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joimis m imns, 

Gloria Major,,*,, Lumen Poster,, 




EI 2 

■ ■ Hs 

Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1876, 


In the office of the Librarian of Congress. 

As it was expected this Memoir would find most of its 
readers among the kinsmen of its subject, their connections 
and friends, pardon will be extended to the introduction 
of many details respecting his family, and local references, 
which have an interest for those only who are within this 
comparatively restricted circle. 

No attempt has been made towards any formal editing 
of the Appendix. The journals and letters are printed 
simply as interesting memorials of our heroic age, and not 
as elucidating any obscure matter in our history. It is 
proper to say that the writer of the Memoir is in no way 
responsible for the contents of the Appendix, nor for the 
manner of their presentation. 

June, 1876. 



)/~7JpEM0RIES of her most worthy citizens 
are the best wealth of the state. That 
people is poor indeed, that has never 
possessed such treasures ; but poorer still 
that having had, has lost them. No improvidence is 
comparable with that which permits the recollections 
of the distinguished great or good to be wasted by 
neglect, or consumed by time — to fade into obscurity 
or to be lost in entire oblivion. Mortifying as may 
be the confession, the citizen of Maryland is unable to 
deny that his state, in common with all those which 
custom calls the South, a term which happily has lost 
much of its significance, is in this regard obnoxious to 
reproach. He may not be willing to acknowledge 
that his state is insensible of gratitude for valuable 
service, or incapable of appreciating exemplary virtue ; 
yet it is too true, that men who in almost every de- 
partment of human effort have illustrated the history 
of this commonwealth, or shall illustrate it when that 
history shall be worthily written ; men who have 

6 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

wrought ably and thought wisely for the good of Mary- 
land, as well under the limitations and restrictions of 
a colonial condition and a proprietary rule, as in the 
greater freedom and with the wider scope of state and 
national independence ; that such men have been 
almost as completely forgotten, when the generation 
to which they belonged had passed away, as though 
they had lived in the heroic age of a Grecian or Eoman 
antiquity. If their memories have been preserved at 
all in any degree of freshness, they have been per- 
petuated by the respectful veneration of their imme- 
diate descendants ; or, more frequently, by a pride 
of birth, which cannot be wholly condemned, that 
seeks its justification, even when all else is lost, in 
tracing an origin to a reputable, and perhaps dis- 
tinguished ancestry. The historian or annalist of 
Maryland, in his attempts to recover the lost lineaments 
of those lives which once blessed with their benefits 
or adorned with their graces his native state, looks in 
vain through the long galleries of literary portraiture, 
drawn by reverent or grateful hands, for the " coun- 
terfeit presentments " of Maryland's notable men. 
There he finds delineated only the dead of other com- 
monwealths ; or, as if placed there by chance, and not 
by design, he may discover some meagre and colorless 
sketches, some biograph ical silhouettes, of a few 
worthies of that state whose great merits compelled 
the tribute of a stranger's pen or pencil. If he would 
find memorials of his own compatriots he must seek 
them, not upon the shelves of libraries groaning under 
t heir weight of " lives ; " not in the archives of learned 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 7 

societies filled to repletion with their " memoirs ; " nor 
even in the all embracing columns of the dictionaries 
of biography : but he must look for them, hid away 
among the musty rubbish of our offices of public re- 
cord, or thrust into the dusty garrets or vermin-infested 
chests and drawers of our old and decaying family 
mansions. When found, if found at all, these memo- 
rials are seen to be obscured, mutilated, and for all 
useful purposes to the historian, destroyed — they are 
but relics that serve to minister to the superstition of 
ancestral worship. Others of the sisterhood of states 
have sought to give a perpetuity to the memory of 
their noble dead, by preserving recollections of them 
with all the spicery and cerements of literary em- 
balmment. Maryland has consigned her worthies to 
the oblivious earth, to mingle their dust with that of 
the undistinguished many. If by chance some curious 
antiquary seeking historic relics of a shadowy past, 
or some patient genealogist tracing the dubious thread 
of a long lost pedigree, or some more sordid searcher 
for defective titles to ancestral acres long since alien- 
ated, should in turning over the records in our public 
offices or parish vestries, discover evidences of the 
former existence, in our midst, of men who had filled 
the highest civic stations in the commonwealth with 
dignity and usefulness, or given lustre to her army in 
war, his surprise is like that of the rustic who turns 
up with his spade the fossil bones of some huge animal 
of a former age. 1 It is the object of this memoir to 

1 The indifference of Marylanders to the perpetuation of the memories 
of their distinguished fellow citizens has a most striking illustration at the 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

attempt the recovery from the obscurity of neglect, 
where they have lain for nearly one hundred years, like 

an antique statue covered with the debris of centuries, 
the Lineaments that marked the character, and the 
incidents that clothed the lite oi' a good, a wise, and 
a brave man. to whom Maryland gave parentage, birth, 
career and sepulture. In this attempt to revive, and 
perchance perpetuate his memory, in some degree will 
be removed, it is hoped, the reproach which adheres 
to his native state of forgetfulness of the deeds and 
indifference to the fame of her sons, and Maryland be 
admonished, when she shall call her roll oi' honor. 
with all her - states, in this centennial year, to 

add one other name to the already long and lengthen- 
ing list of her noble dead — the name oi' Tench 

_ gis hunc, et forteni crede bonumqu< .'" 

Tench Tilghman, was born on the 25th of Decem- 
ber, in the year 1744. at Fausley, the plantation oi' 
his father situated upon Fausley creek, a branch oi' 
St. Michael's river in the county of Talbot. Maryland, 1 

when, iu view of tl. king centennial anni- 

ttemptis making to procure the 

all those who served ihe stale in the early, or 

- . • many whos - - ited in this 

- these] .'riots ami s 

- at a momentous period in our his 

3t as -- -hat lately have heen 

- shamed & palaces of .neient 

found willing to an- 
ting and recording the incidents 
of tli 

Mrs. Henry May. and in part to the author 
- memoir. 

7 L C L J - : iHMAN. 9 

about two miles from the town of E * B 

one of th uoet ] -pectable families of the province. 

Richard Tilgh marj. snrg grated from the 

county of Kent. England, in or about the year 1 
settling first upon Can terbuj 

the original patentee, upon Third Haven river in 
bot. Thence he removed, after a short time, to the 
Hermitage upon Chester river, then in Kent now in 
thecouol Q ueen Ann e's This Richard Tilghman, 
was the grandfather of Jam- Tilghman, the fathe 

subj f this memoir, and a h : —ion. 

who after removing from Talbot to CI " town, in 
Kent, thence removed to Phil adelphi a in the 
L7 2. He was well known to the profession in Penn- 
sylvania, where he becai - etary to the Proprietary 
Land office, which department of the government 
the accuracy of his mind and the steadiness of his 
purpose he brought into a system as much remai 
for order and equity as. from its early defects, it 
threatened to be otherwi- He was one of the 

commissioners for the province of Pennsylvania, 
pointed, by Governor Penn. for settling the boundary 
line between the colonies and the Indian territory, 
held at Fort Stanwix in October and November 17 5. 
He was also a member of the governors council, and 
private secretary of Julianna. the widow of the late 
proprietary. In the dispute between the colonies and 
the mother country, he espoused the cause of the latter. 
The adoption of the principles of a loyalist involved 
the resignation of his public trusts and the loss of his 

'Eulogium upon the Hon. Will. Tilghman. by Horace Binne 

10 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

private business, so that not long after the outbreak 
of hostilities he returned to Chestertown in Maryland, 
where he spent the remainder of his days. Such was 
his moderation and discretion, that, although his opin- 
ions were obnoxious, he enjoyed the respect of his 
fellow citizens, and received the considerate notice of 
Washington himself. It may be interesting to those 
who are fond of tracing the hereditary transmission of 
mental qualities, to state, that the wife of Mr. James 
Tilghman, and the mother of Tench Tilghman, was 
the daughter of Tench Francis, Esquire, the elder, 
originally of Ireland, from which he emigrated when 
a bo3^ to Talbot county in Maryland, where he 
married, under romantic circumstances, the daughter 
of Foster Turbutt of Ottwell in that county, became 
clerk of the court and deputy commissary general. 
He removed to Philadelphia, where he became attorney 
general of the province of Pennsylvania, and rose to 
great eminence as a lawyer. He w^as the brother of 
Pilchard Francis, the author of a work entitled Maxim* 
of Equity, and also brother of Dr. Philip Francis, the 
translator of Horace, who was the father of Sir Philip 
Francis the putative author of Junius 's Letters. 

Tench Tilghman was one of a family of twelve 
children. Of these six were brothers, he being the 
eldest/ all of whom became men of good repute in 
their several positions, and some eminently distin- 
guished. The second brother was Richard, who was 
educated as a lawyer at the Temple, in London, going 
abroad in the ship which conveyed Governor Eden of 
Maryland. He obtained employment in the civil 
service of the East India Company, under Warner 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 11 

Hastings of whom he was the friend, and by whom 
he was recommended to the directory for the post of 
attorney general of India; but he died at sea, when 
returning from the East, before receiving the promised 
honor. The third brother was James Tilghman, 
also a lawyer by education, who settling in Maryland 
became, after the reform of the judiciary system of that 
state in 1790, one of the associate justices of the court 
for Talbot county, a kinsman of the same name being 
the chief judge. The fourth brother was the Hon. Wil- 
liam Tilghman, for many years chief justice of Penn- 
sylvania, a character as admirable as ever adorned 
the bench, if we may trust the words of one who 
knew him well, and who was every way capable 
of estimating his intellectual abilities and moral 
worth, the Hon. Horace Binney, who in an eulogy 
of unsurpassed eloquence has commemorated his 
achievements in law, and his private virtues. The 
fifth brother was Philemon Tilghman, who, in poli- 
tics sympathizing with his father, at the early age 
of fifteen went to England, entered the British 
navy, in which he received a commission, and further 
connected himself with that service by marrying 
the daughter of Admiral Millbanke. The youngest 
brother was Thomas Ringgold Tilghman, a well 
known merchant, first of Alexandria and then of 
Baltimore, a man of great probity, but dying early rose 
to no prominence. The sisters were married to gentle- 
men of the first respectability upon the eastern shore 
of Maryland. 1 

1 The authorities for these details are family memoranda and the Eulo- 
gium, by the Hon. Horace Binney, of the Hon. Judge W. Tilghman. 

12 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

Of the early education of Tench Tilghman, the eldest 
of the brothers, little authentic information has been 
transmitted, lie probably received his rudiments at 
some of the schools in Easton, near to which town he 
lived. There is a tradition that he was subsequently 
instructed by the Rev. John Gordon, rector of St. 
Michael's parish, a gentleman of attainments. At an 
early age, however, possibly before the removal of his 
father to Philadelphia in 1762, his maternal grand- 
father Tench Francis, for whom he was named, assumed 
the direction of his education, and he then obtained 
ihe instruction of the best masters, and the advan- 
tages of the best schools. His letters and other writings, 
which remain in the hand of his family, evince literary 
acquirements of no mean order, and a taste which is 
really admirable. 

The advice of his grandfather, who had assumed as 
well the direction of his education as the care of his 
fortunes in life, supported as it was by the approbation 
of his father and his own inclinations, determined him 
in the selection of his calling and career. At a proper 
age, therefore, and doubtless after a proper apprentice- 
ship, he connected himself with his uncle, Tench 
Francis, the younger of the name, and earnestly en- 
gaged in commercial pursuits in Philadelphia. This 
business connection, although of short duration, seems 
to have been attended with gratifying results as re- 
gards his fortune, for in a letter written years after, 
he states that it enabled him to accumulate, before its 
dissolution in 1775, a moderate competency. A busi- 
ness which was commenced under the most favorable 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 13 

auspices and which had been conducted with so much 
success, was destined very soon to be destroyed, not 
through any lack of judgment or of prudence, but by 
the breaking of the political storm of the American 
revolution, which shipwrecked so many mercantile 
adventures. The manner in which Mr. Tilghman 
acted in the emergency evinces the man of honor, who 
scorns to take advantage of public disturbances and 
the suspension of law, for his own benefit. But an 
account of his conduct is best given in his own lan- 
guage. tl Upon the breaking out of the troubles, I J 
came to a determination to share the fate of my 
country ; and that I might not be merely a spectator, 
I made as hasty a close, as I possibly could, of my 
commercial affairs, making it a point to collect and 
deposit in safe hands, as much as would, when times 
and circumstances would permit, enable me to dis- 
charge my European debts, which indeed were all I 

had, except £ put in my hands by Mr. R., sen., 

in trust for my youngest brother : but as security for 
that I left, and have yet, a much larger sum in my 
father's hands. After I had happily collected and de- 
posited the sum first mentioned, my outstanding debts 
began to be paid in depreciated money ; and as I never 
took the advantage of a single penny in that way, I 
have sorely felt the pernicious effect of tender laws." 1 
What is here related to one who had every opportu- 
nity of knowing the truth of every incident, is noth- 
ing more than might have been expected of a man of 
such scrupulous integrity, a feature in his character 
universally and at all times recognized. 

1 See letter to Matthew Tilghman, in appendix. 

14 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

But disappointed as Mr. Tilghman was in his che- 
rished hopes of realizing wealth, apprehensive as he 
must have been, from the first, that what little he had 
accumulated would be swept away in the cataclysm 
which was upon the country, all these painful emo- 
tions were scarcely felt in that exaltation of patriotic 
sentiment which he shared in common with his fellow 
citizens. The battles of Lexington and Concord had 
been fought. The whole country was aflame. Even 
Philadelphia, the characteristic features of whose popu- 
lation, then more than now, were a quietude and calm- 
ness inherited from a Quaker origin, was aroused to 
the manifestation of military ardor. Volunteer military 
associations were formed, which the peaceful princi- 
ples of the Friends did not prevent the more ardent of 
their young men from joining, and which the chival- 
rous spirit of those of other faiths and parentage 
gladly adopted. With one of these organizations Mr. 
Tilghman connected himself. The name which it 
assumed, as well as that by which it was derisively 
designated by those disaffected to the patriot cause, 
indicates the character of the materials of which this 
company was composed. It was called " The Ladies 
Light Infantry," by those who thought well of the com- 
pany and its objects ; but it was named " The Silk 
Stockings, " by tories and those who placed a low esti- 
mate upon its military efficiency. It was commanded 
by a scion of one of the most respectable and prominent 
of Maryland families, Captain Sharpe Dulaney, and 
was composed of the jeunesse dore of the city of Phila- 
delphia — of young men of the best social position. In 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 15 

this company Tench Tilghman, another Mary lander, 
and as well born as his superior officer, was lieutenant. 
As a part of the forces contributed by Pennsylvania, 
this body, or one into which it merged, with Tilghman, 
however, as captain, joined the army of Washington. 
/ This connection of Mr. Tilghman, with a volunteer 
company of Pennsylvania militia, which promised only 
danger and hardship, with little distinction or reward, 
opened the path by which he attained a position of 
honor and responsibility in the army of the United 
States, and the friendship of the peerless man. 

While thus surrendering himself to the impulses of 
patriotism, he was violating some of the tenderest 
sentiments of his nature. Trained up in a filial piety 
towards his parents, more common in the past than 
now ; accustomed from his youth to respect the 
desires and opinions of one whose character as well as 
his relation entitled him to the reverence of a son ; he 
found himself impelled by a sense of higher duty than 
that he owed to his father to disregard his wishes and 
to depart from his advice. Mr. James Tilghman, as 
has before been mentioned, adhered to the crown, 
conscientiously believing, as did many of the most 
worthy citizens in all the colonies, that the main- 
tenance of the royal authority, and a continuance of 
the connection with the mother country, were the part 
of true patriotism and of a wise policy. When the 
crisis came, Mr. Tench Tilghman found himself at 
variance with his honored father ; but it would appear 
from the correspondence which was maintained be- 
tween them during the whole war, that differences of 

16 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

opinion upon political .subjects never produced any 
alienation of feeling, and that a mutual affection and 
respect was cherished to the end. To be sure the 
persistence of the father in unfavorable and tantalizing 
comments upon the course of congress, and his depre- 
ciatory reflections upon the strength and the behavior 
of the patriot army, sometimes caused a momentary 
impatience in the son, who was serving under that 
congress and in that army, and caused him to ask 
with some warmth, not only on the ground of prudence 
but for the sake of good feeling, that there should be 
no farther political discussions in the letters that 
should pass between them ;* but even under this pro- 
vocation there is no word that is not consistent with 
that honor and respect which it was his wish to render 
to him to whom they were due. Col. Tilghman fre- 
quently in his letters to his father expressed a solici- 
tude that he would consent to take the oath to the 
existing government of Pennsylvania which had been 
prescribed ; using the argument that there would be 
no inconsistency between the position he had taken in 
the beginning of the troubles, and that which he would 

1 Inn letter dated Feb. 22,1777, to his father he says: "I know we do not 
agree in political sentiments, quite, but that, I am convinced, does not 
abate, in the least, that ardent affection which I have for you, and which 
makes me happy, far happier than any other title when I call myself, your 
most dutiful son." 

In a letter dated April21, 1777, he says: "I late last night reed, yours of 
21st. The contents really make me exceedingly unhappy, as I find myself 
unable to agree with you in sentiment upon the present measures. * * * 
I will say nothing upon the score of politics, because it is a subject that 
ought not at this time to be discussed upon paper. I wish it might be 
dropped in all future letters between us." 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 17 

hold after submitting to the established order of things, 
which he not only had no part in forming, but had 
resisted while it was forming, and then was powerless 
to overthrow. He also mentioned, by way of inducing 
his father to take the step, a number of loyalists of 
social prominence who had already taken the oath, 
and others who were about to accept it. Another 
source of disquietude to Col. Tench Tilghman, as well 
as to his hither, which may be mentioned in this con- 
nection, was the conduct of a young brother, Mr. 
Philemon Tilghman, who had left his home at the early 
age of fifteen years and connected himself with the 
British naval forces then operating against the United 
States. The lather and brother were equally anxious 
to secure the return of this impulsive youth, both 
feeling that his prospects in life had been destroyed ; 
the hither seeing no hope of promotion and advance- 
ment in a service where he had no influential friends, 
the brother perceiving that he had completely shut 
himself off from a career in America. 1 Mr. James 
Tilghman occasionally communicated with Mr. Phile- 
mon Tilghman, through Col. Tilghman, who sent his 
letters by a flag of truce, when there was communica- 
tion between head quarters and the fleet. It would 
seem from a letter to another brother, Mr. William 
Tilghman, who had written to him asking that he 
would procure for him permission to go to England, 

• In a letter dated Feb. 27, 1778, Col. T. says : " His first act Avas a boyish 
trick, and might have been overlooked. But thank God he has chosen a 
service that will never throw him in my way as an enemy. I will endeavor 
to forward a letter to him, if you will send it to me. " 

18 Memoir or Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

for the purpose of prosecuting his law studies, that 
attempts had been made to arouse suspicion in Gen. 
Washington's mind against his secretary, founded upon 
his family connection with many persons who were 
disaffected to the patriot cause, to whom he had ren- 
dered service. In this letter he says : " It gives me pain 
to tell you that I cannot, without subjecting myself to 
censure, interfere in the least, in procuring you recom- 
mendations to go to England, by way of France and 
Holland. I am placed in as delicate a situation as it 
is possible for a man to be. I am, from my station, 
master of the most valuable secrets of the cabinet and 
the field, and it might give cause of umbrage and 
suspicion were I, at this critical moment (June 12, 
1781), to interest myself in procuring the passage of a 
brother to England. Tho' I know his intentions are 
perfectly innocent, others may not, or will not. You 
cannot conceive how many attempts have been made, 
some time ago, to alarm the general's suspicions as to 
my being near his person. Thank God — he has been 
too generous to listen to them, and the many proofs I 
have given of my attachment have silenced every 
malignant whisper of the kind. As I have never given 
the least handle for censure, I am determined never 
to do it." 

Before Mr. Tilghman was called upon for active 
service in the field, for which he had been so prompt 
to offer himself, with a disregard of his pecuniary 
interests, his personal comfort and his family ties 
which only a sense of patriotic duty could inspire, he 
had the privilege of serving his country in a civil 

Memoir'of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 19 

capacity. Already, in 1775, the more perspicacious 
of the statesmen who composed the congresses, meeting 
at Philadelphia, foresaw, what the bolder of them 
had determined to compel, a separation of the colonies 
from Great Britain, and the establishment of a dis- 
tinct government or_ governments. Measures looking 
to the assumption and maintenance of an advanced 
position, with regard to colonial independence, were 
promptly taken soon after the shedding of blood in 
New England. Troops were ordered to be raised, a 
commander-in-chief, with subordinate officers, was ap- 
pointed, stores and munitions were collected, and all 
other preparations incident to war were made with 
the utmost promptness and energy. The British 
forces in America came to be regarded as enemies, 
and the British government as hostile and alien, 
although a formal declaration of independence had 
not yet been promulgated. Besides these preparative 
measures of a warlike character, others of a precau- 
tionary kind were taken to secure peaceful neutrality 
or active alliance. Among these measures may be 
mentioned those which respected the protection of the 
frontiers from the incursions of the neighboring In- 
dians. It was apprehended that the savages, who 
were then at peace, taking advantage of the embar- 
rassments incident to war, would renew their depre- 
dations and hostilities upon the settlements of the 
unprotected border. The most serious trouble was 
anticipated from those tribes of the Iroquois, which 
had early formed a league under the name of the Six 
Nations. These tribes, although greatly diminished 

20 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilgiiman. 

in numbers since the first settlements of the Euro- 
peans, and although they had partially adopted the 
habits of civilization, were still formidable enough to 
a struggling confederation of colonies. The danger 
was the more threatening in that it was known they 
were under English influence, and thus ready at the 
prompting of the British agent to fall upon any whom 
he might designate as enemies of the royal govern- 
ment and of themselves. 

The memory of Sir William Johnson, the former su- 
perintendent of Indian affairs of the crown, who had died 
the year before, was still a potential influence among 
them. His cousin and son-in-law Guy Johnson, who 
succeeded him in his influence and in his office, was 
known to be inimical to the patriot cause, and to be 
already actively employed in enlisting these tribes whose 
seat was New York, and others in the adjoining pro- 
vinces of Canada, against the United Colonies, as they 
now wished to be called. For the purpose of securing 
the neutrality of the Indians along the whole frontier, 
congress on the 13th July, 1775, appointed three com- 
missions to form treaties : one for the Six Nations, and 
other tribes towards the north ; a second for the Creeks 
or Cherokees towards the south ; and a third for the 
intervening tribes towards the west. The gentlemen 
who were chosen commissioners for the northern 
department were MajorGeneral Philip Schuyler, Major 
Joseph Hawley, Mr. Turbutt Francis, Mr. Oliver 
Wolcott, and Mr. Volckert P. Douw. The commis- 
sioners were vested with "powers to treat with the 
Indians in their respective departments, to preserve 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 21 

peace and friendship, and to prevent their taking part 
in the present commotion. 1 A speech to the six 
confederate nations, Mohawks, Oneidas, Tuscaroras, 
Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, from the twelve 
United Colonies, convened in council at Philadelphia, 
was framed to be read at the assembly of the tribes, 
and an appropriation of seven hundred and fifty 
dollars was made to entertain the sachems and war- 
riors of the Six Nations, when they should come to 
Albany and Schenectady. With this commission 
Mr. Tilghman, doubtless through the influence of 
his maternal uncle, Mr. Turbutt Francis, one of the 
members chosen by congress, was connected in the 
capacity of secretary and treasurer or paymaster. A 
report was made in due form to congress, of the 
proceedings of the commission, the preparation 
of which, there is good ground to believe, was 
the work of Mr. Tilghman. This report is published 
in the American Archives, and elsewhere, and makes 
up a part of the general history of the nation. But 
besides this official account, which was made for the 
information of congress, Col. Tilghman has left behind 
him a private journal, in which, while referring to the 
public acts of the commissioners, he gives many details 
that were not admissible in a paper designed for the 
inspection, information and guidance of the highest 
legislative body of the United Colonies. The period 
embraced in this diary of events, and record of per- 
sonal experience, is from Aug. 5th, 1775, the date 
when the commissioners left New York, to Sept. 4th, 

1 New York Historical Society Collections, vol. vin, p. 605. 

22 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

of the same year, when they returned to that point. 
It is written with minuteness of detail, but, strange to 
say, fails to indicate the relation he held to the com- 
mission to which he was attached. It is the product 
evidently of a current pen, and prepared with no pur- 
pose that it should be published, though its correctness 
of expression, as well as nicety of mechanical execu- 
tion, fits it for the press with small labor of revision or 
alteration. It was designed for the amusement of his 
brothers and sisters at home, and is addressed to his 
brother Richard. Of its literary execution it may be 
said that, written with haste, and under the disadvan- 
tages of the preoccupation incident to his position as 
secretary, and of the necessity of constant movement, 
it evinces that facility in the arts of expression which 
is acquired by most persons only after long and ha- 
bitual use of the pen in composition, and that correct- 
ness of taste which no practice seems to confer, but 
which is the result of a natural sensibility to what is 
refined and pleasing. Apart from the value which 
the journal possesses, by reason of the relation it bears 
to an important event in the early revolutionary his- 
tory, it is interesting as furnishing a very graphic ac- 
count of the country and the towns through which he 
passed while in attendance on the commission, and a 
vivid and pleasing glimpse of social life at Albany and 
its vicinity. To the biographer, and those who wish 
to gain an insight into the character of the writer, 
this journal has this other value and interest; that it 
reveals a trait as rare as it is admirable — purity of 
mind : for though it is filled with banter, badinage and 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 23 

other light or trivial matter which one young man 
might be expected to write to another in the freedom 
of correspondence, and much of this, too, with reference 
to the other sex, not one word has escaped his pen 
which may not be read by the chastest eyes without 
offence. Indeed one single expression, which prudish- 
ness might pervert into something indelicate, he has 
erased, but not so effectually that curious eyes may not 
decipher the really harmless words. The following 
extract, of a purely personal nature, will serve at once 
to exhibit his familiar style of writing, and to present 
a curious incident which occurred during the treaty, 
but which is not recorded in the official report : 
"Thursday, Aug. 24. We dined this day with the 
General [Schuyler] who has a palace of a house, and 
lives like a prince. The ladies from Carolina [the 
Misses Lynch] the commissioners and several gentlemen 
from the neighboring provinces were there. Having 
occasion to meet some of the Indian chiefs in the evening, 
they asked if I had an Indian name. Being answered 
in the negative, Teahoga, the chief of the Onondagos, 
did me the honor to adopt me into the tribe, and to 
become my father. He christened me Teahokalonde, 
a name of very honorable signification among them, 
but much to the contrary among us. It signifies hav- 
ing large horns. A deer is the coat of arms, if I may 
call it, of the On on dago tribe, and they look upon 
horns as an emblem of strength, virtue and cour- 
age. * * * The christening cost a bowl of punch or 
two, which I believe was the chief motive of the in- 
stitution. Friday, Aug. 26. The treaty was opened 

24 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

with great form. * * * When business was over, I 
was admitted to the Onondago tribe in presence of the 
Six Nations, and received by them as an adopted son. 
They told me that in order to settle myself among 
them they must choose me a wife, and promised she 
should be one of the handsomest they could find. I ac- 
cepted the proposal with thanks. Miss Lynch and Miss 
Betsy Schuyler have promised to stand bridesmaids." 
Miss Schuyler to whom reference is made was the 
daughter of Gen. Philip Schuyler, and subsequently 
the wife of Gen. Alexander Hamilton, characters 
whom all the world knows. The commissioners were 
handsomely entertained at her father's house, while 
she seems to have interested herself to make the time 
of the secretary, whose years more nearly approached 
her own, pass pleasantly, which otherwise would have 
hung heavily on his hands while waiting the slow de- 
liberations of the Indian council. Of this lady, who 
enjoyed in after years a brilliant social career, and 
late in life a nation's veneration, he speaks in his 
journal in such glowing terms that there is reason to 
suspect that a more tender sentiment than mere ad- 
miration was the origin of such ardor of praise. Other 
extracts from this diary might be made, but as they 
would serve in no special way further to illustrate the 
life of Col. Tilghman, they may be omitted, and the 
reader be referred to the journal itself, which is pub- 
lished entire in the appendix to this memoir. 

It would thus appear that the first services which 
Mr. Tilghman was privileged to render to his country 
were in a civil capacity, humble, it is true, but honor- 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 25 

able. He had already shown bis readiness to serve as 

a soldier, by his uniting himself with the volunteer 
company of which Sharpe Dulaney was captain. 
Upon the requisition of congress upon the several 
colonies for troops, he was among the first to offer his 
service to the commonwealth of his adoption, and a 
company composed, doubtless, of many of the mem- 
bers of the Ladies Light Infantry, was accepted by 
Pennsylvania, with Tench Tilghman as captain. Of 
the precise date when this company was mustered in 
there has been discovered no record; but it is well 
known that in the early part of the year 1776, this 
company from Philadelphia joined the army of Wash- 
ington, and made a part of what was called the Flying 
Camp. From some intimations contained in his letters 
it would seem that it was the purpose of Capt. Tilgh- 
man, originally, to serve one campaign, the most of 
the early troops having been mustered in for short 
terms ; but his behavior in the service in which he 
was then engaged was such as to attract the attention 
of his superiors in rank. His own personal merits as 
shown in the field, his high social position, his liberal 
education, supported it is true by the recommenda- 
tions of partial friends in Philadelphia, caused him to 
be invited to take a place upon the staff of the com- 
mander-in-chief, and this resulted in his continuance in 
the "barren military line," as he himself calls hisservice 
in the army, by way of contrast with the more profita 
ble positions in civil or private life. It is well known 
that General Washington, during the first year of his 
command, had experienced much difficulty in securing 

26 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

the services of gentlemen of proper qualifications for 
filling the positions of aids and secretaries. His first 
appointments to these places were Cols. Mifflin and 
Trumbull as aids, and Col. Joseph Reed as secretary ; 
but changes had been frequent at head quarters. 
In a letter addressed to Col. Robert H. Harrison — a 
Marvlander — one of those secretaries, and the oldest, 
he said : " As for military knowledge, I do not find 
gentlemen much skilled in it. If they can write a 
good letter, write quick, are methodical and diligent, 
it is all I expect to find in my aids." But even of 
Col. Harrison, himself, he said : " Though sensible, 
clever, and perfectly confidential, he has never yet 
moved on so large a scale as to comprehend at one 
view the diversity of matter which comes before me, 
so as to afford that ready assistance which every man 
in my situation must stand more or less in need of. 1 
These expressions indicate the qualifications of the 
person who should hold the responsible position and 
intimate relation of secretary to Washington ; and 
they gave assurance that the man whom he should 
select to fill this place, after frequent trials and disap- 
pointments, and who should be able to retain the post 
during the continuance of the whole war, was the one 
who satisfied all the requisites. Such a man was 
Tench Tilghman. v In August of 1776, he became a 
member of the military family of Washington, the 
other members at that time being Col. Robert, H. 
Harrison, Col. Mead, and Col. Webb — the last of 

Hamilton's History of the Republic of the United States, vol. i, p. 173. 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 27 

whom, upon promotion gave place in 1777 to Col. 
Hamilton. 1 

Difficulties and disputes having arisen among the 
officers respecting the order of their promotion, con- 
gress having neglected to establish any principle of 
graduation of universal application, Gen. Washington, 
on the 1 1th May, 1761, from head quarters at New 
Windsor, addressed a letter to the Hon. John Sullivan, 
a delegate in that body, urging, with great earnestness, 
the adoption of some rule which should reconcile the 
disagreements and quiet the discontents which were 
keeping the army in a state of distraction. The whole 
of this letter is most important to the historian of the 
war, but that portion of it which relates to the sub- 
ject of this memoir, and is here copied, is especially 
interesting to the biographe r of Col. Tilg hman, inas- 
much as it not only elucidates some obscurities in his 
military career, but also, in narrating his devotion to 
duty, his fidelity to the cause, the unselfishness of his 
service and his generosity to his fellow-officers, it pre- 
sents phases of his character admirable, if they may 
not be called even wonderful. " I also wish, though 
it is more a matter of private than of public considera- 
tion, that the business could be taken up on account 
of Mr. Tilghman, whose appointment seems to depend 

'In speaking of this military family, of which he at one time formed a 
part, General Lafayette says: "during a familiar association of five 
years, that no instance of disagreement occurred, is evidence of the tone 
of feeling which prevailed."— Hamilton's History of the Republic of the 
United States, vol. i, p. 172. 

Such concord could have been maintained only where there was mutual 
respect between the members, and where each was dominated by the 
same feeling of devotion to a common cause. 

28 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

on it; for if there are men in the army deserving of 
the commission proposed for him, he is one of them. 
This gentleman came out a captain of one of the light 
infantry companies of Philadelphia, and served in the 
Flying Camp in 1776. In August of the same year he 
joined my family, and has been in every action in 
which the maii\army was concerned. He has been 
a zealous servant and slave to the public, and a faith- 
ful assistant to me for nearly five years, a great 
part of which time he refused to receive pay. Honor 
and gratitude interest me in his favor, and make 
me solicitous to obtain his commission. His modesty 
and love of concord placed the date of his expected 
commission at the first of April, 1777, because he would 
not take rank of Hamilton and Meade, who were de- 
clared aids in order (which he did not choose to be), 
before that period, although he had joined my family 
and done all the duties of one from the first of Sep- 
tember preceding." 1 This letter, considering the 
source from which it emanated, the sentiments which 
it expressed, and the character of the actions which 
it indicated and commended, is as high an encomium 
as was ever bestowed upon any man. It would appear 
from this and other evidence, that although he entered 
upon the duties of secretary to Gen. Washington in 
August, 1776, and was from the September following 
discharging the functions of an aid-de-camp, with the 
title, by courtesj", of colonel, his rank had not been 
definitively established or declared. With an abne- 
gation which is almost incredible, and a magnanimity 

1 Sparks's Writings of Washington, vol. viii, p. 37. 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 29 

almost beyond praise, in applying for his commission, 
instead of demanding that it should date from the 
time when he took position upon the staff, he con- 
sented that it should date from the first of April, 
1777, that he might not outrank Colonels Hamilton 
and Meade, who had been recognized as aids, anterior 
to that period. It is felt that any comment upon this 
action, would be derogatory. Let it stand, therefore, 
in all its simple majesty and beauty. His commission 
was issued in accordance with his own wishes, and 
dating from 1st April, 1777, but issued May 30th, 
1781. 1 The rank thus formally and authoritatively 
bestowed, as well as his position of assistant secretary 
to the commander-in-chief, he continued to hold until 
the close of the war, and the disbanding of the army, 
without seeking or desiring promotion. His ambition 
seemed to have been fully gratified by the possession 
of the confidence and approbation of his chief. There 
is a tradition, however, in the family, which has pro- 
bability in its favor, that promotion was offered, but 
uniformly declined. This refusal may have been 
founded upon a consciousness of his own greater apti- 
tude for the quasi civil duties of secretary at head 
quarters, than for independent military command ; or, 
as is more probable, upon a very natural unwilling- 
ness to be separated, which promotion involved, from 
his honored commander, with whom his relations were 
of a more intimate kind than usually subsist between 

1 A copy of this commission may prove interesting to those who are not 
familiar with the form which had been adopted by the Board of War 
somewhat anterior to this date. It may be found in the appendix. 


30 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

a superior and inferior officer, and for whom his attach- 
ment was stronger than such as could be severed by a 
simple dissolution of official connection. 

To follow the career of Col. Tilghman during the 
war would be to write the whole history of the army 
under the immediate command of General Washington. 
In the letter already quoted, it is stated explicitly, " he 
has been in every action in which the main army was 
concerned." He was one of those who earliest em- 
barked in the cause of independence, having been 
commissioned, probably in the year 1775, a captain of 
one of those independent companies which made up 
that body of troops called the Flying Camp. In that 
capacity he served until August, 1776, when he sur- 
rendered his captaincy for a place upon the personal staff 
of the commander-in-chief, as has been before stated. 
No record remains to indicate whether he participated 
in any of the operations of the army up to the latter 
date, though it is presumable that he did ; but soon 
after this time, indeed immediately, he was called 
upon to take part in the disastrous battle of Long 
Island, and to share with Washington the mortifica- 
tion of the defeat which was there encountered, and 
his indignation at the conduct of some of the troops in 
the subsequent precipitate retreat from New York to 
Haarlem Heights. 1 In the successful affair at Man- 
hattanville, which did so much to encourage the dis- 

1 In a letter to his father dated 13, 1770, he thus speaks of the Mary- 
land troops in this action : " No regular troops ever made a more gallant 
resistance than Smallwood's regiment. If the others had behaved as well, 
if Gen. Howe had obtained a victory at all, it would have been dearly 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 31 

spirited army, history records his active participation. 
There, it is said, " he joined in the action to animate 
the troops, who charged with the greatest intrepidity." 1 
Some of these troops that behaved so handsomely on 
this occasion were of his native Maryland. From this 
time onward, until he stood beside Washington at 
Annapolis, when he surrendered his commission to 
congress, Col. Tilghman followed the fortunes of his 
commander and his army. He suffered in the disaster 
at White Plains ; with pain he witnessed the fall of 
Forts Lee and Washington ; he followed in the sad re- 
treat of the apparently dissolving army through the 
Jerseys into Pennsylvania ; he made one of those who, 
amid storm, darkness and floating ice, embarked in 
frail boats to cross the Delaware on the famous 
Christmas night of 1776 with Washington — a deed that 
has furnished a theme to the poet and a subject to the 
painter; he claims a part of the glories of Trenton and 
Princeton ; he equally claims a part in the humilia- 
tion, without shame, of the defeat at Brandy wine, and 
of the repulse at Germantown ; he shared with the 
army the terrible sufferings at Valley Forge, where 
indeed he contracted the disease which finally ter- 
minated his life ; he also bore with that army what 
is less tolerable than cold and hunger, that long in- 
activity which resulted from its reduction in numbers 
that other armies might be filled ; he was present aid- 
ing and directing that masterly movement by which 
the army was transferred to the soutli, to form a junc- 
tion with its lately arrived allies : and finally, he was 

1 Bancroft's History of tlie United States, vol. ix, p. 127. 

32 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

at Yorktown, actively participating in all the opera- 
tions of that ever memorable siege and surrender, 
which was the virtual end of the war. 

A few incidents in his military career of a nature 
almost purely personal, or at least having only an in- 
direct relation to the war, may be noticed. The dis- 
astrous battle of Long Island had resulted in the 
abandonment of New York city by the American forces? 
and its occupancy by the British. Washington with 
his army had moved up the Manhattan island and 
taken post at Haarlem Heights. The convention of 
the state of New York had become, as it were, a roving 
body, meeting at various places according to circum- 
stances, and was compelled to adopt unusual means 
to keep itself informed of the movements of the enemy, 
domestic and foreign, for, as is known, the lower portion 
of the state was infested with tories of the most de- 
termined and violent character. The convention 
accordingly appointed a committee of correspondence 
constituted of these gentlemen : Messrs. William Alli- 
son, R. R. Livingston, Henry Wesner and William 
Duer, for the purpose of obtaining intelligence, and 
communicating the same to that body. Overtures 
were made to Col. Tilghman, in a letter of Col. Duer, 
from Fishkills, of the date of 22nd Sept., 1776, for 
furnishing a daily letter from head quarters, giving all 
intelligence that might be received by the commander- 
in-chief, and all incidents which he thought might be 
interesting or serviceable to the convention. Col. 
Tilghman consented to furnish these letters, having the 
approval of Gen. Washington. An express was pro- 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 33 

vided by the committee for the regular and prompt 
transmission of the communications. This correspond- 
ence continued from September 22nd, to October 
21st, 1776. A very considerable number of the let- 
ters of the committee to Col. Tilghman and some 
of his replies are in the hands of his family, and they 
furnish a most interesting and minute history of the 
short period which they cover, as well as reveal the 
feelings of the patriots of the time, both in and out 
of the army. With reference to the subject of this 
memoir, they are valuable as indicating his readi- 
ness to perform extra official duty to the cause he had 
espoused, and his ability to perform that duty with 
credit to himself and acceptance to the committee of 
the convention. It was of these letters that Gen. 
Washington is thought to have referred in his letter of 
condolence to his father, when he said : " If they stand 
single, as they exhibit a trait of his public character, 
and like all the rest of his transactions will, I am per- 
suaded, do honor to his understanding aud probity, it 
may be desirable, in this point of view, to keep them 
alive by mixing them with mine, which, undoubtedly, 
will claim the attention of the historian." The fol- 
lowing taken from his letter of October 3rd, may serve 
to give an insight into the feelings at head quarters 
towards those who were serving secretly or openly 
the royal cause in that part of New York. " I am 
sorry your convention do not feel themselves legally 
authorized to make examples of the villains they have 
apprehended. If that is the case, the well-affected 
will hardly be able to keep a watch on the ill. The 

34 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

general is determined, if he can, bring some of those in 
his hands under the denomination of spies, to execute 
them. General Howe hanged a captain of ours, be- 
longing to Knowlton's Rangers, who went to New 
York to make discoveries. 1 I do not see why we 
should not make retaliation." To this Col. Duer re- 
plied with equal warmth: " In the name of justice 
hang two or three of the villains you have apprehended. 
They will certainly come under the denomination of 
spies." This correspondence, in which Col. Harrison 
occasionally took part, in the absence, or preoccupation 
of Col. Tilghman, on the one hand, and in which Mr. 
Livingston participated when Mr. Duer was prevented 
from writing, on the other part, was interrupted by 
the important movements of the opposing forces, which 
took place in the autumn of the year, resulting in the 
transferring of the American army into New Jersey, 
and later into Pennsylvania. In all these movements, 
of course, Col. Tilghman was an active agent and par- 
ticipant ; but, as has been before stated, as these are 
matters of familiar history, they need not be noted in 
this memoir. 

The letters of Col. Tilghman which remain rarely 
make any reference to himself — his wants, his ser- 
vices, his sacrifices or his sufferings. There is admir- 
able reticence about all personal matters. But there 
is one exception in a letter addressed to the Hon. 
Robert Morris, and dated Dec. 22, 1780. It would 

1 This was Captain Nathan Hale, who uttered these heroic words just 
before his execution : " My only regret is, I have but one life to lay down 
for my country." 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman- . 35 

seem that the state of Pennsylvania, from which state 
he had been appointed to the army, had been negligent 
in making proper provision for his support — that it 
had granted him nothing but rations, which he did 
not need, as with these he was " supplied in the family 
of his excellency." It seems that his greatest want 
was personal clothing, for the supply of which his 
own private means had thus far been used. He says : 
" I feel a consciousness of speaking the truth when I 
say that no man has devoted more of his time, and 
sacrificed more in proportion to his abilities, than I 
have done in the contest. Whether that time has 
been well or ill employed I leave it to those who have 
been acquainted with my services, to determine." 
His " abilities," that is to say his private fortune, was 
never large, and the " proportion " of this which he 
" sacrificed " was very nearly the whole. It is a tra- 
dition of his family, but having a more substantial 
foundation than such orally transmitted accounts of 
ancestors usually possess, that Col. Tilghman's services 
for a large part of the time he was in the army were 
rendered without recompense from congress ; for Wash- 
ington in the letter to Mr. John Sullivan, already 
quoted, says: "He has been a zealous servant and 
slave to the public, and a faithful assistant to me for 
nearly five years, a great part of which time he re- 
fused to receive pay." Admirable devotion ! with which 
no meaner motive mingled, not even that of the ap- 
plause of his countrymen, so freely bestowed upon his 
great exemplar. In this letter to Mr. Morris, Col. 
Tilghman, after dismissing his own private affairs, 

36 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilguman. 

speaks of the embarrassments of the army, and the dan- 
gers which were threatening the country ; and as this 
letter has never been published, the following extracts 
may be a small contribution to the historic literature of 
the times, which, if it do not reveal anything new, may 
confirm what is known. Commenting on the policy 
of enlisting men for short terms of service, which had 
proved so disastrous, he says : " Instead of securing 
an army when our money was good, and the people 
were willing, we have lavished immense sums upon 
men of an hour, whose terms of service have been 
spent in marching to and from the army, and in their 
way devouring like locusts all before them. * * * 
Two things will save us and that speedily ; a sufficient 
permanent army, and a foreign loan in aid of our re- 
sources. We may amuse ourselves with plans of spe- 
cific requisitions from the states, and a thousand idle 
projects ; but until the army can be paid and fed by 
the means of a substantial medium, we are only linger- 
ing out the time of our dissolution. Can men be 
expected to serve without provision — without cloth- 
ing — without pay. Of the last we have had none 
since March, and no prospect of any. * * * Perhaps 
there is no man less apt to despond, and I am sure 
there is none who will oppose longer than I will ; but 
when I see the glorious prize, for which we have been 
contending, within our reach, if we would but embrace 
the means of acquiring it, I am sick to death of our 

With the year 1781 the war was evidently approach- 
ing its conclusion. Washington suddenly withdrawing 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 37 

the army from before New York, which he was 
threatening, and forming a junction with the French 
forces under Lafayette on the south, laid siege to York- 
town, Virginia, where Cornwallis was entrenched. 
Beside his commander was his faithful secretary and 
aid, Col. Tilghman, who, having gone through the 
whole contest, was now present at its conclusion. As 
if prescient that this was to be the decisive and final con- 
flict, immediately upon the American army's taking 
position, he commenced a daily journal of the siege, 
which has been preserved to the present, a most inte- 
resting memorial of this ever memorable battle, and 
perhaps, the only one of the kind extant. Time was 
wanting to him, during the days so filled with stirring 
events, and active duty, to do more than jot down in 
fewest words each transaction as it occurred. Elabo- 
ration was impossible. Comment out of place. An 
event, which measured by its results, was one of the 
most notable in the annals of time, was recorded in 
this journal with a brevity which is almost sublime. 
On the 17th October, the British army under Corn- 
wallis virtually, and on the 19th actually and formally, 
capitulated. Immediately upon the signing of the 
articles of surrender the commander-in-chief selected 
one of his staff to be bearer of dispatches to congress, 
then in session in Philadelphia, that that body might 
be placed in possession of the joyous intelligence at 
the earliest moment. Col. Tench Tilsjliman was ^ 
selected for this pleasing duty, and he was charged 
with a letter to the president of congress, Thomas 
McKean, which, while it announced the great result 

38 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

of the operations before Yorktown, contained these 
highly complimentary words relating to the bearer : 
" Sir, * * * Col. Tilghman, one of my aids-de-camp, 
will have the honor to deliver these dispatches to 
your excellency. He will be able to inform you of 
every minute circumstance which is not particularly 
mentioned in my letter. His merits, which are too 
well known to need my observations at this time, 
have gained my particular attention, and I could wish 
that they may be honored by the notice of your ex- 
cellency and congress." This intimation of the com 
mander-in-chief that the services of his aid should have 
some recognition by the supreme powers, was neither 
forgotten nor neglected, as will be seen in the sequel. 
The bearer of such intelligence as that with which 
Col. Tilghman was charged, was not likely to prove 
a laggard upon his journey. He arrived in Phil a- ( 
delphia on the 23d of the month, having traversed 
the distance from Yorktown, in about toujp days, 
crossing numerous large rivers and probably the 
Chesapeake bay, between Annapolis and Kent island, 
for there is no evidence that he passed jth rough Bal- 
timore, which would have been outjof his way. As 
this courier sped along, he spread the happy tidings 
among an anxious people, who had been long eagerly 
awaiting intelligence from the scene of operations. 
He reached his destination in the middle of the night, 
when the whole city was wrapped in slumber. Im- 
patient to communicate the news, he lost no time in 
finding the house of the president of congress, whom 
he aroused, and with him the whole neighbor- 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 39 

hood, by his vigorous knock at his door. The 
watchmen of the city taking him to be some roister- 
ing young fellow who had bided too long at his 
cups, were about to arrest him as a disturber of the 
peace, and confine him in the watch-house till morn- 
ing. He, however, quickly made known his character 
and his business, and soon Mr. McKean was in com- 
munication with the welcome intruder upon his rest. 
The news spread with the greatest rapidity through 
the city, for the watchmen who were ready to arrest 
him now made the purport of his message the burden 
of their cry, and as they announced the hour of the 
night, as was the custom of the day, instead of ad- 
hering to the customary formularies respecting the 
weather, they proclaimed, " Cornwallis is taken." The 
whole population was soon astir, every one being 
anxious to have a confirmation of the news by hear- 
ing a recital of all the details. Lights appeared at 
the windows of the houses, so there was a kind of 
impromptu illumination. The state house bell tolled 
a joyous peal, like that it sent forth when it pro- 
claimed " liberty throughout the land unto all the in- 
habitants thereof, " in July, '76 : and at the dawn of 
day, which came as the dawn of peace, cannon were 
fired in honor of the victory, and in exultation over 
the prospect of independence achieved. Congress met 
at an earlier hour than usual. The dispatches from 
Washington were read by the secretary, congratulat 
ory speeches were delivered, and every other expres- 
sion, comporting with the dignity of such a stately 
body, was given to the joy which filled every breast. 

40 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

Of these expressions not the least significant was the 
going in procession to church, in order to return 
thanks for the "crowning the allied armies of the 
United States and France with success." It is not 
difficult to imagine Col. Tilghman as at once wearied 
and flattered by the assiduities of the people of 
Philadelphia — wearied by the frequent repetition of 
the pleasing story of the surrender, with all the de- 
tails which the official dispatches omitted, and flattered 
by the attention and courtesies to which the bearer of 
such agreeable intelligence was thought to be entitled, 
and which were so readily and lavishly bestowed. 
Nor were the compliments and favors confined to the 
citizens of Philadelphia. A committee of congress, ap- 
pointed on the 24th of October, and consisting of Messrs. 
Randolph, Boudinot, Varnum and Carroll, reported 
on the 29th of that month, a series of resolutions ex- 
pressive of the thanks of congress to Washington and 
Lafayette, and to the officers and soldiers under their 
command; but, in addition, it was ordered that a 
horse with his caparisons, and a sword, be presented by 
the board of war to Lieut. Col. Tilghman. 1 

After the battle of Yorktown there were faint 
gleams which gave promise of the dawn of peace. 
These continued to increase in brightness until the 
long wished for orb arose. The army was placed in 
quarters on the Hudson, and melted gradually away. 
Respite from labor was given to the officers, many of 
whom returned to their homes. How Col. Tilghman 
employed his furloughs, will immediately appear. He 

1 For a copy of these resolutions, see apppendix. 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 41 

still held his connection with the military family, and 
during his absence from his home in the camp he 
wrote, not so frequently as was desired, to his friend 
and commander, receiving in return most kind and 
affectionate replies. In one of these letters of Gen. 
Washington to Col. Tilghman, written January 7th, 
1783, he uses these words: "I receive with great 
sensibility your assurances of affection and regard. It 
would be but a renewal of what I have often repeated 
to you, that there are few men in the world to whom 
I am more attached by inclination than I am to 
you. With the cause, I hope — most devoutly hope — 
there will soon be an end to my military services — 
when, as our places of residence will not be far apart, 
I shall never be more happy than in your company 
at Mt. Vernon. I shall always be glad to hear from, 
and keep up a correspondence with you." 1 A man 
who could win such words from such a man must 
have had qualities of mind and heart, principles of 
thought and action, singularly in harmony with 
those possessed by him who wrote them. If this be 
a legitimate deduction, can praise go farther than to 
say, Tilghman was like Washington? But to return. 
When peace came at last, and the bonds that united 
the army were to be dissolved, Col. Tilghman parti- 
cipated in that most touching scene, the parting of 
Washington with his officers, but not with that 
poignancy of grief that was felt by others, for he was 
still to accompany him, and stand by his side when, at 
Annapolis on the 23d of December, 1783, was enacted 

1 For this letter see appendix. 

42 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

that scene, which for moral sublimity is not surpassed 
in the whole drama of human history, the surrender 
of his commission as commander-in-chief of the armies 
of the United States by Gen. Washington. Governed 
by the same impulses as his great exemplar, Col. 
Tilghman, from his lower height, stepped down, and 
he too soon gave up his position and rank, returned 
with like gladness to the congenial pursuits of peace, 
and not long after to the wished for joys of wedded 

During one of the few short furloughs which were 
accepted by Col. Tilghman, whose attention to duty 
has been likened by Washington to the unceasing toil 
of the slave, he took occasion to renew his acquaintance 
with his relatives in the county of his birth, from 
whom he had so long been separated that they had 
become as strangers. The soldier who had staked life 
and fortune upon the result of the struggle for inde- 
pendence would be very naturally attracted to the 
statesman who had shown equal devotion to the same 
cause, even if the ties of kinship had not drawn them 
together. In the year 1779, after visiting his father 
in Chestertown, whither he had removed from Phila- 
delphia after the commencement of hostilities, Col. 
Tilghman extended his journey to Talbot, and was 
welcomed by his uncle, the venerable Matthew 
Tilghman, at his home upon the Bay-Side. 1 Here 

1 This gentleman had occupied positions of trust and distinction under 
the colonial government, having been for many years one of the county 
justices, and speaker of the lower house of the general assembly. He took 
an early and active part in the resistance of the colony to the encroach- 
ments of the mother country, and though long unwilling, as most Mary- 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 43 

he was presented to his cousin, Miss Anna Maria 
Tilghman, of whose amiable traits, both of per- 
son and character, he had already been apprised by 
his own sisters, who had given him accounts of their 
agreeable visits to Bay-Side. Naturally susceptible 
to the influence of female charms, his military service, 
by withdrawing him in great measure from the society 
of women, had rendered him more impressible than 
ever when brought into their presence. It is there- 
fore not wonderful that the soldier, who might be con- 
sidered yet young in years, and was certainly possessed 
of the feelings of youth, during this period of respite 
from duty, of disengagement and almost vacancy of 
mind, when a kind of dreamy languor had succeeded 
to the excitement and activity of the camp and field, 
should have been captivated by the intelligence, 
amiability and beauty of his cousin. Then, on the 
other hand, the soft blandishments which the young 
lady may have really thought were bestowed on the 
soldier for the sake of the cause which he was champion- 
ing and defending, or on a relative and guest entitled 

landers were, to a severance of the political connection which existed be- 
tween that country and her colony, when the time came for its dissolution, 
no one was more pronounced in his opinions and decided in his conduct. 
He was a member of the conventions that w r ere assembled to protest 
against the arbitrary acts of the royal government ; was a delegate to 
several of the early congresses; was the head of the council of safety of 
Maryland for the eastern shore ; w r as president of the convention that 
framed the first constitution of the state of Maryland ; and at the date of 
Col. Tilghman' s visit was a member of the senate of the state. From his 
long and useful public service, from his venerable age, and the universal 
respect in which he was held, he was called the Patriarch of Maryland. 
He was a man of large fortune, from which he dispensed a bountiful hospi - 
tality, and a liberal charity. He died in 1790. 

44 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

to them by right of kinship or the laws of hospitality, 
without any covert design, on her part, completed his 
capture. The uncertainty of the result of the contest, 
in which he was then engaged as active participant, 
prevented him from a. formal declaration of his feelings 
at this time. Three years later, the aspect of public 
affairs encouraging a hope that the war was not far 
from an end, and a more intimate acquaintance having 
confirmed his regard for his cousin, he determined to ex- 
plain the motives of his conduct and behavior towards 
the young lady, who, he thought, was entitled to such 
explanation. But he still was unable to offer her mar- 
riage, inasmuch as his fortune was not such as would 
permit him to maintain her in the style to which she 
had been accustomed. He, therefore, plainly stated 
his position, and while expressing his warm affection 
for her, he said he was unwilling to embarrass her with 
a formal engagement, but left her free to accept any 
offers which might be made to her, if the sentiments 
she felt towards him would permit her so to do. But 
as common report connected his name with hers, he 
felt it his duty to apprise her father of what had trans- 
pired between them. The letter to the Hon. Matthew 
Tilghman from Col. Tilghman in reference to this 
matter, dated June 10th, 1782, is still in existence, in 
which he asks the privilege of prosecuting his suit, and 
states that should the father's consent be obtained, he 
would, ere long, set about the removal of that obstacle 
to a union with his daughter which was founded in 
the inadequacy of his income. This letter is admirable 
for its manliness, its frankness, its delicacy, and its 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 45 

excellent taste. It is most characteristic of the man. 
In it we see united a simple dignity which results from 
conscious worth, an unaffected modesty which shrinks 
from asserting any special merits, and a self renuncia- 
tion which cannot sacrifice the interests of others to 
its own gratification. We see too, traces of those 
chivalric qualities which had not yet become a mere 
survival of a past age, honor towards man and homage 
towards woman. 1 To this letter, Mr. Tilshman srave 
a favorable reply. Now it was that Col. Tilghman 
found the prudence of which he thought himself pos- 
sessed was not proof against the impatience which 
prompted him to have the marriage concluded. He 
who was so cautious that he was unwilling to enter 
into any formal engagement until the war was over, 
and he had secured such an income as would support 
a wife in a manner becoming her station, was now 
ready and anxious, though peace had not been de- 
clared, and though he had embarked in no business, 
that an early day should be appointed for the fruition 
of his hopes and desires. It was determined that the 
marriage should be solemnized in the winter of 1782, 2 

1 For this letter see appendix. 

a The head quarters of the army, after the capitulation at Yorktown, had 
hecn established at Newburgh, ou the Hudson. Many of the troops had 
been permitted to return home, and leaves of absence granted to some of 
the officers. Col. Tilghman availed himself of the opportunity to visit 
Talbot, and his time passed so pleasantly there that he had been some- 
what negligent of his correspondence with his friend and chief. His long- 
absence and infrequent letters appeared to give plausibility to a rumor 
which had reached head-quarters that he was married ; and a letter 
written to his commander in June or July, 1782, in which he referred to 
his expected change of condition, with a vagueness of expression, for which 
his modesty will sufficiently account, seemed to confirm the report. Gen. 


46 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilgiiman. 


but the illness of Mr. Charles Carroll, the barrister, 
who had married an elder sister, which illness indeed 
finally terminated his life, caused the postponement of 
the nuptials until June 9, 1783, when they were duly 
celebrated, with much quietness and privacy, on 
account of the recent family affliction just mentioned. 
He received, among those of other friends, the con- 
gratulations of General and Mrs. Washington, in a 
letter couched in the following kind and affectionate 
language : " Why have you been so niggardly in 
communicating your change of condition to us, or to 
the world ? By dint of enquiries we have heard of 
your marriage ; but have scarcely got a confirmation 
of it yet. On the presumption however that it is so, 
I offer you my warmest congratulations and best 
wishes for the enjoyment of many happy years ; in 
both of which Mrs. Washington joins me very cor- 
dially." 1 The lady with whom Col. Tilgiiman was thus 
happily united was possessed of many of those graces 
which win and those qualities which retain the admira- 
tion and respect of men. Her manners were most gra- 
cious, condescending to those below her in the social 
scale and engaging to her equals. Without pretensions 
to high culture, either in the lighter accomplishments, 
or the more solid acquirements, for which her resi- 
dence in the country afforded small opportunity, she 
was nevertheless intelligent, as well as naturally en- 
dowed with a most excellent judgment. The habit 

Washington's pleasant and almost playful reply to this letter, maybe 
found in the appendix, and affords another proof of the affectionate 
regard winch he felt for Col. Tilghman. 
1 For this letter see appendix. 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 47 

of her father of conversing with her freely and con- 
stantly upon public business, and his custom of having 
her with him at Annapolis when attending to colonial or 
state affairs, and at Philadelphia when serving in con- 
gress, made her familiar with the political movements 
and stirring events of the time. When thrown upon 
her own resources after his and her husband's death, 
she manifested most excellent capacity for the conduct 
of her private affairs. Nor was she devoid of literary 
skill, as is shown by an inedited memoir of her father, 
which she left behind her, and her numerous letters. 
In religion she was of the church of England, and its 
successor in America ; and while holding to its 
doctrines with the tenacity of conviction, she was 
most liberal and tolerant of the opinions of those who 
differed from her in belief. Living at the time when 
the conflict for supremacy in her county was raging 
between the old church and Methodism, its child, she 
was able to retain the love and respect of those whom 
she opposed. Without affecting the spirituality, which 
to her seemed so like sanctimoniousness, and which 
was the religious fashion of the day, she was in senti- 
ment and conduct deeply pious. To her servants or 
slaves she was mild and indulgent ; to her neighbors 
kind and obliging ; to her friends and relatives most 
affectionate. Her house was the very home of hospi- 
tality. Her wealth was the store from which charity 
drew her most bountiful supplies for the surrounding 
poor. She lived to a great age, retaining her faculties 
to the end unimpaired, honored and revered by all, 
beloved by her children and her children's children to 

48 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

the third generation. She cherished to the last 
memories of her early lost husband. It was a duty, 
held as almost sacred, annually, upon the recurrence 
of the anniversary of her marriage, to retire to a pri- 
vate room, and taking from their repository all the 
relics of her deceased husband, which she preserved 
with the most scrupulous care, for a while to indulge 
herself in the tender and mournful reminiscences sug- 
gested by these mementos, and then to lay them 
away again in their proper receptacle, made sweet 
and safe with fragrant herbs and aromatic gums. Of 
this lady Gen. Lafayette retained kindly memories, 
and when he was in this country in 1824, in a letter 
written in reply to one of a committee of the citizens 
of Queen Anne's, congratulating him upon his arrival in 
America, presenting their homage for his services and 
merit, and inviting him to their county, he said : " It 
is my eager and affectionate wish to visit the Eastern 
Shore of this state. I anticipate the pleasure there 
to recognize several of my companions in arms, and 
among the relations of my departed friends, to find 
the honored widow of a dear brother in General 
Washington's family, Col. Tilghman, as well as a 
daughter of my friend CarmicliEel, 1 who first received 
the secret vows of my engagement in the American 
cause, the least suspicion of which by the French or 
British government it was at that time momentous 
for me to prevent." For many years preceding her 
death, she had been the recipient from the government 

' Mr. Carmichael was secretary to the American commissioners, at Paris, 
and a resident of Queen Anne's county, Maryland. 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 49 

of a pension, in consideration of the meritorious services 
of Col. Tilghman : but no discharge was ever made 
of the claims which he justly had against that govern- 
ment for arrearages of pay, but which, it is due to his 
memory to say, were never demanded. 

