manner called upon us, to
support our imputations, and that you so effectually vindicated every part
of your conduct, that every gentleman, (myself excepted,) acknowledged his
mistake." I own I made no concessions, and if the reasons I then gave are
not thought a sufficient justification to the world, of the opinion I had
formed, I am content to admit that it was not only "singular," but

After a reasonable pause, I remarked, that from the repeated conversations
I had had with you, on this subject, you appeared to me as much opposed as
I was, to the constitution, before the evacuation of the city; that you had
refused to accept the appointment of Chief Justice, (because you could not
in conscience take the oath;[L]) that a short time before the election, in
1778, you engaged yourself to the constitutional party, to serve in Council
for the County, and to the party in the opposition, to serve in Assembly
for the City; and being chosen in both instances, you hesitated above six
weeks, (though often pressed to a resolution,) before you determined to
accept your seat in Council;--depriving, during this time, the City of a
vote in Assembly, while an important point was debated concerning the
contested Chester election; and voluntarily advocating the question in
favor of the constitutional party; that on the fate of this trial depended
your hopes of succeeding to the President's chair; that a determination in
favour of that party gave them a decided majority, and that you instantly
accepted your seat in Council.--To which you replied, and in recapitulating
my arguments, endeavoured to justify your conduct; but conscious of having
failed in the capital points, you closed your remarks with some warm
expressions, which conveyed the idea of a threat; of which I desired an
explanation. After working up your passions to a degree little short of
frenzy, you expressed yourself in the following terms: I mean this,--"If
the publications traducing my public and private character are continued, I
mean to apply to the law; but if this will not do me that justice, which in
some instances it cannot do,--I know I have the affections and command of
the fighting men of this state; and if necessary, I will make use of that
influence, and call forth that force,--and if bloodshed should be the
consequence be it on your own heads."

Such violent and unwarrantable expressions from the first magistrate of
the state, and in the presence of the whole bench of justices, created the
highest indignation, and were severely reprobated by several gentlemen
present; which induced you afterwards to endeavour to soften your
expressions and meaning.

But if it was singular or absurd, "to expect a President of the State to
enter into the violence of party on _my_ side of the question," let me
oppose to this, the _treachery_ of your conduct in deserting the party to
which you was at first from ("_conscientious_" principles) attached, and
yet, as President, enter into all the violence of party on the other side
of the question.

Again, "upon our return to Philadelphia," you say, "I became the open and
avowed patron of those who are distinguished by the appellation of tories;
and my decisive attachment to the British Army,[N] and their adherents,
"has marked every subsequent period of my life, too plainly to admit of
doubt or denial." If you really entertained such sentiments, why did you,
in the month of February, (after my marriage,) waiving the indignity
offered to you in not paying the usual compliments of congratulation, upon
your appointment, pay me the first visit, and thereby make advances towards
a reconciliation? Such a condescension, so contrary to the _usual forms_,
can scarcely be reconciled even to a character like yours.

Men who acquire popularity by means disgraceful to a gentleman, dare not
hazard a sentiment that is not approved by the party with which he is
connected. I have, on all occasions, and in all companies, private and
public, delivered freely my political opinions; nor has the dread of losing
the little popularity I possessed in Pennsylvania, ever induced me to make
a sacrifice of my honour, by adopting opinions or measures which I
disapproved, or thought injurious to my country. Esteeming it the highest
honour to deserve the approbation of my fellow-citizens, I have ever been
solicitous to obtain it. You and some others have industriously propagated
reports for the purpose of injuring my reputation; but conscious that my
political opinions and conduct will stand the test, upon the nicest
scrutiny, and having never experienced any diminution of that esteem,
respect and warmth of friendship, which my fellow-citizens have ever shown
towards me, a refutation of such calumny is utterly needless.

From the whole of what I have here laid before the public, supported by the
testimony of the most respectable witnesses, the following conclusions may
fairly be deduced:

1. That the conversation alluded to, which I have asserted to have passed
between us at Bristol, was mentioned by me in confidence to Col. Hamilton
and some others of General Washington's family, in the year 1777; and
therefore could not have originated at the time, you mention, or to gratify
my resentment against you, as at that time, you acknowledge, no parties

2. It could not have been invented to gratify my resentment for the attempt
you made to evade the payment of Mr. Porter's order; because I did not make
it public at the time, nor till several years afterwards, and you
acknowledge, all that coolness was done away, and our former habits of
friendship restored.

[TN] As is appears, by Mr. Clymer's testimony, that I mentioned it publicly
at Mr. Hamilton's trial, which was before you were elected President of the
state, it ought to be imputed to another cause than that which you have

4. As it appears, from Mr. Pryor's testimony, that I mentioned it at the
Coffee House, in the hearing of some of your friends, we may reasonably
conclude you were informed of it; and this conclusion is strengthened by
your passing over unnoticed, the information contained in Major Lennox's
testimony, which was related to you by Major Thomas Moore.

5. It cannot appear improbable that you should have held this conversation
with me, as your expressions to Gen. Dickinson, Col. Nixon, and Doctor
Rush, convey sentiments equally injurious to your reputation as a patriot
and Adjutant General of the army.

6. As it fully appears, by the testimony of Col. Ellis and Mr. Davenport,
and that of Col. Bradford, that you had communicated such sentiments to
your brother-in-law, Mr. Pettit, and to Col. Bayard, contrary to your
declaration, we may with propriety assert that you have forfeited that
veracity, which is essential to the character of a gentleman.

Lastly, from the testimony of Major Lennox and Col. Nichols, it appears
that you absolutly[TN] applied to Count Donop for protection, and that a
particular and intimate friend of yours was included in it; and therefore,
from this and the foregoing testimony, all pointing to the same object and
to the same period, supporting and confirming each other, it cannot leave
the least room to doubt the truth of my assertion.

In some instances, a man's general good conduct has had great weight to
invalidate or weaken charges highly criminal; but unfortunately, _yours_
can receive no aid from such circumstances. Dissimulation and cunning have
for a time deceived the most discerning, but the snares you have laid for
others will most probably accomplish your own destruction.

Having long since known how to estimate your character, I have not any
where pretended, in this performance, to fix it at a higher value than what
it generally passes current for; you have, since the term of your
administration, repeatedly put yourself upon your country. Your name has
been offered to the people for a seat in the legislature; to the
legislature, for a seat in Congress; to Congress, for posts of Continental
trust; but that _name_, its counterfeit gilding at length rubbed off, and
the native colour of the contexture exposed, has depreciated, like the
Continental money, with such velocity, that though a few years ago worth a
President's chair, it would not, _now_ purchase a constable's staff; nor is
it more highly rated in the sphere of polite life, than in the great
theatre of the world; for its unfortunate owner stands alone, unnoticed in
the midst of company, with full leisure to reflect on the sensible effects
of the loss of reputation.

My immediate purpose requires nothing further from me; but your
administration, the theme of your own solitary praise, might not improperly
have been touched upon, but that it is a field too extensive for me, and
that I have not asperity enough in my nature to do justice to the subject.
I will yet observe upon some matters in your pamphlet, not in direct
connexion with one or the other subject; but which are extremly[TN]
demonstrative of a temper in the writer to wish evil to the community,
after the power of doing it has ceased.

You, who have ever been a rapacious lawyer, and have never omitted any
means of amassing a fortune, have, with a truly consistent spirit, shown an
implacable enmity to all those who are raised to a condition above want and
dependence. And though you kick against the parallel drawn between you and
the Cataline of antiquity, you have in this point proved its exactness; he
haranguing in the circle of his conspirators, exasperates them against the
opulent citizens of Rome; you, in your pamphlet, labor to create invidious
distinctions, would pervert the order of well regulated society, and make
fortune's larger gifts, or even its moderate blessings, criterions of
disqualification for public trust and honours in Pennsylvania; and under a
spacious description of men, offer with your _sword_ to lead the indigent,
the bankrupt, and the desperate, into all the authority of government. But
in the shallowness of your understanding, you have mistaken the spirit of
the times; it will not countenance or support a Cataline.

You would also, no doubt, as may be inferred from your pamphlet, _you_, who
are so deficient in morality, draw your sword in religious quarrels, to
bring you once more into play; but 'tis to no purpose you would raise an
alarm, as a very great and respectable part of your opponents consist of
persons belonging to that society, of which you profess yourself to be a
member; and there is a general and commendable coolness and indifference
for such quarrels, that will not easily take fire on your false and
inflammatory suggestions; so that whatever you have catched at to raise you
from the earth, has broke in your hands and brought you again to the

                                                        JOHN CADWALADER.





                      From the Evening Journal.

MR. WHITNEY--At this distant day from the American Revolution, a new dawn
seems to be breaking upon the darkness of that period, and much that has
heretofore been shrouded in seemingly inscrutable mystery, is beginning to
be made plain even to the naked vision. The "seventeen trunks" of
revolutionary papers, a selection from which Colonel Beekman, the grandson
and heir of Gen. George Clinton, has just published, in one of the New York
papers, must necessarily contain much of exceeding value: and I should not
be surprised if the Colonel were to receive a visit, at his place on Long
Island, from Mr. William Bradford Reed, to request to be permitted to
_rummage_ their contents, and abstract or destroy any "document" that might
likely prove prejudicial to the fame of his grandfather, the late General
Joseph Reed. The Colonel must keep a sharp look out for Mr. Reed, and turn
a deaf ear to his blandishments, when he arrives.

Doctor Johnson, in one of his Lives of the Poets, makes an observation
strictly applicable to the claim of patriotism, which, originally set up
for himself by General Reed, has been perpetuated for him by his
descendants. Speaking of the boast a certain poet was accustomed to make,
of the sternness with which he had driven back an ass laden with gold, that
had sought to invade the citadel of his integrity, the Doctor remarked,
"but the tale has too little evidence to deserve a disquisition; _large
offers and sturdy rejections are among the most common topics of
falsehood_." That portion of the quotation which I have italicised, fits
the case of General Reed to a hair; but "the tale" of his patriotism,
however "little evidence" there may to support it, _does_ "deserve a
disquisition," if only on account of the pertinacity with which it is
endeavoured to engraft it upon the public mind.

I have already given the _truth_ concerning General Reed's famous reply to
the British commissioners, and I propose to follow it up with the
publication of a few letters, interesting on account of the light which
they shed upon our revolutionary history.

Many of the citizens of Philadelphia must remember Mrs. Sarah Kemp, who
died in Race street, in 1820, at the advanced age of eighty-four years.
Andrew Kemp, the only son of this respectable matron, entered the American
army, almost at the very commencement of the struggle, and before, as his
mother has often informed me, he had reached his majority. As he shall be
my first witness against General Reed, it is proper to make the reader well
acquainted with him. His gallantry, and a personal service which he had the
good fortune to render to one of General Washingston's[TN] immediate staff,
soon promoted him from the ranks, and he fought with great bravery, at the
battles of White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and
Monmouth. Sergeant Kemp was one of the garrison of Fort Mercer, under the
command of Colonel Greene, when that fortress was assailed in the autumn of
1777, by the Hessian troops, commanded by Colonel Donop. In this affair,
which, though not one of the most remarkable, was one of the most brilliant
of the Revolution, Sergeant Kemp particularly distinguished himself, and
was wounded slightly in the arm, and severely in the left thigh by a musket
ball: at the subsequent capture of Fort Mercer by Cornwallis, Kemp was one
of the few who fell into the hands of the enemy--the remainder of the
garrison succeeding in safely evacuating the fort. In a few weeks, he
managed to effect his escape from Howe's winter quarters at Philadelphia,
and immediately joined the American army at Valley Forge. The privations of
that encampment, dreadfully aggravated the sufferings of poor Kemp; but,
after languishing during the season in one of the military hospitals, he
resumed active service in the spring, and served in May under Lafayette at
the affair of Barren Hill. At the battle of Monmouth, he fought with his
usual intrepidity, but the fatigues of the engagement renewed the affection
of his imperfectly healed leg; and, about three weeks after, he was obliged
to submit to its amputation. Upon leaving the army, he received from
General Washington himself a certificate of conduct and character, which I
copy from the original before me.

