Letter from Whitmel Hill to Thomas Burke
Hill, Whitmel, 1743-1797
Volume 14, Pages 75-77
HON. WHITMEL HILL TO DR. THOMAS BURKE.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Richmond, Wednesday Night, Apr. 28th, 1779.
The sixth day after leaving you I arrived at this place, by which you will be sensible that I have let no time pass unimproved on
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my journey, being now one hundred and thirty miles from home, shall reach the end of my journey, at farthest, three days from this, so as to complete the whole journey in nine days. This I mention as a boast. I this day travelled sixty-five miles, and my little greys are as fresh as the first moment they started. So much for puff on my horses, which you know, among us Southern Gentry, is the principal subject of conversation. This day I parted with Gen. Nelson about one o'clock, when he took his route for New York. No Southern intelligence has yet reached me, but I believe, from what I can collect from the Inhabitants of Virginia, that the Militia of that State would not march to the South, even should their aid be really insisted on, so great is their aversion to Southern service. But to tell my opinion of this matter, I do not believe the Government of Virginia or even any other of the States so well established as our poor, neglected and despised State of North Carolina. In Virginia they will gasconade of the great exertions, but bring it to the test and you will find a greater proportion of our Militia in the field than of any other State on the Continent. The reason I cannot assign, it is not that we have exercised a greater degree of Rigor among the people than others, but is it not the having studied the Genius of the People and mingled with them in their own way we have fitted their duty to their inclinations, which has produced their unparalelled readiness to turn out on all occasions? But in this I assume too much, for it is not at least claiming some pretention to Wisdom, which, God knows, is a very rare engredient in our compositions. I have given you enough of this stuff, which serves to fill a page in this incoherent epistle. I must confess my matter was exhausted, having wrote you twice before this since I left Philadelphia.
With this you will have enclosed a line for Miss A—g, which you will please deliver. You will be surprised at my corresponding with that Lady, but my special reason for doing so at this time is to inform her that it was by no means convenient for me to call on her brother in my way down, which I expected to have done when I left Philadelphia; it being at least fifteen miles out of my way, therefore excusable in passing by my friend Goldsborough. I hope this will find you and the Ladies happy under the same roof, as I should be really concerned that you should change your Lodgings while they continue at Mr. J—s, as I am
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to suppose they might not meet with the respect due to them if it was not that some Gentleman protected them against the Land Lady's snuffs. This I speak as from my inmost wish, for I have a most uncommon esteem for those ladies, and wish them all the happiness their most sanguine hopes can suggest to them.