As soon as a prospect of peace was disclosed, and 
before the war was actually ended, Col. Tilghman 
began his preparations for a return to his original 
occupation of merchant, when the army should be 
disbanded, and he relieved from his military duties. 
Upon the signing of the articles by which national 
independence was acknowledged, he was urged by 
General Washington to continue in the military service 
of the United States. Before the resignation of the 
commander-in-chief he had recommended to congress 
that it should not rely for defence against foreign ag- 
gression, or domestic commotion upon the uncertain 
militia levies of the states, but should provide for a 
small body of well trained professional soldiers. 
Although congress had shown great reluctance to 
adopt this advice, sharing as it did the popular ap- 
prehension, founded upon past experience, that a 
standing army is more frequently an instrument of 
oppression than a means of defence ; yet, the com- 
mander-in-chief foresaw that political exigencies would 
soon require that body to follow his suggestions. 
Hence his advice to Col. Tilghman to maintain his 
military connection. This gentleman, however, if 
ever he had been inclined to follow the advice of his 
commander, which is doubtful, for the pursuits of 
peace were more in accordance with his natural dis- 

50 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

position and his early training, when he saw the in- 
disposition of congress to retain or organize a force 
commensurate with the national dignity, declined re- 
maining in a service which was calculated to bring 
ridicule rather than honor from the insignificance of 
the command, and in which the emoluments were 
likely to be both small and uncertain. His private 
means had been sadly impaired by the war. now 
happily closed. His small fortune, realized before the 
war, which was constituted of the personal obligations 
of those who had become indebted to him in his short 
mercantile adventures, was almost swept away by the 
bankruptcy of some, and by the payment by others of 
their indebtedness in a depreciated currency, as he 
mentions in his private letters still extant. 1 In com- 
mon with most of his countrymen of that day he in- 
dulged the opinion that the country was about to enter 
upon a grand career of industrial prosperity ; and that 
as soon as the domestic ports should be opened to the 
trade of the world, and the foreign to the shipping of 
the new nation, commerce would not only fill its old 
channels, but open new, to pour a flood of wealth upon 
the people of America. It was a period of great hope- 
fulness, although many who had been speculating 
upon the continuance of the war, were ruined by the 
coming of peace. 

The city of Baltimore was just entering upon that 
career of prosperity, which at that day was unprece- 
dented in this country, and which has hardly been 
surpassed by any more recent examples of progress. 

1 See appendix. 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 51 

The spreading of the settlements towards the west, 
to which she was in nearer proximity than any of the 
other seaboard towns, gave promise that Baltimore 
was to become a great emporium, a promise which is 
yet in process of realization. Col. Tilghman resolved 
to settle at this favorable point, hoping to share in the 
prosperity which was so evidently waiting to reward 
the commercial enterprise of her citizens. At first he 
engaged in trade upon his own account, but soon find- 
ing the field so favorable as well as so wide, inviting 
and demanding larger capital, more extended connec- 
tions and greater credit than he could command, he 
was glad to accept overtures to a partnership with a 
gentleman well known in commercial circles both in 
Europe and America, of large experience in business, 
of ample means and of abilities of the first order, 
as had been shown by his management oi the finances 
of the country during the war of the revolution. 
These overtures were made by Mr. Robert Morris, 
who, at that time, occupied the most conspicuous posi- 
tion in commerce of any man of his day in America. 
He had known Col. Tilghman from his youth, and had 
learned, before the war, to appreciate his capacity and 
integrity. His merits were further discovered during 
the contest, when Mr. Morris was thrown into frequent 
intercourse with him. Among the interesting docu- 
ments still preserved by the descendants of Col. Tilgh- 
man is that containing the articles of copartnership 
between him and Mr. Morris. These articles bear the 
date of January 1st, 1784, and were to be in force for 
the term of seven years. By them, the parties agreed 

52 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

to enter into a mercantile business, of the precise 
nature of which it is not easy to determine, but ap- 
parently, it was a shipping and commission business, 
in which, while the produce and merchandise of others 
were sold for a percentage, the partners made foreign 
adventures upon their own account. Mr. Morris con- 
tinued to reside in Philadelphia, while Mr. Tilghman 
conducted the business in Baltimore. It does not 
appear that Col. Tilghman had any interest in the 
Philadelphia house of his partner. The style of the 
firm in Baltimore was, Tench Tilghman and Company. 
The amounts invested by the partners were, " £5000 
current money of Maryland, in specie, at the rate of 
seven shillings to the Mexican dollar " and £2500 of 
the same kind of money, for Mr. Morris and Col. 
Tilghman respectively ; and they were to divide the 
profits equally, but Col. Tilghman was entitled to 
£400 annually, over and above his proportionable part 
"in consideration of his residence in Baltimore." 
The signature of Mr. Morris was witnessed by his 
Philadelphia partner Mr. Swanwick and Governeur 
Morris. That of Col. Tilghman by John Richardson 
and Jacob Sampson. The copartnership thus begun 
continued to the early death of the junior of the firm 
in 1786, an event the sadness of which had this late 
alleviation, that he was spared the humiliation and 
loss which would have come through the subsequent 
bankruptcy of Mr. Morris, and was saved from the 
patriot's mortification of seeing the man, whose financial 
wisdom and self-sacrificing devotion had sustained his 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 53 

country's armies in the darkest hours, occupy a debtor's 
prison. 1 

The business career of Col. Tilghman illustrated 
those two qualities of heart and mind which charac- 
terize as well as dignify the true merchant : perfect 
integrity in all that relates to others, and soundness 
of judgment in all that relates to himself — qualities 
that permit the doing no wrong and the suffering 
none — the very qualities that marked the true knight 

1 There was another tie which connected Mr. Morris and Col. Tilghman : 
the fathers of each had been acquainted in Talbot county, Maryland, and 
there the latter had received his early education. The first Robert Morris 
was a merchant at Oxford, Md., acting as agent or factor of Foster Cun- 
liffe & Co. of Liverpool. He was killed by a wad from a cannon fired as 
a salute to im, and lies buried at old White Marsh church, about six 
miles from Oxford, where there is a tomb stone with this inscription : 

In Memory 


Robert Morris, a native of Liverpool 

In Great Britain. 

Late a Merchant of Oxford, 

In this Province. 

Punctual integrity influenced his dealings ; 

Principles of Honor governed his actions ; 

With an uncommon degree of sincerity, 

He despised artifice and dissimulation. 

His Friendship was fair candid and valuable ; 

His Charity, frequent, secret and well adapted ; 

His zeal for the public good active and useful ; 

His Hospitality was enhanced by his conversation, 

Seasoned with cheerful wit and sound judgment. 

A salute from the cannon of a ship, 

(The wad fracturing his arm) 

Was the signal by which he departed, 

Greatly lamented, as he was esteemed, 

In the fortieth year of his age, 

On the 12th day of July, 


54 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

in a chivalrous age. That he possessed these qualities 
is attested by the words and acts of two most eminent 
men, who were not only themselves endowed with 
them, but who had had every opportunity of dis- 
covering their existence in him — Mr. Robt. Morris 
and Gen. Washington. Mr. Morris had known him in 
business before the war ; he had known him as the 
trusted secretary of the commander-in-chief during 
that whole contest ; and this long acquaintance had 
inspired him with such confidence in his good-sense 
and honesty as to prompt him to the most intimate 
connection in trade. But after the copartnership had 
been formed, Mr. Morris, as his letters, still extant, 
show, took pains to give repeated assurance to his 
partner of his implicit reliance upon his honor and 
his abilities as a merchant. These assurances are 
couched in the most delicate and flattering terms, and 
lay in a touch of color amidst the neutral tints of a 
business correspondence. Gen. Washington, by his 
long association with Col. Tilghman, had acquired a 
similar confidence in his entire probity and good 
sense ; for upon his retirement to Mount Vernon, his 
old secretary and aid became his factor or agent in 
Baltimore for the transaction of almost every kind of 
business. Col. Tilghman sold the products of his 
estates, as far as they were disposed of in that city : 
he was the purchaser of all articles for domestic and 
plantation use, even to the china that adorned Mrs. 
Washington's tea-table, or to her own and the general's 
personal clothing. He made contracts with workmen 
for building ; he hired servants from the emigrant 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 55 

ships; he selected and stipulated with the gentleman 
who was to act as private tutor to Mrs. Washington's 
children and as secretary to the general ; in short, 
there was nothing which the general required should 
be done, important or trifling, that was not performed 
by his old confidential secretary but now equally 
trusted friend and commercial agent. The most un- 
reserved confidence seems to have been reposed in him ; 
and what he did was always approved. If better and 
additional evidence were wanting of Gen. Washing- 
ton's confidence in Col. Tilghman as the capable and 
upright merchant, it would be afforded by a letter 
still extant, in which a request by the former is made 
of the latter, that he would receive into his counting 
room a young person, a relative, to acquire a know- 
ledge of business. From what is known of Gen. 
Washington's prudence and discretion, this act of his, 
though in the form of a favor asked, must be regarded 
as a compliment bestowed ; for it is not probable that 
he would have sought to place a youth, with whom 
he was personally connected, under the care and 
training of a man who had not shown himself possessed 
of those qualities which he would wish to be cultivated 
in one in whose welfare he felt an interest. 1 

Although Col. Tilghman was immersed in business 
he found time to think and write of politics, municipal, 
state and national. His writing, at a time when news- 
papers were not so common as now, was confined to 
private correspondence. He maintained, to within a 
few weeks of his death, frequent intercourse by letters, 

1 See appendix. 

5G Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

with his father-in-law Mr. Matthew Tilghman, who had 
long taken an active part in politics, as has been before 
mentioned. This correspondence, of which there are 
some remains, was an interesting melange of family, 
business and public affairs. It would seem that he, 
like most thoughtful men of the time, entertained 
grave apprehensions of the success of the new govern- 
ment under the articles of confederation. The weak- 
nesses of this government betrayed themselves during 
the progress of the war ; but the enthusiasm of 
patriotism compensated in large measure for its lack 
of inherent vigor, and carried on the contest, in some 
halting and hesitating, but, in the end, successful way 
to a fortunate conclusion. After the war was over, 
and the power of a government had to take the place 
of zeal for a cause, its feebleness became more and 
more apparent, and disorganization or subjection to 
some strong hand seemed inevitable. The following 
extract from a letter of Col. Tilghman to the Hon. 
Matthew Tilghman, bearing the date of February 
5th, 1786, expresses the apprehensions that were en- 
tertained of the stability of the government of the 
United States, for some years after the acknowledg- 
ment of their independence : " It is a melancholy 
truth, but so it is, that we are at this time the most 
contemptible and abject nation on the face of the 
earth. We have neither reputation abroad nor union 
at home. We hang together merely because it is not 
the interest of any other power to shake us to pieces, 
and not from any well cemented bond of our own. 
How should it be otherwise ? The best men we have 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 57 

are all basking at home in lucrative posts, and we 
send the scum to represent us in the grand national 
council. France has met us there on equal terms. 
Instead of keeping a man of rank as minister at our 
court, she sends a person in quality of charge des 
affaires, who was but a degree above a domestic in the 
family of the late minister. All joking apart, I view 
our federal affairs as in the most desperate state. I 
have long been convinced that we cannot exist as 
republics. We have too great a contrariety of in- 
terests ever to draw together. It will be a long time 
before any one man will be hardy enough to under- 
take the task of uniting us under one head. I do not 
wish to see the time. One revolution has been 
sufficient for me, but sure I am another of some kind 
will take place much earlier than those who do not 
think deeply on the subject suppose." From this 
letter it is very evident that Col. Tilghman had clearly 
recognized the failure of the confederation of states, 
and that he had no hope that any modification of 
the articles of this league of separate republics, by 
which the independence of each was to be maintained, 
would perpetuate a government so loosely hung 
together, and with so little autonomic power to secure 
obedience to its requirements. It is also clear that 
he had not relieved his mind of the illusion fostered 
and perpetuated by monarchy, that by the mind and 
hand of a single person only could union and harmony 
be secured. He had not yet learned to trust to the 
wisdom of the people, so like a political instinct, to 
effect what he thought was beyond the power of such 

58 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

statesmanship as was embodied in our legislatures. 
It is evident he was anticipating another revolution, 
in which some strong hand should harness the recal- 
citrant states, and seizing the reins of power, direct 
the car of the united nation upon the road of progress. 
The revolution, which with an admirable prescience 
he had anticipated, came soon after the words above 
quoted were written, but it came in a manner which 
his political astrology had not enabled him to foresee. 
The formation of the constitution of 1787 was the 
work of the people, who had discovered the necessity 
of a "more perfect union." The evils which were ex- 
pected, by Col. Tilghman and those who thought like 
him, to flow from any attempt at the unification of 
the heterogeneous elements of the confederacy, were 
happily not realized ; at least not realized until many 
years later, when the sentiment of nationality, once 
a germ immature and weak, had so rooted itself to 
the soil, and so spread itself in the air of the popular 
mind, that it was able to withstand the storm of civil 
war. One other reflection, suggested by this letter 
may be pardoned. The complaint that he utters of 
the insufficiency of those who were sent to the 
" national council " is one, as appears, that has been 
made at every period in our history. We are there- 
fore encouraged to believe that the public men of the 
present day, however much they may fall below our 
ideals of true statesmen, are not worse than those who 
preceded them, whose actions, we think, were 
prompted by an unselfish sentiment, and regulated by 
a far-reaching wisdom, and whose memories we now 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 59 

revere as those of the very fathers of the republic. 
In view of the great prosperity we have enjoyed, 
under legislation conducted by men whom Col. Tilgh- 
man has designated as " the scum," we may indulge 
the hope that those who we think are to be charac- 
terized as both ignorant and dishonest, may not bring 
utter ruin upon the country ? Some how, and yet we 
know not why, from the conflicts of ignorance, where- 
ever thought is free, the light of truth is elicited, and 
from the decomposition of corruption, wherever poli- 
tical action is unrestrained by arbitrary power, the 
germ of right is developed. 

Belonging to a family of the Maryland gentry of 
the highest respectability and social prominence ; con- 
nected by kinship or friendship with the very best 
people of the province or state ; endowed with those 
fine sensibilities which would have made him the 
gentleman, had he not been such by birth ; possessed 
of a vigorous mind trained in the best schools of 
the country, and in those better schools, an inter- 
course with great men, and a participation in great 
affairs ; adorned with manners which were at once 
the expression of an inherited courtesy, and the re- 
flection of the polite circles in which he had moved ; 
it would have been strange if the house of Col. Tilgh- 
man had not become the resort of all the cultivated, 
refined and distinguished of the commonwealth. 1 There 
could be seen occasionally many who had national 
repute and whose names have now a historic im- 

1 The house of Col. Tilghman was situated upon Lombard street, uear 
Howard, opposite the meeting house of the Friends. 

60 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

portance. There he dispensed a generous, but not 
ostentatious, hospitality to all whom he enrolled 
among his friends, and particularly to his old com- 
panions in arms. There he entertained Lafayette 
during his first visit to America after the revolution, 
in 1784. 1 There too he had the satisfaction, accord- 
ing to traditions in the family, of occasionally welcom- 
ing his old commander, Gen. Washington, when he 
visited Baltimore — joyful days, to be marked by a 
whiter stone. 

While thus treading the difficult path of a busy 
career, yet always 

" Wearing the white flower of a blameless life ; " 

while enjoying the comforts and delights of a happy 
home which refinement graced and which affection 
ruled; while surrounded by kind and appreciating 
friends, followed by the honoring respect of his fellow 
citizens, and distinguished above most others by the 
high regard and warm attachment of the most nota- 
ble man of his day ; while wealth accumulated and 
flattered him with the prospect of affluence and ele- 
gant ease ; the one bitter drop in the cup of life that 
flavored every draught, was the presence of that malady 
which he had contracted through hardship and ex- 
posure endured while in the army, and which without 
pause had been making inroads upon his constitution. 
The warnings he received by his occasional illnesses, 
when the nature of the disease gave small hope of 

1 The bedstead upon which this friend of America slept while visiting 
Col. Tilghman in Baltimore, was sacredly preserved by Mrs. Tilghman 
during her long life, and is still kept as an interesting relic by her 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 61 

complete restoration, were of little more service than 
to exhort one, who needed no such exhortation, to 
temperateness and regularity of living. Early in the 
year 1786 his disease was evidently approaching a 
crisis, which he was encouraged by his friends and 
physicians to expect would be favorable. In a letter 
written to his father-in-law in February of that year, 
after the more painful symptoms of a severe attack of 
hepatic abscess had abated, he expressed a hope, that 
having passed with safety the most critical period, he 
would soon be able to enjoy his usual health, a hope 
which he seems to have shared with his medical ad- 
visers. But soon there was a return of the same dis- 
tressing symptoms, of which there was no alleviation; 
but a gradual increase in severity until the 18th of 
April, when he was relieved of his sufferings by the 
kindly hand of death, at the early age of forty-one 
years. His illness was assuaged, as far as this was 
possible, by all the attention and care which the most 
affectionate solicitude could bestow, and the bitterness 
of death itself by the consolations of religion, for he 
held to the faith of his fathers, which was that of the 
church of England. His body was interred in the old 
burial ground of Saint Paul's, in the city of Baltimore, 
whence it was removed to the cemetery on Lombard 
stret, where his remains still lie. 1 

" Multis ille bonis flebilis occidit." 

1 The following inscription may be found upon a plain slab over his 
grave in the burial ground, no longer used for the interment of the dead, 
situated on Lombard street between Green and Paca streets, in the city of 
Baltimore : 

62 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

He died lamented by all good men. At his funeral 
his fellow citizens and brethren in arms gave every 
suitable token of their appreciation of his worth, and 
of their affectionate regard. The public journals, both 
of the city of Baltimore and of Philadelphia, at a 

In Memory of 

Col. Tench Tilghman, 

Who died April 18th, 1786, 

In the 42nd year of his age, 

Very much lamented. 

He took an early and active part 

In the great contest that secured 

The Independence of 

The United States of America. 

He was an Aid-de-Camp to 

His Excellency General Washington 

Commander in chief ot the American armies, 

And was honored 

With his friendship and confidence, 


He was one of those 

Whose merits were distinguished 


Honorably rewarded 

By the Congress 


Still more to his Praise 

He was 

A good man. 

After the death of the widow of Col. Tilghman, their daughter, Mrs. 

Nicholas Goldsborough, and grandson, General Tench Tilghman, erected a 

handsome monument to her, which became also a cenotaph to him, at 

Plimhimmon near Oxford, Talbot county, Maryland. This monument, 

consisting of a pedestal and obelisk, has inscribed upon it the following 

epitaphs : 

To Mrs. Anna Maria Tilghman. 

The affection and Veneration of a daughter and grandson have caused 

them to erect this Monument to Anna Maria Tilghman, daughter of the 

Hon. Matthew Tilghman and widow of Lt. Col. Tilghman. Her pure 

character, combining every christian grace and virtue, attracted the 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 63 

time when it was not so common as now to praise the 
dead almost without discrimination, published obitu- 
ary notices which were expressive of the general sor- 
row for his early demise, and of the high esteem in 
which he was held wherever his character was 
known. 1 Nor were these public testimonials the only 

devoted love of her family connections, and the admiration and esteem of 

all who kuew her. 

Born July 17th, 1755. 

Died Jan. 13th, 1843. 

Tench Tilghman, Lt. Col. in the Continental army and Aid-de-camp 
of Washington, who spoke of him thus : He was in every action in which 
the main army was concerned. A great part of the time he refused to 
receive pay. While living no man could be more esteemed, and since 
dead none more lamented. No one had imbibed sentiments of greater 
friendship for him than I had done. He left as fair a reputation as ever 
belonged to a human character. 

Died April 18th, 1786. 
Aged 42 years. 

1 The following is from a paper of Philadelphia, being part of a notice 
of his death : " Lately departed this life at Baltimore in the State of Mary- 
land, Tench Tilghman, Esq.; a gentleman no less distinguished for public 
than for private virtues. Of the former, it is enough to say, that during 
the late war he was the confidential secretary and aid-de-camp of the 
illustrious commander-in-chief of the American forces. Of the latter, his 
punctuality, integrity and regularity as a merchant — his excellent deport- 
ment as a citizen, parent and friend, and general benevolence as a man, 
will long remain the precious testimonials. He bore the rank of lieut. 
colonel in the army from 1777, to its being disbanded. He received the 
last public acknowledgment from his great chief on the 19th of Octo- 
ber, 1781, on the occasion of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and his 
army— an event which he was sent to notify to congress, who thereupon, 
on the 29th of the same month voted him their plaudit of his merit 
and abilities." 

The following is from Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser of 
Friday, April 21, 1786 : 

" Yesterday evening were interred, in St. Paul's church yard, with the 
greatest marks of respect, the remains of the late Col. Tench Tilghman, 
an eminent merchant of this town. He departed this life on Tuesday 
evening, after languishing a long time under a most distressing illness, in 

64 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

tributes to bis wortb. Private letters from persons 
of the first distinction, attest his merit, and furnish 
his best eulogium. Mr. Sparks in his Life and Writ- 
ings of Washington sa}'s : "Several of Gen. Washing- 
ton's correspondents spoke of his death with much 
warmth of feeling." Robert Morris said : " You have 

the 42d year of his age. In public life Ms name stands high as a soldier 
and patriot, his political conduct during the late war having entitled him 
to the noblest praise, that of an independent honest man — and his services in 
the honorable and confidential character of aid-de-camp to his Excellency 
General Washington, in the course of the late glorious contest for Freedom 
and Independence, deservedly obtained the approbation of his chief and 
his country. As a private character, the deep affection of his family, the 
sorrow of his friends, and the universal regret of his fellow citizens, best 
show their sense of the heavy loss they have sustained, in the death of 
this worthy and amiable man." 

The following tribute to Col. Tilghman, was published in the Port- 
folio, and was from the pen of Mr. Swanwick, the business partner in 
Philadelphia of Mr. Robert Morris. This gentleman's long and intimate 
acquaintance with Col. Tilghman and his own high character give to his 
elegiac verses a value which they do not'dcrive from their poetical merit. 
To the Memory of 4 the late 

Ye Muses ! weep o'er Tilghman's^sacred tomb, 

And plant around it flowers of endless bloom : 

Oh! be it yours to eternize his name, 

And sound your lyres to his immortal fame. 

And then Oh Honor, parent of the'Jbrave, 

Keep constant vigil at thy L soldier's grave; 

Let no rude step profane the awful shade, 

Where pious hands have now his ashes laid. 

Thou too Columbia, mistress of the soil, 

To whom devoted was his martial toil, 

Place high his ensigns, in that pile august 

Which thou shalt raise, hereafter from the dust- 
To hold the archives of thy splendid reign, 

And all thy warlike trophies to contain. 

Oh! think how faithful, in each trying hour, 

Thy Tilghman fought to elevate that power; 

And let a tear drop grateful on his urn 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 65 

lost in him a most faithful and valuable friend. He 
was to me the same. I esteemed him very much and 
I lament his loss exceedingly." Gen. Knox in a 
letter to his widow, hereafter quoted in full, says : 
" Death has deprived you of a most tender and 
virtuous companion, and the United States of an able 
and upright patriot. When time shall have smoothed 

Which honor guards, and all the Muses mourn. 

Death ! How sure the arrows sped by thee ! 

Could worth have stayed them, Tilghman had been free. 

But no ! thy altars glory in the tide 

Of precious blood, by fall of chiefs supplied. 

Who next shall yield to thy relentless stroke, 

Which while it tears the ivy rends the oak. 

What nobler victim can thy grasp attain, 

Till his great master falls amidst the slain ? 

Oh Washington ! thy aid has gone before 

To sound thy glories on that deathless shore, 

Where rest the great, the good of every age, 

Who deck the poet's or the historian's page. 

The crowd illustrious now await thy flight, 

From shades terrestrial to eternal light : 

Where to the laurels, thine so justly due, 

They'll add a wreath immortal to thy brow. 

This scene triumphant 'tis thy aid prepares, 

And thus he sooths his absence from thy cares. 

What various honors, Tilghman, knew thy days ! 
The warrrior's trophy bound with civic lays ! 
Whether as merchant, patriot or friend, 
Husband or parent, we alike commend : 
In every walk found equally to shine, 
Thine were the social, all the virtues thine. 

A friend inscribes this column to thy praise, 

With mournful heart, but with imperfect lays. 

Enough for him, if true to merit's claim, 

These lines attest how spotless was thy fame, 

And call some bard, more skilled, in future verse 

Thy splendid deeds more nobly to rehearse, 

In times when poets shall arise to crown, 

America's great worthies with renown. 

66 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

the severities of your grief, you will derive consolation 
from the reflection that Colonel Tilghman acted well 
his part in the theatre of human life, and that the 
supreme authority of the United States have expressly 
given their sanction to his merit." But, considering 
their source, as well as their character, the highest 
testimonials were those which proceeded from Gen. 
Washington himself. To be praised by this great 
man is fame. In a letter to Thomas Jefferson dated. 
August 1st, 1786, he says : "You will probably have 
heard of the death of Gen. Greene before this reaches 
you; in which case you will in common with your 
countrymen have regretted the loss of so great, and so 
honest a man. Gen. McDougall, who was a brave 
soldier and a disinterested patriot, is also dead. He 
belonged to the legislature of his state. The last act 
of his life was (after being carried on purpose to the 
senate), to give his voice against the emission of a 
paper currency. Col. Tilghman, who was formerly 
of my family, died lately, and left as fair a reputation 
as ever belonged to a human character. Thus some 
of the pillars of the revolution fall. May our country 
never want props to support the glorious fabric." 
Again : in a letter of condolence addressed to Mr. James 
Tilghman, the father of Col. Tilghman, dated June 5th, 
1786, at Mount Vernon, a letter the original of which 
is sacredly preserved by the family, and from which 
thisextractismade, Gen. Washington uses these words: 
" Of all the numerous acquaintances of your lately 
deceased son, and amidst all the sorrowings that are 
mingled on that melancholy occasion, I may venture 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 67 

to assert (that excepting those of his nearest relatives) 
none could have felt his death with more regret than 
I did, because no one entertained a higher opinion of 
his worth or had imbibed sentiments of greater friend- 
ship for him than I had done. That you, sir, should 
have felt the keenest anguish for this loss, I can readily 
conceive — the ties of parental affection, united with 
those of friendship could not fail to have produced this 
effect. It is however a dispensation, the wisdom of 
which is inscrutable ; and amidst all your grief, there 
is this consolation to be drawn ; that while living 
no man could be more esteemed, and since dead, none 
more lamented than Col. Tilghman." 1 One so praised, 
and by such a man, is surer of an immortality of 
fame, than those for whom a Roman senate once 
decreed a triumph. 

The order of congress, to which reference has already 
been made, passed upon the occasion of the surrender 
at Yorktown, of which happy event Col. Tilghman 
was deputed the messenger to bear the intelligence to 
that body, that there should be presented to this 
officer a horse and a sword, as a token of the gratifi- 
cation experienced upon the reception of the news and 
also as a recognition of the merit and services of the 
herald himself, to which the letter of the commander- 
in-chief to the president had so pointedly called atten- 
tion, and so explicitly asked some public testimonial, 
was not carried fully into effect until after the death 

'This letter of Gen. Washington, which will he found printed entire in 
the appendix to this memoir, furnishes the vindication of that command- 
er from the charges which were made by Capt. Asgil, after his release and 
return to England. 

68 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

of him whom it meant to honor. He had the gratifi- 
cation, however, before his demise, to receive from 
Gen. Knox, secretary of war, a letter dated Dec. 7th, 
1785, in which was inclosed an order on the treasury 
for four hundred dollars, to purchase the horse and 
accoutrements. This letter concluded thus : " I ex- 
pect in a month or two to receive all the swords which 
were voted by congress as testimonies of their special 
approbation. Upon receiving them I shall have the 
pleasure of transmitting yours." Unfortunately the 
declining health of Col. Tilghman deprived him of the 
gratification of mounting the horse, and his death soon 
after, of the pleasure of wearing or even receiving the 
sword, voted by his country. Soon after his decease, 
however, Mrs. Tilghman was the recipient of a letter 
from Gen. Knox as flattering to the memory of her 
late husband as it was gratifying to herself, of which 
the following is a copy : 

War Office of the United States, 

New York, May 30, 1786. 
Madam : 

I have the honor to enclose for your satisfaction, a 
copy of a resolve of congress of the 29th October, 1781. 

During the last year I had the honor of presenting 
to Col. Tilghman the horse, agreeably to the direction 
of the resolve, and I then mentioned to him that I 
should forward the sword as soon as it should be 

But death, the inevitable tribute of our system, has 
permanently deprived you of the most tender and vir- 
tuous companion, and the United States of an able 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 69 

and upright patriot. While you are overwhelmed 
with affliction, your friends unavailingly condole with 
you on an event, which they could not prevent, and 
to which they also must submit. 

When time shall have smoothed the severities of 
your grief, you will derive consolation from the reflec- 
tion that Col. Tilghman acted well his part on the 
theatre of human life ; and that the supreme authority 
of the United States, have expressly given their sanc- 
tion to his merit. 

The sword directed to be presented to him, which I 
have the honor to transmit to you, will be an honor- 
able and perpetual evidence of his merit and of the 
applause of his country. 

I have the honor to be, Madam, 
with perfect respect, 

your most obedient and very humble servant, 

H. Knox. 

The sword thus gracefully presented to the widow 
of Col. Tilghman, and so sadly received by her, was 
piously preserved with many other relics associated 
with his military career; and now, having passed 
through the hands of two generations of his descend- 
ants, it remains in the possession of his great grand- 
son Oswald Tilghman, Esq., of Easton, Maryland. 1 

Upon the institution of the society of the Cincin- 
nati in 1783, for the purpose of perpetuating " as 
well the rembembrance of the late bloody conflict 

1 This sword was made in Paris. It is the usual officers' dress sword 
with rapier blade and gold arid silver mountings. Upon the handle is 
engraved the insignia of the Society of the Cincinnati, and these words : 
"Presented to Lieut. Col. Tench Tilghman by Congress, Oct. 19, 1781." 