                                   _Head Quarters, June 23, 1778._

    Sergeant Andrew Kemp is personally known to me as a brave and
    faithful soldier, who has served in several engagements, and
    who desires his discharge only in consequence of the loss of a
    limb, which unfits him for further service. His dutiful
    conduct is reported to me to be equal to his bravery; and he
    retires from the army with my good opinion and that of all
    whom I have heard speak of him.

                                       (Signed,)    G. WASHINGTON.

From among other testimonials to Mr. Kemp's worth and conduct, which formed
to her dying day, the pride and solace of his aged mother, I select the
following, given by Col. Samuel Smith, the late Mayor of Baltimore, and
the gallant defender of Fort Mifflin against the six days' attacks of the

    "Andrew Kemp has served with me three times; the last nearly
    four months. He was discharged from the army last month, in
    consequence of the loss of his leg and other bodily
    infirmities. I have always found his conduct exemplary. He
    came to me with high recommendations from officers whom he had
    previously served with, and fully realized what they had
    prepared me to expect from him.

                                        (Signed,)    SAMUEL SMITH.
    _September 3, 1778."_

This brave fellow fell a victim to his benevolent daring, during the
prevalence of the yellow fever in this city, in 1798. Upon the death of his
mother, the certificates of character which I have transcribed, and a
number of his letters, of various dates, written while he was in the army,
passed into the hands of the veteran, to whom in my former article, I
referred, but whose name I am not _yet_ at liberty to mention. From among
them, I make two selections--the first a letter to his mother, who then
resided in Chester County.

    _Camp, June 13th; 1788._

    My Dear Mother,--You must be very uneasy not hearing from me
    so long, and the only wonder is that I am alive to give any
    account of myself. After my escape from Philadelphia, last
    November, I wrote to you, but whether you received my letter
    or not I cannot tell, for I have never heard a word of you
    since. We have had a dreadful time of it through the winter at
    Valley Forge. Sometimes for a week at a time with nothing but
    frozen potatoes, and even worse off still for clothing;
    sometimes the men obliged to sleep by turns for want of
    blankets to cover the whole, and the rest keeping watch by the
    fires. There is hardly a man whose feet have not been frost
    bitten. I have been laid by nearly the whole time on account
    of my leg, from which I suffered very much; and Doctor Le
    Brean insisted upon taking it off, but I would not suffer him;
    for which I have great reason to be joyful, for it is now
    nearly as well as ever, except a little stiffness,
    particularly after marching. But our distress from want of
    food and comfortable raiment, was nothing compared to the
    grumbling of some of the men, and I am sorry to say, of some
    of the officers. I really thought we should have a meeting
    once or twice; but we weathered through without it. Some hard
    things are said since about some of the officers, but the
    whole talk of the army is now about General Reed. There have
    been a good many attempts to conceal it from the men, but it
    has pretty much leaked out. This spring, it seems, King George
    sent over some Commissioners, as they call them, to endeavour
    to make a peace with us; and it turns out that General Reed
    has been in secret correspondence with them all the time, and
    was offered large amounts to play into their hands; but the
    bargain was broken off by his wanting more than they were
    willing to give. I know this much for certain; that one of
    their letters was taken to General Washington, and that the
    men were all called up at the dead of night, by beat of drum,
    and most of the officers called to Head Quarters. In the
    morning, General Reed was placed under guard, but released in
    about two hours. The letter was from one of the British
    Commissioners, in answer to one of his--he gave some
    explation[TN], but it did not satisfy the General, but he was
    obliged to accept it, as the contrary could not be proved. I
    heard Captain Anderson tell Dr. Le Brean, that General
    Washington was fully satisfied that Reed had been on the very
    point of betraying us all to the British, but that it could
    not be fully proved; and at such a time, it was better to keep
    a strict eye upon him, without getting the army into disgrace
    by exposure.

    "Near the last of May, we had a smart little affair with the
    British at Barren Hill; it was the first time I was under
    marching orders since I left the hospital. The British army
    came very near surprising us after night--two of the sentinels
    of the picket guard having fallen asleep on their posts. But
    we managed to get across the river again with very little
    loss, only eight men killed and wounded, and three prisoners.
    I made a narrow escape, for I heard a bullet whistling by my
    ear as close as it could, without hitting. All well at home, I
    hope. Tell Sally not to forget to knit me a supply of woollen
    stockings, and a couple pair of mittens for next winter, for I
    dread the idea of another Valley Forge; and give her and Ann
    my kind love.

                     "From your affectionate son,
                                                    "ANDREW KEMP."

My object in giving this _introductory_ letter is to show Mr. William B.
Reed that the treachery of his grandfather was understood by the army at
large, and that the knowledge of it was not confined to a few leading
officers. _Documents of a more precise, specific, and important character_,
are in my possession, or within my means of access; and shall seasonably
appear; but, unlike "_McDonough_," I do not choose to put my best foot
foremost, and limp ever aftewards[TN]. I subjoin another letter from
Sergeant Kemp, for the edification of Mr. Reed.

                   _"Monmouth Court House, N. J., July 2d, 1778."_

    "Dear Mother,--I am laid up again, but after the fatigues of a
    great battle, and a great victory, which we fought on the 28th
    of June,--James Maris, who had his hand shattered by a
    bullet, has leave of absence for four weeks; and I drop a few
    lines by the opportunity which his going gives me. God be
    thanked, we have had a glorious victory! The British troops,
    commanded by Sir Henry Clinton, and ours by General
    Washington, were nearly matched--say ten thousand each. We
    fought from the forenoon till nigh dark; and our whole loss,
    killed and missing, is short of seventy, while the British
    lost about three hundred, and among them one Colonel Monks or
    Monkston. I have no great time for particulars. The men
    behaved very nobly; and the morning after, when we found that
    the British had decamped over night, the General [Washington,]
    thanked us all, from horseback. But one thing there is which
    has occasioned much disturbance among us. I mean the conduct
    of General Lee, who attempted to retreat, and who has since
    been put under order, to be court martialed.

    "Then there's that General Reed has been behaving very
    strangely again. Not a man nor officer in the army that does
    not hate the sight of him; we all believe that he came very
    near betraying us, only that the General [Washington] found
    him out in time. We all remember Valley Forge last winter.
    Before the battle began, I myself heard Gen. Washington
    whisper to General Greene and Wayne, to keep a sharp eye upon
    Reed's movements, and if he made any suspicious attempt, to
    order him under arrest, and shoot him if he resisted. During
    the whole battle, I never saw him; but after the last gun was
    fired, and when it was almost dark, General Reed suddenly made
    his appearance from the rear, and gave out that he had just
    had a horse shot in two under him, and asked for two men to go
    and remove his saddle and holsters. I was one of them; we
    examined the horse very carefully, and found him to be without
    hurt or scratch; and he had plain enough died from mere heat,
    which killed several horses and a number of men during the
    day. The story has got wind--some laugh, but others shake
    their heads about it. Jim Maris heard General Washington say
    to General Wayne in the evening, that he abhorred the very
    sight of Reed, and could never again put the least faith in
    him. This is not the first time that General Reed has showed
    the white feather. He pretended to have a horse killed under
    him, in the same way at the Battle of Brandywine, and had two
    men put in irons for talking about it. I am afraid my leg is
    going to give me a good deal of trouble again It is very much
    swollen, and discharges continually. They have me on the sick
    list. My best love to Sarah and Ann.

                                    "Your dutitful[TN] son,
                                       (Signed)    "ANDREW KEMP."

Having given the testimony of Sergeant Kemp, I will now have the pleasure
of introducing to the notice of Mr. William B. Reed a letter from Col.
Samuel Smith, to his old friend in arms, Colonel ----, by whom I have been
so kindly supplied with much of the reminiscences which I have given to the
readers of the Journal, and who had addressed to Col. Smith a letter, the
nature and object of which will best be explained by the following reply:

              _"Senate Chamber, Washington, Feb. 15th, 1832._

    "MY DEAR FRIEND,--Yours of the 9th was received yesterday,
    having been forwarded to me by my family from Baltimore, to
    which place you had addressed it, forgetting my still being in
    public life at Washington. I suppose you think that so old a
    man, and one who has led so busy and active a life, should
    take the evening of his days to his comfort and quiet
    reflection, and I am not sure but that you are right. Public
    life ought to have but little charms for either you or me; we
    have both seen enough of active service, and should devote the
    remnant of time which is left us, to settling our accounts
    with this world, and preparing for a better.

    "I am gratified to hear of the task in which you tell me you
    are engaged. I do not know that it is in my power to afford
    you much of the assistance which you seem to think I can give;
    but such information as I can communicate is very cheerfully
    at your service. Upon my return to Baltimore, I will examine
    my papers; and whatever letters I can spare, which I may think
    likely to aid you in your labors, or illustrate the times of
    which you propose to write, shall be forwarded to your

    "I agree with you that many of the men, and not few of the
    events, of the Revolution, are very imperfectly understood.
    Take General Washington himself, for example: he is
    represented as having been cold and repulsive in his manner,
    when the very reverse was the fact. True, he was dignified and
    reserved, but always courteous, and, what I admired above all,
    always sincere. I never knew a man capable of stronger
    attachments; he had none of the vices of humanity, and fewer
    of its weaknesses than any man I ever knew. I do not believe
    Mr. Jefferson _meant_ to be unjust; but the character drawn of
    Washington, which appears in his recently published papers and
    correspondence, falls, in all respects, very far short of
    doing him justice. Mr. Jefferson had not the sort of mind
    which was entirely capable of appreciating, or even exactly
    understanding, a character like that of Washington's. I saw
    much of the old General in his latter days; visited him
    several times at Mount Vernon, and frequently at Washington.
    Doctor Craih, (my near connexion by marriage,) was long his
    physician and intimate friend, and was in attendance upon his
    death-bed. He has given me anecdotes innumerable of
    Washington's generosity and kindness of heart, which, though,
    not known to the world, ought to be. Of these, I will write to
    you more fully from home.

    "I can communicate but little concerning Gen. Wayne, which you
    do not know already. His son, who lives somewhere in your
    state, I should take to be a proper person to whom to apply. I
    wish it were in my power to answer more fully than I can, your
    inquiries concerning General Reed. My personal acquaintance
    with him was limited. I shared in the deep dislike with which
    he was regarded, and his negotiations with the British
    commissioners, in the spring of 1778, made him obnoxious to
    the whole army, from the commander-in-chief to the lowest
    subaltern. You and I talked this matter over nearly fifty
    years since, and I have found nothing to change, but much to
    confirm, my opinions. It is a little too bad that this man
    should be reverenced by posterity as one of the purest of the
    men of the revolution, when you and I, and all who were really
    active in those times, know that nothing but accident
    prevented his taking the start of Benedict Arnold. Though not
    communicative, General Washington was always candid, and upon
    the subject of Reed's premeditated betrayal of the country to
    England, he has frequently conversed with me very freely. None
    of the correspondence between Reed and the British
    commissioners, fell into his hands except the letter from
    Governor Johnston, and an enclosed note in cypher from Lord
    Carlisle, but these contained sufficient to assure Washington
    that a long correspondence had passed--that proposals had been
    made and debated, and that Reed had finally submitted a
    proposition which the commissioners were endeavouring to
    reduce. With the explanation Reed gave you are familiar. No
    one believed it, but it passed muster, for the only proofs
    which _at the time_ could be had, were the intercepted papers.
    But ever after, Washington regarded Reed with great dislike,
    and treated him with a manner strictly marked by the display
    of his feelings. I was present when General Washington took
    his final leave of his officers at New York, after the close
    of the revolution, in the winter of 1783. The general's eyes
    streamed with tears, he grasped each officer by the hand, but
    when Reed approached him with extended hand, he started as if
    bitten by a serpent, made a cold bow, and passed on.
    Afterwards, at Annapolis, where Congress was then sitting, I
    was present when General Reed was repeating to some half a
    dozen of delegates, the old story of his refusal of the
    commissioner's offer. Washington, who was within three yards
    of him, turned away, and remarked to General Knox, "I know the
    fellow well; he wanted but a price, and an opportunity, to
    play us false as Arnold," and passed out of the room. There
    was a general titter, and upon Reed's enquiring of General
    Knox what it was that General W. had remarked, Knox replied,
    "If you did not hear it, I advise you to follow the general,
    and request him to repeat his observation." Reed was not a
    fighting man. I do not say that he was a coward, but he was
    always very careful of his person. His visit to England in
    1784, I could never understand. His circumstances, just
    before, were very much embarrassed, he had borrowed of all who
    were willing to lend, and he paid nobody. Immediately upon his
    return, he paid off all his debts, including one of three
    thousand dollars to General Wayne, and commenced speculating
    in real estate largly[TN], when he was taken ill and died.

