Letter from Otho Holland Williams to Nathanael Greene

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    [Otho Holland Williams to Nathanael Greene October 2, 1782 [RvW Box 1 Folder 23; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Frederick Town 2.d October 1782 - Dear General, The obscurity of my situation for some time past has not only deprived me of opportu- nities of writing to you, but even of the knowledge of matters worthy of communi- -cation – If Mrs. Greene has received my Letter from Bath you have been informed what a complication of pain and pleasure I experienced there during six weeks the last summer. A variety of agreeable company, a good share of health, and a full flow of spirits were all insufficient to banish a chronic Rheumatism which tortured me extremely, nor were the celebrated waters of Bath more efficatious [sic]. - since my return from the springs I have used the cold bath constantly ‘till about ten days ago with very little advantage. I have used a hundred other [Endorsed in margin:] From Genl. [General] Williams Oct.r 2d. 1782 X Private 145 [End Page 1] Other expedients, but none of them have answered their recommendations, every one accounting his remedy infalliable [sic]. Impatience induced me to vary expedients, and Fancy hit upon the warm baths; that has been of infinite service to me and my former agility is now almost perfectly restored. – On the tenth and eleventh of last month some confiscated Lands were sold here for the redemption of the certificates given to Officers and Soldiers of the Maryland line. It was the intention of the assem- -bly, and the conditions of sale were calculated, to dispose of the Lands at the highest possible prices, and the folly of the officers complicated the plan. – Instead of associating ourselves into a company [and] to purchase by agency [as it was advised] we all crowded to the sale, and coming in competition with each other, and vieing [sic] with speculators, who had bought certificates at a very great discount, we injudiciously bid very extravagantly for the Land – dispairing [sic] of any other or more favorable opportunity of disposing of my certificates I also purchased upon these terms and my business here now is to dispose of my Lands as advantageously as I can for a little ready money [End Page 2] money for expences, the want of which has been a prin- -cipal cause of my remaining so entirely out of the intelligent parts of the World- You may be assured my Dear Sir, such is the poverty of my finances and of my private friends, that a certain Major General was not more embarrassed by want of Cash when he sold his spoons in Virginia, than I now find myself This deficiency has entirely located me, I dare not go out of Maryland, [where I live upon courtesy] for fear of creating creditors who will not make proper allowances for my pennyless [sic] condition. – I do not know anything more of what is doing in the North than what is said in the public prints which you will probably receive before this, and I should be more ignorant of what passes in the South but for a letter from Captain Dyer to Doct.r Thomas of this Town. He gives a very short indifinate [sic] account of Genl. [General] Gists expedition to Cumbahee [Combahee] ferry, the only thing he mentions with any certainty is the fall of Colonel Lawrence [John Laurens] which I lament most earnestly. That sensible, Gallant, Elegant fellow was one of the very few whom I loved and envied. – Two [End Page 3] Two letters, only have I had the honor to receive from you since I left Camp, neither of these advise me whether you wish my return. I'm exceeding glad it has not been necessary, as hitherto it has been next to impracticable If however, by the sale of my Lands, or a part of them, or by any other means I can raise money, nothing wou'd give me more pleasure than to hear I can be of further service [while any service remains] or that it is in my power to serve you in - -dividually. you are assured there is nothing I wou'd do with greater cheerfulness than to serve you, or with you; therefore I beg you will command me, or if there shou'd not be an occasion, pray consider the line of my military existence, How, or whether, the arrangement of the army to take place in January, will affect me as a junior Officer, and oblige me with your advice My affectionate compliments await Mrs. Greene and all the Gentlemen of my acquaintance, to whom I must be excused for not writing now – I have not time even to correct this, as much as it wants it; Mr. Osborne is gone from his Quarters in Virginia and this follows him by a sudden, unexpected opportunity – I am, D.r [Dear] General, with sincerest affection Most truly, Yours Gen. l [General] Greene O.H. [Otho Holland] Williams [End Page 4]
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    [Otho Holland Williams to Nathanael Greene October 2, 1782 [RvW Box 1 Folder 23; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Frederick Town 2.d October 1782 - Dear General, The obscurity of my situation for some time past has not only deprived me of opportu- nities of writing to you, but even of the knowledge of matters worthy of communi- -cation – If Mrs. Greene has received my Letter from Bath you have been informed what a complication of pain and pleasure I experienced there during six weeks the last summer. A variety of agreeable company, a good share of health, and a full flow of spirits were all insufficient to banish a chronic Rheumatism which tortured me extremely, nor were the celebrated waters of Bath more efficatious [sic]. - since my return from the springs I have used the cold bath constantly ‘till about ten days ago with very little advantage. I have used a hundred other [Endorsed in margin:] From Genl. [General] Williams Oct.r 2d. 1782 X Private 145 [End Page 1] Other expedients, but none of them have answered their recommendations, every one accounting his remedy infalliable [sic]. Impatience induced me to vary expedients, and Fancy hit upon the warm baths; that has