70 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

of eight years, as the mutual friendships which were 
formed under the pressure of common danger," Col. 
Tilghman became a member, and received as a present 
from the president general, his excellency, Geo. 
Washington, the order or decoration of this society, 
which yet remains in the hands of his descendant, Mr. 
Oswald Tilghman, in the same condition as it was pre- 
sented. A grand-son, Gen. Tench Tilghman, was 
president of the society for Maryland, at the time of 
his death in 1874, and had been appointed its his- 

Col. Tilghman left two children, daughters, one of 
whom was a posthumous child. The eldest of these 
married Mr. Tench Tilghman, son of Peregrine Tilgh- 
man, of Hope, from whom has sprung a numerous 
family. The youngest married Col. Nicholas Golds- 
borough, of Ottwell, from whom also has come many 
descendants. All of these have a just pride in an 
ancestor whose life illustrated some of the best virtues 
of human character, and many have exhibited traits 
not unworthy of their distinguished lineage. After 
the death of her husband Mrs. Tilghman returned to 
her father's house on Bay-side, of Talbot county, but 
subsequently removed to her beautiful estate of Plim- 
himmon, near Oxford, in the same county, which 
Mr. Matthew Tilghman had purchased for his daugh- 
ter. Here she lived in great comfort and simple 
elegance to the advanced age of eighty-eight years, 
surrounded by her children and her children's children, 
and loved and venerated by all who were privileged 
to come within the circle of her acquaintance or scope 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 71 

of her charities. Pious affection has dedicated a 
handsome monument to her memory and that of her 
husband, as has before been mentioned. 1 

Of Col. Tilghman there are several portraits, one, a 
miniature, by an unknown artist, taken from life, 
and represented to be a very exact likeness, is in the 
hands of a grand-daughter, Mrs. Margaretta (Golds- 
borough) Hollyday. From this has been taken, by 
heliotype process, the portrait that accompanies this 
memoir. In the painting, more meritorious than well 
known, of the capitulation at Yorktown, by Charles 
Wilson Peale, now in the house of delegates of the 
state of Maryland at Annapolis, Col. Tilghman is 
represented in a life size figure standing beside Gen. 
Washington, holding in his hands a scroll, inscribed 
" Articles of Capitulation, York, Gloster, and depend- 
encies, April 19, 1781." As this picture was executed 
soon after the event it commemorates, it is believed 
the portraits were taken from life, or from studies from 
life. That of Washington is regarded as especially 
accurate, both as to features and bearing. As Mr. 
Peale was an acquaintance and friend of Col. Tilgh- 
man, it is thought the portrait of him, one of the 
principal figures in the painting, is equally accurate. 
Lafayette stands beside him. In the Athenaeum at 
Hartford, Connecticut, there is a painting by Col. 
John Trumbull, representing a scene in the battle 
of Trenton. It is thought by some critics to be 
the most impressive of the works of this artist 
in that celebrated collection. The central group is 

1 For the inscription upon this monument see page 62. 

72 Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

composed of Gen. Washington, Col. Tilghman, Col. 
Harrison ,g[Col. Smith, and the wounded Hessian offi- 
cer Col. Rahl. The three first mentioned are mounted. 
The representation of Col. Tilghman in this painting 
also, is thought to be a true portrait. There is a 
fourth portrait in the city of Trenton, in a painting, a 
particular description of which has not been obtained. 

The personal appearance of Col. Tilghman was that 
of a gentleman of medium height and slender form. 
His complexion was fresh and florid, his eyes gray, and 
his hair a rich auburn, worn in queue, according to 
the fashion of the day. He was not insensible to the 
advantages of dress, in which he was scrupulously 
neat and regardful of the mode. His modesty gave 
to his bearing the reserve of hauteur, and though 
repelling familiarity, he was never wanting in courtesy, 
while to friends his manners were most cordial. 

In this memoir the extravagance of praise, to which 
the biographer is prone, has been shunned as not 
befitting the ingenuous character of him whose 
memory it is designed to refresh and perpetuate. If 
the merits of Col. Tilghman had been fewer in number 
and lower in order than they really were, there still 
would be no need to exaggerate them in order to 
commend him to the esteem and admiration of good 
men. Even the eulogist seeking how best to praise 
him, finds " the simple truth his highest skill " — 
finds that he cannot better speak of him than by a 
frank relation of his life ; and that any words spoken 
of him, not marked by the same fairness and candor 
that belonged to him of whom they should be uttered, 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 73 

would be rebuked by recollections of his pure and 
upright character. It is not pretended that he be- 
longed to that small class of men, the very great 

" Lights of the world and demigods of fame : " 

men who by their deeds have changed the fortunes 
of nations ; who have enlightened the world by their 
discoveries in science, benefited it by their inventions 
of usefulness, or delighted it with their creations in 
art or literature. As a soldier he was no leader of 
o-reat armies to victory or destruction ; as a citizen he 
was no projector of novel policies of government to 
bless or blight his country ; as a man of affairs he was 
no pioneer of a new commerce, no founder of a new 
industry, to bring riches or ruin upon the land. He was 
none of these. He was the patriot soldier with whose 
motives mingled no desire of personal aggrandizement 
nor ignoble ambition, as his long and unpaid service 
of his country, and " that sublime repression of him- 
self" in surrendering precedence of promotion to 
others, for the good of the cause, attest. He was the 
honorable merchant, who in his dealings knew not 
how to deviate from the line of rectitude ; whom no 
suggestions of political passion could tempt to wrong 
even the enemies of his country ; whom no opportuni- 
ties, afforded by unjust laws, invited to an evasion of 
his obligations. To his perfect probity let his provi- 
sion, when the war broke out, for the full payment of 
his English creditors, and his refusal to avail himself 
of the legal authorization of the payment of debts in 
a depreciated currency, although debts to him had 
thus been paid to his great loss, bear witness. He 

74 " Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 

carried the virtues of chivalry into commerce — honor 
and courage. There is no evidence that he expected 
success in his mercantile adventures through any other 
or more dubious expedients than industry, persever- 
ance, self reliance and frugality : and all of these 
qualities of the merchant, in the letters he has left 
behind him, he speaks of, and claims to cultivate in his 
business. As a citizen of the new nation, he interested 
himself in every public measure projected for the 
perfecting that edifice, in laying the foundations of 
which he had participated. Disdaining rather than 
seeking official position, he was not negligent to iu- 
form himself upon those fundamental questions of 
government and state policy which were then occupy- 
ing the minds of thoughtful men, in those years 
of uncertainty, confusion and danger, that suc- 
ceeded the war, and he proved himself not inapt in 
giving direction to the political sentiment of the 
community of which he was a conspicuous and honored 
member. His letters, written during and after the 
revolutionary contest, gave evidence of political per- 
spicacity, as well as of his independence of thought 
and disinterestedness of action. They indicate that 
he possessed many of the qualifications which belong 
to politicians of the best, if not of the highest order, 
and that his state in giving a soldier to the American 
cause lost a statesman from her councils. In the 
strictly private relations of life, of companion, friend 
and relative, of son, husband and parent, he exhibited 
those amiable traits which excite no envy, but com- 
mand respect and win affection. In the trying posi- 

Memoir of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman. 75 

tion of a member of a military family, where jealousies 
are so apt to be engendered, he seems early to have 
gained, and to the last to have retained, the esteem 
not only of his commander, but of all his brother 
officers, and this in an especial degree. He preserved 
amidst the heats of a controversy which destroyed so 
many ties, the ancient and beautiful virtue of filial 
honor, for though separated from his father by differ- 
ences of political opinion, he never forgot his reverence 
for him nor sacrificed his affection. His memory is 
still cherished by a wide circle of relatives and friends, 
as that of one endowed with the most endearing cha- 
racteristics of mind and heart ; and it is treasured by 
his descendants as the source of a becoming pride, as 
the incentive to all that is noble, and as a protection 
from what is base. He was happy and cheerful in 
his disposition, hearty and constant in his attachments, 
fond of society, but found, at last, his chief pleasures 
in domestic endearments. Withal, he was possessed 
of a piety which was as sincere as it was exemplary. 

" His life was gentle, and the elements 
So mixed in him, that nature might stand up 
And say to all the world, this was a man." 






1775, Saturday Aug 1 5 th , left N York at 12 o'clock 
at night. Wind ahead, worked up with the Tide 10 

Sunday, Aug 1 6, Wind still ahead and rainy, made 
sail about 12 o'clock with the Tide, but it beginning 
to blow very hard about 2 o'clock brought to, having 
made no more than 4 miles. As we had been up 
most part of the preceding night, we spent the best 
part of this day reading and lolling in our Births. 
Towards evening we called a Council the result of 
which was to return to New York & remain there 
till the Wind turned fair, we accordingly hove up and 
in about an hour and a half arrived there to the satis- 
faction of us all. 

Monday, Aug 1 7 th . Went on board again at 11 
o'clock p.m. Wind springing up fair. 

Tuesday, Aug. 8 th . Weighed at 2 o'clock a.m. 
Wind light and so continued till about 8 o'clock, then 
a fine breeze which carried us on against tide to 
Dobb's Ferry, 25 miles from New York ; the greatest 
part of this way is a most romantic prospect. The 

80 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

Jersey Shore is bounded by a perpendicular Ledge of 
Rocks about 50 feet in height which come close down 
to the waters edge, the N York shore is a gradual 
ascent on which is situated many Gentlemen's Seats 
an Farm Houses. After taking in the Indian Goods 
we kept on our Way and about sun set entered the 
Highlands where the River narrows very considerably. 
The sailing thro' these mountains by moonlight was a 
most beautiful sight. Went to bed at 11 o'clock and 
on Wednesday morning 9 th August 6 o'clock a.m., 
found ourselves at half way Island. The Country now 
begins to grow less mountainous near the shore, but 
the distant prospect of the Kats-Kill or Blue Mountain 
has the most beautiful appearance I ever beheld. The 
day being misty the Clouds hung low about the 
Mountains, in some places not seeming more than half 
way up, inothersit appeared like volumes of smoke aris- 
ing from the Hills. Indeed I thought at first it was 
owing to burning Brush making Coal or some such 
matter. Then the breaking out of the sun now and 
then exhibited a thousand different shades from the 
darkest to the lightest brown. At 11 o'clock A.M., 
parted with two very agreeable passengers M r . Duane 
& M r . Livingstone who went on shore at their respect- 
ive Country Seats. At 5 o'clock p.m. arrived at Albany. 
Thursday Aug. 10 th Spent in Albany, the Capital of 
the County of the same name, it consists of about 400 
Houses chiefly built after the old low Dutch Fashion. 
There are two Dutch and one English Churches. On 
the Hill above the town is a Fort, now gone much to 
decay. At each end of the town are two very large 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 81 

and handsome houses, one belonging to General Schuy- 
ler, the other to M r . Ransalear the Lord of the Manor 
of Ransalear at present a Minor. We found provisions 
of all kinds very good here, particularly Mutton, Fish 
they might have from the North River both Rock & 
perch & Trout from the springs but the people are 
too lazy to take them. 

Friday Aug 1 . 11 th . Went from Albany to Schenec- 
tady which is 16 Miles this is the most wretched 
Country I ever saw Nothing but pine Barrens. There 
are but a house or two upon the Road and not as many 
Acres of improved Ground. Schenectady is a very 
pretty Town consisting of between 3 & 400 Houses 
situated in a fine Bottom upon the Mohawk River a 
Branch of Hudson's River. This Bottom is so ex- 
tremely rich and valuable that I am informed it sells 
from £40 to £80 p Acre. A wealthy Farmer near 
Schenectady told me that his land had been in Culti- 
vation 120 years successively and that there was not 
the least appearance of impoverishment. The Land 
is a rich black Mould and does not seem to have any 
mixture of Clay. 

Saturday Aug 1 12 th . From Schenectady to Fundy's 
24 miles, along the Bank of the Mohawk River and for 
the most part this is the same rich Bottom that begins at 
Schenectady. The upland is all poor, stony and un- 
settled. The owners of these invaluable bottoms do 
not seem to me to deserve them, being to all appear- 
ance very bad Farmers. I did not see upon them a 
stalk of good Indian corn, owing to its being too thick 
planted, and choacked up with Grass & Weeds which 

82 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

ought not to have been the Case this Year which has 
been a very dry season. In this stage we passed the 
Seats of Col°- Guy Johnson, Col°- Clause and Fort 
Johnson the former residence of L* William. The 
Houses of these Gent are very good but scarce any 
marks of improvement about them. From what I have 
yet seen of the province of N York it is far behind 
any other of the Colonies in public spirit, her Roads 
are narrow, her Bridges loose logs dangerous to pass, 
and everything bears the Mark of the true situation of 
the Bulk of the People, A State of Tenancy. We 
this day met an Indian who informed us that the 
Deputies from the 5 th Nations were on their way to 
Albany. We therefore sent a messenger to the Mo- 
hawk Castles which lay about this place, desiring their 
head men to meet us in the morning, after seeing them 
we shall proceed to the German Flats to meet the 
other Indians on their way. The Mohawks are become 
a civilized People, they live in good Houses and work 
their lands to the same advantage that the Whites do. 
They are vastly diminished in numbers, having not 
more than 70 men of their tribe. 

Sunday Aug* 13 th this morning, Abichaw the Chief 
of the Mohawks came to us and after hearing our busi- 
ness, with which he seemed pleased promised to come 
to us at the Flats to-morrow with more of his Tribe. 
After Breakfast we set out and as the day was re- 
markably fine it adde to the pleasure of our Ride thro' 
such a piece of Country as I believe is not in America. 
For 32 miles the roads run through the Bottom and 
along the Bank of the River, the Ground all in cul- 

-Journal of Tench Tilghman. 83 

tivation. Wheat Indian Corn, Peas Oats & Grass. 
What adds to the Beauty is that there are no incis- 
ures, a small path divides each mans property from 
his Neighbours, and as no Cattle go at large upon these 
Grounds there is no Inconvenience from want of Fence. 
32 miles from our morning stage is Con aj oh are the 
upper Mohawk Castle where the small remains of that 
once Warlike & powerful Nation now dwell in a few 
miserable Huts. We assembled their Chiefs consisting 
of 14 or 15 and also desired them to come up to us at 
the Flats next morning. This they readily agreed to, 
as they knew a small matter of eating & drinking 
would be going forward. The Indians have a fine 
body of Land at this place mostly uncultivated for they 
do not farm like the people of the lower Castle. The 
favourite Mistress of the late S 1 '. William Johnson now 
lives at Conajohare. But " fallen from her high Es- 
tate." She lived with S r William for 20 years and 
was treated with as much attention as if she had been 
his wife. He had several children by her, for all of 
whom he provided at his Death, he left her a tract of 
Land and some money, upon which she carries on a 
small Trade, consisting chiefly I believe in Rum which 
she sells to the Indians. As she is descended from 
and connected with the most noble families of the In- 
dians, she was of great use to S r William in his 
Treaties with those people. He knew that Women 
govern the Politics of savages as well the refined part 
of the World and therefore always kept up a good 
understanding with the brown Ladies from Cona- 
johare we came on to the German Flats but did 

84 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

not chuse to have an interview with the Indians 
the same Evening as we knew that if they ever 
got fooling we should not get rid of them for the 
Night. Col . Francis and myself not liking the Ap- 
pearance of the Beds took up our lodging upon a clean 
threshing floor where we slept very well and free from 
the Company that would in all probability have joined 
us in the House. The German Flats so called from 
being settled by Germans, are a large body of lowlands 
running many miles along the south side of the Mo- 
hawk River, and two or three miles in depth, which 
is much deeper than any Bottoms we had yet seen, 
they tell us they are of a richer quality than any lands 
we have come over, but that I can hardly think. 

Monday Aug 1 . 14 th . Early this Morning we sent 
Messengers across the river to announce our arrival to 
the Indians The Chief of each Tribe are to pay us a 
formal visit and after smoaking a Pipe or two we shall 
proceed in a Body to pay our Respects to the Assembly 
and enform them shortly of our Intention to hold a 
Treaty at Albany and invite them to it. Being well 
assured of their ready Compliance. The Great Men 
arrived about 9 o'clock and after drinking a dram, 
smoaking a pipe, and eating a most immoderate Break- 
fast of Chocolate, they desired to be informed of the 
Cause of Meeting. Our Interpreter told them in a few 
words that M r . Doer and Col°. Francis were two of the 
deputies appointed by the Continental Congress to hold 
a Treaty with the six Nations & the Indians of 
Canada at Albany, but as the Indians of Canada had 
not yet been summoned, they desired they would ap- 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 85 

point some of their young men hardy & swift of foot 
to carry Belts and deliver a Message of Invitation. 
Their Answer was that they were glad to see us, would 
call a Council and consider of it Here I must remark 
that the Indians never enter into a Controversy upon 
these occasions, but after-hearing what you have to say, 
answer as above that they will consider what you have 
said. Neither do they ever talk about the Matter in 
hand, if they say anything it is about indifferent Subjects, 
such as enquiring after Acquaintances &c. They very 
politely desired leave to go home again to their quar 
ters, which we granted after informing them that we 
would wait upon them in an hour or two. At the ap- 
pointed time we set out and made as respectable an 
appearance as we could, having got several of the 
Neighbouring People to join our Cavalcade. When 
we arrived at their Quarters we found their Chiefs all 
in one House to receive us and the men all seated in 
a Circle in an adjoining Orchard the Women & Child- 
ren standing at a little distance. Seats were set for 
us in the area of the Circle. When we entered there 
was a mutual solemn salutation of How do you do or 
something of that kind and then a profound silence. 
Our Interpreter then informed the Body as we had 
before done the Chiefs of the Nature of our Business, 
they answered that nothing as yet could be done as the 
Mohawk Deputies had not come up. We gave them 
some drink and tobacco and informed them that we 
should take care to have them well supplied with Bread 
and Meat. At this they were exceedingly pleased and 
assured us in general that their Brothers the Americans 

86 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

should find them fast Friends. The Behaviour of the 
poor Savages at a public Meeting ought to put us civil- 
ized people to the Blush. The most profound silence 
is observed, no interruption of a speaker. When any 
one speaks all the rest are attentive. We gave them 
a large Roll of tobacco. Two of their people cut it 
into pieces of two or three inches, and then distributed 
them all around. No man rose from his seat to snatch. 
When drink was served round it was in the same man- 
ner, no Man seemed anxious for the Cup. One of them 
made a speech and set forth the bad effects of drinking 
at a time of Business and desired that the White peo- 
ple might not have liberty to sell rum to their Young 
Men. I write this about sunset of a fine evening. The 
lowlands and Mohawk River below me and two little 
villages with a Church and Steeples too I assure in 
each of them. 

Tuesday Aug 1 . 15 th Last Night the Mohawks came 
up to us and this morning we were honored with a 
visit from the favorite of the late S r . William Johnson. 
I could not help being affected at the sight of this 
poor Creature when I reflected on the great Change of 
her situation in life. For near 20 years he lived in 
what may be called a state of royalty for no prince 
was ever as much respected by his subjects as S r . 
William was by the different tribes of Indians. They 
speak of him now with a kind of adoration, they say 
there never was such a man and never will be such 
another. Shakespear makes Hamlet speak the same 
sentiment of his Father. " He was a man take him 
for all in all whose like I ne'er shall look upon again." 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 87 

When Molly, for so is this Squaw called, came to us, 
she saluted us with an air of ease and politeness, she 
was dressed after the Indian Manner, but her linen 
and other Cloathes the finest of their kind. One of 
the Company that had known her before told her she 
looked thin and asked her if she had been sick, she said 
sickness had not reduced her, but that it was the Re- 
membrance of a Loss that could never be made up to 
her, meaning the death of S r . William. Upon seeing 
Mr. Kirkland an Oneida Missionary, she taxed him 
with neglect in passing by her House without calling to 
see her. She said there was a time when she had friends 
enough, but remarked with sensible emotion that the 
unfortunate and the poor were always neglected. The 
Indians pay her great respect and I am afraid her in- 
fluence will give us some trouble, for we are informed 
that she is working strongly to prevent the meeting 
at Albany, being intirely in the Interests of Guy 
Johnson, who is now in Canada, working upon the 
Cachnawagers, as it is supposed — After framing a 
short speech to be delivered in full Council, we again 
proceeded to the Indian Quarters, where we found the 
Indians ready to receive us, the speech was delivered 
by Col . Francis and interpreted to them by Abraham 
a Mohawk Sachem, to this purpose that they had 
heard our Voices, but that as they had set long in 
Council they were tired, but would give an answer to- 
morrow. They said it was time to take a drink to- 
gether and bid us remember that the 12 united Colonies 
were a great Body of people. A modest hint that the 
drink should be in proportion. But we knew the Con- 
sequence too well to indulge. 

88 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

Wednesday Aug 1 16 th Met the Indians again in 
Council, who gave us a full answer to our speech of 
Yesterday, which they complied with every respect, 
Except that of sending some of their young Men to in- 
vite the Indians of Canada. They artfully evaded 
this by telling us the thing would be impracticable at 
this time because a Man one of our own Blood was 
already there endeavouring to draw (pulling strong 
was their expression) their Minds from us and to 
prevent their coming down. We asked them who 
this Man was, they answered they did not chuse to 
mention his Name, but they had pointed him out suffi- 
ciently. Co 10 . Guy Johnson was the person pointed at. 
They delivered us what they call a Path Belt thereby 
desiring us to make their way clear to Albany & prevent 
any mischief happening on the way. This we assured 
them of and parted with wishes of meeting again in a 
few days at Albany. It is plain to me that the Indians 
understand their game, which is to play into both 
hands. They would readily have sent to Canada, but 
as the Superintendent had taken possession of that 
ground they did not chuse to interfere with him. 
They however told us that they knew the minds of 
the Indians of Canada and that we might make our- 
selves easy on their accounts. 

Thursday Aug 1 17 th we left the Flats and arrived 
at Albany on Saturday the 19 th . 

Sunday Aug* 20 th Hearing that Gen 1 Schuyler was 
at his seat at Saractoga we determined to pay him a 
visit and set out this morning, from Albany to Saratoga 
is o2 miles thro' a country intirely settled since the 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 89 

last War and therefore in no very great improvement 
tho' pretty thickly settled. The good land is very 
little in proportion to the bad, being a narrow strip of 
Bottom along the North River. These Bottoms are 
very kind to grass to which they seem adapted, they 
are not of that fine quality, that the Bottoms on the 
Mohawk River are of. Gen 1 Schuyler has a very fine 
settlement at Saratogha the Bottom just there is ex- 
tensive, he has two very fine saw mills and a good 
grist mill on the Fish Kill which runs into the North 
River Just by his House and is as fine a Mill Seat as I 
ever saAV. Indeed I did not see another good one in 
the whole province. We were very genteely entertained 
by the Gen 1 and his Lady and left them on Monday to 
return again to Albany. On our way back we met 
M 1 ' Lynch, M r Huger and M r Mutrie going to Ticon- 
diroga and at our Return to Albany had the pleasure 
to find M r and Miss Lynch and M 1S Huger there. 

Tuesday 22 d Aug 1 . I spent the greatest part of 
this Morning in a visit to the Ladies where I had the 
pleasure of being introduced to Miss Ann Schuyler 
the General's eldest daughter. A very pretty young 
Lady. A Brunette with dark eyes, and a counte- 
nance animated and sensible as I am told she really is. 
In the afternoon I attended the funeral of old M r . Doer 
the father of the Commissioner. This was something 
in a stile new to me. The Corpse was carried to the 
ground and interred without any funeral ceremony, 
tho' Clergymen attended. We then returned to the 
House of the deceased where we found many Tables 
set out with Bottles, cool Tankards, Candles, Pipes 

90 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

& Tobacco. The company set themselves down, 
lighted their Pipes and handled the Bottles and Tank- 
ards pretty briskly. Some of them I think rather 
too much so. I fancy the undertakers of the funeral 
had borrowed all the plate of the neighbourhood for the 
Tankards & Candle Sticks were all silver or plated. 
Having taken leave of mine host, I called at Gen 1 . 
Schuyler's seat to pay my compliments to the Gen 1 , his 
Lady & Daughter. I found none of them at home 
but Miss Betsy Schuyler the Generals 2 d daughter to 
whom I was introduced by M r . Commissary Living- 
ston who accompanied me. I was prepossessed in 
fav r of this young Lady the moment I saw her. A 
Brunette with the most good naturecl lively dark eyes 
that I ever saw, which threw a beam of good temper and 
benevolence over her whole Countenance. M r . Liv- 
ingston informed me that I was not mistaken in my 
Conjecture for that she was the finest tempered Girl in 
the World. On my Return to Town I waited on my 
Ladies again to settle the plan of a Jaunt to the 
Cohoes Falls. 

Wednesday 23 rd Aug 1 . This morning we set out 
for the Cohoes in the following order. M rs . Lynch 
and M rs . Cuyler in a post Chaise. M rs . linger Miss 
Betsy Schuyler and M r . Cuyler in a kind of a Phaeton, 
Miss Lynch and myself in a Chaise. We arrived at the 
Cohoes about 11 o'clock We had not the pleasure of 
viewing the beautiful Fall, to the best advantage, as 
the Water (from the lowness of the River for want 
of Rain) did not run over more than one half of the 
precipice of rock which I am informed is 74 feet in 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 91 

Height, the river there is about 400 yards wide we 
with much difficulty descended the Hills almost per- 
pendicular to the foot of the Falls. My foot once 
slipped and Miss Lynch who I was supporting and 
myself had like to have taken a short turn to the 
bottom. I fancy Miss Schuyler had been used to 
ramble over and climb grounds of this sort for she dis- 
dained all assistance and made herself merry at the 
distress ol the other Ladies. Tho' the water did not 
fairly shoot over the precipice it tumbled down the 
rock in a foaming sheet which you may imagine 
made a wild and most agreeable appearance, having 
gained the summit of the hill we adjourned to a 
neighboring farm House where we refreshed ourselves 
with sherbet Biscuit and Cheese which I had taken 
care to lay in. We then returned to a House about 
6 miles from Albany where we had bespoke dinner, 
dined and returned to Albany time Enough to be pre- 
sent at an Assembly of the Indians who were got 
together to receive the welcome of the people of 
Albany. Col . Francis told the ladies he would treat 
them with an Indian dance before our lodgings, we 
therefore went down there, and I to do my part of the 
Civilities invited them to take a repast of Sepawn and 
Milk, which the ladies of Carolina owned was a real 
treat to them. Two Fires being lighted up in the 
middle of the street, about 8 o'clock the Indians came 
down, beating their drum, striking sticks together in 
Exact time and yelling after their Manner They were 
almost intirely naked, and after singing some thing 
in the recicative manner keeping time with their drum 

92 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

and sticks, they would strike out into a Dance around 
the Fires with the most savage Contortions of Body & 
limbs. Then upon a signal from one of their Chiefs 
leave off their dance & return again to their singing 
which is sometimes in a slow mournful Tone & 
sometimes more brisk & lively. The dance which 
followed was always slow or quick as the song had 
been. I was informed that this song was a recitat of 
the warlike Actions of the great Men of their Tribes, 
and that sometimes when worked up by drink, Exer- 
cise, and heated imaginations, they would proceed to 
acts of Enthusiasm. The Dance concluded about ten 
o'clock and being intirely novel was the more enter- 
taining to the Ladies. 

Thursday 24 th Aug*, we were busy all the morn g 
preparing matters for opening the treaty tomorrow, as 
a vast deal of Ceremony is to be observed. We dined 
this day with the Gen 1 , who has a palace of a House 
and lives like a prince. The ladies from Carolina, the 
Commissioners and several Gen 18 , from the neighbour- 
ing provinces were there. Having occasion to meet 
some of the Indian Chiefs in the evening, they asked 
if I had an Indian name being answered in the nega- 
tive, Tiahogo & the Chief of the Onon dagos did me 
the honor to adopt me into that Tribe and become my 
father. He christened me Teahokalonde a name of 
very honourable signification among them, but much 
the contrary among us. It signifies having large 
horns. A Deer is the coat of arms, If I may so call 
it, of the Onondago Tribe, and they look upon horns as 
an emblem of strength, Virtue and Courage. This 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 93 

name might have made a suspicious man very un- 
happy, and made him feel his Temples every now and 
then for the sprouting honours. The christening cost 
a bowl of punch or two which I believe was the chief 
motive of the institution. 

Friday the 26 th Aug 1 . The Treaty was opened with 
great form, the Pipe of Peace was smoked and Gen 1 . 
Schuyler delivered the preparatory speech these mat- 
ters took us up till five o'clock in the afternoon when 
the meeting adjourned to next day. When Business 
was over I was admitted into the Onondago Tribe, in 
presence of all the six nations, and received by them 
as an adopted son. They told me that in order to 
settle myself among them they must chuse me a wife, 
and promised that she should be one of the handsomest 
they could find. I accepted this proposal with many 
thanks. Miss Lynch and Miss Betsy Schuyler have 
promised to stand Brides maids — I expected when I 
came to Albany to have soon been heartily tired of it, 
and so I should, but for the arrival of the Carolina Ladies 
and the coming of Gen 1 . Schuyler's family to town. 
We now form a very agreeable society. I don't know 
a greater pleasure than for Acquaintances to meet in 
a strange place. It seems to be the interest of each 
to oblige the other and to make the time pass as 
agreeably as possible. I imagine it is for this 
reason that the most lasting intimacies are made 
abroad. At home when we have a number of Ac- 
quaintances we call upon one another as it happens to 
pass away our hour. But always having perhaps but 
one friend to whom we can apply with Freedom, we 

94 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

attach ourselves to him more closely and thereby come 
at a more intimate knowledge of his heart and if 
we find it good one the impression often lasts with our 

Saturday 27 th Aug 1 . The Treaty opened again about 
12 o'clock and continued till about 4 in the afternoon. 
An Indian Treaty by the by is but dull entertainment 
owing to the delay and difficulty of getting what you 
say, delivered properly to the Indians. The Speech is 
first delivered in short sentences by one of the Com- 
missioners, then an Interpreter tells an Indian what 
the Commissioner has been saying. After this has 
been repeated to the Indian he speaks it to the six 
nations, so that a speech that would not take up 
twenty minutes in the delivery will from these ne- 
cessary delays employ us two or three hours. The 
Speech wrote by the Congress and sent up by the 
Com r , gave them a great deal of trouble, as they were 
obliged to alter it, amend it, and new dress it, and 
put it into such mode & Figure as would make it in- 
telligible to Indians for in its original form, you might 
almost as well have read them a Chapter out of Locke 
or any of our most abstracted reasoners. In the even- 
ing we turned out a Bull for the young Indians to 
hunt and kill after their manner, with arrows, knives, 
and hatchetts. The Beast was not of the furious Span- 
ish breed for he suffered himself to be despatched in a 
very few minutes without ever turning upon his assail- 
ants. We then put up two laced Hats and a silver 
arm Band to be run for. I think I have seen white 
men who would have outstripped these Champions, as 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 95 

their mode of running seemed more calculated for a 
long distance than for swiftness, their strides are long 
and strong. Their Race I think was about a quarter 
of a mile. Tomorrow M r . Kirkland promises us a ser- 
mon where we shall have an opportunity of hearing 
the Oneida ladies sing. As these sports were in a field 
near the Gen ls . House we drank Coffee and spent the 
evening there not in the formal but in the agreeable 
accidental manner. There is something in the be- 
haviour of the Gen 1 , his lady & daughters that makes 
you acquainted with them instantly. I feel myself as 
easy and free from restraint at his seat as I am at Cliff- 
don, where I am always at a second home. 