    I have given you very near all I have concerning this person.
    I have anecdotes from others, of which I will inform you
    hereafter; as also, the particulars of several conversations
    which I had with Washington respecting him. I have always,
    from principle, been opposed to making mischief; but I have
    always, at the same time, been opposed to trickery and
    unfounded pretensions. Why the survivors of the Revolution
    have so long permitted General Reed's treachery and baseness
    to be glossed over, and himself converted into a patriot, is
    to me a mystery; but the veil must be raised at last, and I
    know of no one more capable of performing the task than

    "Let me hear often from you--and always be assured that I am
    sincerely your friend,

                                                   SAMUEL SMITH.

I will close my budget of "documents" as "_McDonough_" would call them, for
the present. When I open it again, the information to be drawn forth will
be even more definite than that just given, and possibly, even still less
palatable to Mr. Reed. He will pardon me for troubling him with two
questions: Among the papers left by your grandfather, did you ever come
across a copy of a very remarkable correspondence had between that person
and General Anthony Wayne in 1781? If yea, why have you withheld it from
publication? Although _you_ can answer this last question, I cannot; but I
will tell you, Mr. Reed, what I can do: I can lay my hands upon a copy of
the same correspondence, and I propose to entertain the readers of the
Journal with a few selections, upon some not very distant occasion.

In Mr. Reed's selection of a _period of time_ to be illustrated by the
labors of "McDonough," it appears to me he has been unfortunate. If he had
gone further back, he might have recounted some of the _real_ exploits of
his grandfather, and spared _me_ the labor which his deficiencies have
compelled me to undertake. If he had come a little further down, he might
have dilated upon the performances of his father, a Recorder of the city of
Philadelphia, and Treasurer and Secretary of the University of
Pennsylvania. _That_ labor, also, I fear, will devolve upon me.

                                                            VALLEY FORGE.

  Monday, Sept. 25, 1842.

                      From the Evening Journal.

MR. WHITNEY--The communication of "McDonough" (alias U. S. Bank Reed,) in
this Morning's Court Chronicle, manifests that there is no small degree of
fluttering among the wounded pigeons of the "Holy Alliance." The assumption
of "McDonough" that _you_ and "Valley Forge" are one and the same person,
is a more novel than logical mode of disproving the truth of my
allegations. But let Mr. Reed rest easy upon that score. _Who_ I am, is
very little to the purpose; _what_ I assert is more germain to the
matter--and let this lacquay of Nicholas Biddle deny _that_ if he dare, or
disprove it if he can. If my charges are _true_, the identity of their
author with the editor of the Evening Journal could not detract from their
truth; if _false_, a more obvious as well as conclusive mode of
establishing their falsity presents itself.

But the truth is, that no arrow which has been shot into the camp of the
"Holy Alliance" rankles more deeply, or has worked worse execution, than
the exposure of the authorship of "McDonough." Not that Mr. Reed is by any
means, either intellectually or extrinsically, the most formidable member
of the combination; but now it is known that _he_ is the author of those
attacks upon the character of a good citizen, of a man against whom for
years the minions of the Bank have been directing their warfare without the
ability to discover a crevice in his coat of mail, the arm of the puny
assailant falls paralyzed to his side, and his intended victim laughs at
him in a tone of scorn, in which the whole community participates.

_William B. Reed_ to prate of patriotism! _William B. Reed_ to declaim upon
honor and patriotism! For the chimney-sweep to prate of cleanliness would
not be more anomalous. With what grace does the defence of the United
States Bank come from this "McDonough" of the Chronicle, when we know him
to be the veriest lick-spittle that Nicholas Biddle, in his day of pride
and power, ever retained in his service? As the friend of Nicholas Biddle,
as his purchased tool and agent, rather, Mr. Reed has never, for an
instant, hesitated to sacrifice to the promotion of the interests of the
Bank, every public trust which for the time being was confided to his
keeping. Why is it that Mr. Reed has never yet explained away or answered
the very extraordinary and _specific_ disclosures of _bribery_ which a
correspondent of the Ledger made against him in the summer of 1841?
Disclosures so astonishing that the eyes of the public, although long
accustomed to look upon the doings of the man with distrust, dilated with
astonishment. He was accused by the correspondent of the Ledger with having
as a member of the House of Representatives, _accepted bribes from the Bank
of the United States_; the several amounts were specified; documents were
even refered[TN] to; and yet Mr. Reed, instead of maintaining his good
ground and confronting his accuser, flies the city, absents himself for
some time upon the plea of a previously arranged excursion of pleasure; and
when, after his return, driven at length to a show of explanation, he
parades in print an evasion of charges, so paltry that its sophistry would
degrade the merest pettifoger in Mr. Biddle's Court of Criminal Sessions.

But since Mr. William B. Reed, alias Mr. U. S. B. McDonough, is so pure a
patriot, and has such a holy horror of "treason" and "traitors," I will
give him a few facts upon which to reflect, and with which he may enrich
and illustrate his future lucubrations.

_Fact No. 1._--That Mr. William B. Reed is, or claims to be, the grandson
of General Joseph Reed, of Revolutionary memory.

_Fact No. 2._--That Mr. William B. Reed is feelingly alive upon the subject
of his grandfather's memory, and has devoted the labors of nearly his whole
life to establish the popular delusion that his grandfather's patriotism
underwent the severest test and ordeal of the revolutionary struggle.

_Fact No. 3._--That Mr. William B. Reed has written essays, reviews and
paragraphs innumerable, to induce the public to believe, that when in 1778
or 1779, Governor Johnstone and the other British Commissioners, proposed
to General Reed a reward of 10,000 pounds sterling, and a lucrative office,
upon condition that he would lend himself to the views of Great Britain, he
indignantly spurned the proposal, and replied, "I am not worth the
purchase, but such as I am, King George is not rich enough to make it."

_Fact No. 4._--That no such proposal was ever made to General Joseph Reed,
and that General Joseph Reed never made any such reply.

_Fact No. 5._--That General Joseph Reed endeavoured to effect a negotiation
with the British Commissioners, and actually commenced it, to ascertain
what he might expect, in money and office, in case he succeeded in
effecting a reconciliation between the colonies and the mother country, or
in other words, that he would be instrumental in causing the revolted
colonies to return to their allegiance to Great Britain!

_Fact No. 6._--That General Joseph Reed, after much chaffering as to the
price, finally proffered his services to the British Commissioners, to
effect the objects mentioned in "Fact No. 5," for the sum of 10,000 pounds
sterling in hand, a Chief Justiceship, and the right to a tract of land
West and North-West of the then city of Philadelphia, upon a part of which
the Cherry Hill Penitentiary is now erected, and the whole of which, is at
this time probably worth from five to seven millions of dollars.

_Fact No. 7._--That while this negotiation was pending, and while the
hucksters were haggling as to the terms upon which it should close, it came
to the ears of the American Commander-in-Chief, that General Reed was
engaged in a very suspicious correspondence with the British Commissioners;
that General Washington sent for General Reed, and in the presence of his
staff, informed him of what he had heard, and demanded an explanation; and
that General Reed, finding denial out of the question, admitted that
overtures had been made to him by Governor Johnstone and his colleagues,
but that he had replied to them; "I am not worth the purchase, but such as
I am, King George is not rich enough to make it."

_Fact No. 8._--That this patriotic reply of General Joseph Reed, to the
attributed overtures of the British Commissioners, had its _sole origin_ in
the explanation with which he sought to dispel the suspicions of General
Washington; that General Washington ever after continued to regard him with
great distrust; and that several years subsequently, when General Reed, in
the presence of General Washington, was descanting upon the patriotic reply
with which he had foiled the British Commissioners, General Washington
turned away in disgust, and remarked to a friend, in a tone of voice
sufficiently audible to be heard by all present--_"I know the fellow well,
and am satisfied that he wanted but a price and an opportunity to play us
as false as Arnold."_

When Mr. Reed shall have sufficiently pondered over the facts thus
enumerated, I shall descend the ladder a step from his grandfather, and
come to his more immediate progenitor! Of him, I shall have the great
question to ask--what is the reason of his aversion to sunshine, that he
secludes himself all day like an owl or a bat? But the grandfather will
suffice for the present. Mr. Reed has certainly taken uncommon pains to
keep up the public delusion upon this subject. Let him know (what he will
soon know to his mortification,) that there yet survives a veteran of the
revolution--one whose mental faculties are undimmed by age--whose very
physical frame, time has treated with tenderness and respect--whose keen
and lively intelligence retains its ancient vigour--a Revolutionary
soldier, who well knew Joseph Reed; who equally well knew George
Washington; and who intends to give to the world, at no very distant day,
his knowledge of them, and of much beside.

Mr. Reed has fair warning--let him look to it.

  Monday, Sept. 19, 1842.                                  VALLEY FORGE.

                        From the Evening Journal.

MR. WHITNEY:--Since your publication of my last, "McDonough" has slacked
his fire wonderfully. It is surprising how one's tone becomes altered after
the discovery is made that the former idea of _invulnerability_ was a
great mistake. The home truths pressed upon Mr. William Bradford Reed (I
believe this is the first time that the public have been made acquainted
with the learned gentleman's name in full) have proved to be of unpalatable
flavor and difficult digestion; and it is not, therefore to be wondered at
that they should have for him no relish. I have not yet done with the
revolutionary reminiscences of his grandfather; that worthy whom "King
George was not rich enough to buy," although, as he himself modestly
admitted, he was "_not worth purchasing_:"

The writer of this paragraph had an opportunity, very many years since,
when Mr. Reed was a student of the Pennsylvania University, of becoming
somewhat intimately acquainted with his bent of mind; and if there ever was
a school-boy despised and detested by his fellows, William was that youth.
"The boy's the father of the man," and those who have known him only in his
ripened years, if they apply the truth of this axiom, will have no
difficulty in correctly conjecturing what must have been his early youth.
Even then his predominant weakness was to almost daily, and by the hour,
expatiate upon the merits of his _great_ "grandfather," and to entertain
boys, smaller and younger than himself, with the revolutionary
exploits--more numerous and diversified far than those with a narration of
which Othello beguiled the fair Desdemona, performed by that distinguished
personage: and in particular, how "the General" had repulsed the proffered
bribe of the Treasury of Great Britain, and his pick and choice of the most
lucrative office in the Colonies.

Down to this day, this has continued to be the habit of Mr. Reed; and to
such an extent has he indulged it, that he has become the butt and laughing
stock of his acquaintance.