been of infinite service to me and my former agility is now almost perfectly restored. – On the tenth and eleventh of last month some confiscated Lands were sold here for the redemption of the certificates given to Officers and Soldiers of the Maryland line. It was the intention of the assem- -bly, and the conditions of sale were calculated, to dispose of the Lands at the highest possible prices, and the folly of the officers complicated the plan. – Instead of associating ourselves into a company [and] to purchase by agency [as it was advised] we all crowded to the sale, and coming in competition with each other, and vieing [sic] with speculators, who had bought certificates at a very great discount, we injudiciously bid very extravagantly for the Land – dispairing [sic] of any other or more favorable opportunity of disposing of my certificates I also purchased upon these terms and my business here now is to dispose of my Lands as advantageously as I can for a little ready money [End Page 2] money for expences, the want of which has been a prin- -cipal cause of my remaining so entirely out of the intelligent parts of the World- You may be assured my Dear Sir, such is the poverty of my finances and of my private friends, that a certain Major General was not more embarrassed by want of Cash when he sold his spoons in Virginia, than I now find myself This deficiency has entirely located me, I dare not go out of Maryland, [where I live upon courtesy] for fear of creating creditors who will not make proper allowances for my pennyless [sic] condition. – I do not know anything more of what is doing in the North than what is said in the public prints which you will probably receive before this, and I should be more ignorant of what passes in the South but for a letter from Captain Dyer to Doct.r Thomas of this Town. He gives a very short indifinate [sic] account of Genl. [General] Gists expedition to Cumbahee [Combahee] ferry, the only thing he mentions with any certainty is the fall of Colonel Lawrence [John Laurens] which I lament most earnestly. That sensible, Gallant, Elegant fellow was one of the very few whom I loved and envied. – Two [End Page 3] Two letters, only have I had the honor to receive from you since I left Camp, neither of these advise me whether you wish my return. I'm exceeding glad it has not been necessary, as hitherto it has been next to impracticable If however, by the sale of my Lands, or a part of them, or by any other means I can raise money, nothing wou'd give me more pleasure than to hear I can be of further service [while any service remains] or that it is in my power to serve you in - -dividually. you are assured there is nothing I wou'd do with greater cheerfulness than to serve you, or with you; therefore I beg you will command me, or if there shou'd not be an occasion, pray consider the line of my military existence, How, or whether, the arrangement of the army to take place in January, will affect me as a junior Officer, and oblige me with your advice My affectionate compliments await Mrs. Greene and all the Gentlemen of my acquaintance, to whom I must be excused for not writing now – I have not time even to correct this, as much as it wants it; Mr. Osborne is gone from his Quarters in Virginia and this follows him by a sudden, unexpected opportunity – I am, D.r [Dear] General, with sincerest affection Most truly, Yours Gen. l [General] Greene O.H. [Otho Holland] Williams [End Page 4]
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    [Otho Holland Williams to Nathanael Greene October 2, 1782 [RvW Box 1 Folder 23; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Frederick Town 2.d October 1782 - Dear General, The obscurity of my situation for some time past has not only deprived me of opportu- nities of writing to you, but even of the knowledge of matters worthy of communi- -cation – If Mrs. Greene has received my Letter from Bath you have been informed what a complication of pain and pleasure I experienced there during six weeks the last summer. A variety of agreeable company, a good share of health, and a full flow of spirits were all insufficient to banish a chronic Rheumatism which tortured me extremely, nor were the celebrated waters of Bath more efficatious [sic]. - since my return from the springs I have used the cold bath constantly ‘till about ten days ago with very little advantage. I have used a hundred other [Endorsed in margin:] From Genl. [General] Williams Oct.r 2d. 1782 X Private 145 [End Page 1] Other expedients, but none of them have answered their recommendations, every one accounting his remedy infalliable [sic]. Impatience induced me to vary expedients, and Fancy hit upon the warm baths; that has been of infinite service to me and my former agility is now almost perfectly restored. – On the tenth and eleventh of last month some confiscated Lands were sold here for the redemption of the certificates given to Officers and Soldiers of the Maryland line. It was the intention of the assem- -bly, and the conditions of sale were calculated, to dispose of the Lands at the highest possible prices, and the folly of the officers complicated the plan. – Instead of associating ourselves into a company [and] to purchase by agency [as it was advised] we all crowded to the sale, and coming in competition with each other, and vieing [sic] with speculators, who had bought certificates at a very great discount, we injudiciously bid very extravagantly for the Land – dispairing [sic] of any other or more favorable opportunity of disposing of my certificates I also purchased upon these terms and my business here now is to dispose of my Lands as advantageously as I can for a little ready money [End Page 2] money for expences, the want of which has been a prin- -cipal cause of my remaining so entirely out of the intelligent parts of the World- You may be assured my Dear Sir, such is the poverty of my finances and of my private friends, that a certain Major General was not more embarrassed by want of Cash when he sold