Sunday 28 th Aug 1 . In the afternoon we were fa- 
voured with M r ' Kirkland's Indian sermon whether it 
was a good or a bad one I dont know but if I might 
judge from the translation of some of what he thought 
the most striking parts, I have no great opinion of his 
pulpit oratory. I was disappointed in the singing. 
The voices of the Indians taken distinctly were well 
enough, but by endeavoring to make out Tenor, Tre- 
ble and Base they spoilt the whole. The men & 
women sung one anthem in two parts which they per- 
formed pleasingly enough. The fault of the women 
was that they always strained their voices too high. 
By an express just arrived from Ticonderoga I find 
that I shall be robbed of a very agreeable part of my 
Albany acquaintance, as the Gen 1 - is obliged to set 
off immediately for Ticonderoga and his Lady and 
Family for Saratogha. I will wait on them in the 
morning and bid them adieu. 

96 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

Monday 29 th Aug 1 went out to breakfast with the 
Gen 1 , and to take my leave of him and the Ladies. I 
found the girls up and ready for their march breakfast 
was on the Table and down I sat among them like an 
old Acquaintance, tho' this is only the seventh day since 
my introduction. It would be seven years before I 
could be as intimate with half the World. But there 
is so much frankness & freeness in this Family that a 
man must be dead to every feeling of Familiarity who 
is not familiarized the first hour of his being among 
them. Nature has given them at Albany what the 
Tour of Europe could not give to M 1 ' Startope with all 

Lord dies 'Assistance. They would not let me 

leave them without some mark of kindness, and there- 
fore loaded me with Grapes which they plucked fresh 
from the vines themselves. About 12 o'clock we re- 
newed the Businiss of the Treaty and by 4 in the 
afternoon got thro' all that we have to say to them ex- 
cept some trifling matters. The day after to-morrow 
we shall have their answer. And I hope the day after 
that we shall be near turning our Backs upon Albany. 
Our Carolina friends go away tomorrow and then it 
will be a solitude indeed. I sat near an hour this 
evening hearing a parcel of Stockbridge Indian Girls 
sing Hymns. They far excell the Oneidas in this, 
and add to the account that they are pretty and ex- 
tremely cleanly they speak tolerable English too, so 
that I believe I must make an Acquaintance among 
them when my fair Country women are all gone, for 
I think they are superior to any of the Albanians, a 
Miss Ransolaer excepted who is the Belle of the Town 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 97 

and therefore a little of the Coquette. I will have a 
Tete a Tete with her before I go. And give her a 
place in my Journal. 

Tuesday a rainy day which suited my Businiss very 
well as I had much to do within doors and the 
weather was not inviting without. We dined with a 
shoal of Connecticut Gentlemen, who of all the people 
I ever saw the most uncouth in their Manner. I got 
rid of them as soon as I decently could and flew for 
relief to the quarters of my Carolina friends. Thanks 
to the Winds for detaining them here all day. Shall 
I be illnatured if I pray for adverse winds till we are 
ready to go. I think not it can be no great disadvan- 
tage to them and will be of infinite pleasure and con- 
venience to me. Surely then Father Aeolus may 
grant my request without much detriment to them. 
It will be only raising his pipes one note higher when 
we are all on board, and making up for lost time by 
the Briskness of the gale. I have invoked the God of 
the Winds now I invoke the God of sleep. Be propi- 
tious both. 

Wednesday. My prayers are not answered. The 
wind sets fair and I have this moment seen the em- 
barkation of My Carolina Friends. Albany I care 
not how soon I bid thee farewell. But for the inter- 
position of a few christian like people I should have 
cursed thee long ago. The town is crowded with 
Indians & Soldiers, it is hard say which is the most 
irregular and Savage. The former are mutinous for 
want of liquor the latter for want of pay, without 
which they refuse to march. The Troops raised in 

98 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

and about New York are a sad pack. They are mostly 
old disbanded Regulars and low lived foreigners. 
The companies raised in the country are hale hearty 
young men and seem fit to undergo hardships. From 
the accounts Gen 1 Schuyler gave us of the state of his 
Army, I tremble for him in his Expedition ag* S*. 
Johns he wants almost everything necessar}' for the 
equipment of an army. He complains much of the 
Dilatoriness of the York Committee. His great de- 
pendance is upon the Neutrality of the Canadians, if 
they do not assist Gov. Carelton, Schuyler has numbers 
sufficient to rout badly disciplined and accoutred as 
they are — Well tho' the God of the Winds would not 
be propitious, the God of the Tides has laid an Embargo 
upon the Carolina Genteels. M r . Lynch has just come 
up and tells me that the sloop sticks fast upon the over 
fall a shoal about 3 miles below. We have dispatched 
a Carriage to bring back the Ladies who must now wait 
another Tide. We dined this day with M r . Commis- 
sioner Doer. We had not only a plentiful but a good 
dinner well cooked & served up. After it a handsome 
desert of Fruits Peaches, Pears, Plumbs, Grapes &c. 
M r Doer gave us some of the red or swamp plumb 
which he transplanted into his garden. This has in- 
creased them vastly in size and I think them not only 
a very beautiful but a very good Fruit, Then Brother 
Richard we had Madeira and plenty of it. That cost 
our Host £32 stilling and has been 8 years in his 
cellar. It was most excellent. They drink far better 
Madeira in this province than in ours. In their public 
Houses a great distance from N York their Madeira 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 99 

is unadulterated and as good if not better than you 
generally meet with in our best Taverns in Phila d . I 
wish I could say as much of their Butter. I have not 
greased my teeth with a Bit of right good since I left 
Phila d . except in the Jerseys. 

Thursday 31 et Aug*. We this day received a full an- 
swer to the speech delivered to the Indians on Saturday 
and Monday. It is amazing with what exactness these 
people recollect all that has been said to them. The 
speech which we delivered took up nine or ten pages 
of folio Paper, when they came to answer they did not 
omit a single head and on most of them repeated our 
own words, for it is a Custom with them to recapitulate 
what you have said to them and then give their An- 
swer. They are thorough bred politicians. They know 
the proper time of making demands. They reaped up 
several old Grievances and demanded Redress, well 
imagining that nothing would be denied them at this 
time. We expected that this would have finished the 
Treaty, but soon matters turned up in the Course of 
the Indian speech which will oblige the Commissioners 
to meet them again tomorrow but it will be short. 

Friday I 8t Sep 1 . 'Tis finished, we have taken leave 
of their Majesty's if the six nations who are to receive 
their presents in the morning and return from whence 
they came. We have embarked our Cavalry and Bag- 
gage and if the winds set fair in the morning hoist sail 
and farewell Albany. If foul, embark again and take 
our Land-Tacks or Boards. Who should bless my eye 
sight this evening but good natured agreeable Betsy 
Schuyler just returned from Saratogha, I declare I 

100 Journal of Tench Tilghman. 

was as glad to see her as if she had been ever so old 
an Acquaintance, I had the farther pleasure too of 
being introduced to Miss Ransolaer who is a Relation 
and with whom she lodges. Mis c Ransolaer is pretty, 
quite young and fond of joked about her humble ser- 
vants. As I had made myself master of a good deal 
of her private history. I could touch upon such mat- 
ters as I knew would be agreeable to her. I lamented 
that my short stay in Albany would so soon deprive 
me of so agreeable an Acquaintance and a deal more 
of such common place stuff. This was mere Compli- 
ment to her, but I told Miss Schuyler so with truth ; 
for in Truth I am under infinite obligations to the 
kindness of her and her family. 

Saturday 2 d Sep 1 . Left Albany on board Cap 1 . Lan- 
sings sloop, the wind fair but very light. We got down 
almost as far as Kinder Hook by 5 p.m., and there 
came to anchor. The Cap 1 . & myself diverted our- 
selves with fishing and in two hours caught between 
4 & 5 doz. very pretty white perch. We landed and 
got Milk, Fruit & Vegetables. It is stark Calm and I 
fear a southerly wind to-morrow. 

Sunday morning 10 o'clock all bustle — what's the 
matter Cap 1 . A fine N E wind and we are getting under 
sail — very well good-bye to you then. 8 o'clock a.m. 
Wind still fresh and fair and we trimming it along 
against tide. The next Tide will carry us almost 
down to N York if the wind continues. About 12 
p.m. the wind began to shift and be squally, which 
made it very disagreeable especially to our poor Horses 
who were every now and then upon their broadsides. 

Journal of Tench Tilghman. 


About sun set we brought to again and lay till next 

Monday 3 rd Sep* Wind still ahead and likely to 
continue so, we beat it down to Newburgh just at the 
entrance of the Highlands and finding no likelyhood of 
fair weather, disembarked our cavalry and proceeded 
by land to one Smiths 14 miles thro' the Mountains. 

Tuesday 4 Sep 1 We left Smiths early in the morning 
as we intended to reach Hackensack that Night which 
is 40 miles and bad Road. Tho' we were prepared 
for bad Road we found it worse than we expected, the 
whole way till within 14 miles of Hackensack thro' 
the Gap of the Mountains It put me in mind of Don 
Quixote's rambles thro' 




22 d Sept. 1781. Part of the advanced Fleet with 
the French Grenadiers and Chasseurs and* American 
light troops came up to College Creek. 

23 d . Remainder of the Fleet came up — American 
Troops debarked as fast as they arrived and ordered 
to encamp near the landing. Gen 1 . Lincoln is of 
opinion that the large transports with the French line 
and remainder of the American are in James River — 
French Grenadiers and Chasseurs encamped below the 
Capitol, Olney & Hazen's Reg 1 , and some Companies 
of the 15 Infantry an Jersey line not yet arrived. 

24. Olney's and Hazen's Reg 1 , arrived safe in the 
flat Boats. Transports with the French Troops ar- 
rived also — Boats with part of the 15 Infantry and 
Jersey line were driven on shore in the Bay — Vessels 
sent to bring them off. American troops encamp be- 
low the Capitol. 

25. French Troops debarking. 

26. 27 th , debarking. 

28. The army moved down before York, without 
any interruption from the Enemy. 

104 Col. Tilghman's Diary of 

29. Spent in reconnoitering Enemy's position. 

30. It was found this morning that the enemy had 
evacuated pidgion quarter and all their exterior line. 

1 st , 2 d , 3 d , 4 th October throwing up Redoubts to cover 
our approaches and bringing Cannon & Stores from 
Trebetts landing upon James River. 

5 & 6 th , employed as above. 6 in the afternoon 
Co 1 . Scammel died of his wounds the 6 th at night the 
Trenches were opened between 5 & 600 yards from 
the Enemy's works and the 1 st parallel Run — com- 
mencing ab l the Centre of the Enemy's works opposite 
the secretary's House and running to the right to 
York River. The parallel supported by 4 Redoubts — 
These approaches are directed ag l the 4 works on the 
Enemy's left — The Enemy kept up a pretty brisk fire 
during the night but as our working parties were not 
discovered by them, their shot were in a wrong direc- 
tion. This same night M r . S*. Simons began to throw 
up a work upon the left against a detached Redoubt 
of the enemy on this side the mouth of the Creek. 
A false attack was made in the night upon the left to 
draw the Enemy's attention that way only one officer 
and one man upon the Right were wounded of Mar- 
quis S l Simons comm d one officer wounded and 15 
privates killed and wounded. 

7 th . Employed completing the 1 st Parallel and the 
Redoubts upon it. 

The night of the 7 th four new works were commenced 
advanced of the 1 st parallel, in M*. scarce any annoy- 
ance from the enemy. 1 Man of ours killed by the 
firing of one patrole upon the other and 1 man had his 

The Siege of Yorktown. 105 

foot shot off — 2 men wounded in the french Trenches. 

8. Still emploj^ed completing the advanced Re- 
doubts — fire of the Enemy very slack — this night 
one American killed — 1 wounded 1 French killed — 
4 badly wounded. 

9*. In the afternoon Marquis S 1 Simon's Battery of 
4-12 pounders and 6 Howitzers opened as also did the 
American Battery on the right of six-10 and 24 pound- 
ers and 2 Howitzers and 2 mortars, the Fire of the 
enemy extremely slack and no mischief done to us. 

10*. The Grand French Battery of 10-18 and 24 
pounders and 6 mortars opened and another of 4-18 
ps — as did Machins Battery of 4-18 ps and one of 2 
mortars — The embrasures of the enemys Works con- 
siderably damaged and by report of M r . Secretary Nel- 
son our shells did a good deal of damage. In the 
evening the Charon of 44 Guns was set on fire by a 
Ball and burnt — Her Guns and Stores had been pre- 
viously taken out. 

11 th . Fire from all the Batteries continued — 2 trans- 
port Vessels fired by hot shot and burnt. The French 
Bomb Battery of 6 mortars opened — The night of 
the 11 th the 2 d parallel was opened within 300 yards 
of the enemy's Works with scarce any annoyance only 
one man killed and three or four wounded. 

12 th . Employed in compleating 2 d Parallel. 

13 th . Employed as above. 

14 th . d°. The 14 just after dark the two Works on 
the left of the enemy's line were carried by assault — 
that on the extreme left by the IA Infantry under the 
command of Marquis de la Fayette — the next to it, 

106 Col. Tilghman's Diary of 

by the French Grenadiers under the command of 
Baron Vwmenel — the troops behaved with the utmost 
bravery, they entered the Works under the Enemy's 
fire with fixed Bayonets without firing a shot. A 
Maj r . two Captains and three Subs and 67 privates 
were made prisoners. A false attack was made on 
the Enemy's right about half an hour before the real 
attack. We had about 40 officers and men killed and 
wounded. The French about 90. 

15 th . Compleating the 2 parallel and constructing 
Batteries upon it — the night of the 15 th the enemy 
made a sortie — They entered one of the French and 
one of the American unfinished Batteries and spiked 
6 Cannon with the points of Bayonets, which made 
them to be unspiked with ease, they 7 or 8 dead and 
6 prisoners — the French had four officers wounded 
and twenty men killed and wounded — We had one 
Sarj*. mortally wounded. 

16 th . Compleating 2 d parallel — Several Batteries 
upon it opened, which galled the Enemy much. 

17 th . In the morning L d . Cornwallis put out a letter 
requesting that 24 Hours might be granted to Com- 
missioners to settle terms of Capitulation for the sur- 
render of the posts of York and Gloster. The General 
answered that two Hours only would be allowed to 
him to send out his terms in writing. He accordingly 
sent them out, generally as follow, that the Garrisons 
should be prisoners of War, the German & British 
Soldiers to be sent to England and Germany. The 
Customary terms of it and presentation of private pro- 
perty — &c. The General answered on the 18 th , that 

The Siege of Yorktown. 


the terms of sending the Troops to England and Ger- 
many were inadmissible. That the honors should be 
the same as those granted at Charlestown — private 
property preserved &c. His Lordship closed with all 
the terms except those of acceding to the same honors 
as those granted at Ch s Town. However the Comm rs . 
met — on our part IA Col . Laurens & Viscount Noi- 
ailles — on the part of the British Col n . Dundas, 
Maj 1 '. Ross. 


Mount Vernon 23 d Mar — 73. 
Dear Sir, 

I expect Gov r Eden and some gentlemen from Mary- 
land here this afternoon — If you are disengaged, I should 
be glad if you would come down and stay with us a day 
or two, or as long as they remain 

Y r . most obed'. Serv'. 
To James Tilghman Esq. G°. Washington 

At Alexand a . 

Mount Vernon May 10 th 1786 
Sir — Being at Richmond when your favor of the 22 nd 
ult° came to this place is the reason of its having lain so 
long unacknowledged. I delayed not a moment after my 
return to discharge the balance of your deceased Brother's 
acct. against me to M r . Watson according to your request. 
As there were few men for whom I had a warmer 
friendship or greater regard than for your Brother — 
Colonel Tilghman — when living ; so, with much truth I 
can assure you that there are none whose death I could 
more sincerely have regretted. — And I pray you & his 
numerous friends to permit me to mingle my sorrows 
with theirs on this unexpected and melancholy occasion 
and that they would accept my compliments of condolence 
on it. 

I am Sir Y r most obed' H blc Serv'. 
Mr. Th 03 R. Tilghman G°. Washington 



110 Correspondence. 

Head Q rs . Newburgh 

9 th of July 1782. 
My Dear Sir 

' Till your letter of tlie 28 th ult° arrived (which is the 
first from you, & the only direct ace*, of You, since we 
parted at Philadelphia) — We have had various conjectures 
about you — Some thought you were dead — others that 
you were married — and all that you had forgot us. — Your 
letter is not a more evident contradiction of the first and 
last of these suppositions than it is a tacit confirmation of 
the Second ; and as none can wish you greater success in 
the prosecution of the Plan you are upon than I do, so 
believe me sincere, when I request you to take your own 
time to accomplish it, or any other business you may Lave 
on hand — at the same time I must be allowed to add, 
that you have no friend that wishes more to see you than 
I do.— 

I have been in constant expectation ever since my 
arrival at this place, of a summons to meet Count Eocham- 
beau at Philadelphia to settle a plan for the ensuing 
Campaign — The non arrival of the dispatches from his 
Court has hitherto prevented it — but the absolute neces- 
sity) to avoid delay after they do arrive) — has induced me 
to propose a meeting at all events, that we may settle such 
hypothetical plans as will facilitate our operations, with- 
out waiting an interview after the dispatches shall arrive. 

I shall know the result of this proposition in the course 
of a few day's, as my dispatches left this the 24 th ult° 

We have nothing New in this Quarter — Sir Guy, gives 
strong assurances of the pacific disposition of His most 
gracious Majesty — by Land — Sir (that is to be) Digby, 
u'ivrs proofs, if he is dificient in assurances, of His said Ex- 
cellent Majesty's kind intention of Capturing every thing 
that swims on the face of the Waters ; and of his humane 
design of suffocating all those who are found thereon, in 

Correspondence. HI 

Prison Ships, if they will not engage in his service — This, 
to an American, whose genious is not susceptable of re- 
fined ideas, would appear somewhat inconsistent ; but to 
the expanded mind of a Briton they are perfectly recon- 
cilable.— Whether they are right, or wrong time must 

I am just returned from a Visit to our Northern Posts, 
in which Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, the and 

the Fields of Burgoyne were visited — Mrs. Washington 
who sets out this day for Mount Vernon, thanks you for 
your kind remembrance of her — she wishes you, as I do, 
as much happiness as you can do yourself, 
Sincerely & aftect ly 

I am — D r Sir 

Y r Obed 4 Serv* 

G° Washington 

L* Col Tilghman. 

Philadelphia, May 18 — 1784 
My dear Sir 

I pray you to accept the enclosed 1 (if a member of the 
Society of Cincinnatti) — I sent for one for each of my 

aids de Camp 

In haste 

I am very affect ly Y rs 

G° Washington 
Col Tilghman 

Newburgh 10 th Jan 7. 1783 

My Dear Sir, 

I have been favored with your letters of the 22 d & 
24 th of last month from Philadelph a ; & thank you for 
the trouble you have had with my small commissions. — 
I have sent M r Ritterhouse the glass of such spectacles as 

1 A badge or order of the Society of the Cincinnati, at present in the 
possession of Oswald Tilghman, Esq. 

112 Correspondence. 

suit my eyes, that he may know how to grind his Chris- 

Neither Du portail nor Gouvoir are arrived at this 
place. — To the latter, I am refered by the Marq 3 la Fay- 
ette for some matters which he did not chuse to commit 
to writing. — The sentim nt however which he has delivered 
(with respect to the negociations for Peace) accord pre- 
cisely with the ideas I have entertained of this business 
ever since the secession of M r Fox. — viz — that no peace 
would be concluded before the meeting of the British 
Parliament. — And that, if it did not take place within a 
month afterwards, we might lay our ace' for one more 
Campaign — at least 

The obstinacy of the King, & his unwilling to acknow- 
ledge the Independency of this Country, I have ever con- 
sidered as the greatest obstacles in the way of a Peace. — 
Lord Shelburne, who is not only at the head of the Ad- 
ministration, but has been introducing others of similar 
sentiments to his own — has declared, that nothing but 
dire necessity should ever force the measure. — of this 
necessity, men will entertain different opinions. — M r Fox, 
it seems, thought the period had arrived some time ago ; 
and yet Peace is not made — nor will it, I conceive ; if the 
influence of the Crown can draw forth fresh supplies from 
the Nation, for the purpose of carrying on the War. By 
the meeting of Parliament, Lord Shelburne would have 
been able to ascertain two things — first, the best terms 
on which G-. Britain could obtain Peace. — Secondly, the 
ground on which he himself stood. — If he found it slippery 
& that the voice of the people was for pacific measures — 
he would then, have informed the Parliament that, after 
many months spent in Negociation — such were the best 
terms he could obtain — and that the alternative of accept- 
ing them — or preparing vigorously for the prosecution 
of the War, was submitted to their consideration (being 

Correspondence. 113 

an extraordinary case) and decision. — A little time there- 
fore, If I have formed a just opinion of the matter, will 
disclose the result of it — consequently, we shall either 
soon have Peace, or not the most agreeable prospect of 
War, before us — as it appears evident to me, that the 
States generally, are sunk into the most profound lethargy, 
while some of them are running quite retrogade. — The 
King of G. B. by his letters Patent (which I have seen) 
has authorized M r Oswald to treat with any Commissioner 
or Com rs from the United States of America, who shall 
appear with proper powers — This, certainly, is a capital 
point gained. — It is at least breaking ground on their 
part, — And I daresay proved a bitter pill to Royalty ; 
that, it was indispensably necessary to answer one of the 
points above mentioned, as the American Commissioners 
would enter in no business with M r Oswald till his Powers 
were made to suit their purposes. — Upon the whole, I am 
fixed in an opinion that Peace or a pretty long continu- 
ance of the War, will have been determined before the 
adjournment for the Hollidays ; and as it will be the mid- 
dle or last of February before we shall know the result, 
time will pass heavily on in this dreary mansion — where 
we are, at present, fast locked in frost & snow. — 

Nothing new has happened in this quarter since you left 
it, except the abuse of me in a JSTew York Paper for having 
given false information to the Count de Vergennes, which 
(says the writer) was the occasion of the insinuation in his 
Letter to me of a want of British Justice — I have not seen 
the Paper but am told the author of the piece is quite in 
a passion at my want of ingenuity. — And ascribes the re- 
lease of Capt u Asgill to a 'peremptory order from the Court 
of France (in whose service he places me) notwithstanding 
the soft and complaisant language of the French Minister's 

M rs Washington has received the Shoes you ordered for 

114 Correspondence. 

her, & thanks you for your attention to her request — I 
receive with great sensibility & pleasure, your assurances 
of affection & regard. It would he hut a renewal of what 
I have often repeated to you, that there are few men in 
the world to whom I am more attached by inclination than 
I am to you. — "With the Cause, I hope — most devoutly 
hope, — there will soon be an end to my Military Services — 
When, as our places of residence will not be far apart, I 
shall never be more happy than in your Company at M 
Vernon. I shall always be glad to hear from, and keep up 
a corrispondence with you. — 

M rs "Washington joins me in every wish that can tend to 
your happiness — Humphrys & Walker, who are the only 
Gentlemen of the Family that are with me at present — 
will speak for themselves. — If this finds you at Baltimore, 
I pray my respects to M r Carroll & Family. — with the 
greatest esteem and regard 

I am — Dear Sir 
Yr most Obed and 
Affect Hubl Servt 

G° Washington 

Rocky Hill Oct 1 . 2 d , 1783. 
Dear Sir : 

The Chev r . do la Luzerne, hearing me the other day en- 
quire after Claret, informed me that he had a quantity of 
it at Baltimore — more than he wanted — & would spare 
me some. — I am, in consequence, to have two or three 
Hilda of this Stock. I requested him to direct his corris- 
pondent at that place, to commit them to your care, on 
the supposition that you are a resident of Baltimore, and 
I have to beg your alt cut ion to them accordingly. — 

As you know how liable Liquors arc to be adulterated 
by common Boatmen, or common ; an that 

it is the quality only which constitutes the value, I perswade 

Correspondence. 115 

myself you will put this wine into the charge of some per- 
son who will be responsible for the safe transportation of 
it, — The Chev r assures me that it is old wine, and of the 
first quality. — I hope to drink a Glass of it with you at 
Mount Vernon 'ere long ; and for this, and other reasons, 
wish it may precede my arrival, at that place — accom- 
pany it, if you please, with a line to M r Washington. 

Why have you been so niggardly in communicating 
your change of condition to us ? — or to the world ? — By 
dint of enquiries we have heard of your Marriage ; but 
have scarcely got a confirmation of it yet. — On the presump- 
tion however that it is so, I offer you my warmest con- 
gratulation & best wishes for the enjoyment of many happy 
years ; in both which M rs Washington joins me very cor- 

She is on the eve of setting out for Virginia before the 
Weather and roads get bad. — I shall follow as soon as the 
Definite Treaty arrives — or JSTcw York is evacuated by 
our Newly acquired friends. — Of the first there is little 
said — of the latter a great deal, but scarcely the same 
thing by any two who come from there. — The general 
opinion however is, that they will be gone by the last of 
this month. 

Present M rs Washington's & my compliments to your 

Lady and Mrs. Carroll, and be assured that with great 

truth and affection 

I am. D r Sir 

Y r Obed* Serv* 

G. Washington 

Mount Vernon 14 th July 1785. 
Dear Sir, 

A Nephew of mine, brother to the young Gentleman 
who studied law under M r Wilson in Phil a , is inclined to 
enter into a Mercantile walk of life ; and his Father is de- 
sirous he should do so. — lie has just completed a regular 


education — is about 20 years of age, sober, serious, & sen- 
sible — and I am told remarkably prudent, & assiduous 
in the execution of whatever he takes in hand. 

This is the character he bears, personally, I know little 
of him. — 

I have expressed a wish to his father that he might be 
placed under your care, and it is highly pleasing to him. — 
let me ask then, my dear Sir; if it would be convenient 
for you to take him into your Counting House, and im- 
mediately under your eye ? — If I had not conceived (from 
the character he bears) that he would do you no discredit, 
but may where he is qualified, subserve your views in 
Trade while he is promoting your own, I do assure you 
that I would be among the last persons who would pro- 
pose the measure to you. 

If you incline to receive him, be so good as to let me 
know on what terms, and the requisites to be complied 
with on his part, as soon as convenient. — M rs Washington 
joins very cordially in compliments of congratulation to 
you and M rs Tilghman on the encrease of your family. — 
With the usual esteem and regard I am, D r Sir Y r 

Affec* Hble Serv 4 

Tench Tilghman Esq r . G° Washington 

Mount Vernon June 2 J , 1785. 
Dear Sir, 

As your letter of the 30 th ult° did not reach me until 
late this afternoon, and the Post goes from Alex a at 4 
O'clock in the morning, I have scarcely a moment (being 
also in company) to write you a reply. — I was not suffi- 
ciently explicit in my last. The terms upon which M r . 
Falconer came to this Country are too high for my 
finances — and (to you, my dear Sir, I will add) numerous 
expences. — I do not wish to reduce his (perhaps well 
founded) expectations; but it behooves me to consult my 
own means of complying with them. 

Correspondence. 117 

I had been in hopes, that a young man of no great ex- 
pectations might have begun the world with me for about 
fifty or sixty pounds — , but for one qualified in all 

respects to answer my purposes, I would have gone as far 
as seventy-five — more would rather distress me. — 

My purposes are these — To write letters agreeably to 
what shall be dictated. — Do all other writing which shall 
be entrusted to him. — Keep Acct s . — Examine, arrange, 
& properly methodize my Papers, which are in great 
disorder. — Ride, at my expence, to do such business as I 
may have in different parts of this, or the other States, if 
I should find it more convenient to send, than attend my- 
self, to the execution thereof. And which was not hinted 
at in my last to inetiate two little children (a girl of six & 
a boy of 4 years of age, descendants of the deceased M r . 
Austin, who live with me, and are very promesing) in the 
first rudements of education. — This to both parties, would 
be mere amusement, because it is not my wish that the 
Children should be confined. — If M r . Falconer should 
incline to accept the above stipend in addition to his 
board, washing and mending, — and you (for I would 
rather have your opinion of the Gentleman than the report 
of a thousand others in his favor) upon a close investiga- 
tion of his character, Temper & moderate political tenets 
(for supposing him an English man, he may come with 
the prejudices, & doctrines of his Country) the sooner 
he comes, the better my purpose would be promoted. — 

If I had had time, I might have added more, but to you 
it would have been unnecessary. — You know my wants. — 
You know my disposition — and you know what kind of 
a man would suit them. — In haste I bid you adieu — with 
assurances of great regard & sincere friendship, 
I am — D Sir 

Y r Affect H ble Serv' 
Tench Tilghman Esq 1 G° Washington. 


118 Correspondence. 

Mount Vernon 29th Aug' 1785 
Dear Sir, 

Your favor of the 25th in answer to mine of the pre- 
ceeding week, came safely. At the time I wrote that 
letter, I was uninformed of the circumstances which you 
have since made me acquainted with. — However, you will 
be at no loss from the contents of it, to discern that it was 
Bargains I had in contemplation; and which, from the 
quantity of Goods at Market — Scarcity of Cash, according 
to News paper Acc ts distress of the Trade — & the mode of 
selling, I thought might prohably he obtained ; — but if I 
am mistaken therein, I shall content myself with the few 
marked articles, or such oi them as can be had cheap. — 
Fine Jacconet Muslin (apron width) is what M rs Wash- 
ington wants, and.ab* 5 or 7 yards would be sufficient. — 
As the arrack is in large Casks & new, I decline taking 

If M r O'Donnell should feel an inclination to make this 
part of Virginia a visit, I shall be happy in seeing him — 
and if instead of giving him a letter of introduction you 
should change the mode and introduce him in your own 
Propria Personre it would add much to the pleasure of it. — 
Before your letter was received, from my reading, or 
rather from an imperfect recollection of what I had read I 
had conceived an idea that the Chinese though droll in 
shape and appearance, w T ere yet white. 