    "O, wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as others see us!
    It wad frae manie a blunder free us,
                        An foolish notion!"

The extraordinary pains taken by Mr. Reed, to circulate the notion of his
grandfather's more than Roman patriotism, would, of itself, be a
circumstance calculated to induce suspicion of their being "something
rotten in Denmark;" but, fortunately for the truth of history, the _proofs_
of General Reed's treachery and meditated "treason," [TN](if not _actual_
treason, are extant--and the veteran, to whom in my last I referred, will,
in due time, give them to the world. The descendants of General Reed have
succeeded long enough in imposing upon the American people, as a patriot
and a hero of the "times that tried men's souls," a wretch, who, in the
emphatic language of General Washington, spoke in his presence and hearing,
"wanted but a price and an opportunity to play us false as Arnold!" who,
while his fellow soldiers were stinted of food and scant of clothing, was
in actual treaty with the British Commissioners, to betray the American
Army, and their Commander-in-Chief, and their cause, _and their Country_,
to Great Britain, for the consideration of ten thousand pounds sterling, a
judicial office, and a tract of land!!!

By a monstrous suppression of truth, and an adroit perversion of the
explanation which General Reed gave to the demands of the American
Commander-in-Chief, respecting his correspondence with the British
Commissioners, his descendants have managed, so far, with tolerably general
success, to thrust into the ranks of the Carrolls and Hancocks, the Putnams
and Warrens of the Revolution, a "traitor," who entered into the struggle
as a matter of speculation; and who, from the date of his appointment, in
1774, as one of the Committee of Correspondence of Philadelphia, down to
the detection of the fact, some years after, that he was engaged in a
correspondence with the British Commissioners, watched with untiring
vigilance, for a proper "opportunity" to betray, for a sufficient "price,"
the cause, and the country, to the tender mercies of George the Third and
his ministry! There is scarcely a Review or Magazine, published in the
country, into which, under the pretext of reviewing some publication, Mr.
William B. Reed has not contrived to obtrude some panegyric of his
grandfather's patriotism--fulsome, even if true, but most monstrous when
considered with reference to its unworthy object.

Not content with chaunting Gen. Reed's praise as an "invisible singer," Mr.
Reed has not hesitated to take the field openly, and in person, and sound
the trumpet in the ears and before the eyes of the astonished lookers on.
Before every literary or collegiate association which he has been called
on, or _finefied_ to have himself invited to address, the eternal burden of
his song has been, "I am the grandson of the great and good patriot,
General Joseph Reed, of revolutionary memory, who replied to the emissaries
of Great Britain, when they offered him his own terms to further the views
of England, 'I am not worth the purchase, but poor as I am, King George is
not rich enough to make it.'" At New York, a few years since--afterwards,
in the Musical Fund Hall, in this city--more recently at Dickinson
College--quite lately at Harvard University, in short, everywhere, and on
all occasions, the self same tune has lulled his audiences into a general
slumber. How any one whose cheek is not formed of brass, can stand up as
Mr. Reed has accustomed himself to do, and thus dole out, on all occasions,
and before all assemblies, the patriotism of a grandfather for whose
"treason" he should blush, I am at a loss to imagine. Even if deserved
modesty ought to insinuate that the tribute would be more appropriately
paid, and in better taste, by other voices.

But the strongest part of all is, that Mr. Reed, with that full knowledge
which I know him to possess (and which I will satisfy him that I _know_ him
to possess) of his grandfather's traitorous designs and conduct, should,
nevertheless, have succeeded in steeling himself to the habit which has
made him so supremely and universally ridiculous.

Whenever it is announced that a new work is in preparation, in any way
connected with the events of the American Revolution, poor Mr. William B.
Reed "gets the fidgets." He throws business, as Macbeth did physic,--to the
dogs; he can hardly delay for the introduction of a supply of clean linen
into his carpet-bag; but, jumping into the next steamboat or railroad car,
he travels post-haste till he has reached the residence of the author, whom
he never leaves till he has fully satisfied himself that the projected work
is to contain nothing that can detract from the spurious fame of General
Reed, or call into question the truth of his attributed reply to the
British Commissioners. Poor Mr. Jared Sparks must have had a hard time of
annoyance during the long series of years in which he was engaged in
preparing for the press his editions of the correspondence of Washington
and Franklin. Mr. Bancroft, the author of _the_ History of the United
States, is, at present, a particularly prominent object of Mr. Reed's
dread. Indefatigable in his researches he cannot have failed to become
possessed of some of the evidences of General Reed's "treason," and, stern
in his impartiality, it is not to be supposed that he will hesitate to
place before the world the character and doings of this miscreant in their
true colours. Fearful of this, Mr. Reed has long been engaged in playing
the _toady_ to Mr. Bancroft: with what success thus far, remains to be
seen: but one thing is certain, that Mr. Bancroft will have placed in his
hands, in time to inform him fully for his preparation of that volume of
his history in which it will become necessary for him to introduce the name
of General Joseph Reed, letters and documents that will establish the
"treason" of that worthy beyond a doubt.

The last volume of Mr. Bancroft's work comes down no later than 1784; so
that there will probably appear another volume before the period of General
Reed's exploits will become the subject of his composition; and of this
length of time Mr. Reed will doubtless endeavor to take advantage and make
good use. He has just made a formidable demonstration upon Mr. Bancroft.
"At the recent literary festival at Cambridge," (to borrow the language of
Mr Reed, contained in his late letter to the editors of the National
Intelligencer, concerning Mr. Graham, the historian,) Mr. Reed's _toadying_
of Mr. Bancroft was the subject of general comment. Not content with the
display of his fulsome civilities on that occasion, Mr. Reed has since
forced an opportunity of volunteering to the editors of the National
Intelligencer, the letter to which I have just alluded; in which under the
pretext of honouring the memory of the late James Graham, Esq., the English
author of a History of American Colonies, Mr. Bancroft is plastered with
praise. It is thus that Mr. Reed seeks either to impose upon Mr. Bancroft
the same "Romance of American History," in which the grandfather is the
principal personage, with which he flatters himself he has duped every body
else, or to disarm him of any intention of publishing the _true_ history of
his connection with the British Commissioners.--And what most of all
enhances the meanness of Mr. Reed's conduct is the fact, that, but a year
or two since, he was accustomed, at the Whig political meetings of this
city, to make Mr. Bancroft (who then held the office of Collector of the
Port of Boston, and was a prominent Democrat,) the especial object of his
abuse, lavished upon him in the most unmeasured terms.

Such is the man, who, with a thorough knowledge of his grandfather's
delinquencies, persists in upholding him to the world as a true and
sterling patriot; who, knowing him to be a "_Traitor_," steeped in
"_Treason_" to the very eyelids, and seeking to barter away his country and
its liberties for British gold and office, represents him, unblushingly, as
the worthy compeer of Washington, a fellow labourer in the same vineyard,
toiling from the rising to the setting of the sun!!! But Mr. Reed's race of
eulogy of his ancestors is nearly run. The proof of that man's treachery,
long known to the _few_, will soon be promulgated to the _many_--to the
WORLD. How _then_, will Mr. William B. Reed feel, when he remembers his
itinerant career of laudation; his journeyings by sea and by land, that the
trumpet of General Joseph Reed's praises might be sounded? His essays,
reviews, addresses, and heaven only knows what all besides? But, above all,
how will he _then_ feel when he remembers that, under the stolen name of a
naval hero of the Late War, he, this worthy descendant of a Traitor and
Tory of the Revolution, once devoted whole weeks to the malignant endeavour
to fasten upon a pure and unoffending citizen the very crime of "Treason,"
of which he knew his own grandfather to have been guilty?

With one or two little anecdotes, (the character of which may somewhat
surprise Mr. Reed at the extent and accuracy of my information,) I close
for the present. I will select those which Mr. Reed has the best reasons
for knowing to be true. During the visit of Lafayette to this country, the
father of Mr. William B. Reed, (Mr. Joseph Reed, the late Recorder of
Philadelphia,) called on the General at his quarters, in this city, and
requested the honour of a private interview. The General (who had been
waited upon by Mr. Reed before, in company with the authorities, and other
citizens) intimated his numerous and pressing engagements; but Mr. Reed
persisting, the interview was granted; one not strictly private, however,
there being two other gentlemen present. Mr. Reed informed the General that
his object was to obtain from him some revolutionary anecdotes, of which he
was convinced he must possess a stock, of his father, the late General
Joseph Reed. General Lafayette's countenance immediately fell: he
endeavoured politely to evade Mr. Reed's request; at last, as Mr. Reed
would take nothing short of downright refusal, the General was, at length,
compelled to remark, "I am sorry to say, sir, that I am acquainted with no
anecdotes of the late General Reed which it would be pleasant for his son
or any of his friends to hear." Mr. R. having bowed himself out of the room
in great confusion, the General remarked to one of the gentleman present,
in surprise, "This is very strange! Can it be possible that Mr. Reed is
ignorant of the opinion which the officers of the Revolution entertained of
his father?" And now for another, in which Mr. William B. Reed himself
figured. A year or two before the death of Bishop White, he called on the
venerable prelate and made a request precisely similar to that with which
his father had troubled General Lafayette. Anxious to spare his feelings,
the good Bishop endeavoured to change the subject; but, no other mode
offering of escaping from the pertinacity of Mr. Reed, he said to him,
"Young man, upon the subject of your grandfather, the least that's said,
will be soonest mended!"

In my next, I will so far follow the example of McDonough, as to publish a
few "Documents," the original of which will be consigned, before long, to
Mr. Bancroft.

                                                            VALLEY FORGE.

  Sept. 23d, 1842.

                        From the Evening Journal,

MR. WHITNEY:--The Jeremiads of the Forum and the Evening Courier shall not
deter me from the task which I have deliberately assumed, and which I mean
to carry out, of exposing the treachery of the late General Joseph Reed,
and the delinquencies of his living grandson, Mr. William Bradford Reed.
Why, instead of _deprecation_, do not these journals give _disproof_? Is a
fellow to be canonized as a saint, because he is no longer of the living?
Then let all history be rewritten, and let the puling mawkishness which the
hypocrites call manly indignation, reject from the page of history the
infamy of a Nero, the cruelty of a Tiberius, and the treason of an Arnold.
If it be proper for the entertainment or instruction of posterity, that
the vices and crimes of the men of history shall be faithfully detailed,
why should not the "_treason_" of General Reed, contemplated or effected,
be spread upon his country's annals? Above all, when he and his descendants
have adroitly disguised his villainy with the varnish of incorruptible
patriotism, why should the hand which has the power to tear off the mask,
and expose the enormity of guilt, be made to fall, self-withheld and
self-paralyzed, from the effort? These are questions which admit of but one
reply. I shall _go on_, and in continuation of my developments, I here
subjoin another letter from Col. Samuel Smith to the same gentleman to whom
was addressed his last.

                                 _Baltimore, October 2d, 1832._

    MY DEAR COLONEL--I acknowledge the receipt of your two very
    kind letters since I left Washington, and thank you for the
    acceptable accompaniment of the last. Also, for the pamphlet
    on Cholera which you have sent--I loaned it to several of our
    medical gentlemen, and they all seem to think highly of it.
    Our people have been much alarmed, and I think with good
    reason. For my own part, I entertain but little uneasiness. I
    have lived a long life, and though I am far from tired of it,
    I am ready to go whenever it pleases him who gave it to take
    it away.

