To the Supreme Executive Council of the State of Pennsylvania September 28th, 1779
From the original letter at the New-York Historical Society.
To the Honorable The Supreme Executive Council of the State of Pennsylvania
Tho’ it has always been my disposition to render Service rather than to request it, yet the line of duty in which I have acted for four years past without profit or advantage to myself, has subjected me to numerous inconveniences which are now no longer in my power to support. — That I could have avoided them is a matter which I presume this board has no doubt of, nor of the apparent necessity there then was of relinquishing every Species of private emolument, for the purpose of supporting a Cause which originally rested on Honor and Principle; and so exceedingly cautious have I been in this, that there is not a private Soldier in the Service of America, during the Time in which I have been engaged in public affairs, who has not been a greater expense to government than myself. — To this State, individually, I have been no charge, altho’ some considerable portions of my time have been spent in her particular Service, at a period when she most required it, and many disadvantages have arose to me in consequence thereof.
I cannot but observe that the course of four years have produced no other Signature universally known and read here and abroad except that under which I have constantly published, and should my Situation be rendered such as shall obliged me to discontinue the part I have hitherto acted, it will not be easy to establish a new Signature that shall collect and keep the sentiments of the country together, should any future emergency arise, which to me appears very probable.
I conceive that the honor of a cause is considerably strengthened when those who have taken an early and active part therein cannot be accused of ambitious or interested Views, and tho’ it is not now within the compass of my abilities to make any further supplies of time and service, and as I am unwilling to qu(it - word torn) what I wish to support, and cannot consistently ply out of the State while I live within it. I have the liberty of mentioning my Situation to this Honble Board and to inform them, that with every disposition to serve a Cause I have been long engaged in, I have it not in my power to do it unassisted as I have hitherto done.
I am Honble Sirs your Obt. Humble Servt
Sept 28 1779