I am glad to hear that my Packet to M rs Smith had got 
safely to hand as there were papers of consequence trans- 
mitted. — I expect some other documents for my Law Suit 
in the course of a lew days from our attorney Gen 1 (Edm l1 
Randolph Esq') which T shall take the liberty of inclosing 
to you to be forwarded to M rs Smith — and as I seem to 
he in the habit of giving you trouble, I beg the favor of 
you to cause the inclosed letter to be delivered toM r Raw- 
lins — I leave it open for your perusal — My reason for it 

Correspondence. 1 1 9 

is, that thereby seeing my wants, you would be so obliging 
as to give me your opinion of M r Rawlins with respect to 
his abilities and diligence as a work man — whether he. is 
reckoned moderate or high, in his charges — and whether 
there is much call, at this time, for a man of his profession 
at Baltimore — for, on this, I presume, his high or 
moderate terms will greatly depend. 

M rs . Washington joins me in best respects to M rs Tilgh- 
man and yourself, and thanks you for the obliging assur- 
ance of chusing the articles wanted, perfect of their kind. 
With great esteem & regard 

I am — Dear Sir 
Y r . Affect friend & 
Obed k . H ble Serv\ 

Gr° Washington 
P. S. Since writing the foregoing, M rs Washington has re- 
quested me to add that if any fine thin Handkerchiefs, 
with striped or worked borders are to be had, she would 
be glad to get six of them. G. W. 

Tench Tilghman, Escf. 

Mount Vernon 5 th June 1786. 
Dear Sir, 

I have just had the honour to receive your favour of the 
26 th ult° .— 

Of all the numerous acquaintances of your lately de- 
ceased son, & amidst all the sorrowings that are mingled 
on that melancholy occasion, I may venture to assert (that 
excepting those of his nearest relatives) none could have 
felt his death with more regret than I did, because, no one 
entertained a higher opinion of his worth, or had imbibed 
sentiments of greater friendship for him than I had done. 
That you, Sir, should have felt the keenest anguish for 
this loss, I can readily conceive, — the ties of parental 
affection united with those of friendship could not fail to 
have produced this effect. It is however a dispensation, 

120 Correspondence. 

the wisdom of which is inscrutable, and amidst all your 
grief, there is this consolation to be drawn ; — that while 
living, no man could be more esteemed, and since dead, 
none more lamented than Col°. Tilghman. — 

As his correspondence with the com tee of New York is 
not connected with any transactions of mine, so, conse- 
quently, it is not necessary that the Papers to which you 
allude should compose part of my public documents ; but 
if they stand single, as they exhibit a trait of his public 
character, and like all the rest of his transactions will, I 
am persuaded, do honor to his understanding and probity, 
it may be desirable in this point of view, to keep them 
alive by mixing them with mine ; which, undoubtedly, 
will claim the attention of the Historian. — Who, if I mis- 
take not, will, upon an inspection of them, discover the 
illiberal ground on which the charge mentioned in the 
extract of the letter you did me the honor to inclose me 
is founded. — That a calumny of this kind had been re- 
ported, I knew ; — I had laid my acct. for the calumnies 
of annonymous scribblers ; but I never before had con- 
ceived that such an one as is related, could have originated 
with, or have met the countenance of Capt Asgill ; whose 
situation often filled me with the keenest anguish. 

I felt for him on many accts. ; and not the least, when, 
viewing him as a man of honor & sentiment, how unfor- 
tunate it was for him that a wretch who possessed neither, 
should be the means of causing in him a single pang or a 
disagreeable "sensation. — My favourable opinion of him 
however is forfeited, if, being acquainted with these re- 
ports, he did not immediately contradict them. — That 
I could not have given countenance to the insults 
which he says were offered to his person, especially 
the grovelling one of erecting a Gibbet before his prison 
•window, will I expect, readily be believed, when I ex- 
plicitly declare that I never heard of a single attempt 

Correspondence. 1 21 

to offer an insult, and that I had every reason to be con- 
vinced, that, he was treated by the officers around him, 
with all the tenderness and every civility in their power — 
I would fain ask Capt" Asgill how he could reconcile such 
belief (if his mind had been seriously impressed with it) 
to the continual indulgences and procrastinations he had 
experienced ? — lie will not I presume deny that, he was 
admitted to his parole within ten or twelve miles of the 
British lines : — if not to a formal parole, to a confidence 
yet more unlimited — by being permitted for the benefit 
of his health and recreation of his mind, to ride, not only 
about the cantonment, but into the surrounding country 
for many miles with his friend and companion Maj. Gor- 
don, constantly attending him. Would not these indul- 
gences have pointed a military character to the pourtrait 
from whence they flowed ? Did he conceive that disci- 
pline was so lax in the American army as that any officer 
in it would have granted these liberties to a Person con- 
fined by the express order of the Commander in Chief, 
unless authorized to do so by the same authority? and 
to ascribe them to the interference of Count de Roch- 
ambeau, is as void of foundation as his other conject- 
ures ; for I do not recollect that a sentence ever passed 
between that General and me, directly, or indirectly, on 
the subject. I was not without suspicions after the final 
liberation and return of Capt. Asgill to New York that 
his mind had been improperly impressed or that he was 
defective in politeness. The treatment he had met with, 
in my conception, merited an acknowledgment — None 
however was offered, and I never sought for the cause. 

This concise acct. of the treatment of Capt. Asgill is 
given from a hasty recollection of the circumstances. — If 
I had had time, and it was essential, by unpacking my 
papers and recurring to authentic files, I might have 
been more pointed and full. — It is in my power at any 

122 Correspondence. 

time to convince the unbiased mind that my conduct 

through the whole of the transaction was neither influenced 

by passion — guided by inhumanity or under the control 

of any interference whatsoever. — I essayed everything to 

save the innocent and bring the guilty to punishment, 

with what success the impartial world must and hereafter 

certainly will decide 

With very great esteem and regard 

I have the honor to be 

Dear Sir Your most obed servt. 

T rp-i i t? r 1 Gr°. Washington 

James lilghman JLsq 1 > 

Letter of Col. T. Tilghman to the Hon. Matthew Tilghman 

apprising him of his engagement to his daughter. 

Chester Toun 10' June 1782 
D r . Sir 

I should not only deem myself unworthy a continuance 
of that friendship and regard, of which you have given 
me so many obliging proofs, but I sh d think myself justly 
chargeable with a breach of that confidence which you 
reposed in me, by the kindest admittance into your family, 
were I to endeavour or even wish, to conceal from you, 
a matter the most interesting to me, of any which has oc- 
curred in the course of my life, and which, I conceive, 
can be no less so to you, in as much as the happiness & 
welfare of a daughter an ornament to her sex, may inti- 
mately connected with it — From what I have premised, I 
presume you cannot doubt my meaning — I will therefore 
beg leave candidly to lay before you every step which I 
have ventured to take previous to this declaration and I 
cannot but hope whatever may be your determination that 
you will acquit me of having acted hitherto inconsistently 
with the principles of a man of the strictest honor. — I may 
date the commencement of my acquaintance with my 

Correspondence. 123 

lovely Cousin, from the visit I had the pleasure of making 
you three years ago. Her many engaging qualities did 
not fail, at that time, to make an impression upon me 
which has never heen effaced; hut involved as we then 
were in a contest, the issue of which was at least preca- 
rious (and on which I had determined to stake my life and 
fortune) I thought it most prudent then to stifle my 
feelings and to await a more favorahle opportunity of 
making known to her the fondest wishes of my heart, 
should I be happy enough to find her, at some future day, 
in a condition to listen to my addresses — That time at 
length arrived — The aspect of public affairs encouraged 
me, to hope that our troubles were not far from an end — 
a nearer and more intimate acquaintance with my Cousin 
seemed to confirm my regard for her, but an ob- 
stacle which then presented itself, and which may still 
exist for some time, determined me yet barely to explain 
the motives of my conduct and behaviour which I was 
convinced could not but appear particular, to a Lady of 
my Cousin's good sense and penetration. That obstacle 
was a want of sufficiency of Fortune to maintain her in 
the stile in which she had been brought up and from which 
no man had a right I conceived, reasonably, to expect her 
to descend — I accordingly took an occasion of entering 
upon the subject fully and freely with her, at the same 
time assuring her that I could not upon just terms ever 
expect an answer much less would I wish to draw her 
into any engagements that I should never mention the 
matter again untill I could with propriety propose it to 
her Friends — and begged her to believe, that nothing 
could have drawn this confession from me, but a convic- 
tion that my conduct demanded some explanation, and a 
secret hope, that should she possibly entertain any senti- 
ments in my favor, they might have their due operation 
should other offers be made to her in my absence — If I 

124 Correspondence. 

have been at all blameable, it has been in the last instance 
should yon think I have, appeal but for a moment to your 
own Heart, and I am convinced I shall stand excused — 
In this manner matters rested, until a few days before I 
left Talbot ; and I should not have thought perhaps 
myself under an obligation of making an application of 
this nature to you 'till some time hence, unless I had 
found it reported from a variety of Quarters, that I there 
was actually engaged between my Cousin & myself: this 
I know must naturally reach your Ears, and as I was 
conscious there were some grounds for just reports, I 
clearly saw the indelicacy and impropriety of making you, 
who ought to be the first, the last acquainted with the 
truth. I took the liberty of expressing my opinion to my 
cousin, and had the satisfaction of finding her ideas cor- 
respond with mine. Your absence at the time of taking 
this resolution prevented the communication from being 
a personal one. I would have preferred it on many ac- 
counts to the present mode. I think I have neither omitted 
or misrepresented any circumstance of which you ought to 
be informed. Had I no other tie the fear of appearing 
by permission of the truth, despicable in the eyes 
of a Woman too replete with every Virtue to overlook 
such a meaness and whose good opinion I should not 
forfeit for the World, would be a sufficient security against 
my making any attempt to deceive you — It now remains 
for me to be more explicit on the subject of my present 
and future prospects as to fortune — previous to the war, 
I had principally by my own industry acquired so much 
as would with a continuance of my endeavours, have 
enabled me to have lived as well as any Woman of fru- 
gality and moderate desires ought to have wished. Upon 
the breaking out of the troubles, I came to a determination 
to share the fate of my Country and that I might not be 
merely a spectator, I made as hasty a close as I possibly 

Correspondence. 125 

could, of my commercial affairs, making it a point to 
collect and deposit in safe hands as much as would, when- 
ever times and circumstances would permit, enable me to 
discharge my European debts which were indeed all I had, 

except about £ put into m}^ hands by M r R. Sen r in 

trust for my youngest Brother ; but as a security for that 
I left and have yet a much larger sum in my Father's 
bonds. After I had happily collected & deposited the 
sum first mentioned, my outstanding debts began to be 
paid in depreciated money and as I never took the advan- 
tage of a single penny in that way I have sorely felt the 
pernicious effects of tenders Laws — I expect (and were I 
only to look forward to a provision for myself it would 
give me no uneasiness) to begin the World in a manner 
anew, with the consolation of having devoted the service 
of that time to my Country, which some others have spent 
in amassing fortunes upon its distresses. It has ever been 
a maxim with me to depend upon myself and not build 
upon the emoluments of Office which are as precarious as 
the events of life. They are well enough as contingencies 
and as Suit I have a right and reason to expect some 
advantages from them — Indeed some of my public 
Friends have been kind enough to assure me that a 
due recompense shall be made me for my adherence to 
the barren Military Line, where they flatter me with 
saying that I have been useful. Something handsome will 
devolve to me upon an event, which I shall esteem, should 
it please God to permit me to see, the most melancholy, 
next to one which I have already seen, of my life — This 
have as fully as the of a letter will admit made you ac- 
quainted with every thing relative to the transaction of 
which I have been speaking. It is with you to determine 
what shall be my future line of conduct. If I meet your 
disapprobation, I shall instantly relinquish all hopes of 
ever accomplishing a matter on which my happiness very 

126 Correspondence. 

much depends ; for I too well know the high sense which 
my Cousin entertains of filial duty towards the tenderest 
and best of parents, to suppose that my influence would 
have any weight when opposed to his will. In such 
case I should severely feel my misfortune, hut I beg you 
to be assured that it would in no degree lessen that re- 
spect and true regard which I have for you, and altho' 
necessity would require me to endeavour to cease to 
love the present object of my affections, I would never 
wish to forget how dear she had ever been to me. If on 
the contrary you should be good enough to permit me, 
circumstanced as I am, to prosecute my hopes, I shall 
most zealously set about making such arrangements as I 
trust will enable me, ere long, to support the most valua- 
ble of Women in a manner, tho far below her deserts, yet 
perhaps equal to her wishes — And here I cannot help re- 
peating to you what she will do me the justice of saying 
I requested of her, that however favorable her sentiments 
might be of me at that time She would not look upon 
herself as debarred from, the liberty of accepting any 
other which might be made — In point of future she may 
have many far preferable to me but in warmth and sin- 
cerity of affection no man can go beyond me. 

I shall probably have left Maryland before you can find 
it convenient to favor me with an answer — you will there- 
upon be pleased to commit your letter to the care of my 
Friend at Chester Town and they will forward it to me. 
I am with the utmost Respect an 
sincerest Esteem 

D r . Sir, 


Correspondence. 127 

The Commission of Col. Tench Tilghman, from the original 
now in the jiossession of the family. 

" The United States of America in Congress Assem- 

" bled To Tench Tilghman, Esquire, Greeting. We, 

" reposing especial trust and confidence in your Patriotism, 

" Valour, Conduct and Fidelity, Do by these presents con- 

" stitute and appoint you to be a Lieutenant Colonel in 

"the army of the United States, to rank as such from the 

" first day of April 1777 ; you are therefore carefully and 

" diligently to discharge the duty of a Lieutenant Colonel, 

" by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto 

" belonging. And we do strictly charge and require all 

" Officers and Soldiers under your command, to be obe- 

" dient to your orders as Lieutenant Colonel. And you are 

" to observe and follow such orders and directions, from 

" time to time, as you shall receive from this or a future 

" Congress of the United States, or Committee of Con- 

" gress for that purpose appointed, a Committee of the 

" States, or Commander-in-chief for the time being of the 

" Army of the United States, or any other, your superior 

" Officer, according to the rules and discipline of war, in 

" pursuance of the trust reposed in you. This commission 

" to continue in force until revoked by this or a future 

" Congress, the Committee of Congress, before mentioned, 

" or a Committee of the States." 

" "Witness his Excellency Samuel Hun- 

" tington President of the Congress 

" of the United States of America, 
I" United States of Ani-"| . nn ' 

|_ erica Board of War J " at Philadelphia, the 30th day of 

"May 1781 and in the fifth year 

" of our Independence." 

Sam l . Huntington, President. 

" Entered in the War Office and examined by 

" the Board attest Jos : Carleton 

Secretary of the Board of War." 

1*28 Correspondence. 

Dear Sir, 

The Convention of this State have appointed a com- 
mittee of Correspondence for the Purpose of obtaining 
Intelligence from the army, of which Committee your ac- 
quaintance M r R. R. Livingstone, and myself are members. 
They have empowered this Committee to employ a Gentle- 
man near Head Quarters for communicating Intelligence 
to whom they have engaged to make an adequate com- 
pensation — M 1 ' Livingstone and myself are anxious you 
should undertake this Task; in consequence of which I 
am requested to know your sentiments on this head — 
The Sum Ideal of your office will be to write a daily 
Letter which our Express will wait on you for — As you 
(I conceive) head quarters a few short Notes of the 

Daily interesting will serve as material for your — 

Daily Advertiser. 

If your leisure will admit, and your willingness to 
oblige will make you overlook the little Eclat that attends 
this office, you will be pleased to commence your Corres- 
pondence by informing us of all such Public Incidents as 
you think interesting — < 

The Letters you write will be of a Public Nature, as 
the Committee are obliged to lay them before the Con- 

I am Sir — with great personal 


Your Obed*. H b,e . Serv*. 

W M . Duer. 

War Office 2 nd December 1785 
Dear Sir 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 
21 st ultimo 

The board of treasury at my instance will remit you 
immediately an order for the sum of four hundred dollars 
on their Agent in Maryland 

Correspondence. 129 

I will tliank you to inform me of the receipt of the sum 
that I may have the pleasure of writing you an official 
letter on the occasion 

I expect in the course of a month or two to receive all 
the swords which were voted by Congress as testimonies 
of their special approbation ; upon receiving them I shall 
have the pleasure of transmitting yours 
I am 
Dear Sir 

With great sincerity 
Your affectionate 

Humble Servant 

H. Knox 

Tench Tilarhman 


War Office 7 December, 1785. 

Dear Sir 

I now enclose you the order of the board of treasury on 
Thomas Harwood Esq r . commissioner of the continental 
loan office State of Maryland for the sum of four hundred 
dollars to pay for the horse ordered to be presented to you 
by the resolve of Congress of the 29 th of October 1785. 

I will thank you to enclose to me by the return of post 
a receipt for this order which must serve as my voucher 
at the Comptrollers office for the disbursement of the money 
which is charged to me by the treasury board : you will 
please to specify the purpose for which you receive the 

I am Dear Sir 
Your very humble servant 

H. Knox 

Tench Tilghman Esqr. 

130 Correspondence. 

War Office of the United States 

New York May SO 1 ". 1786 

I have the honor to enclose for your satisfaction, a copy 
of a resolve of Congress of the 29 th of October 1781. 

During the last year, I had the honor of presenting to 
Colonel Tilghman, the horse agreeably to the direction of 
the resolve, and I then mentioned to him, that I should 
forward the sword, as soon as it should be finished. 

But death, the inevitable tribute of our system, has pre- 
maturely deprived you of the most tender and virtuous 
companion, and the United States, of an able and upright 
patriot. While you are overwhelmed with affliction, your 
friends unavailingly condole with you on an event, which 
they could not prevent, and to which they also must sub- 

When time shall have smoothed the severities of your 
grief, you will derive consolation from the reflection that 
Colonel Tilghman acted well, his part on the theatre of 
human life, and that the supreme authority of the United 
States, have expressly given their sanction to his merit. 

The sword directed to be presented to him, which I 
have the honor to transmit to you, will lie an honorable 
and perpetual evidence of his merit and of the applause of 
his country. 

I have the honor to be Madam, 
With perfect respect, 

Your most obedient and 

Very humble Servant 
H. Knox 

New York, 13 Aug 1 . 1776. 
IIon d . Sir 

Since I wrote to you last, 96 Sail of Vessels have arrived 

at the wateri)'" - place and within the Hook, part of them 

this day. We suppose they are the Transports with 

Foreign Troops. — To our great Amazement they still con- 


tinue inactive, which is much in our fav r . for we are re- 
ceiving Reinforcements every day. The Pennsylvania 
and Maryland Troops are a prodigious thing for us — 
Even the Eastern people acknowledge their Superiority — 
The General has brigaded them together and puts the ut- 
most Confidence in them. Our Strength by Land is very 
great, besides our Musquetry and Rifles behind Lines, 
Col . Knox, the Commandant of Artillery, tells me he has 
a train of 40 Eield pieces ready at a Moments Warning. 
This is not merely Report of the Colonels, but I have seen 
the Guns with all the Artillery Stores ready for action. 
You can have no Idea of the Generals Merit and Abilities 
without being with him, few "Words serve him, but they 
are to the purpose, and an Order once given by him is 
implicity obeyed thro' every Department. His civilities 
to me have been more than I had a right to expect, but I 
endeavour to make it up by my Assiduity in executing 
his Commands, in some of which I have given him very 
particular Satisfaction. I have still the Happiness to be 
Y rs . most dutifully and affect 7 

Tench Tilghman. 

New York, 15 Aug 6 . 1776. 
Hon d . Sir 

I have yours of the 11 th Ins*, which mentions your hav- 
ing wrote one before, but it never came to my hands, be 
pleased to say in your next whether you sent it ppost or 
by a private opportunity. If the latter I will endeavour 
to trace it. You see from this Miscarriage that nothing 
but of a public nature should at this time be trusted to 
Paper. I can assure you your Anxiety on my Account 
is groundless on the Score of Expence, Company & Habit 
of Idleness. As to the first I live at less in proportion 
than at Philad. the second my acquaintance is confined to 
two or three young Gentlemen of the Generals Family, 

132 Correspondence. 

and to the last you cannot conceive what a constant Scene 
of Business we arc engaged in. My Intent is not to stay 
with the Army longer than the active part of the Campaign 
as I had taken a military part, I could not in honour with- 
draw or hold myself back, when I found that contrary to 
all Faith and Expectation the Olive Branch was presented 
accompanied with Terms the most ignominious. When 
you say " bear with me this once and I will say no more 
on the Subject," you seem to hint as if you thought, that 
your Advice would be disagreeable or set hard upon me, 
but indeed you are mistaken, I know it proceeds from 
your Regard to me and from no other motive. We are 
told that the whole of General Howe's Forces are now 
arrived, and from the movement of yesterday we expected 
an Attack this morning, but it has rained very hard all 
Night and that perhaps has hindered them — One of the 
Letters you inclosed me was from Mr. Wm. Brown of An- 
napolis respecting a Note of Hand of Carpenter Whartons, 
go let Billy write to him and inform him that nothing has 
been rec d since the £40 he paid to Lendrum — My love to 
my Sisters. I am most dutifully and Affecty yrs 

Tench Tilghman. 

New York 18 th Aug 1 . 1776. 
Hon Sir 

I have two of your Letters before me. One of them 
enclosed a Letter from M r Chew to E. Tilghman who is 
now here. He is well provided for, as Assistant Brigade 
Major to Lord Stirling's Brigade, which is composed in- 
tirely of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Forces. The 
Phoenix and the Rose Men of War came down the River 
this morning which occasioned a smart Cannonade between 
fchem and our Batteries, but as they had a smart Breeze 
and the Tide in their !'av r tiny got quickly by without re- 
ceiving or doing any damage. Our Fire Ships got on 
Board of them a few Nights ago, the Phoenix with diffi- 

Correspondence. 133 

culty cleared herself, but her Tender was burnt. I fancy 
the fear of being attacked again in that way brought them 
down to join the Fleet in the Bay. The Chevaux de-frise 
to compleat the Obstruction of the Channel at Fort Wash- 
ington had not got up owing to head winds, otherwise 
these Ships would have found the greatest difficulty in 
getting down again. A flag came off yesterday from the 
Fleet, the General sent me to receive it. I found Lord 
Drummond in the Boat, who delivered me a Letter for 
Genl. Washington it contained a plan of his own for an 
Accommodation, and wanted to come on shore and go to 
Philad a to propose it to Congress. He says it has my 
Lord Howes Approbation, But not a syllable from my 
Lord himself. This is certainly strange trifling Conduct. 
What right has any private Man to propose terms when 
he does not pretend to have any power or Authority to 
do it. However the General has sent the Plan to Con- 
gress and waits their Direction. But he would not suffer 
my Lord to come on Shore. I take your Caution to me 
in Regard to my Health very kindly, but I assure you, you 
need be under no Apprehension of my losing it on the 
Score of Excess in living, that Vice is banished from this 
Army and the Generals Family in particular. We never 
sup, but go early to bed and are early up. The New Eng- 
land Troops are the only sick ones, and a good deal of that 
is Laziness. I have not yet seen young Mr. Williams but 
I will find him out and take notice of him. The Fleet and 
Army remain intirely inactive. I don't believe they want 
to fight. If they do they have missed their time. We are 
very well provided for them now, but a few Weeks ago 
were very much the reverse. 

I am with the warmest affection, 

Y r most dutiful Son 

^ T . . Tench Tilghman. 

Your missing Letter has come to hand 

(Envelope addressed to James Tilghman Esq. Philadelphia.) 


134 Correspondence. 

New York, 19 Aug 1 . 1776. 
Hon d Sir 

I have already wrote you by this post, but since I closed 
my Letter yours cauie to hand. There will be no diffi- 
culty in sending an open Letter to my Brother by the 
first Flag that goes off" — By a Deserter from the Roe 
Buck last night we hear that she has a malignant Fever 
on board and is riding quarantine. The Hessians are also 
sickly the Deserter says they have the yellow fever. We 
can plainly see their Encampment intirely separate from 
the other Troops. I am certain something must be the 
Matter or they would have attacked. 

Reinforcements from N England are coming in very 
fast — 

I am most dutifully Yrs. 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters N York 3 rd Sep r . 1776. 
Hon d . Sir 

I have attempted to write to you several times since 
our Return from Long Island, but have been as often in- 
terrupted by the vast hurry of Business in which the 
General is engaged. He is obliged to see into, and in a 
Manner fill every Department, which is too much for one 
Man — Our Retreat before an Enemy much superior in 
Numbers, over a wide River, and not very well furnished 
with Boats certainly does Credit to our Generals. The 
thing was conducted with so much Secrecy that neither 
subalterns or privates knew that the whole Army was to 
cross back again to N York, they thought only a few 
Regiments were to go back. General Howe has not yet 
lauded upon this Island, but I imagine something of that 
kind is in Agitation, as the Fleet draw nearer and nearer, 
they are now about long Cannon Shot from the Battery, 
but no firing on either Side. We shall be prepared to 

Correspondence. 135 

meet them here or retreat over Kings Bridge as we shall 
find Occasion, our supernumerary and heavy Stores are 
removed, we must leave our heavy Cannon behind us in 
Case of Retreat, but I dont know that that will be any loss, 
as we never used them to much Advantage. By Returns 
made this day from the Northern Army, Gates is getting 
it into fine Order, they have ten thousand effective Men 
and a very considerable force afloat upon the Lake. Bur- 
goyne has no Chance of making an Irruption this Cam- 
paign. The Behaviour of the Southern Troops in the late 
Action has shamed the Northern People, they confess 
themselves unequal to them in Officers and Discipline. 
No Regular Troops ever made a more gallant Resistance 
than Smallwood's Regiment. If the others had behaved 
as well, if Gen 1 . Howe had obtained a Victory at all it 
would have been dearly bought — I hope we shall yet 
come off with a saving Game — 

I am most dutifully & Affect y Yrs. 

Tench Tilghman. 

New York 9 th . Sep r . 1776— 
Hond Sir 

All Matters have remained quiet since I wrote you last, 
except that two Batteries of 3 Guns each were opened 
yesterday ag' our Battery at Hell Gate. They threw a 
Number of Shot and Shells into our Fort, but only killed 
one man and wounded two slightly. The General sent 
me up last Night to see what Situation things were in, 
when I found our Fortification but little damaged, not 
more than could be repaired in an hour. One of their 
Batteries had been silent for some Hours, and what shot 
they threw while I was there went far over our Works. 
We last night sent up some heavier Cannon with which 
they have been pretty warmly at work this morning, but 
the firing has in a great Measure ceased again — We'are 


now in such a Situation, that we can effect a very hasty 
Retreat from hence if necessary, all our heavy Stores and 
Encumbrances being removed to Kings bridge and up the 
River. We have good men at Kings Bridge preparing 
fortifyed posts, that we may not be uncovered if a Retreat 
should be determined on. You may remember that you 
once mentioned, that the Destruction of New York was 
left to the General, so far from it, that he wrote to Con- 
gress for an explicit Answer on that head, and they have 
directed him by a Resolve to preserve the City at all 
Events, that is, if he was obliged to abandon not to suffer 
the Soldiery to do any damage. I never saw any Man so 
strictly observant of the preservation of private property, 
he never fails to punish any Breach that comes under his 
Observation : But I am sorry to say that most of his 
Officers do not keep up the same Discipline. I sent my 
Brothers Letter by a Flag. I am in great hopes that this 
Campaign will insensibly waste away without much Blood- 
shed, I know the General is determined to avoid a Battle 
for more Reasons than one. My best love to my sisters 
and all the Family my good Grandmother in particular. 
I am most dutifully & affec ty . Y rs . 

Tench Tilghman. 

P. S. As the post office is removed from hence all our 
Letters go by Express to Philad\ If you or any of my 
Friends write to me and will give the Letters to Mr. 
Morris lie will send them by Return of the Expresses. 

10 th : Your Letters of the 28 th : Aug 4 . 2 d & 6 th . Sep r . have 
just come to hand they have been laying at Dob's ferry 
24 Miles from hence, to which place the post office is re- 
moved. Doc r Franklins Invitation to my Lord Howe, to 
meet him and the other Commissioners at Amboy or 
Staten [sland as might be most agreable to his Lordship 
went on board yesterday Evening. His Lordship has not 
returned an Answer as he had to consult his Brother the 

Correspondence. 137 

Gen 1 . 1 wish our Gen 1 could have been of the party. Lord 
Howe returned an Answer to Doc r . Franklin this After- 
noon, which is sent to the Doc r . who is to be at Amboy 
tomorrow. But whether his Lordship accedes to the 
Meeting we dont know. 

Head Quarters, Harlem Heights, Monday, 
Hon d Sir 16 Sep r . 1776. 

Our Army totally evacuated New York yesterday, the 
Enemy landed a party of about 3000 from Appearance 
four miles above the City where they encamped last Night. 
They kept up a very heavy fire from their Ships while 
their Men were landing, altho' no Body opposed them, 
I imagine they did it, thinking we might have men con- 
cealed behind some lines on the Water side. We removed 
every thing that was valuable, some heavy Cannon ex- 
cepted, before we left the Town. Our army is posted as 
advantageously as possible for Security, out of reach of 
the Fire of the Ships from either River and upon high 
Grounds of difficult Access. I dont know whether the 
New Eng a . Troops will stand there, but I am sure they will 
not upon open Ground. I had a Specimen of that yester- 
day. Hear two Brigades ran away from a small advanced 
party of the Regulars, tho' the General did all in his power 
to convince them they were in no danger. He laid his 
Cane over many of the Officers who shewed their men 
the Example of running. These were militia, the New 
England continental Troops are much better. The post 
is now so irregular and our Quarters so subject to be 
shifted that you will be pleased to put any Letters for me 
into M r . Morris's Hands or some Gentleman of the Con- 
gress and get them forwarded with the General's. He 
must alway be found wherever he may be. We are just 
going out to put Matters, in the best Situation for defence. 
1 have only time to say 

I am truly Y rs most dutifully & affect y 

Tench Tilghman. 

138 Correspondence. 

P.S. Be pleased to get Ned Tilghman to inform Mrs. 
Duncan and Mr. John Taylor that I rec d the money sent 
for their Friends who are prisoners, and that it shall be 
sent by a Flag that goes to exchange Gen 1 . Sullivan cV 
L d . Stirling for Gen 1 . Prescot and M°Donald. 

Head Quarters Col . Morris's 19 th Sep 1 . 1776. 
Hon d . Sir 

I wrote you a few Lines since we removed to this place. 
On Monday last we had a pretty sharp Skirmish with the 
British Troops which was brought on in the following 
Manner. The General rode down to our farthest Lines, 
and when he came near them heard a firing which he was 
informed was between our Scouts and the out Guards of 
the Enemy. When our men came in they informed the 
General that there were a party of about 300 behind a 
woody hill, tho' they only showed a very small party to us. 
Upon this General laid a plan for attacking them in the 
Rear and cutting off their Retreat which was to be effected 
in the following Manner. Major Leitch with three com- 
panies of Col . Weedons Virginia Regiment, and Col . 
Knowlton with his Rangers were to steal round while a 
party were to march towards them and seem as if they 
intended to attack in front, but not to make any real At- 
tack till they saw our Men fairly in their Rear. The Bait 
took as to one part, as soon as they saw our party in front 
the Enemy ran down the Hill and took possession of some 
Fences and Bushes and began to tire at them, but at too 
great distance to do much execution : Unluckily Col . 
Knowlton and Major Leitch began their Attack too soon, 
it was rather in Flank than in Rear. The Action now grew 
warm, Major Leitch was wounded early in the Engagement 
and Col . Knowlton soon after, the latter mortally, he was 
one of the bravest and best officers in the Army. Their 
Men notwithstanding persisted with the greatest Bravery. 