    Looking over my paper, I have directed copies to be made up
    such as seem adapted to your purpose. These, and some
    original, I will send to your direction, whenever I hear from
    you again, and you inform me how to send them. I have but few
    letters from Gen. Washington--the _originals_ I cannot consent
    to part with; but copies are cheerfully at your service. I
    have had a copy taken of a very remarkable correspondence
    between General Wayne and General Reed, which awaits your
    directions. I was on a visit to Wayne shortly after its close;
    he read it to me, and I was so much struck with it, that I
    requested leave to take a copy, which he gave me. You will
    find it a curiosity, and it is another development of the real
    character of Reed. I think I formerly mentioned I knew but
    little of Gen. Wayne, with which you are not already
    acquainted, and I may say much the same as to Putnam, except
    what I had from conversation with General Washington. I have
    never been able to make up my mind how far Gen. Gates was
    concerned in the movement for his promotion, at Washington's
    expense. He certainly did not openly encourage it. It is so
    delicate a matter, I did not like to directly question General
    Washington. Once or twice, in conversation, I thought he was
    coming to the point, but he broke off without reaching it.
    Many of Conway's movements against Washington had a tact and
    address about them, for which Gates generally received the
    credit. Towards the close, his calumnies of Washington were
    disgustingly obscene--I mean Conway's. General Reed was well
    known to be deeply engaged in this conspiracy. But he lacked
    the courage of Conway, and was wholly without the rashness
    which so frequently marked the latter. Reed was a cautious and
    cunning plotter--he never looked one in the eye. Lee, who
    mortally hated him, had a common saying, "that Reed's face was
    stamped with the devil's favorite brand." I was once present
    when he made the remark in the presence of Reed, without
    observing him. Reed stepped forward, and angrily demanded
    "what was that, sir?" Lee bowed and repeated the observation,
    amid roars of laughter from all present. General Reed left the
    spot, remarking, "you shall hear from me shortly;" to which
    Lee replied, "I doubt that." Nothing further ever came of it.

    Conway and Reed were decidedly the two most unpopular men in
    the army--with this difference, that Conway, though disliked,
    was respected, until his calumnies of Washington were carried
    to their extent. Of Conway's duel with General Cadwalader I
    have no particulars which you do not possess. Conway became
    nearly involved in another duel on Reed's account. He took up
    a quarrel of Reed's but it was compromised. Reed was publicly
    insulted, and submitted like a boarding-school miss. My
    sentiments on some subjects have changed with my advancing
    years; but I well remember the surprise which I felt, and
    which the whole army expressed, that a soldier, and one
    wearing epaulettes, should patiently submit to the epithet of
    "liar," and a threat of having his nose pulled. It may have
    been a conscientious scruple; but he did not hesitate to get
    others into difficulties.

    In 1783 or '84, I had business which called me to Alexandria.
    To my delight, I met General Washington there, and he insisted
    upon my accompanying him home. The weather was wet and cold,
    and, for a wonder, as he expressed himself, he was without
    visiters but me. I remained at Mount Vernon several days and
    had many and long conversations with the General. While there,
    one of his newspapers mentioned the return of General Reed
    from England, in feeble health; and this induced a
    conversation concerning that person. I reminded the General of
    the coolness with which I had seen him treat Reed at the final
    leave-taking of his officers; and of the remark I had
    afterwards heard him make at Annapolis. The particulars I gave
    you in my letter from the Senate. General Washington rose,
    stamped his foot somewhat violently; then instantly checking
    himself, he paced the room slowly, speaking while he walked. I
    remember every thing he said as plainly as if it had been
    spoken only yesterday. He stated to me, that he had no doubt
    that General Reed had long been in treaty with the British
    before the arrival of their Commissioners in Philadelphia in
    1778; and that, after the treaty of peace, in 1783, he
    received information, which placed it beyond question, that,
    in the appointment of the Commissioners, the British Ministry
    had selected Lord Carlisle with express reference to an
    acquaintance which he had had with Reed, when Reed was in
    England, seventeen or eighteen years before.

    He mentioned that, in 1777, while the army was yet encamped at
    Valley Forge, Mrs. ----, a lady from Philadelphia, with whom
    Reed was long known to have had a criminal intercourse, was
    arrested within the lines, and that her suspicious conduct
    induced a search, which led to the discovery of a letter upon
    her person, from Governor Johnstone to General Reed, and
    enclosing a note from Lord Carlisle, which was in _cypher_.
    This letter related to overtures upon which Donop, the Hessian
    officer, and General Reed, had already exchanged their views;
    pronounced them to be somewhat extravagant; and suggested that
    Reed had better close the arrangement which had been proposed
    to Count Donop, and he would have no reason to complain. The
    ten thousand pounds of which Donop spoke, Johnstone said would
    be immediately paid, and he did not think there would be any
    difficulty about the land or its equivalent; but of the
    _office_ that Donop mentioned, he (Governor Johnstone,) could
    not speak with confidence; upon that subject, the enclosed
    note from Lord Carlisle, Governor Johnstone said, would inform
    General Reed more definitely. This note being in cypher,
    General Washington informed me he never succeeded in having
    unravelled. Immediately upon receiving these papers, General
    Washington informed me he called a council, and sent for Reed.
    He placed the two letters in General Reed's hands, and
    demanded an explanation. Unfortunately, the officer whom he
    had sent for Reed had informed him what had happened and he
    had thus some time and opportunity for preparation. Reed
    professed himself unable to read the note in cypher, and said
    he did not know what it meant.

    As to the letter from Governor Johnstone, he explained that
    overtures had been some time before made to him, offering him
    his own reward, upon condition of his bringing about a peace,
    but that he had replied, "that he was not worth the purchase,
    but poor as he was, King George was not rich enough to make
    it." When General Washington demanded why he had not before
    informed him of this communication, Reed replied, that though
    _he_ was incorruptible, he was afraid of letting it be known
    what offers had been made, lest other officers might have been
    tempted to accept them. Reed was placed under arrest until
    further inquiries were made, but they were not successful, and
    he was released. The female upon whom the letters were
    detected, had been released, after being searched, and though
    every effort was made to get her again it was fruitless.
    General Washington added, that through the rest of the war, he
    watched Reed narrowly, and trusted him with nothing; and
    though he had no further _proof_ of his guilt, he was
    satisfied that his treason had existed. But General Washington
    informed me, that _after the peace_, he had received
    information, the source of which he was not at liberty to
    divulge, but the truth of which he had satisfied himself of,
    that nothing but the accidental intercepting of Johnstone's
    and Carlisle's letters, had prevented Reed's consummation of
    treason. He had become fully convinced, after the disbanding
    of the army, that Reed had had numerous personal interviews
    during the war, with leading British officers; that he had
    seen Donop at Burlington; that he had been repeatedly within
    the British lines, and that he _now_ knew that, after the
    battle of Germantown, he had visited the English General,
    Howe, at his Head Quarters, in Philadelphia.

    I have now given you, accurately, the substance of General
    Washington's conversations upon this subject. It fully
    accounts for his marked treatment of Reed at New York and
    Annapolis; and it must convince you what a precious rogue in
    grain this counterfeit patriot was.

    My letter will not reach you for some time after its date. My
    arm is stiff, and I write slowly; and, although I have but one
    date, I have written a little each day for four days. God
    bless you, my old friend, and make me hear frequently from

                                Yours very truly,
                                                  SAMUEL SMITH.

I allow Mr. William Bradford Reed till Saturday to meditate upon this
epistle. On that day, unless _he_ should anticipate me, and publish the
correspondence with Wayne, to which Colonel Smith refers, _I_ shall have
the pleasure of presenting it to the public eye. It is a light that ought
not to be hidden under a bushel; but should be placed upon an elevation
high as the summit of the Bunker Hill Monument, that it may be seen far and

                                                           VALLEY FORGE.

  _October 1st, 1842._

                                                     _October 5th, 1842._

MR. WHITNEY.--While exposing the demerits of Mr. William Bradford Reed, I
have no disposition to disparage whatever of ability or information he may
really possess; and concerning the letter, I cheerfully acknowledge that he
has made himself very thoroughly acquainted with the true character of the
leading men and events of the American Revolution.

But it is _this_ that constitutes his chief shame. In his absurd panegyrics
of his "Grandfather," he has not been imposed upon; he is seeking to impose
upon others, and in this he has, to a very considerable extent, succeeded;
he is sinning against the excess of light and the superfluity of knowledge.
Possessing the most ample proofs of his grandfather's treachery to his
country in the darkest hour of his country's peril, Mr. William B. Reed has
not hesitated to hold him up to that very country which he sought to
betray, and _did_ well nigh betray, and _would_ have betrayed, but for the
timely interception of his treasonable correspondence with the British
Commissioners, as one of the most glorious and incorruptible of the
patriots who fought and suffered for the establishment of American
Independence! The guilt of this will cling to Mr. Reed enduringly.

Never can he shake off its contamination. Could he escape from the odium of
his more immediate personal delinquencies; his fawning sycophancy of
Nicholas Biddle; his dirty work in behalf of that man for money, not for
love; could he deluge with Lethean ocean the public memory, his
malpractices as attorney-general; his venal career as a member of the
Legislature; could he induce the public to overlook the bribes which he
pocketed under the pretext of _fees_ received for services never
performed--bribes, the amount of which and the dates of whose reception,
are well known, and sustainable by documentary reference;--could all this
be erased, as systematic and persevering labours, from his boyhood upward,
to delude a much injured country into reverence for the memory, not of the
contemporary, but of the _predecessor_ of Benedict Arnold in "treason" have
won for him an infamy from the consequences of which escape is impossible.

I have heretofore referred, in general terms, to Mr. Reed's numerous
applications, by writing and in person, to such survivors of the
Revolution, or their descendants, as he supposed could furnish the
information he desired, for anecdotes of General Reed; a part of my
labours, hereafter to be entered upon, will be to narrate not a few of the
rebuffs and rebukes this unfortunate Doctor Syntax in search of the
biographical Pickenesque has experienced, and the minute fidelity with
which my sketches shall be marked, will contribute, let me assure Mr. Reed,
no less to his surprise than mortification, nay, I will establish that much
of the information, that many of the documents, which _I_ propose to lay
before the readers of the Evening Journal, _he_ and his brother, the
Professor, possess; that copies of some of the latter have long been in
their hands; and that Mr. William B. Reed has solicited the transfer or
destruction of the originals. But I will even do more than all this, I
will, in at least two instances, _publish his own letter_, praying for the
loan if not the gift, of original papers affecting the fame of his
grandfather. _Even here_ I do not mean to stop. I shall show that Mr. Reed
succeeded in inveigling from the possession of a gentleman of my
acquaintance, for a pretended temporary purpose, a letter, the publication
of which he supposed; and a part, I may say a prominent part, of Mr. Reed's
scheme to perpetuate the delusion of his grandfather's patriotism, has been
to write or call upon, every person projecting any work connected with the
Revolution; and by tendering information, or otherwise volunteering his
assistance, to deceive or disarm. He has played his game, so far, with very
clever success; and, as I formerly mentioned, it is one which he is at
present engaged in practising upon Mr. Bancroft--that same Mr. George
Bancroft, whom, at a political meeting in this city, held some four or five
years since, he so delicately described as a "tin cannister tied to the
tail of Martin Van Buren, while Martin Van Buren, was running through the
street, like a hot slut, with the whole kennel of loco-focoism bawling at
her heels!" Adapting this figure to circumstances, as it might be
introduced with great effect, into Mr. Reed's collegiate eulogy upon the
services and patriotism of his grandfather.

In Col. Smith's last published letter to Col. ----, he promised to furnish
the latter with copies of certain letters, and in another he says.

    "I cannot answer your inquiry about Captain Anderson. I knew
    several officers of that name, but can recal nothing
    particular concerning any of them. I once received a letter
    from a person some where in the State of Delaware, calling
    himself Henry Anderson, inquiring about his uncle Captain
    Anderson, of the Revolutionary army, but I have not retained,
    or mislaid the letter, and cannot call to mind his more
    particular address. But even this defective information may
    serve to put you on the scent.

    "Your son will tell you much for me that I would otherwise
    write. My rheumatism has prevented my showing him as much of
    the civilities of our town as I would have liked, but you will
    excuse me.

