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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Gordon to Horatio Gates
Gordon, William
October 05, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 668-669


Jamaica Plain, October 5. 1780.

My Dear General:

Many weeks back I had the pleasure of Major Pierce's company at dinner. To his care I committed a letter for my much esteemed friend, upon his informing me that he was to set forward the next week to join your suite. If he is safely arrived, I hope you have received it. I should have rejoiced had you succeeded against Cornwallis in the same manner you did against Burgoyne; but an allwise Providence hath ordered otherwise, & I trust for the best. By this event the Continent may be convinced of the futility of trusting the defense of the country to a militia, & may be induced, e'er it is too late, to procure a standing army of force sufficient to act against the enemy. Our public affairs are, I think in a very threatening situation, scarce ever worse, & that for want of honesty & patriotism among ourselves. Unless we alter soon, it will be too late. We are like Lord Wharton's puppies—open our eyes just as we are drowning. I flatter myself heaven will save & establish our Independency, but I believe not by our own exertions, but the interposition of foreign powers.

We have had a narrow escape' thro, the seasonable discovery of Arnold's treachery. What a villian. He has consigned his name to eternal infamy. But what will not a man do that is given up to covetousness & places his summum bonum in money! Put not your confidence in men.

Our constitution is to be set a going the last Wednesday of the present month. Mr. Hancock, it is presumed, has the majority of votes, & will be declared Governor; but it is not supposed he will hold that seat many years. Several talk of your & my good friend, General Lincoln, & I design the promotion & furtherance

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of that talk. I know not a better person, all things considered; & doubt not of his having your good wishes, tho' you cannot vote for him.

The General Assembly will have to nominate the Lt. Govr. out of the two that have the highest number of votes, no one having the majority of all the votes. It will be the same as to a great part of the counsellors & senators.

Col. Sears & family are well & desire to be kindly remembered Mrs. Cook has no little one, nor do I hear of any likelihood thereof. I have been upon a fortnight's tour, & did not return with Mrs. Gordon till Tuesday night. Saw Col. Langdon & Genl. Whipple; they were well. The back towns in New Hampshire have suffered lately most excessively by wolves & bears that have poured down upon them in an abundance never before known. In one town thirty bears were killed. Pray let me hear from you soon, tho' you may have time only for a few lines; but the more numerous, full & informing the better. I should, as historiographer, have particulars to silence the nonsense of those who approve or censure only as a person succeeds. Mrs. Gordon joins in warmest & sincerest regards to Self, Lady & Son.

I remain, my dear Sir, with much esteem, your affectionate friend.