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XO THE HONORABLE
Written, during the War between the .
UNITED COLONIES And GREAT BRITAIN,
BY HIS EXCELLENCY,
COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE
-; P RE SI D.EN T of -he UNI TED STATES..,
Gopied, by Special Permiilion, from the Original Pipers preserved
L O N D ON:
PRINtED FOR CADEII JUNIOR AND DAVIES, G. G. AND J. RO-
RESPECTING the source from which the following letters have been drawn, and the grounds on which the reader is expected to rest his belief of their authenticity, it may be sufficient to inform him (and, for the truth of the assertion, to appeal to His Excellency, Thomas Pinckney, the American Minister Plenipotentiary), that permission was obtained from the proper authority, to transcribe, from the original papers preserved in the Secretary of State's office in Philadelphia, these and sundry other authentic documents relating to the contest between the colonies and the mother country, viz. Letters from the Commanders of the continental forces, and other persons employed in the public service,—intercepted Letters from British Officers and other adherents to the royal cause,—Communications from the Governors, Conventions, and Committees of the several American States,—Dispatches from Agents and Commissioners,—Instructions,—Reports of Committees of Congress,—parts of the Secret Journals hitherto unpublished,—and
various other pieces elucidative of the events which led to and finally established American Independence.
That permission was granted early in the year 1792, and immediate advantage was taken of the indulgence; though, from various circumstances, of little consequence to the reader to know, the publication has been so long delayed. Even at this late period, the editor contents himself with laying before the public but a part of the collection,—intending, if these volumes meet with a favorable reception, to continue the publication, and present his readers with a variety of interesting pieces penned by the leaders and principal agents in the American Revolution, and tending to throw light on many important transactions that have hitherto been either enveloped in total darkness, or, at best, but obscurely perceived, and imperfectly understood.
Some parts of these letters may perhaps appear too full of minutiŠ to interest that class of readers, who, unaccustomed to enter into the investigation of causes or consequences, delight only in recitals of battles, lieges, and other striking occurrences which constitute the more prominent features of history. But, to the reasoning philosophic reader, who wishes to explore the secret springs of action, —to trace events to their remote and latent causes, —to discover and examine the subordinate and collateral circumstances (oft trilling in appearance, and generally overlooked by the vulgar eye), which, in the struggles of contending nations, give