                    "Most truly and sincerely,
                                  "your old friend,
                                                "SAMUEL SMITH.

From among the accompaniments of this letter transmitted by Col. Smith, I
select, for incorporation in the present article, the following
correspondence between General Anthony Wayne and General Joseph Reed. The
"_Numbers_" with which they are prefixed appear to be of General Wayne's
own addition.

                                  No. 1.

    GEN. A. WAYNE,

              My Dear General--

    Only the day before yesterday I heard of your being here, and
    then but by accident, or I should have addressed you upon the
    subject of this communication. For several months there has
    been a rumor industriously circulated in this city, that
    during the last summer, you stated while in "South Carolina,"
    in the presence of General Greene and other officers, that my
    conduct at the battles of Brandywine and Monmouth had
    subjected me to the imputation of timidity. It is added that
    you referred disparagingly to circumstances which occurred at
    _Valley Forge_, and revived the exploded calumny, for the
    truth of which you personally vouched, that I had signified my
    acceptance of the terms then offered me by the Commissioners,
    which you know that I spurned with scorn.

    Of course you will understand me to be satisfied that you
    never did use any language of the kind, but, as these remarks
    have been propogated by persons who, I have every reason to
    believe, are no less your enemies than mine. I am anxious to
    afford you an opportunity for their contradiction, and this I
    have to request you will promptly give me.

    I should be sorry that malicious and designing persons should
    have it in their power to disturb the harmony of the relations
    which I have so long enjoyed with one upon whose friendship I
    set so high a value, and for whom I entertain a peculiar

                 With great respect and cordiality,
                           I am my Dear General, yours, &c.,
                                                         JOS. REED

  Dec'r 26th, 1783.

                                        No. 2.

                             _Philadelphia, December 27th, 1783._

    Sir--The cool effrontery of your note yesterday surprised me.
    By what right you presume to refer to any harmony of relations
    between us, and to speak of the value of my "friendship" I am
    at a loss to comprehend. That harmony was first disturbed by
    the pecuniary difficulties in which you so dishonestly
    involved me, and from which I am only now beginning to
    extricate myself, apart from which I could entertain no
    feelings of "friendship" for an officer for whom I have such
    abundance of reasons for entertaining sentiments of a very
    different description. I have no doubt that my remarks to
    General Greene and others have been correctly reported to you,
    not only in South Carolina and Georgia, but years ago in
    Pennsylvania, and within the immediate reach of your personal
    demand. I have never hesitated, on all proper occasions to
    express myself in similar terms. I never merely intimated that
    your conduct at the battles of Brandywine and Monmouth had
    subjected you "to the imputations of timidity," but I have
    always said that your behaviour at those battles, particularly
    that of Chad's Ford, should have secured your dismissal from
    the army.

    What you refer to as "the exploded calumny" of your
    negotiations with the enemy at Valley Forge, I in common with
    every officer in the army, with whom I have ever conversed
    upon the subject, including the Commander-in-chief, believe to
    be strictly well-founded.

                           I am Sir, yours,
                                             ANTHONY WAYNE.

  To Joseph Reed.

                              VALLEY FORGE.

We take the following communication of Mr. Smith, from the North American
of this morning.

    "In compliance with this arrangement, I came to this city this
    evening, accompanied by three of my friends conversant with my
    father's handwriting, viz; Hon. Louis McLane, Robert Gilmore,
    and Robert Purviance, Esqrs., and was met at the place and
    hour of appointment by William B. Reed and Henry Reed, Esqrs.,
    and waited there until half-past eight o'clock, without the
    appearance of the author of "Valley Forge," or any of his

                                                 JNO. SPEAR SMITH.

                           _Washington House, Parlor No. 3,

                                      Monday, October 24th, 1842._

In relation to this matter, we received through the Post-Office this
morning, the following explanation from Valley Forge.

    "Mr. WHITNEY:--I am unable to express my mortification at the
    unhappy and unexpected accident which has prevented my meeting
    the Messrs. Reed and Mr. John Spear Smith this evening, at the
    time and place appointed by them, for the purpose of having
    tested the authenticity of General Samuel Smith's letters to
    Colonel ----, Col. ---- is my near relative, and though in his
    ninety-third year, has till last Thursday, enjoyed the most
    excellent health for one of so advanced an age. As he will not
    permit the originals to be taken out his sight, I intended of
    course that he should accompany me as one of my three friends.
    His sudden and severe illness has rendered this impossible; he
    refuses to part with the documents even for a temporary
    purpose, and I have thus been compelled to submit for the
    present to this most mortifying piece of ill-fortune.

    No doubt the exultation of the Messrs. Reed will be violent,
    but let me say to them, it will be but short-lived. But a
    brief time will pass, and all the papers which I have
    published, and many more which are yet to come, will be fully
    proved and laid before the public. When Colonel ----'s health
    is restored, I do not doubt that I shall prevail upon him to
    place them in my hands, when I shall see Mr. John Spear Smith
    with them at Baltimore and have the Messrs. Reed see them

                                                    VALLEY FORGE.

  _October 24th, 1842."_

We do not approve of this course of procedure on the part of Valley Forge,
nor do we think it a proper one. We think he ought to have met Mr. Smith
and the Messrs. Reed at the place and time appointed, and made the
explanation in person. Under any circumstances, we think it was due to them
as well as to ourselves. The proposition which was made by Valley Forge
having been accepted by the above-named gentlemen, what reason can there be
for longer preserving his incognito? Indeed he expressed his willingness,
in one of his notes, which we publish below, to unveil himself as soon as
the proposition he made was accepted.

We had, from the first, as we have now, the fullest confidence that the
letters purporting to be from the late General S. Smith were genuine, as
well as that the intentions of Valley Forge, so far as concerned ourselves,
were fair, and that he would establish the authenticity of those letters,
and the other documents contained in his communications.

Our belief in the genuineness of the letters of General Smith, was
strengthened by the perusal of a letter which we now have before us,
addressed to General Joseph Reed, by General John Cadwalader, in 1783,
which corroborates what those letters contain. In that letter the latter
gentleman says, "Having fully stated the temper of men's minds at this
alarming period, and the situation of public affairs, I shall now recite
the conversation and circumstances relating thereto, which I have avowed in
my letter to you of the 10th September, as having passed between us at

"I had occasion to speak with you, a few days before the intended attack on
the 20th December, 1776, and requested you to retire with me to a private
room at my quarters; the business related to intelligence--a general
conversation, however, soon took place concerning the state of public
affairs, and after running over a number of topics, in an agony of mind,
and despair strongly expressed on your countenance, and tone of voice, you
spoke your apprehensions concerning the event of the contest; that our
affairs looked very desperate, and we were only making a sacrifice of
ourselves; that the time Gen. Howe's offering pardon and protection to
persons who should come in before the 1st January, 1777, was nearly
expired; and that Galloway, the Allens, and others, had gone over and
availed themselves of that pardon and protection offered by said
proclamation; that you had a family, and ought to take care of them, and
that you did not understand following the wretched remains (or remnants) of
a broken army; that your brother (then Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel of the
militia--but you say of the five month's men, which is not material) was
then at Burlington with his family, and that you had ordered him to remain
there, and if the enemy took possession of the town, to take a protection
and swear allegiance--and in so doing he would be perfectly justifiable.

"This was the substance, and I think nearly the very words; but that, "_you
did not understand following the wretched remains (or remnants) of a broken
army_! I perfectly remember to be the _very words_!"

The letter of General Cadwalader contains the letters of P. Dickinson, John
Nixon, Benjamin Rush, David Lenox[TN], A. Hamilton, and a numbers of other
persons, confirming what we have quoted.

The subjoined notes from Valley Forge gave us confidence in the fairness of
his intentions.

    R. M. WHITNEY, Esq: Dear Sir--I observe an invitation in
    yesterday's Journal, for me to call at, or send to, your
    office, for some information which you have to impart. For
    reasons which I shall have the pleasure of expressing to you
    hereafter in person, I am anxious to preserve my _incognito_,
    for the present, even with my nearest friends; and this
    consideration will prevent my _calling_. I am also at a loss
    to know how to _send_; but if you will drop me a few lines in
    the letter box of the Post-office, I shall not fail to receive

                                          Very truly, &c.,
                                                     VALLEY FORGE.
      _September 23d, 1842._

    Please direct to "Ambrose Anderson, Philadelphia."

    R. M. WHITNEY, Esq., Dear Sir,--I am favored with your note,
    refering me to General Cadwalader's pamphlet, which you inform
    me has been abstracted from the Philadelphia Library. I have
    access to _material_, far beyond any thing in importance and
    value which could possibly be obtained by General Cadwalader;
    nevertheless the _abstraction_ of his pamphlet is a
    circumstance which I will not fail to turn to good account.
    The gentleman to which I so often refer, in my communications
    as the revolutionary soldier who has furnished me with
    information, is a near relative of mine, who knew Gen. Joseph
    Reed thoroughly. I shall continue my communications from time
    to time; and you may rely upon my giving you nothing, which
    does not admit of literal substantiation. Among other letters
    which I have, are several from "George Clymer," (whom you
    mention in your note,) which hit the nail on the head.

    Will you permit me the liberty of suggesting a continuance of
    your vigorous editorials upon Stephen Girard? The word
    "finessed" in my last, your compositor has transformed into

                                      Respectfully &c.,
                                                    VALLEY FORGE.
    Sept. 25, 1842.

    REUBEN M. WHITNEY, Esq., Dear Sir,--I am afraid that, in
    copying Sergt. Kemp's first letter, I have made an error of
    date, on which account I am glad my communication has not
    appeared to-day, as it gives me an opportunity of correction.
    I am anxious to avoid even the slightest mistake in my
    communications. The letter is dated "June 23rd, 1778." I am
    not certain that I did not so transcribe it; but if I did not,
    be good enough to make the correction. I particularly wish you
    would _italicise_ my interrogatory to Reed relative to his
    grandfather's correspondence with General Wayne. There is a
    _point_ in it which _he_ will fully understand, and which will
    give him more uneasiness than all else. I intend reserving my
    extracts from that correspondence for the very last.

                                      Respectfully, &c.
                                                     VALLEY FORGE.
    Sept. 27, 1842.

    R. M. WHITNEY, Esq.,--Dear Sir--I am provoked to find that,
    upon comparing my copy of Col. Smith's letter to Col. ----,
    with the original, that I have made another error! I hope this
    will reach you in time for its correction. Speaking of his
    visit to Gen. Washington at Mount Vernon and _Washington_, it
    should be, and _Philadelphia_.

                                      Respectfully, &c.,
                                                     VALLEY FORGE.
    Sept. 28, 1842.

    R. M. WHITNEY,--Dear Sir--I have been absent for a day or two
    from the city, and did not receive your note until to-day. I
    enclose a note for publication--oblige me by letting it appear
    to-morrow. I cannot imagine how so stupid an error could have
    occured as the erroneous date of Kemp's discharge by Gen.
    Washington. But the error almost corrects itself--as Kemp's
    letter of July 2d, speaks of the battle of Monmouth on the
    28th. I do not know whether the blunder is that of your
    workman, or mine in the haste of transcribing. One or two
    other errors, which are mine, I made the subject of two notes,
    which I addressed you through the Post-office. My absence from
    town, and my intended absence to-morrow, prevent my preparing
    another article for Saturday. Possibly, I will have it ready
    for Monday, and certainly for Tuesday. Acknowledge its
    receipt, and that it will appear on Monday or Tuesday. I have
    not yet come to the _real gems_ of my budget. Reed shall have
    a surfeit.

                                      Respectfully, &c.,
                                                     VALLEY FORGE
    Sept. 30, 1842.