Correspondence. 139 

The Gen 1 , finding they wanted support ordered over part of 
Col . Griffiths's and part of Col . Richardson's Maryland 
Regiments, these Troops tho' young charged with as much 
Bravery as I can conceive, they gave two fires and then 
rushed right forward which drove the Enemy from 
the Wood into a Buckwheat field, from whence they re- 
treated. The General fearing (as we afterwards found) 
that a large Body was coming up to support them, sent 
me over to bring our Men off. They gave a Hurra and 
left the Field in good Order. "We had about 40 wounded 
and a very few killed. A Serjeant who deserted says 
their Accounts were 89 wounded and 8 killed, but in the 
latter he is mistaken for we have buried more than double 
that Number — We find their force was much more con- 
siderable than we imagined when the General ordered the 
Attack. It consisted of the 2 d . Batt n . of light Infantry, a 
Batt n . of the Royal Highlanders and 3 Comp s . of Hessian 
Rifle Men. The prisoners we took, told us, they expected 
our Men would have run away as they did the day before, 
but that they were never more surprised than to see us 
advancing to attack them. The Virginia and Maryland 
Troops bear the Palm. They are well officered and be- 
have with as much regularity as possible, while the Eastern 
people are plundering everything that comes in their way. 
An Ensign is to be tried for marauding to-day, the Gen 1 , 
will execute him if he can get a Court martial to convict 
him — I like our post here exceedingly, I think if we give 
it up it is our own faults. You must excuse me to my 
other friends for not writing to them. I can hardly find 
time to give you a Line — 

I am most dutifully & affec y Y rs . 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters Harlem Heights, 25 th Sep 1 . 1776. 
Hon* Sir 

I take the opportunity of letting you know by M r . 

140 Correspondence. 

Bache, who has been here establishing the post office, 
that all Matters between the two armies have remained 
perfectly quiet since the 16 th May and various will be the 
Reports concerning the setting fire to New York, if it 
was done designedly, it was without the knowledge or 
Approbation of any commanding officer in this Army, 
and indeed so much time had elapsed between our quitting 
the City and the fire, that it can never be fairly attributed 
to the Army. Indeed every man belonging to the Army 
who remained in or were found near the City were made 
close prisoners. Many Acts of barbarous cruelty were 
committed upon poor creatures who were perhaps flying 
from the flames, the Soldiers and Sailors looked upon all 
who were not in the military line as guilty, and burnt 
and cut to pieces many. But this I am sure was not by 
Order. Some were executed next day upon good Grounds. 
The greatest part of Broad Street and Broad Way as far 
up as the old City Hall is burnt. Kennedy's House and 
the next to it escaped as did Hulls Tavern. Trinity 
Church is also burnt. I went down to the Enemy's lines 
yesterday with a Flag to settle the Exchange of prisoners, 
which I believe will generally take place. I met a very 
civil Gentleman with whom I had an Hours conversation 
while my Dispatches were going up to Gen 1 Howe. He 
told me that every vigorous Step was taken to keep the 
British Army under the strictest Discipline, but that the 
Hessians could not be restrained without breaking with 
them as they claimed a right of plunder, and that Gen 1 
Howe was obliged to pay for the Excesses they com- 
mitted. As Mr. Bache has fixed an Office near Head 
Quarters and which is always to move with the General 
you may send Letters for me by the post as usual. My 
best love to all at home. 

I am your dutiful and affec* Son 
Tencii Tilghman. 

Correspondence. 141 

Head Quarters Harlem Heights 3 Octob., 1776. 
Hon d . Sir 

We bave all Hands been so busily employed for some 
time past, that I have not had time to acknowledge the 
Rec'. of your two last letters — I was surprised with the 
sight of Mr. James Allen two days ago. Curiosity brought 
him here to see the Situation of Things, he informed me 
that you was going to Maryland, I therefore have directed 
this letter to be opened in your Absence, that my Sisters 
may know I am well. Sam Earle is incamped close to 
Head Quarters, so that I can see him often without any 
Inconvenience, he is highly spoken of by his commanding 
officers, as an officer of uncommon merit and Attention 
for his years. Gen 1 . Howe has made no one Move like an 
intended Attack, he like us is attending to his own Defence, 
he has thrown up Lines along his whole front from the 
East to the North River. There is one circumstance lately 
turned up which corroborates an opinion that I have long 
held, which is, that Gen 1 . Howe never had so strong an 
Army as was given out. The circumstance is this. One 
of our Cruisers to the Eastward has taken a Transport, 
one of six Sail, bound from New York to the "West Indies 
to bring the Garrisons from thence. We know that the 
Garrisons there were very much reduced before, and from 
the late favourable Disposition shown by the French Go- 
vernor to Cap'. Weeks, I should think our Garrisons in the 
Islands ought rather to be increased than diminished. 
Gen 1 . Sullivan is positive that in the present Situation of 
their affairs they cannot bring above 12000 Men to act 
against our Main Body, he makes the following Estimate. 
Their whole 20000 effective Men which I dare say is suffi- 
cient for the Casualties in a large Army are immense. 
3000 Men are destined for the Garrison of New York. 
1900 are upon Staten Island. About 1200 up and down 
upon Long Island, as many upon Bergen and there is a 

142 Correspondence. 

considerable Number upon Montresors & Buchanans Is- 
lands. If so Sullivan is right, and this corresponds with 
the Intelligence we have rec d . from others. Yesterday 
Morning we had Occasion to bring off a parcel of Hay and 
Grain from Harlem, to effect this with Safety, a covering 
party of 1000 Men were ordered under Arms. As the 
Enemy could plainly discover our Men marching towards 
their right Flank, I believe they imagined an attack was 
intended upon their Lines, they immediately beat to arms, 
struck their Tents and manned their Lines. Upon per- 
ceiving our real Intentions they let us alone, set down 
again and let us bring off the Grain. I really think Mat- 
ters look like a bloodless Campaign. I mean as to any- 
thing general 

I am your most dutiful & Affect. Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters Harlem Heights 7 th . Octob 1776. 
Hon d . Sir 

I yesterday rec d . two Letters of the 27 th and 28 th . Sep r . 
it makes me exceedingly unhappy to think that my 
Situation, which is not more dangerous than that of any 
other Man in this Army, should make you and my Sisters 
so uneasy. I know it proceeds from your Affection for 
me and therefore I feel it more sensibly. I am detained 
here by no particular Engagements entered into with the 
General, solar from it, that tho' he has repeatedly told 
me I ought to have a Compensation for my Services, I 
have refused, telling him, that as I only intended to stay 
with him as long as the active part of the Campaign lasted, 
I wished to serve as a Volunteer. If I had no other Tie 
than that of Honour I could not leave the Armyjnst now, 
but there is another if possible more binding with me. 
The General has treated in a Manner the most confiden- 
tial, he has intrusted me and one other Gentleman of his 

Correspondence. 143 

Family, his Secretary, with his most private Opinions on 
more Occasions than one, and I am sure they have been 
given in a different Manner than they would have been 
to some others that the World imagines have great In- 
fluence over him. Was I to leave him now, crowded as 
he is by Business, of good part of which I am able to re- 
lieve him, would not my conduct appear suspicious to him, 
would it not look as if I had ingratiated myself with him 
purposely to make myself Master of his Secrets, and then 
to take an Advantage. The season will soon arrive when 
every Man not in any particular Command may leave the 
Army with Credit, and till that I cannot think of returning 
home. With respect to what you mention of Mr. Morris's 
wanting our Books to ascertain the Amount of any Debt, 
he should by all Means have them, there are no Secrets 
in them. The Bond of Gibbs to Phil Francis is in my 
Iron Chest among some papers tied up and indorsed 
''belonging to P. F" — We shall see this Winter how 
Matters are like to settle, if I live, I can then determine 
what is to be done in the Way of Business. I would chuse 
to hold fast what I have got till things are upon a more 
certain Foundation than they are at present or have been 
for some time. 

The two Armies are as quiet as if they were a Thousand 
Miles apart, it begins to look very like an inactive Cam- 
paign. Nothing will make me so happy as to hear that 
your fears on my Account are more composed, I have 
wrote to my Sisters endeavouring to pacify theirs. 
I am y r . most dutiful & affec*. Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters Harlem Heights 13 tb Octob, 1776. 
Hon d . Sir 

I have just time to acknowledge the Rect. of your two 
Letters. All our attention is taken up in watching the 

144 Correspondence. 

Motions of the Enemy who moved a considerable part of 
their Army up the Sound yesterday and landed them at 
a place called Frogs point. By their not moving from 
thence it looks as if they wanted to divert our Attention 
while some other Object is in view. By Letters last Night 
from Boston we have the following Acct. taken from a 
London print of the 28 th Augt. "the Spaniards had invaded 
Portugal which has thrown the Ministry and Nation into 
the greatest Consternation. A Vessel is taken from 
London with a Cargo of £37000 Stirling on Board and not 
a day passes but a Victualler, State Ship or some other 
prize is carried in — 

I am in Haste 

Y rs most dutifully & affect ly 

Tench Tilghman. 

Valentines Hill 4 Miles from Kingsbridge 
22 d October 1776. 
Hon'' Sir 

"We have been so much upon the move since Gen 1 . Howe 
bent his Course up the Sound, that I have not had time 
to set down to write you a Line. The Enemy hug the 
Shore and we keep close upon their left Flank which 
prevents their turning over towards the North River which 
is evidently their Design, we still keep our old post at 
Harlem. Yesterday Morning Major Rogers advanced 
with his Regiment of Rangers to a little Town called 
Maroneck where we had had some Stores, but they were 
removed. The Militia posted there, ran away as usual, 
which put Rogers in a State of perfect Security. The 
General judging the thing would be so, detached Major 
Green with 150 Men from the l Bt & 3 d Virginia Regiments 
and Col 1 Haslet with 600 from his own and other Regi- 
ments to fall upon Rogers in the Night, which they did 
and put him and his Party intirely to the Rout, and had 

Correspondence. 145 

not the Guides posted Haslet wrong the whole party con- 
sisting of 400 must have fallen into our Hands. As it was, 
they brought in 36 prisoners, 60 Arms and a good many 
Blankets, they counted 25 killed in one Orchard, how 
many got off wounded w T e dont know. As they were near 
their main Body it would not do to pursue. "We have 12 
Men wounded among them Maj r Green in the Shoulder 
and Cap'. Pope slightly. We are just setting off for the 
White riains where the General intends to fix Head 
Quarters for the present. 

I am y rs most dutifully & affect ly 

Tench Tilghman. 

White Plains 31 st October 1776. 

Hon d . Sir 

As all Accounts of Actions are much exaggerated be- 
fore they reach you, I always take the earliest Opportu- 
nity of informing you of the Truth and at the same time 
of letting you know that I am safe and well. On Monday 
morning we rec d . Information that the Enemy were in 
Motion and in march towards our Lines, all our Men were 
immediately at their Alarm Posts and about 2000 detached 
to give the Enemy as much annoyance as possible on their 
Approach. There were likewise a few Regiments posted 
upon a Hill on our Right, of which we had not had time 
to throw up Works, which Hill commanded our Lines 
which were but slight and temporary ones. About Noon 
the Enemy appeared full in our Front in vast Numbers, 
their Light Horse reconnoitered our Lines, and I suppose 
not chusing to attack them, filed off towards the Hill, on 
which they began a most furious Cannonade, followed by 
a heavy Column of Infantry, our Troops made as good a 
Stand as could be expected and did not quit the Ground, 
till they came to push their Bayonets. We lost about 100 
killed and wounded. Smallwoods Regiment suffered most, 

146 Correspondence. 

be himself is wounded in the Hand and Hip hut not badly. 
Cap*. Braco and Scott killed. From all Accounts of De- 
serters and prisoners the English Army suffered more 
than we did, for as their Body was large, the Shot from 
our Field pieces and Musquets, could scarcely miss doing 
damage. Six of their Light Horse Men were killed and 
one of the Horses, a very fine one, taken by one of Miles's 
Officers and made a present to the General — Content with 
the possession of the Hill, they sat down about Six hun- 
dred yards from us and have never fired a Gun since. We 
have moved all our Tents and Baggage and Stores before 
their Faces, and have put them on the Heights just above 
the plain where they at first were. Every Motion of 
Gen 1 . Howe since he first landed has evidently been to get 
in the Rear of this Army, and destroy them by cutting off 
their Communication for Supplies from the Country. To 
do this will be extremely difficult if not impracticable, all 
the Ground he has gained from the Sound Westward, is 
but about Six Miles and that thro' an open Country where 
we never thought of attacking them on Account of their 
great Train of Artillery. They have now just reached 
the Hills, winch are very high and broken, and of Conse- 
quence their Motion must be very slow, as we have 
taken all the Passes. Their heavy Horse from England 
are all ruined on the passage, we took a Commissary 
last Night who informs us that 000 Horse were em- 
barked, they were on Board 26 weeks, 500 died on 
the Passage and 400 were landed yesterday reduced 
to Skeletons. This is a monstrous Disappointment to 
them — Much has been said of the Clemency of the British 
Army, at first landing they attempted to restrain the Sol- 
diery, at least from hurting what were deemed Tories, but 
the Hessians would not be restrained, they made no Dis- 
tinction and Gen 1 . Howe dare not punish them. The 
British Troops seeing the Foreigners rioting in plenty and 

Correspondence. 147 

plundering all before them, grew restless and uneasy, and 
are now indulged in the same Excesses. The people who, 
tho' informed against as Tories, were protected by Gen 1 . 
Washington and paid for what they would sell, have come 
in and informed us that they were stripped of their all 
whenever the Enemy advanced upon them. The For- 
eigners who have been taken, all agree that a Liberty of 
plunder without Distinction is what they expect and insist 
upon. New York was set on fire by a Party of them who 
robbed a Rum Store and set the Fire a^oino; in their 
Liquor. After this, which is strictly true, can they ask 
the Americans to lay down their Arms, before such a li- 
centious Crew are removed ? We are on Horseback or 
busy from Sun Rise to Sun Set, and all the time I find to 
write is at Night. I met with an Accident at Harlem 
Heights which I look upon as irreparable, I mean the loss 
of my faithful saddle Horse, who died in a few Hours, from 
every Appearance in high Order and Spirit. I had rode 
him gently most of the day and never observed him fail, 
but about two Miles from Head Quarters. I suppose it 
must have been Bots. I have mounted myself upon a 
pretty Mare, that will make an excellent Breeder, if I get 
her safe home. My best love to my Grandmother and 
Sisters and all my Friends, I would write oftener to them 
and to you, but as I said before I have not time. 
I am with the greatest affection 

Y r . most dutiful son 

Tench Tilghman. 

(Envelope addressed to 
James Tilghman Esq. 

Head Quarters near Coryels Ferry, 16 th Decern 1 * 1776. 
Hon d . Sir. 

A Gentleman from philad* somo days ago informed me 
that- you wore gone to Maryland with my Sisters, but Gen 
Sinclair who is just come up, tells me you are still in Town. 

148 Correspondence. 

The Motions of the Enemy for a clay or two past looks 
like going into "Winter Quarters, and the Accounts brought 
in by prisoners confirm it — A Captain Murray who was 
prisoner at New York, and came out by Exchange yester- 
day, told Col Cadwallader that he saw Andrew, John and 
William Allen at Trenton, M°Pherson who by some means 
got over the River to Trenton, told Gen 1 Washington that 
he had seen Andr w Allen there, but this we did not believe 
till the Account seemed confirmed by Cap' Murray. If 
this should not be true, the Gentlemen should contradict 
it as early and publicly as possible, otherwise mischief may 
ensue, for people will perhaps insist that they have been 
over to make their peace in a private way — Lee was picked 
up a few days ago in a strange Manner for so old a Soldier, 
he knew he was in a Country full of concealed Enemies, 
and still trusted himself three miles from his Army with 
only a Guard of a dozen Men — I despair of seeing Philad* 
till the General goes there himself, Business seems to mul- 
tiply upon him as the Campaign draws to an end, indeed 
the Weight of the whole War may justly be said to lay 
upon his Shoulders — I just snatch a time while others arc 

at Dinner to say 

I am y r . dutiful & AfYec' Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

(Envelope Addressed to 
James Tilghman Esq. 

Head Quarters, Newtown 27 tu . Decern 1 . 1776. 
Hon d . Sir 

I have the pleasure to inform you that I am safe and 
well after a most successful Enterprise against three Regi- 
ments of Hessians consisting of about 1500 Men lying in 
Trenton, which was planned and executed under his 
Excellencys immediate command. Our party amounted 
to 2400 Men, we crossed the River at M°Konkcys Ferry 
9 Miles above Trenton, the Night was excessively severe, 

Correspondence. 149 

both cold and snowey, which the Men bore without the 
least murmur. We were so much delayed in crossing the 
River, that we did not reach Trenton till eight Clock, 
when the division which the General headed in person, 
attacked the Enemy's out post. The other Division which 
marched the lower Road, attacked the advanced post at 
Phil. Dickinsons, within a few minutes after we began 
ours. Both parties pushed on with so much rapidity, 
that the Enemy had scarce time to form, our people ad- 
vanced up to the Mouths of their Field pieces, shot down 
their Horses and brought off the Cannon. About 600 
run off upon the Bordentown Road the moment the At- 
tack began, the remainder finding themselves surrounded 
laid down their Arms. We have taken 30 Officers and 
886 privates among the former Col . Rahls the Command- 
ant who is wounded. The General left him and the other 
wounded Officers upon their parole, under their own Sur- 
geons, and gave all the privates, their Baggage. Our Loss 
is only Cap'. Washington and his Lieutenant slightly 
wounded and two privates killed and two wounded. If 
the Ice had not prevented Gen 1 . Ewing from crossing at 
Trenton Ferry, and Col Cadwalader from doing the same 
at Bristol, we should have followed the Blow and drove 
every post below Trenton. The Hessians have laid all 
waste since the British Troops went away, the Inhabitants 
had all left the Town and their Houses were stripped and 
torn to pieces. The Inhabitants about the Country told 
us, that the British protections wonld not pass among the 
Hessians. I am informed that many people have of choice 
kept their Effects in Philad*. supposing if Gen 1 . Howe got 
possession that they would be safe, so they may be, if he 
only carries British Troops with him, but you may depend 
it is not in his power, neither does he pretend to restrain 
the Foreigners. I have just snatched time to scrawl these 
few lines by Col°. Baylor, who is going to Congress — 
I am your most dutiful and Affect. Son 
20 Tench Tilgiiman. 

150 Correspondence. 

Head Quarters Newtown 29 Decern 1 1776 
Dear and Hon d . Sir 

Yours is this moment put into my Hands but you 
would receive mine by Col . Baylor giving you a full 
Account of the Affair at Trenton a little after you dis- 
patched the Messenger — "We are just going over to 
Jersey again in pursuit of the Remainder of the Hessian 
Army who have left Bordentown — The General waits 
while I write this much. My most affect, love to my 


I am y r most dutiful Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters Morris Town 11th Jan y . 1777. 
Hon d . Sir. 

It generally happens that when an opportunity to Philad* 
offers, my time is taken up with the public dispatches. 
Since our lucky Stroke upon the Enemy's rear at prince- 
town, they have evacuated all their posts in Jersey ex- 
cept Amboy and Brunswic, where they are pent up almost 
destitute of Provision, Fuil and Forage. Depending upon 
the whole province of Jersey for supplies this winter, they 
bad established no general Magazine, but ordered small 
ones to be laid up in and about the several Towns ; all 
these have fallen into our hands. We found most of the 
Mills on Raritan full of Flour, laid up for the British Com- 
missaries. There is no good Blood between the English 
and Foreigners, the former tax the latter with Negligence 
in thu loss of Trenton, which they say is the cause of their 
Misfortunes. I rcc d a parcel of hard money from you for 
Hackets Son, but as most of the prisoners taken at Fort 
Washington are sent out, I think it likely that Hacket 
may be among them, if so, sending in the money would 
probably be to lose it. I will therefore keep it till I hear 
more of the Matter. Whenever you write to or sec my 
Sisters remember me most affect y . to them. 

1 am most dutifully and Affect/. Y rs 

Tench Tilguman. 

Correspondence. 151 

Head Quarters Morristown 22 d . Feb y . 1777 
Hon d Sir 

I yesterday had the pleasure of receiving yours of the 
10 th with one from my Sister inclosed. I do not write to 
you so regularly as I otherwise would, because you are 
often absent from Philad". and my letters would probably 
miscarry for want of being regularly forwarded from 
thence. I will in future put them under cover to M r . 
Morris, who will deliver them to you if you are in town 
and if you are in Maryland send them carefully to you. 
Send any for me to him and he will forward them with 
the Generals packets. I wish you had mentioned what 
my Brother James's Views are in going to the West 
Indies, I imagine it must be to the Foreign Islands, if so, 
perhaps I might procure him Credentials that would be 
very serviceable to him. I think with you that the pros- 
pect of peace is not very near at hand, but I am of the 
opinion that I ever entertained, that its owing to a want 
of Unanimity in the people. After the two successful 
Blows at Trenton & princetown, had the Army which we 
had with us at the latter only remained entire, I am con- 
fident, that Gen 1 . Howes army could not have remained 
in Jersey. But ours were mostly Militia and the Fatigue 
that they had undergone made them anxious to get home. 
If the whole of the last Campaign when the British Army 
was in its Zenith, was spent in a fruitless endeavour to 
bring ours to engagement, which they once had a fair op- 
portunity of at the "White plains, what are they to do the 
ensuing Campaign, when their Army is reduced by killed, 
wounded, prisoners, deserters and the common Casualties 
from twenty odd thousand to Sixteen thousand which is 
their utmost extent. For as Deserters from every Corps 
in their Army have fallen into our hands and every now 
and then orderly Books and Returns, we can from all 
these form a very good Estimate of their Numbers. One 

152 Correspondence. 

capital Loss they have me1 which is an irreparable one, 
their Horses, which are reduced to the lowest Ebb, and 
must in all probability perish before next Grass. Gen'. 
Dickinson took upwards of an hundred of them six Weeks 
ago and they were then almost upon the lift as we 
call it. I know you are of opinion that the accounts 
of the plundering of the British and Hessian Army is ex- 
aggerated, but indeed it is not only confirmed by the peo- 
ple of the Country, but by the British Officers who we 
have taken, who confess it freely. I will give you a proof 
of what was intended had Philadelphia fallen into their 
Hands, and which I have from an intercepted Letter that 
fell into my Hands in a most wonderful way. When the 
British Army lay at Trenton an Officer of ours w r ent in 
with a Flag. A letter was given to him unsealed for a 
Gentleman in Philad". The General desired me to in- 
spect it. I thought I knew the hand, but the Name I did 
not, the Style was mysterious and unintelligible except to 
those in the Secret. This raised all our Suspicions and 
we w'ere determined to unravel it. Chancing to hold 
the letter near the fire, new Characters began to appear, 
and we soon discovered that the whole Sheet was fully 
written with some composition that appeared when 
warmed. It was from a Gentleman nearly connected with 
our family and gave an account to his Friends of the in- 
tentions of the Enemy. The River was to be crossed upon 
the Ice and the Army marched directly to Philad '. when 
every house, which the owners had left, was to be given 
up to be plundered, and the Gentleman pressed all his 
Friends and Acquaintance to remove in. I own I was 
shocked at the thoughts of what would be the Conse- 
sequence were they to get into the Town. Soldiery once 
let loose are not easily restrained, and as they w r ould 
probably have found the Houses empty of People, empty 
of Goods, rather than have been disappointed of their prey, 

Correspondence. 153 

they would have fallen on without Distinction. Who is 
safe while an Army kept for such purposes remains in a 
Country. From the Moment I saw the first proclamation, 
I was convinced, no terms were to be expected but blind 
Submission, and from that Moment I was determined 
never to submit to them. I wish the Situation of Affairs 
would permit me to leave the General for a little time, the 
Weight of his Business falls upon M r . Harrison and my- 
self, but as he (M r . Harrison is often troubled with a most 
painful disorder, the piles) I then work double tides. My 
Absence is doubtless some detriment to my private Affairs 
but not much. Debts in the hands of good people are 
paid in. There are Securities for others and those that 
are unwilling to pay could not be compelled were I at 
home. I have the happiness and satisfaction of feeling 
that I have contributed largely by my personal application 
to the Cause in which I am engaged and which I am cer- 
tain will end in the Freedom of this Country which I hope 
to see a happy and settled one. If it pleases God to spare 
the life of the honestest Man that I believe ever adorned 
human Nature I have no doubt of it. I think I know the 
Sentiments of his heart and in prosperity and Adversity I 
never knew him utter a Wish or drop an expression that 
did not tend to the good of his Country regardless of his 
own Interest. He is blessed wherever he goes for the 
Tory is protected in person and property equally with the 
Whig. And indeed I often think more, for it is his Maxim 
to convert by good Usage and not by Severity. If we 
succeed I am in no fear of making myself ample amends 
for my lost time. If we fail, anything in this Country is 
not worth a thought. I know we do not agree in political 
Sentiments quite, but that I am convinced does not in the 
least abate that ardent Affection which I have for you and 
which makes me happy far happier than any other title 

when I call myself 

Y r most dutiful Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

154 Correspondence. 

P.S. pray let me know whether Ned Shippen got safe 
home, I procured his Release that day our Armies engaged 
at Trenton. I do not think the M r A — s used him kindly, 
it' they carried him with, them from home, they should not 
have left him at his time of life at Trenton. 

Head Quarters Morris Town 17 th March 1777. 
Hon d Sir 

I had, a few days ago, the pleasure of yours of the 28 th 
last month. My Brother James only tells me he is going 
to the West Indies, but does not say where or upon what 
prospects. M r . Morris writes that the Ships of War have 
left Chesapeak, if so, he may get out if he is ready. The 
concealed Letter which I mentioned in my last, was never 
sent to any public Body, the Substance only was. I cannot 
forget or be mistaken in that part which relates to plun- 
dering of all Houses where the Inhabitants should not be 
found in them, and the Gentleman particularly desires that 
one or two of his Friends may remove back to Town, and 
that a guard may be set over his Store and information 
given to whom it belonged to save the Effects that were in 
it. You say supposing Gen 1 How has but Sixteen thou- 
sand Men, can you look such a Force in the face ? I answer 
yes, when the new Army draws together, which will be 
much more respectable than has ever been in the held 
yet, because, they will be men enlisted for a length of time 
and therefore free from all these whims and caprices which 
ever attend Troops, who are scarcely collected before they 
disband again. There has likewise been a prodigious re- 
form among the Officers — But you must remember that 
if Gen 1 . Howe takes the Field, he cannot carry anything 
near that Number of Troops with him, without abandon- 
ing all the Conquests of last Campaign. New York must 
be garrisoned, and pretty strongly too. Long Island must 
have a considerable Number of men upon it next Summer, 

Correspondence. 155 

or the people of New England will be, making descents 
and hinder them from bringing off supplies. Gen 1 Howe 
must leave Brunswic or Amboy fortifyed in his Rear, to 
retreat to in case of an Accident, or he will forfeit all pre- 
tensions to the name of General. These deductions weaken 
an Army considerably, and so much, that I am of opinion, 
that if Gen 1 . Howe has any reason to expect Reinforcements 
he will not open the Campaign till they arrive. And I 
do not think that the Face of Affairs in Europe, looks as 
if Great Britain could spare more Men towards the re- 
duction of America. 

You mistook Gen 1 . Washington's meaning in what you 
refer to. He forbad any of the Military, upon severe 
penalties, from plundering or appropriating the Effects of 
what are called Tories, giving as a Reason, that they had 
nothing to do in the matter. If these people had trans- 
gressed the Laws or Regulations of the State in which 
they live. The Civil power was to judge of that and not 
the Military. The publication in the 1ST Yk paper respect- 
ing the treatment of Doc r . Brown is a most infamous 
Falshood. Upon an information ag*. the Doctor, the 
General desired he might come up to Morris Town, 
he came up with no other guard than an Officer, he was 
here a day or two, but no more a prisoner than I was. 
He chose to go to New York and did remove with his 
Effects, some Medecines that he did not carry with him 
were bought by us. There are some Gentlemen in New 
York who ought to contradict any Reports of the Generals 
inhumanity for their families have experienced his Cle- 
mency and protection, I will particularly mention. Major 
Bayard and his Brother, M r . Apthorp, M r . 0. Delancy and 
some others, for all last Summer, while they were taking 
an active part with the Enemy, the General took particular 
pains to protect their Families and Estates, which never 
suffered in the least degree. The Constitution and Con- 

156 Correspondence. 

duct of Pennsylvania is what all the World cries out 
against. Such Errors must reform themselves. But yet 
I think the Gentlemen who were formerly in Office are 
somewhat to blame. From the first of this dispute, they 
were all backward, and rather discountenanced than gave 
any assistance to an opposition, that certainly, in the Eyes 
of the warmest friends of Administration was at first war- 
rantable. I saw plainly how Matters would go, and that 
our provincial Affairs, for want of able pilots, would end 
in distraction — I do not think it yet too late to over set 
this Cabal, for so it is properly called, but it can only be 
done by Men of Sense and Rank stepping forth determined 
to give opposition to the power at present hanging over 
with undoubted intent to first subjugate and then Rule 
with a Rod of Iron. I will write to M r . Allen by the first 
Flag and enquire for Letters. A packet arrived a few 
days ago some of the Letters of the 2 d January, that were 
sent out open to the General to be forwarded mention the 
press for seamen as very hot and all things bearing the 
Appearance of War in Europe — 

I am Dear and honoured Sir 

Y rs . most dutifully & Affect y . 

Tench Tilguman. 

