To Lafayette Richmond, March 10th, 1781

The Letters of Thomas Jefferson


-- Intending that this shall await your arrival in this State I with great joy welcome you on that event. I am induced to from the very great esteem your personal character and the Hopes I entertain of your relieving us from our enemy within this State. Could any circumstances have rendered your presence more desirable or more necessary it is the unfortunate one which obliges me to enclose you the enclosed papers.

I trust that your future Acquaintance with the Executive of the State will evince to you that among their faults is not to be counted a want of dispostion to second the views of the Commander against our common Enemy. We are too much interested in the present scene & have too much at stake to leave a doubt on that Head. Mild Laws, a People not used to prompt obedience, a want of provisions of War & means of procuring them render our orders often ineffectual, oblige us to temporise & when we cannot accomplish an object in one way to attempt it in another. Your knowledge of these circumstances with a temper to accommodate them ensure me your cooperation in the best way we can, when we shall be able to pursue the way we would wish.

I still hope you will find our preparations not far short of the Information I took the Liberty of giving you in my letter of the 8th instant. I shall be very happy to receive your first Applications for whatever may be necessary for the public service and to convince you of our disposition to promote it as far as the Abilities of the State and Powers of the Executive will enable us.