    R. M. WHITNEY, Esq: Dear Sir--Nothing could have afforded me
    more pleasure than the publication which has been made by the
    Reeds. It has given me the opportunity, which I have from the
    first been seeking, of bringing the question of General Reed's
    revolutionary exploits to a _crisis_. I pledge myself to you,
    that I will overwhelm them with confusion and shame.

    I have not called for your letter at the Post-office, because
    _I know that I am watched_; and I do not desire to be known
    till the adoption of my proposition to the Reeds, of which I
    speak in the accompanying communication, and which I will
    furnish for publication in Monday's Journal. They have fallen
    completely into the snare.

                                      Yours, &c., very truly,
                                                VALLEY FORGE.
  October 14, 1842.

In his explanatory communication of yesterday's date, Valley Forge speaks
of many more papers "which are yet to come:" we suppose he means yet to be
published. If so, we feel constrained to say now, that we cannot publish
any thing more relating to the matter until he announces to us, at least,
his real name.

                     From the Evening Journal.

R. M. WHITNEY, Esq: Dear Sir,--I am pained beyond measure, at the situation
in which I have been so unfortunately instrumental in placing you. But for
circumstances _which I cannot possibly control_, I would promptly
communicate to you my name and residence. A pledge, rigidly exacted by my
venerable relative, Col. ----, and solemnly given by me at the time he
consented that I should communicate to you the letters of the late General
Smith, and the other papers with which he furnished me, that I should not
make either him or myself known without his consent, binds me as with links
of iron. Col. ---- is slowly recovering from the paralytic affection with
which he was seized on the 20th of this month; and let me assure you, most
sacredly and solemnly, that as soon as his health is sufficiently restored
to allow a conversation of any length to be had with him, I will not fail
to convince him of the propriety--of the _necessity_--of permitting me to
call upon you, or invite you to his residence, where, preliminary to my
taking the proper steps to convince the public of their authenticity, I may
exhibit to you all the writings which have been so exultingly
prounounced[TN] to be "audacious forgeries."

You do me but justice, when you say, that "a careful perusal of the letters
of Valley Forge, confirms the belief, that he is neither an impostor nor a
forger of letters." Why should I be? What motive could induce any rational
being to originate a _fabrication_ so sure to be detected? You will find,
ere very long, that I have given you nothing but the truth. Only _one_
liberty did I venture to take with any of the correspondence--that was from
considerations of delicacy, which I now believe to have been _fastidious_,
and to which, at the time, I reluctantly yielded. In Gen. Smith's letter to
Col. ----, dated Oct. 2d, 1832, I substituted a _blank_ for the name of
_Mrs. Ferguson_," which Gen. Smith gives as that of the lady from whom was
taken the letter of Governor Jonstone to Gen. Reed. This, the _only_
alteration I ever made, you must allow, was a pardonable error.

"Truth is mighty and must prevail;" and in this case, to the joy of your
friends, and the consternation of your enemies, it shall be signally
exemplified. _For the present_, let me entreat you to rest satisfied with
my assurances; assurances which will soon be most thoroughly redeemed; and
that you will desist from your endeavor to discover who I am--efforts which
can give you but vain trouble, which _must_ prove fruitless; for the
precautions which I have adopted for the preservation of my _incognito_, it
is impossible to overcome.

                       Very truly, &c.,
                                                           VALLEY FORGE.

  October 29th, 1842.

                 From the Evening Journal, October 31st.

_"Valley Forge" and General Joseph Reed--Is there a Sepulchral Sanctuary
for Public Men?--The success of the American Revolution--Justice and Truth
essential Elements of History--"Forgery"--The Editor, &c._

Whatever motives may have actuated "Valley Forge" to the publication of
documents affecting the revolutionary services and fame of General Joseph
Reed, and we pretend not either to scan them, or doubt their honorable
complexion--for truth, when on the side of country and patriotism, admits
not of suspicion or mistrust--whatever motive, we say, may have impelled
him to the revelation of these important historical documents, there can
exist no doubt as it respects the principle which sustains the ransacking
of the grave, for the sake of _truth_. Begin at any period of history,
however early, and it will be found that _public men_ have always been
considered as public property--their characters, their conduct and their
opinions, belonging to the world, with no privilege of sanctuary, either in
life or in the _tomb_. It was so with the Hebrews, it was so with Persians,
the Babylonians, the Grecians, the Romans, the French, the English, and
even the Chinese. Indeed, so obvious is the principle, as almost to
dispense with argument. It bears on its very face, the irresistible force
of a first principle; for if the grave cannot cover up the _good_ deeds of
men, it never can be made to conceal their evil ones. The lessons of
history, like the lessons of life, are derived more from the wicked than
the good. The striking contrast of example, comes from the man who has
perpetuated deeds that curdle the blood with fear, or crimson the cheeks
with shame. Virtue is negative, quiet, undismayed--but vice rides aloft on
the back of desecrated principles and violated laws, accompanied by the
tumultuous rush of a moral whirlwind, overturning the fruits, blossoms and
harvest of life; bearing blasts upon its brow, and leaving havoc in its
train. And so do the laws of all well governed countries dispose of the
remains of notorious felons, who, instead of being suffered to repose in
the grave, are denied all interment; their bodies being delivered over to
the surgeons for the benefit of science, or exposed on a gibbet, till the
crows, eagles and vultures, devour their flesh, and then, even their bones
are left to blacken in the winter's blast, as a warning to man, to shun the
deeds that led them to their doom.

Where is the sepulchral sanctuary for Buonaparte? or for Nero? or for
Marius, Sylla, Otho, Galba, Charles of Burgundy, or Ferdinand of Spain? How
many patriots are commemorated in the Lives of Plutarch? Expunge from the
History of England the great scoundrels who disgraced their diadems, on the
plea of sepulchral sanctuary, and how many kings will remain to grace
their pages with the splendor of their virtues? The same question may be
asked in reference to all histories, and the same answers given; there
would be no history, if the grave silenced the tongue to speak of the vices
and crimes of the dead who disgraced their nature.

To return to the principle of success, as a standard of virtue, in great
revolutionary movements. The intrinsic merit of a civil movement, or
commotion, to produce a change of government by force of arms, or social
intimidation without bloodshed, is not sufficient to glorify its actors.
Success is essential to give renown which confers fame and glory on its
authors. This was fully understood during the American Revolution. A host
of calculating spirits stood mute, inactive, or luke-warm, watching the
changes of the contest, and fearful of embarking in a cause that might
miscarry. In such a crisis, the wavering, the doubtful and the timid, were
more dangerous to their country's cause than the open traitor in arms
against freedom. The generous, the brave, the frank, the self-devoted
patriot, rushed headlong into the contest, putting in peril, life, honor,
property, fame, family, friends, children--all that is dear to life, and
all that life endears. The calculating and timid palsied their daring
counsels by weak irresolution of wicked duplicity. Among these
time-servers, it seems General Joseph Reed stood prominent. Careful of his
person, he shunned danger. Calculating the probable miscarriage of the
Revolution, he occupied the prudent ground of a tory royalist, seeming to
battle for liberty, but ready, at any moment; to assume the scarlet
uniform, and shout "God save King George!" A traitor in his heart to the
cause of Independence, lest that cause, by failing, should make him a
traitor to his king, for whom he felt a warmer affection than for the
rebels--he stood always on the alert, to join the British, or to appear
their greatest foe; practising the meanest arts to seem brave, yet always
held in open contempt for his timidity and cowardice. If the Revolution
succeeded, he calculated to pass for a patriot. If the royal arms
triumphed, he stood prepared to claim the rewards of his fidelity to the
KING, more valuable than an open adherent because a secret spy, who
betrayed the cause of the rebels, while pretending to fight under its
colors, in the uniform of an American Officer of the army of George

Such appears to have been the character of General Joseph Reed, from
documents decidedly authentic--so authentic as to have led to their partial
destruction, by his vain and silly descendants, who imagined that _truth_
could be extinguished, while vanity was kindling a spurious flame to
consummate an imaginery[TN] _apotheosis_, for one whose actual deeds
consigned him to the keeping of the furies and his country's execration.

If such men are to be allowed an enrolment on the page of fame, as
revolutionary patriots, who achieved our independence, there is no merits
in those who stood side by side with Washington, in the darkest hour of the
Revolution, when dismay sat on the bravest brow--spurning the temptation of
British bribes--bidding defiance to British battalions, and enduring the
pangs of hunger, thirst, and howling blasts--naked amidst winter's snow,
with earth for a pillow, and the canopy of heaven for a covering--treason
thundering in their ears--rewards offered for their heads, and nothing but
liberty and independence, with the secret assurance of heaven's succour
from a just God, to cheer and console them--bleeding, dying, desolate.
Shall the _time-serving_ traitor take his position by the side of such men?
Shall all merit be levelled into one common mass of calculating
selfishness? For such must be the effect, if General Joseph Reed is to
occupy a niche of glory in the same temple with George Washington. But
there is no moral crucible to melt down such deeds into a general and
indiscriminate mass. Truth revolts from such profanation. Justice spurns
the contamination. Nature herself rises up in arms against the thought, as
doing violence to all her holiest sympathies; her purest heart-throbs, her
noblest aspirations. God himself denounces the impiety.

Having demonstrated the importance of the revelations of "Valley Forge" to
the truth and accuracy of history--of that history, in which we are all so
intensely interested--as belonging to the fame of the fathers, and as
destined for an inheritance to our children, to the end of time--it remains
to consider how the editor of the Evening Journal, in giving publicity to
corroborative materials for history, has merited that torrent of
scurrility, that has been vomited upon him from the sympathisers in the
royal cause of George the Third--who, even up to this day, still retain in
their veins, the poison of tory blood! "Valley Forge" makes no _fresh_
charge against the tories of 1776. He but deals in specifications of
treasonable designs, common to every history of our Revolution, and to be
found in every life of George Washington. If he has ventured on the daring
task of committing fabrications of letters from General Smith to Colonel
----, he has perpetrated _supererogatory_ crime, for no sensible
purpose--for all that General Smith's letters told us, we knew before, as
notorious facts of history. For this reason, we do not believe he has
committed "forgery"--from the mere love of crime, or any other motive. If,
then, the sympathisers in the Royal cause, are so offended by these
letters, as to pour forth the phials of their wrath upon the editor of this
paper, it must be from some other motive than virtuous sensibility or
wounded patriotism. But this is not all. What was the character--what the
tendency of the letters of "Valley Forge" who has unquestionably committed
a deep injury, in maintaining his anonymous character, and failing to
redeem "his gage," thrown down with so much defiance to Mr. Spear
Smith--what, we say, was the tendency of his letters? It was laudable,
noble, exemplary. It was to vindicate Washington, and his co-patriots, from
all suspicion of being associated with General Joseph Reed, the secret
royalist--the wavering tory--all which he is known to be, on the authority
of Cadwalader, as well as Washington himself--from all suspicion of being
associated, we say, with Reed as _a friend_--a bosom, and confidental[TN]
friend. Their direct tendency is, to exalt the patriots of the Revolution,
and to depress those English spies in the American uniform, who correspond
in cypher, with the royal commissioners, and sought to sell the liberties
of their country, for a price, at the very crisis of her fate. And what
reply is made to "Valley Forge?" Do the parties criminated, defend their
ancestor? No.--Do they question the truth of history? No.--But they charge
"Valley Forge," with fabrication. Yet, if he be guilty, does it make Reed
innocent? No.--Then why not defend themselves?

                         VALLEY FORGE.

                                                          _October, 31st,_

We give another communication to-day, from the writer of the articles under
this signature. We are satisfied that Valley Forge is what he represents
himself to be--that he is sincere, honest, and will, as soon as
circumstances will permit, establish the authenticity of every document he
has furnished for publication. We shall refrain from pushing our searches
any further, for the purpose of discovering the person of Valley Forge, for
the good reason that we are satisfied that we know him already. On
comparing the note of the 14th inst., to us, written evidently by Valley
Forge himself, but in a disguised hand, with a letter of a recent date, in
the natural handwriting of the person who we believe assumes that name,
there are innumerable evidences that most clearly establish his identity,
satisfactorily to us.

