Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

North, William (1755-1836) to Lewis Morris

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Log in
or
subscribe to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04829 Author/Creator: North, William (1755-1836) Place Written: Cabbin Point, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 25 January 1781 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 33.2 x 21 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Captain North as Inspector General in Virginia to Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as a New York State Senator. References Morris's letter of 1 January 1781. Sends his opinions on Virginia at the beginning of the campaign in that state. Criticizes the leadership of Governor Thomas Jefferson saying "Our Situation since we are here has not been so happy as it might be ... if the Head is in trouble, the members can not enjoy themselves." Goes on to say that he might think North Carolina in trouble, but "This State has every thing in its power but does nothing." Says Baron von Steuben has sent him minute details of the situation. Says British are at Portsmouth, where they will probably remain for the winter. Criticizes recent traitor Benedict Arnold saying "Arnold has not been molested, his Troops desert their characters & his are infamous but beasts as they are." Claims they marched through the settled part of Virginia for 100 miles. Mentions changes of rank and commands. Mentions his social life. Says the situation in New York is bad, but that Virginia will soon be in a similar condition "for the Supplies from this State move like Atlas." In a funny vein says "I capital badly - write badly spell badly -& by God being to look badly I think" and goes on to say "I write for more than one - I write for Worlds." Below place written it says Cabbin Point is " 25 miles below Petersburgh."

People: North, William, 1755-1836
Morris, Lewis, 1726-1798
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarMilitary HistoryPresidentDeclaration of Independence SignerGovernment and CivicsRevolutionary War GeneralSpyingTreasonMilitary Supplies

Sub Era: The War for Independence

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources