Letter of Samuell Searls-May 12 1782


Following Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, a stalemate prevailed, particularly in the north. Clinton's British Army held New York City and Washington's Army held the Hudson highlands. On May 5, 1782, General Sir Guy Carleton took command of the British Army in New York City. In addition to commanding the Army, Carleton was to explore as favorable a peace as was possible under the circumstances. Soon after his arrival, Carleton started corresponding with Washington but I can find no record that they met earlier than May 5, 1783, after the Treaty of Paris. Washington kept Congress advised of his communications with Carleton and these communications have been published.

Given this background, the following folded letter may be of interest. I've marked uncertain transcriptions in curley brackets.


Mrs. Mary Searls

Pr favor of Mr. Carlton


West Pointt May 12th 1782

Honnorred Mother Brother and Sisters after my kinde love to you and hopeing these few lines will finde you all in as good helth as they leave me in at Presant through the goodness of God, I have nothing remarcable to write to you at Presant only it is a general time of Helth among us - we Lay still in Quarters and have no talk of moving as yett - {our?} Mr. Guy Carlton is now at General washington and supposed to be sent to settle Peace among us - we hear the house of Parliment in England is disolved - and a new sit chosen - and more than two thirds of them voted for america which gives us a great reason to think that Peace will be settled by next fall - and we dont expect to have any campaing opned this year - the times is exceeding hard hear among us we draw no wages and are not like to draw any this summer - but I hope the war will be over next fall Pray Dear mothr be so kind as to give my love to all enquiring friends at home and tell them, I determing to come home next fall if I live and see them once more and enjoy my self as well as those people that are their - for because we are abound in the field venturing our lives to defend them they have forgot us - but their is a day a coming that they will be obliged to minde us and pay us our just due although we are so far from home we have not lost our spirits and shall be anxious to have revenge on those who will pay us our due in seson - Dear mother I think it very hard that the people from the town have had four or five letters within this year - and I have not received one this twelve months - and I want to hear from home I shall write all oppertunities, and would have you do the same -
So No Move at Presant But I
Remain Your Dutyfull Son till Death

Samuell Searls

Debating issues from Ed Siskin

Anyone have any thoughts?

Reactions to Ed Siskin at VNBK80A@prodigy.com