A word to our enemies now. Let them go on and pour forth their malice, give
full vent to their venom, and pile obloquy, mountain high; we regard it as
the idle wind, that passeth by and harmeth not. We have long been
accustomed to be traduced and slandered. For making the exposition of the
mal-appropriation of the money of the Bank of the United States, by Mr.
Biddle, the first that was ever made, we brought down on our head the whole
weight of the power of that institution and its legions of friends and
supporters. We were charged with having perjured ourselves in that matter.
And what has become of that charge now? No one believes it. We have
triumphed over all the allegations made against us in the matter, and
thousands of individuals are left to weep now, because they did not
believe, and act on our testimony at the time it was given.

So in the present case, we are charged with publishing forged letters, and
even with forging them ourselves. But on what authority? Why, on the
assertion of Mr. John Spear Smith, of Baltimore, made, we do not doubt, in
all sincerity, but evidently hastily, and without giving a single reason
for his coming to that conclusion.

We do not entertain a single apprehenson[TN] but that in this case, every
thing will very soon come out right, and that we shall triumph over our
enemies and their slanders, as we did in the affair of the Bank of the
United States. _Nous Verrons._


[A] Reed always said that this reply was the joint protection of Benj.
Rush, Dr Wm. Smith and Gen. John Cadwalader.

[B] See Gov. Johnstone's speech in the House of Commons, March, 9th, 1779,
to be found in the Philadelphia Library in a volume of the Pennsylvania
Packet, February 20th, 1779, No. 384.

[C] Mrs. Ferguson's letter will be found in the same volume in the Numbers
for February 20th, and March 9th.

[D] Here the following anecdote will afford an occasion of recriminating.
When Mr. Reed was proposed as a Brigadier in the army, Mr. John Adams, now
our minister in Holland, openly objected, in Congress, to his appointment,
saying he was of a factious spirit, and had been notoriously instrumental
in fomenting discords between the troops of the different States.

[E] When Mr. Ingersoll waited on me with General Reed's first letter, 9th
of September last, I mentioned to him the situation of my family, and the
necessity of my leaving the city. This has been candidly related by Mr.
Ingersoll to Mr. Reed, as appears by the following extract from his letter,
in answer to mine on the 17th of March, on this subject.

_Extract from Mr. Ingersoll's letter, dated Philadelphia, 8th March, 1783._

    "The conversation that passed, I reported with candour, and I
    believe with precision, but still supposed, that the reply
    from General Reed would be founded entirely upon your answer.
    Your declaration, with respect to your intention of leaving
    town, I think I can repeat in nearly the words in which you
    expressed yourself.

    "After discoursing upon the subject of the letter I had put
    into your hands, you mentioned to me that your furniture was
    packed up to go to Maryland; that you had been waiting for
    rain to lay the dust, and that if anything was to come of this
    business, it must be _speedily_.

    "I ENDEAVOUR to give the _words_ used,--I certainly do not
    deviate from the _purport_ of what was said."

    This is not the least of the many _misrepresentations_ in
    which Mr. Reed is convicted in the course of my reply.

[F] Being called upon by General Cadwalader to recollect the conversation
we had at the Coffee-House, in the fall of the year seventy-eight, when he
related what had passed between him and Mr. Reed at Bristol, I remember the
subject corroborates with those queries I have since seen published in Mr.
Oswald's paper, of the 7th of September, 1782. I likewise remember giving
him a hint, that some of Mr. Reed's friends were present, on which he
repeated what he had related before, and then addressed himself to the
gentlemen, and informed them, if any of Mr. Reed's friends were present,
they were at liberty to make what use they pleased of it.

                                                    THOMAS PRYOR.

    _Philadelphia, March 8, 1783._

[G] See Gen. Reed's Address to the Public, pages 24, 25.

[H] As a proof of my having made this declaration, and the occasion of it,
I offer the following letter:

DEAR SIR:--I have, at your request, charged my recollection with what fell
from you, in the hearing of myself and several others, at the trial of Mr.
William Hamilton, on the subject of Mr. Reed, who assisted the prosecution;
it was in terms to this effect; that it indicated the extremity of baseness
in him, to attempt to destroy another for taking the very step he had once
lifted his own foot to take. This, at the instant, made a deeper impression
me, as having never till then, though living in the closest intimacy, heard
you drop the most distant hint of any intended defection of Mr. Reed, of
which I myself had no suspicion.

                           Your humble servant,
                                                      GEORGE CLYMER.
  _March 2d, 1783._
  General Cadwalader.

[I] If the countryman was sent, as he insinuated, for intelligence, and not
for a protection for Mr. Reed and his friend, is it not very extraordinary,
in a case of this nature, after the man had so narrowly escaped with his
life, that no circumstance relating to so delicate an affair, (transacted
in so private a manner) should ever have come to my knowledge, till I heard
this testimony from Major Lennox?

I will venture to say that no officer of the army, at that critical period,
would have risked his reputation, though he had afforded no cause to
suspect his firmness, by instructing a spy to apply for a protection for
him, with a view of gaining intelligence, without mentioning it to his
commanding officer before the transaction. But in the instance before us,
it is worthy notice, that in so critical a situation of public affairs, Mr.
Reed, knowing how dangerous such a plea as the messenger had used might
prove to his reputation, in the hands of the enemy, should not have
endeavoured to obviate such a tale, by mentioning the circumstance to the
commanding officer at Bristol, who might have vouched for his innocence, in
case Donop should attempt to injure him afterwards.

[J] I have ample proofs of Mr. Ellis's attachment to the enemy, which may
be produced, if necessary.


_M'Kenney's Ferry, 25th December, 1776, 6 o'clock, P. M._

Dear Sir,--Notwithstanding the discouraging accounts I have received from
Col. Reed, of what might be expected from the operations below, I am
determined, as the night is favourable, to cross the river, and make the
attack on Trenton in the morning. If you can do nothing real, at least
create as great a diversion as possible.

                I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

                                                          GEO. WASHINGTON.

[L] The following extracts from General Reed's letter to his Excellency the
President and the Honorable the Executive Council of the State of
Pennsylvania, dated Philadelphia, 22d July, 1777, assigning his reasons for
not accepting the office of Chief Justice, may serve to prove his opinions
of the constitution at that time. "If there is any radical weakness of
authority proceeding from the Constitution; if in any respects it opposes
the genius, temper or habits of the governed, _I fear, unless a remedy can
be provided, in less than seven years, government will sink in a spiritless
langour, or expire in a sudden_ CONVULSION. It would be foreign to my
present purpose to suggest any of those _alterations_, which, in my
_apprehension are necessary_ to enable the constitution to support itself
with _dignity_ and _efficiency_, and its friends with _security_. _That
some are necessary I cannot entertain the least doubt._ With this
sentiment, I feel an _insuperable difficulty_ to enter into an engagement
of the _most solemn nature_, leading to the _support_ and _confirmation_ of
an entire system of government, which I cannot wholly _approve_." Again,
"the dispensation from this engagement,[M] first allowed to several members
of the Assembly, and afterwards to the militia officers, has added to my
_difficulties_, as I cannot reconcile it to my ideas of propriety, the
members of the same state being under different obligations to support and
enforce its authority." But he adds, "If the sense of the people who have
the right of decision, leads to some alterations, I firmly believe it will
conduce to our happiness and security; if otherwise, I shall esteem it my
duty, not only to acquiesce, but to support as far as lays in my power, a
form of government confirmed and sanctified by the voice of the people."
Here, then, he says, "he feels an _insuperable difficulty_ to enter into an
engagement of the most solemn nature, leading to the support and
confirmation of an entire system of government, which he cannot wholly
_approve_; but he shall think it his duty to acquiesce, and support the
government,--if confirmed and sanctified by the voice of the people." How
inconsistent, then, must his conduct appear, when it is notorious, that he
took a decided part in support of government, accepted of his seat in
Council, and afterwards the Presidency, long before the sense of the people
was expressd[TN] by the _fabricated instructions_ to the members of Assembly,
requiring them to rescind the resolution for calling a convention for the
purpose of revising the constitution. And yet he says, in the 27th page of
his pamphlet, he "so effectually vindicated every part of his conduct, that
every gentleman present, (myself excepted,) acknowledged his mistake."

These were the ostensible reasons for not accepting the Chief Justiceship,
and taking the oath of office; but an oath of another kind, no doubt,
induced him to decline this appointment. He had not taken the oath of
allegiance which the law, (passed the 13th June, 1777,) required of every
male white inhabitant; nor did he take it, as appears by the publication
signed Sidney, in the Pennsylvania Journal, No. 1565, 12th February, 1783,)
till the 9th of October, 1778, which was the very day he was elected a
Councillor for the County of Philadelphia. And though disfranchised of all
the rights of citizenship, and incapable of being elected into, or serving
in any office, place, or trust, in this commonwealth, Mr. Reed dared to
disregard the voice of the people, and violate the law, by accepting the
Presidency, and exercising the powers of government annexed to that office.
If he had taken the oath of allegiance, agreeable to law, why did he take
it _again_, on the day he was elected a councillor? as the mere oath of
office only, upon that occasion, would have been required of him.

As Mr. Reed has not touched this point in his pamphlet, or furnished his
friends with a single argument to defend him, against a charge supported by
authentic proofs from public records, the public have very justly
pronounced him guilty. If certificates can be produced of his oaths of
abjuration and allegiance, agreeable to law, why have they not been
published? If he is not defranchised[TN] of the rights of citizenship, why
was his vote refused at the last election? or is this one of the subjects
reserved for "_legal examination_?" and if so, why does he not suspend the
public opinion by such information?

[M] _By the "dispensation from this engagement," above mentioned, is meant,
that the oath prescribed by the constitution was dispensed with, and many
members of Assembly were permitted to take another oath, in which they were
not bound to support the constitution._

[N] That this opinion was not entertained by Congress, may reasonably be
inferred from the following letter:

                          _"Philadelphia, 12th September, 1778._

   "SIR,--His excellency, General Washington, having recommended
   to Congress the appointment of a General of horse, the House
   took that subject under consideration the 10th instant, when
   you were unanimously elected Brigadier and commander of the
   cavalry in the service of the United States.

   "From the general view above mentioned, you will perceive, sir,
   the earnest desire of the house, that you will accept a
   commission, and enter as early as your convenience will admit
   of, upon the duties of the office; and I flatter myself with
   hopes of congratulating you in a few days upon this occasion.

   "I have the honour to be, with particular regard and esteem,
   sir, your most humble servant,

                                                      HENRY LAURENS,
  "The Hon. Brigadier-General Cadwalader.   "President of Congress,"

But not wishing to have it suggested, that I entered into the service at so
late a period of the war for the sake of rank, as the French treaty had
taken place, and I had conceived all offensive operations at an end, I
declined the appointment in these terms.

                                _Maryland, 19th September, 1778._

   SIR,--I have the highest sense of the honour conferred upon me
   by Congress, in appointing me a Brigadier in the Continental
   service, with the command of the cavalry, more particularly as
   the voice of Congress was unanimous.

   I cannot consent to enter into the service at this time, as the
   war appears to me to be near the close. But should any
   misfortune give an unhappy turn to our affairs, I shall
   immediately apply to Congress for a command in the army.

   I have the honour to be, with the greatest regard and esteem,
   your excellency's most obedient humble servant,

                                                JOHN CADWALADER.
    His Excellency Henry Laurens, Esq.,   President of Congress.

End of Project Gutenberg's Nuts for Future Historians to Crack, by Various


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