To his Excellency Joseph Reed, Esq. Sept. 18th, 1779
From the original letter at the New-York Historical Society.
Market Street Sept. 18th. 1779
I had the honor this morning of receiving by the hands of your Servant your favor of a printed copy respecting Govr. Johnstone’s offer, but the suddenness with which the bearer returned and my not understanding his message till I saw your name on the cover, occasioned that neglect of my thanks which I now request you to accept.
Mr. Matlack mentioned to me some time ago your design of publishing the particulars, and I signified to him my willingness to assist in arranging them (as I presume you cannot have much time for purposes of this kind) and the matter is such an Evidence of the principle on which their Commissionary Negotiation where intended to be carried on, that the making them fully known was highly necessary.
I did not, I believe, attend to Mr. Matlack’s message so much as I might otherwise have done, because it was somewhat indelicately introduced by his asking me How I lived? And consequently the subsequent part had more the appearance of employment than confidential friendship. Besides which I felt my disposition considerably hurt by the inattention shewn to me last winter, tho’ it must be easy to see that a great part of the opposition I had then to go through respecting Deane’s Affairs was from resentment to what I had published on the Constitution at a time the opposers of it were hoping to be successful.
I think I have done better by the State, than the State has by me; and I cannot but look upon it a reflection either on one the other, that after sharing in every difficulty and rendering every service in my power for more than four years, that the only State I have lived in in America, which must be supposed to know most of the matter and which had individually derived some assistance from me, should be so willing to receive and so very backward to acknowledge. I know it will do no good to publish these things, and unpleasant as they be to put up with I yet think it best to do so. But I confess myself unable to account for them and if there is any thing which I do not understand or have misconceived I should be glad to have it pointed out, for it is neither agreeable or useful to live under a mistake with those who have the same public object in view with myself.