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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Polk to George Washington
Polk, Thomas, 1732-1794
June 26, 1778
Volume 13, Page 451

-------------------- page 451 --------------------
[Washington Papers, Army Returns, Vol. 17.]

May it please your Excellency:

From the earliest Commencement of the present War, I have been actively engaged in the services of my country. I embarqued in it at so early a season as rendered me not a little obnoxious to a vast majority of the Province in which I lived. The timid, the Friends of the established Government, & the moderate, as they were called, at that Period composed the bulk of the Inhabitants—by them was my forward zeal universally condemned. Thro' innumerable difficulties, from opposition, & inconveniences to my private interest, in the militia and regular service, I continued my efforts for the public good, and doubted not, as I had done more of this kind for the defence of the State than any other member of it, that I had deserved well of my Country; but as soon as an opening for promotion was made by the unhappy fall of Gen'l Nash, the power of a party, overlooking the merit of these services, procured a recommendation in favour of a Junior Officer. Such a flagrant demonstration of partiality and injurious preference, without alledging a single article of disqualification against me, has determined me no longer to serve my ungratefull country in so painful and so hazardous a capacity.

I rejoice in the prosperity of my country, and am willing, on every occasion, to aid the advancement of its Interests, but choose not to obtrude my services.

For these reasons I am constrained to offer your Excellency my Commission in the Army, and humbly beg that you would kindly condescend to accept it.

I am, may it please your Excellency,
with the profoundest respect,
Your Excellency's most humble,
most obedient, and most devoted Servant,

Mecklenburg County, in the State of N. Carolina,
June 26, 1778.
His Excellency Gen'l Washington, Commander
in Chief of the Armies of the United States.