Head Quarters Morris Town 29 th March 1777. 
Hond. Sir 

I last Night had the pleasure of yours of the 20 th but 
as this happens to be a crowded day of Business I cannot 
find time to say as much as I could wish upon the present 
public Situation of Affairs. Desertions from the British 
Army arc daily and numerous. No information can be 
go1 from, these people, but what they sec. Gen 1 Howe is 
fortifying Brunswicand Amboy strongly and from Appear- 
ance seems determined to act upon the defensive till he is 
again reinforced. But from the Face of European Affairs 

Correspondence. 157 

I do not think it probable that a large one can be spared. 
I am afraid that the Ministry will have so much upon their 
hands, that East India Affairs will be delayed and that my 
Brother will remain in suspence. The uncertainty of his 
Friends keeping their Establishments, was what I always 
looked upon as the greatest Block in his way — A War 
with France, which you may depend upon is inevitable, 
must unhorse the present Ministry and all their Connec- 
tions. France has been wisely weighing the Value of that 
Commerce which Eng*. has madly lost. She has had the 
ablest Heads and hands at Work to find out the annual 
exports of European Commodities to America and the 
Value of the imports of America to Europe. She has 
been taking means to establish the Manufacture of such 
Goods as America usually took from Great Britain, and is 
determined to send out those Goods in their own Bottoms 
guarded by their own Ships of War. I dont expect to see 
a declaration of War by France, she will pursue the above 
Measures and if England can sit tamely by and bear the 
insult — She is lost indeed — lam sorry that my Sisters 
should have so seriously taken to heart any expressions in 
my last letter, I never meant any such thing. I suppose 
what affected them was, that I desired, if any Accident 
happened to me that they would share among them some 
little Matters of Mine by way of Memorial. But by their 
mode of Reasoning, a Man should never make his Will. 
I will write to them the first leisure hour and set all to 
rights again — I wrote to M* pearce myself and let him 
know that if he had not purchased a Horse for me, he might 
let it alone. I will have my Mare up again the latter End 
of April and send down the Horse I purchased. He is a 
fine Creature for the Saddle as ever was crossed and will 
make a fine covering Horse. I imagine M r pearce will 
keep him the Season, if he does and you like the Breed, T 
beg you may send any or all your Mares to him. 
.j 1 

158 Correspondence. 

I shall have an opportunity of writing to Mr r . A. Allen 
next Wednesday, when I will desire him to inquire for 
Letters from my Brother upon the arrival of every packet 
from England. 

I am most dutifully & Affect* Y rB . 

Tench Tilghman. 
Head Quarters Morris Town 21 st April 1777. 
Hon d . Sir 

I late last night rec d yours of the 21 8t . The Contents really 
make me exceedingly unhappy as I find myself unable to 
agree with you in Sentiment upon the present Measures. 
A Move of the Ships of War and some Transports up the 
North River and something like a Movement at Amboy 
and Brunswic towards the same quarter engages the at- 
tention of the General and all about him at this time, we 
shall in a day or two see whether it is real or a diversion, 
as I expect. I will after that meet you with great plea- 
sure and fix upon a time. I thank you much for the 
trouble you have been at on account of my Horse, but I 
have got M r . Lowery to keep him for me. I wrote to M r . 
Pearce by the last post to send my Mare to Philad*. to 
Hiltzeimers, who will forward her immediately by one of 
his Expresses. I will say nothing upon the Score of Poli- 
tics because it is a subject that ought not at this time to 
be discussed upon Paper. I wish it might be dropped in 
all future letters between us, because they may probably 
fall into other hands than mine. I know your sentiments 
proceed from a Conviction that present measures are 
wrong and therefore hurtful to the Country, to the wel- 
fare of which I am sure you are at heart a sincere good 
Wisher, but all will not make the same allowance — I am 
with unfeigned Affection 

y r . most dutiful Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

Correspondence. 159 

Head Quarters Morris Town 10 th May 1777 
Hon". Sir 

I Lad the pleasure of yours by Gen' Woodford. Mr 8 . 
Washing-ton sets out for philad*. in a day or two, if Matters 
remain as quiet as they are at present I shall attend her 
so for on her Journey. She is at present a little indis- 
posed, but if she is better, she will set out on Monday. I 
hope your Business will not oblige you to go to Maryland 
before I reach Philad\ 

I am y r \ dutifully & affect*. 

Tench Tilghman. 

Camp at Middle Brook 10 th June 1777. 
Hon Sir, 

I was much disappointed at finding your letter in 
Philad 8 . instead of yourself. I wrote to you by the post, 
but you must have missed the Letter. I am afraid I shall 
be obliged to be in or near Philad". soon in a way rather 
disagreable, as every thing looks like a move of Gen'. 
Howe's Army that Way. We for some time thought 
that his Views were up the North River, but by a late 
preparation of Transports both for Horse and Foot, he is 
certainly going a short Voyage, and Philad a . I think must 
be the object — Whether any part of his Army will move 
by land is uncertain. We have had a vast number of de- 
serters for many days past, they all agree that the whole 
Army are under orders to hold themselves in readiness to 
embark, but such orders are sometimes issued to deceive — 
No reinforcements, except a few recruits, have arrived yet 
from Europe, and I can hardly think that Gen 1 . Howe, if 
he expects any, will move before they do arrive. His 
Army from losses at different times, the sicklyness of his 
foreign Troops during the Winter, and the natural dimi- 
nution of all Armies, is considerably reduced. If we 
should be thrown any time into Philad 8 . and you should 

160 Correspondence. 

not be there, I will take care that the House is put into 
good Hands. I think if my Grandmother is not returned 
to Maryland she had Letter do it before a time of hurry 
and confusion which will certainly happen if the Armies 
draw that way — Be kind enough to tell M r . Allen that I 
delivered his message to the General and that I have made 
what enquiry I could concerning his son John's having 
taken a Reg*, but that I can hear nothing more of it. I 
am therefore inclined to think that the deserter mistook 
John Allen for Isaac Allen — Make my affectionate love 
and regard to my Sisters, and be assured I am 

Y r most dutiful Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

Camp at Paulius Hill 6 th . October 1777. 
Hon 3 . Sir 

I have the pleasure to inform you that I am well after 
a pretty severe action at Germantown on the 4 th . The 
attack was general, and had not the excessive fogginess 
of the morning hindered our Wings from knowing of the 
Success of each other it would have ended in a total 
defeat of Gen 1 . Howe. When he came into the field he 
found matters so far against him that orders were given 
to make Chester the place of Rendezvous in a Retreat. 
The Attack was made upon two Quarters at day break. 
The right wing commanded by his Excellency in person 
entered Germantoun by the way of Chestnut Hill, the 
first Guard was at Mount Airey, this was carried with- 
out much resistance, and the light Infantry and one or 
two Brigades being posted near, the action soon became 
severe, we pushed them by degrees from Mount Airey 
below the lane that leads by the Colledge. A party took 
post in Cliffdon House and did us considerable mischief 
from the Windows, the House must be much damaged 
by our Cannon shot of which a vast number was fired 

Correspondence. 161 

thro' it. Gen 1 Green who commanded our left Wing at- 
tacked nearly at the same time that we did, he surprised 
a Camp near the Market House and drove the Enemy 
across the town some towards Shippens Common and 
others down as far as Logans Hill. Had the day been 
clear everything was in our Hands, but one of our 
Columns pressing down were mistaken in the fog by part 
of Gen 1 . Greens for the Enemy, while ours mistook his 
Troops in the same Manner. This unluckily made both 
halt, and quickly occasioned both to retreat, without any 
real Cause. The Enemy, taking advantage of the cessa- 
tion of the pursuit, rallied their men and got up a Re- 
inforcement of the Hessian and British Grenadiers who 
had been in Philad a . We had brought no more ammuni- 
tion than the men could carry in their Cartouches and 
that being nearly expended and the Men fatigued with 
marching all Night we returned to our Camp. Gen 1 . Nash 
of the North Carolinians was the only Officer of distinction 
killed. Col . Stone is wounded in the leg and many other 
Officers, two of the Generals family are wounded. M r . 
Lawrens of Carolina slightly and M r . Smith of Virginia 
his leg broke. The Maryland Regulars bore the brunt of 
the day, they behaved amazingly well and suffered more 
in proportion than the others. We are informed the 
Enemy had one Gen 1 . Officer killed and one wounded. 
Col . Walcot and Col Bird it is said were also killed. 
They attribute their salvation to the Bravery of Lord 
Cornwallis, who rallied their Men and brought a Rein- 
forcement. Gen 1 . Howe was much blamed by the Army, 
who said they had been amused by him with an account 
that the Rebel Army was dispersed. We shall be rein- 
forced by near four thousand Men in two or three days 
from the Northern Army and from Virginia. We shall 
then try the fortune of another day. Make my thanks to 
Betsy for her letter which I rec d . by Cap*. Edmonston and 
believe me to be Your most dutiful & Affec'. Son, 


162 Correspondence. 

Head Quarters 3 d Decern 1 1777. 
Dear and honoured Sir 

Yours by Major Smyth reached me. I do not think 
there is much probability of Gen 1 Howe's leaving Philad*. 
If he does, his own wants must drive him off. Fortifyed 
as he is from River to River, four times our Numbers 
would be insufficient. He has now entirely drawn himself 
within his line, which extends from the Quarry Hill, thro' 
your pasture and those grounds, over to Batchelors Hall. 
They have burned all the Houses in the Vicinity of their 
lines, beginning with M r . Dickinson's. M r . Penns at Peel 
Hall has shared the same fate. They have not yet burned 
the Vine Yard and M r . Merediths but the Windows, 
Doors and Floors are all taken up. My Aunt Lawrence 
came out a few day ago and lias gone to Northampton. 
She says Gen 1 . Howes behaviour is extremely reserved. 
Most of the Gentlemen who remained in town, waited 
upon him. He received them cooly, and has never since 
taken the least notice of them — I had letters a few days 
ago from the Gov 1 , and M r . Chew, they were both well. 
I expect M rs . Perm will come out in a few days, she lias 
the Generals permission; who has very politely offered 
to permit any intercourse between the Gentlemen and 
their families that they chuse. Upon my Word from all 
accounts, They are much happier at the Union than they 
would have been in Philad a . We have no News except of 
the Evacuation of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. 
As I have wrote to M r . Earle and my Sisters by this con- 
veyance. I have only to assure you that I am 

most dutifully and atFect y y rs 

Tench Tilghman. 

I was made very happy by receiving a letter from Billy 
at Middletown in which he informs that he had got Phil 
from the Fleet. 

Correspondence. 163 

Head Quarters 27 th Feb y 1778. 
IIon d Sir, 

I had the pleasure of receiving yours of the 30 th 
January by M r S. Chew. That which was intended by 
M r . Buchanan came to me by the post, as did your last of 
the 5 th Current. When M r . Chew returned I was at Trenton 
on Business. If you want to write to M r . Shippen send 
your letter to me and I can forward it by a Flag. You 
will have seen or heard of M r . John Aliens Death. I 
imagine M r3 . Allen will hardly continue in your house and 
I therefore think you had better desire M r . Shippen to get 
some Gentleman to go into it if M rs . Allen leaves it. It 
will be a security to it, and prevent its being put to any 
public use. You ask me if I ever think of my private 
afiairs and what situation they are in ? I have the pleasure 
to inform you that I have taken all possible care of them 
and that I believe few people's considering the times are 
in so good. I have collected and secured in good hands 
about £8000. and for the greatest part of the remainder of 
our debts have Bonds and real securities. The partnership 
of F. & T. has only one debt in England something upwards 
of £1000 Sterling due to the Estate of M'.Heate which shall 
be discharged the Moment there is a possibility of remitting 
money to Europe. Part of the £8000 before mentioned 
belongs to S. C. & Co. for goods sold upon their account 
and part of the outstanding debts are likewise upon their 
accounts. My poor Uncle has indeed suffered cruelly and 
wantonly by the waste of war. I have not seen him, but 
he has given me a lively picture of his distress. Till he 
felt the stroke, he would not, like many others believe 
that a British Army could carry desolation with them. 
He had always by his own Expences and paying my Grand- 
mothers annuity and some other matters, drawn his full 
proportion of the profits of our Business and I believe, 
something more. But from the State I have given you 

164 Correspondence. 

you will perceive, that I have laid up enough to discharge 
all our Contracts, and if we ever see peaceable times again, 
enough to make me happy with my own industry. No 
ii inn can he content with less than I can, and I am con- 
fident you will do me the justice to say that none of your 
Children have made fewer calls upon you than I have 
done. If any of my Brothers have not hitherto been so 
fortunate as I have been, I would not even wish that you 
should deduct from them the extraordinary Expence they 
have been to you. It will be all the same to me in the 
end, for they should be welcome sharers to part of what- 
ever I should have, were they to want it — The pro- 
vision you intend to make for my Sisters is highly 
pleasing to me. I never could bear the thought of a 
woman being left in such a situation (if it could be 
avoided) as to be obliged to accept of an unworthy and 
disagreable match for want of subsistance. What you 
have done for Phil shall be most solemnly observed by 
me, but how ardently I wish that there had never been 
any occasion for so doing, and that the time may be far 
off before the trust devolves upon me — His first act was a 
boyish trick and might have been overlooked. But thank 
God he has chosen a service that will never throw him in 
my way as an Enemy — I will endeavour to forward a 
letter to him, if you send it to me. You will have all the 
European News in the next weeks Lancaster paper. You 
may judge of the Complexion of Affairs by the Speech and 
the subsequent debates. A number of seamen equal to 
the highest demand last war is called for. Surely this can- 
not be supposed solely for the American War, because her 
defence is only by land. The uncommon preparations by 
Prance, in Hie West Indies, cannot be for nothing. She 
has at least 8000 Men in her Eslands. But while she con- 
tinues to trade with us largely and openly I desire no 
more. Tho beyond a doubt a french war will in a great 

Correspondence. 165 

measure tend to put a stop to that in America. Lord 
Campden appears to me to be the only man in England 
who espouses our Cause from principle. lie has sacrificed 
his interest to his opinion and in that he has been uniform. 
All the others seem actuated by party Motives and per- 
haps were they in power would exercise similar Measures. 
Be pleased to make my compliments to M r . Earle and tell 
him when I find a private opportunity I will acknowledge 
his favors. My Sisters must wait till then also. Let them 
and my Brothers be assured of my love and be you assured 

I am Y r . most dutiful & Affect, Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters Valley Forge, 24 April 1778. 
Hon d . Sir. 

I do not know whether the irregularity of the post de- 
prived me of the pleasure of yours of the 18 and 23 d March 
untill a few days ago, but they did not come to hand before 
that time. "Were I to write you all the news and the 
amazing change that has lately taken place in the British 
politics, it would fill a volume. I must refer you to 
the paper, which I suppose will reach you next week, 
for the Copy of two intended Acts of parliament sent 
out by Lord North and his introductory Speech. The im- 
possibility of conquering America is plainly confessed, 
and because that cannot be effected, terms, giving up 
everything short of Independency, are at this time 
of day to be offered. That the former Commissioners 
had no other powers than those vested in them by the Act 
of Parliament is now a matter of certainty. This is the 
last effort to divide. General Howe goes home in a few 
days and Sir H. Clinton succeeds him. It is said Lord 
Amherst and General Murray are coming out for the land 
service and Admiral Keppell for the sea. I cannot say 

1G6 Correspondence. 

the truth of the last, but we have the first from Gen 1 . Howe 
himself in the course of a piece of Business which he 

transacted with Gen 1 . W n a few days ago relative to 

an exchange of prisoners — Lord North throws many ob- 
lique reflections upon Howes conduct. The letters pub- 
lished under General Washington's signature are not 
genuine. They are intended for the purposes you mention. 
He suspects Jack Randolph for the author, as the letters 
contain a knowledge of his family Affairs that none but a 
Virginian could be acquainted with — The Sentiments are 
noble and such as the General himself often expresses. I 
have heard him declare a thousand times, and he does it 
every day in the most public Company, that independence 
was farthest of anything from his thoughts, and that he 
never entertained the Idea untill he plainly saw that ab- 
solute conquest was the aim, and unconditional submission 
the terms which Great Britain meant to grant — If Ned 
Tilghman will send his Certificates for Cattle, properly en- 
dorsed, to me, I will procure payment for them. He should 
do it by a safe hand or they may be lost upon the way — 
I expect a few weeks will throw a vast light upon our Af- 
fairs, at present the papers tell all that I know. I shall 
take a pleasure in giving you the best information. — I 
began a letter to M r . Earle the 9 th of this Month, and shall 
continue it till I meet a private opportunity. It will con- 
tain abundance of Politics &c. and as I have not much time 
to spare upon my own account, I shall give you a pro- 
perty in it — I have sent in your letter to M r . Shippen. I 
have frequent opportunities of hearing that all our friends 
in Philad" are well, and it often lays in my way to do many 
acts of kindness to those of our acquaintance whom neces- 
sity has confined in that City — I am a letter in debt to 
inv Brother James which I will pay him at my leisure — 
My Sisters are in debt to me, and pray tell them so. How- 
ever, remember me most affectionately to them and my 

Correspondence. 167 

Brothers and be assured I am, Your dutiful and Affect. 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters Valley Forge 31 st . May 1778. 
Hon d . Sir 

I reed, yours by General Cadwalader and by Gen 1 . Dick- 
inson. I cannot say they gave me pleasure because at the 
time of writing them you seem to have been under very 
great uneasiness. — I will not undertake to dictate, but I 
wish for your own sake, that of your family, and the pre- 
servation of your fortune, you would think seriously of 
conforming to the law of the Country in which you are 
obliged to live. If you thought the Measures which have 
been pursued, wrong, you have done everything in your 
power to oppose them, not by acting, but by speaking your 
sentiments moderately and in such a manner, that even 
those of a different opinion have not blamed you. A Ma- 
jority of people upon this Continent are determined to 
support the independency of America, and a great Euro- 
pean Power has acknowledged and determined also to 
support them in it. Great Britain has herself in fact 
acknowledged the independency, for Sir Henry Clinton 
has this day informed the General that he is charged with 
dispatehes from Lord Howe the Kings Commissioner to 
Congress. What these dispatches contain I do not know. 
But formerly they foolishly disdained to mention the name 
of Congress but in the most contemptuous manner. Things 
being thus circumstanced, it is no more derogatory to your 
honour and Conscience to take an Oath of fidelity to the 
form of Government under which you live, than it is for 
a Member of any representative Body to take an Oath 
which lie had opposed in the House. He takes it because 
the Majority think it right — A few days ago M r . Secre- 
tary Matlock inclosed me your parole, and desired me to 

168 Correspondence. 

forward it to you, informing you that you were discharged 
from it and at liberty to act as you should judge best. I 
take it for granted that you have seen the law of the State 
of Pennsylvania which affects you, but lest you should not, 
I inclose you a single sheet which has the two material 
sections 1ST . 8 and 9. As you are out of the province, you 
may take time to consider well of it, and if you chuse to 
conform, which I hope in God you will, you may do it any 
time within ten days after you come in. The folly of the 
British Ministry in sending out terms after they knew 
we had concluded an Alliance with France, crowns all 
their former acts of Madness. The terms of our Alliance 
with France are generous to the highest degree, we are 
not even bound to give them an exclusive trade. We 
only engaged to assist them should they be drawn into a 
War with England on our Account. You always treated 
my intelligence of the intentions of france as chimerical. 
I could not speak plainer than I did consistent with 
my duty and the confidence which is reposed in me. 
But you may be assured, that not only France but the 
whole of her Connection are determined to support 
America ag*. Great Britain and whether she will be able 
to overpower us backed by such powerful Advocates you 
may judge from the Struggles we have heretofore made 
alone — The British Army leave Philad a . in a few days and 
leave hundreds to curse the wretched Situation into which 
they are drawn. They must stay exposed to the Resent- 
ment of their Countrymen, or go, dependent upon those 
who care not for them. I do not certainly know who of 
my former friends intend to remain. Andrew Allen takes 
his family with him. T. Coxe I am told intends to stay 
and take his chance. Many have came out and taken the 
Oaths. M r . Physic 1< was here to-day and took them. M r . 
Chew I am told intends to do the same, but I only have 
it from report. I do not well understand the Nature of 


my Brother James's case. If by his parole he is bound 
to return when called upon, he cannot with any propriety 
be asked to give any kind of information respecting what 
he saw while in the hands of the Enemy, either respecting 
persons or any other Matter. But if his parole was barely to 
remain at home and not bear Arms during this War, he is 
only bound to do that. The State have a right to call upon 
him to give Evidence or to do any other duty in common 
with other Citizens — These are the rules of Parole in the 
Army, and I believe what ought to govern every where 
else — A great quantity of Goods will be left in Philad a . 
and there you may supply yourself in a few days. You 
cannot make use of the mode you propose, I know Officers 
and others get them out of town but then it is ag\ orders 
and if they are found out the Goods are confiscated and 
the persons punished. Your letter shall be sent in to T. 
Coxe. Let matters get a little settled and I will engage to 
bring my rash and childish Brother home in safety pro- 
vided he will return — surely he will not wish to remain 
in a Service, in which, void of friends to push his future 
he may attain a Lieutenancy at the end of his life. His 
was the inconsiderate action of a Boy and as such I dare 
say I can get it overlooked, provided he does not persevere 
till he becomes a Man. I write in haste and incoherently. 
We are busy in preparing to march to the North River. 
The British Army goes first to New York, ours of course 
will be near them — Ten Regiments go to Jamaica — per- 
haps they may be too late — I shall not be surprised if all 
the Troops leave the Continent to save the Islands. 
France has ten thousand Men there ready to strike. I 
speak not vaguely. I know it as certainly, as I know the 
Returns of our own Army. You must make my excuses 
to M r . Earle, my Sisters and Billy for not writing to them. 
In fact I have not time. When we are fixed again, you 
shall hear from me, and have my opinions upon the ope- 

170 Correspondence. 

rations of the Campaign. I imagine at present it will be 
a quiet one. The British Army in New York will be too 
strongly posted to attack, and if they detatch to the West 
Indies they will be too weak to attack us. Adieu my dear 
and honoured Sir and believe me, your truly Aftec t . Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters Valley Forge 12 th . June 1778. 
Hon". Sir 

You will receive a letter with this, that has been wrote 
some days, but no opportunity has offered of sending it. 
The Commissioners have arrived since. They are Earl 
Carlisle, Gov r . Johnstone and M r . W. Eden. Their Secre- 
tary Doc r . Ferguson. Whether their powers are any 
greater than expressed in the Acts of parliament I do not 
know, but I suspect not, from the letters that Gov r . John- 
stone and M r . Eden have wrote to the General. They are 
full of compliment and even adulation, but they regret that 
they are not likely to have a personal acquaintance with 
him. Congress you know had, upon the Rec*. of the 
Copies of the Acts of Parliament determined not to nego- 
ciate but upon two Conditions, acknowledgment of Inde- 
pendence, or withdrawing of the Army — I have seen the 
parliamentary debates to the 10 Ul . of April. Parties were 
high and very violent. Stocks had fallen to 60 pC*. and 
Government was paying from 7 to 9 pc*. for Money. The 
Levies intended for America were going to Ireland, or 
were detained at home for self defence. Invective against 
the king open and avowed, and the abuse of the Ministry 
such in both Houses, that nothing but Wretches sunk be- 
low contempt, and who are conscious that they have ruined 
the Nation, could or would bear. It seems agreed on all 
hands that the American War cannot be supported in con- 
junction with a freneb one. The arrival of the Commis- 
sioners has postponed the evacuation of Philad". a little 

Correspondence. 171 

while, but I imagine it will soon take place. Under the 
present Situation of Affairs let me again press you to fol- 
low a step which several of your friends in similar circum- 
stances to yourself has taken. M r . Hamilton has taken 
the Oaths, and Charles Stewart told me to day that M r . 
Chew would take them as soon as he came into the Pro- 
vince. He says M r . Penn only hesitates because he thinks 
he might involve young M r . Penn. How this would be 
in law I do not know. But to see you at peace with and 
conforming to what is now the establishment of this 
Country would give me greater pleasure than anything 
I have experienced in a Contest, in which I have faithfully 
laboured, and by which I flatter myself I have assisted my 
friends and have gained some reputation to myself. I 
am Dear and Hon d . Sir 

Y r . most dutiful and Affec*. Son 

Tench Tilghman. 

Head Quarters Philad a 22 d June 1778. 
Hon d . Sir 

I have been here three days. Every thing is quiet and 
settled, and I think the sooner you come in the better. 
M r . Shippen wishes to see you. The British Army makes 
very slow marches thro' Jersey. Desertion from them 
is enormous. Two hundred have come in since yester- 
day morning and the numbers in Jersey are very great. 
Gen 1 . Washington has crossed the Delaware with his 
whole army, and is nearer to Amboy than Gen 1 . Clinton. 
The whole militia of Jersey are in arms, and I think Gen 1 . 
Clinton stands a fair chance of sharing the fate of Bur- 
goyne. I must leave town to-morrow or next day and I 
fear I shall not see you. 

I am y r3 dutifully and Affect 

Tench Tilghman. 

172 Correspondence. 

Pkilad\ 2 d . January 1779 
Hon d Sir 

I was much disappointed at finding your letter at this 
place instead of yourself. Our coming down was a thing 
of uncertainty and I could not therefore give you notice 
of it. I shall however have the pleasure of seeing you, 
for a longer time, and in a more agreeahle retired way, as 
soon as Col . Harrison returns from Virginia, which will 
be in February. The moment I heard that Phil was on 
board the Somerset when she stranded, I wrote to him, 
and put my letters under cover to Gen 1 . Gates that there 
might be no miscarriage. I desired him to write to you 
and to me, and to inform me whether he wanted any assist- 
ance in money matters, which I imagine he will not, as 
the Captains and all the Officers are together, and can 
have Credit for what they want. I have rec d . no answer, 
and am therefore fearful that the letters may have been in a 
mail from Boston which was taken a little time ago by a 
set of Villains who infest the mountains in Morris County, 
and carried into New York. I have the satisfaction to in- 
close you a letter from my Brother Richard which fortu- 
nately reached me just before I left the Camp. I am 
sincerely glad to find that his prospects are so favourable, 
and I only hope that his health may be continued. Poor 
Macrabbie you will see has fallen a Victim to the Climate ; 
Tho' he was always delicate — The October packet has 
arrived, but no News of any consequence. Parliament 
were not to meet till the 26 Novem r . by which time terms 
of pacification were to be prepared, and the mediating 
powers I suppose fully sounded. We may expect to hear 
some thing important from the West Indies in a short 
time, Count D'Estaing had arrived there and Byron has 
but lately gone off this coast. If the Count made good use 
of his time, he had nothing to oppose him by Sea. 
We shall leave this in a few days for Middle Brook. I 

Correspondence. 173 

sincerely wish you many and happy years being most duti- 
fully & aftec ty y rs . Tench Tilghman. 

Morris Town 12 th May 1780. 
My dear "Will. 

I had the pleasure of receiving yours by M r . Smith, who 
spent one evening with us, and proceeded the next morn- 
ing to Elizabeth Town. I was made exceedingly happy 
by hearing from my Father that Betsey and the Major had 
at length come to a determination agreeable to them both, 
and nothing would make a greater addition than being 
present upon the approaching occasion. But if urgent 
Business did not really intervene, I could not consistent 
with my reputation leave the Army at a time when some- 
thing active maybe expected — My Heart will be with 
you and that must suffice — I am not without hopes that 
I may keep a merry Christmas with you — I shall how- 
ever expect a minute account from you of the operations 
of the wedding Week — Alas poor Polly ! Hamilton is a 
gone man, and I am too old for his substitute — She had 
better look out for herself and not put her trust in Man. 
She need not be jealous of the little Saint — She is gone 
to Pennsylvania and has no other impressions than those 
of regard for a very pretty good tempered Girl, the 
daughter of one of my most valuable acquaintances. The 
Marquis de la Fayette has made us a most unexpected 
but Welcome Visit. He left france the 20 th March — 
Matters were perfectly quiet among the great Continental 
powers in Europe except those already engaged in the 
War. Holland determined upon a neutrality, and the 
Emperor and King of prussia who hold the Balance de- 
termined not to suffer any interference — I have luckily 
just heard of M r . Witherstandt who does not allow me a 
moment more than to say I am 

Y r . most Affect. Brother 

Tench Tilghman. 

(Letter addressed to Mr. William Tilghman at Chester Town Md.) 


1 74 Correspondence. 

Head Quarters New Windsor, 12 th June 1781. 
My dear "William 

I have rec d . yours of the 4 th . of June, which has heen in 
good measure answered hy My other letter herewith — 
The second letter which you appear to have written has 
not reached. I have given you my reasons why I would 
wish you to defer your "V/Dyage, " till you see what will 
become of the expected jSTegociation in Europe. It gives 
me pain to tell you that I cannot, Without subjecting my- 
self to censure, interfere in the least, in procuring your 
recommendations to go to England by the way of France 
or Holland. I am placed in as delicate a situation as it 
is possible for a Man to be. I am, from my station, 
Master of the most valuable Secrets of the Cabinet and 
the Field, and it might give cause of umbrage and sus- 
picion were I, at this critical Moment, to interest myself 
in procuring the passage of a Brother to England. Tho' 
I may know his intentions are perfectly innocent, others 
may not or will not. You cannot conceive how many at- 
tempts have been made, some time ago, to alarm the 
Generals suspicions, as to my being near his person — 
Thank God — He has been too generous to listen to 
them — and the many proofs I have given of my attach- 
ment have silenced every malignant whisper of the kind. 
As I never have given the least handle for censure, I am 
determined never to do it — Nothing will give me so much 
satisfaction as to hear that you defer your resolution for 
the present — If you still persist, you have the kindest 
wishes of 

Y r . most affectionate Brother 

Tench Tilghman. 
M r . William Tilghman Jr. 
Chester Town 


Correspondence. 175 

New Windsor 10 th : June 1781. 
My dear Brother, 

I had not the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 
27 th : of April untill three days past. What you mention 
is out of General Washingtons power to grant — all per- 
mits for Citizens to go within the lines of the enemy or 
beyond sea must be obtained from the Civil Authority of 
the State within which they reside — perhaps this may not 
reach you before you may have proceeded too far to 
recede — I mean as to having engaged a passage to Europe 
from Philad\ If you have not and will take my advice 
you will defer the matter 'till next Spring — There is the 
strongest probability that you will be able to put your 
resolution in execution then in a manner which can bring 
no reflexion upon your Connections or be of any future 
disadvantage to you — For you know very well that all 
are looked upon with Suspicion and jealousy who leave 
America to go to England and you also know that severe 
penal laws have been passed which affect the Estates of 
such persons. If then by waiting a few months you have 
a chance of avoiding both inconveniences I think you will 
do well to make the trial — The foundation of a peace is 
laid, and as Great Britain must by this time see that she 
cannot effect the conquest of this Country and that all the 
maritime powers of Europe are determined that she shall 
not, I imagine the mediating princes will not find much 
difficulty in bringing the contending parties to terms — 
Having been obliged to put off my visit in the Spring I 
cannot now think of it 'till the Campaign is over — If I 
survive it nothing shall prevent my seeing you all as soon 
as the Army goes into Quarters. I write to m}^ Father 
and the Girls you have therefore only to make my Com- 
pliments to all our Frieuds and acquaintance, and to 



forward the inclosed to M r . Chew and M r . Hall by the first 

I am your very Affectionate Brother 

Tench Tilghman. 

do tell our Brother the Major that as he is my junior 
Officer and a Man of more leisure than I am, I command 
him to open a correspondence with me. 

M r . Will m . Tilghman jun r . 
Chestertown M d .