his spoons in Virginia, than I now find myself This deficiency has entirely located me, I dare not go out of Maryland, [where I live upon courtesy] for fear of creating creditors who will not make proper allowances for my pennyless [sic] condition. – I do not know anything more of what is doing in the North than what is said in the public prints which you will probably receive before this, and I should be more ignorant of what passes in the South but for a letter from Captain Dyer to Doct.r Thomas of this Town. He gives a very short indifinate [sic] account of Genl. [General] Gists expedition to Cumbahee [Combahee] ferry, the only thing he mentions with any certainty is the fall of Colonel Lawrence [John Laurens] which I lament most earnestly. That sensible, Gallant, Elegant fellow was one of the very few whom I loved and envied. – Two [End Page 3] Two letters, only have I had the honor to receive from you since I left Camp, neither of these advise me whether you wish my return. I'm exceeding glad it has not been necessary, as hitherto it has been next to impracticable If however, by the sale of my Lands, or a part of them, or by any other means I can raise money, nothing wou'd give me more pleasure than to hear I can be of further service [while any service remains] or that it is in my power to serve you in - -dividually. you are assured there is nothing I wou'd do with greater cheerfulness than to serve you, or with you; therefore I beg you will command me, or if there shou'd not be an occasion, pray consider the line of my military existence, How, or whether, the arrangement of the army to take place in January, will affect me as a junior Officer, and oblige me with your advice My affectionate compliments await Mrs. Greene and all the Gentlemen of my acquaintance, to whom I must be excused for not writing now – I have not time even to correct this, as much as it wants it; Mr. Osborne is gone from his Quarters in Virginia and this follows him by a sudden, unexpected opportunity – I am, D.r [Dear] General, with sincerest affection Most truly, Yours Gen. l [General] Greene O.H. [Otho Holland] Williams [End Page 4]
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    [Otho Holland Williams to Nathanael Greene October 2, 1782 [RvW Box 1 Folder 23; MSS. – A.L.S.]] Frederick Town 2.d October 1782 - Dear General, The obscurity of my situation for some time past has not only deprived me of opportu- nities of writing to you, but even of the knowledge of matters worthy of communi- -cation – If Mrs. Greene has received my Letter from Bath you have been informed what a complication of pain and pleasure I experienced there during six weeks the last summer. A variety of agreeable company, a good share of health, and a full flow of spirits were all insufficient to banish a chronic Rheumatism which tortured me extremely, nor were the celebrated waters of Bath more efficatious [sic]. - since my return from the springs I have used the cold bath constantly ‘till about ten days ago with very little advantage. I have used a hundred other [Endorsed in margin:] From Genl. [General] Williams Oct.r 2d. 1782 X Private 145 [End Page 1] Other expedients, but none of them have answered their recommendations, every one accounting his remedy infalliable [sic]. Impatience induced me to vary expedients, and Fancy hit upon the warm baths; that has been of infinite service to me and my former agility is now almost perfectly restored. – On the tenth and eleventh of last month some confiscated Lands were sold here for the redemption of the certificates given to Officers and Soldiers of the Maryland line. It was the intention of the assem- -bly, and the conditions of sale were calculated, to dispose of the Lands at the highest possible prices, and the folly of the officers complicated the plan. – Instead of associating ourselves into a company [and] to purchase by agency [as it was advised] we all crowded to the sale, and coming in competition with each other, and vieing [sic] with speculators, who had bought certificates at a very great discount, we injudiciously bid very extravagantly for the Land – dispairing [sic] of any other or more favorable opportunity of disposing of my certificates I also purchased upon these terms and my business here now is to dispose of my Lands as advantageously as I can for a little ready money [End Page 2] money for expences, the want of which has been a prin- -cipal cause of my remaining so entirely out of the intelligent parts of the World- You may be assured my Dear Sir, such is the poverty of my finances and of my private friends, that a certain Major General was not more embarrassed by want of Cash when he sold his spoons in Virginia, than I now find myself This deficiency has entirely located me, I dare not go out of Maryland, [where I live upon courtesy] for fear of creating creditors who will not make proper allowances for my pennyless [sic] condition. – I do not know anything more of what is doing in the North than what is said in the public prints which you will probably receive before this, and I should be more ignorant of what passes in the South but for a letter from Captain Dyer to Doct.r Thomas of this Town. He gives a very short indifinate [sic] account of Genl. [General] Gists expedition to Cumbahee [Combahee] ferry, the only thing he mentions with any certainty is the fall of Colonel Lawrence [John Laurens] which I lament most earnestly. That sensible, Gallant, Elegant fellow was one of the very few whom I loved and envied. – Two [End Page 3] Two letters, only have I had the honor to receive from you since I left Camp, neither of these advise me whether you wish my return. I'm exceeding glad it has not been necessary, as hitherto it has been next to impracticable If however, by the sale of my Lands, or a part of them, or by any other means I can raise money, nothing wou'd give me more pleasure than to hear I can be of further service [while any service remains] or that it is in my power to serve you in - -dividually. you are assured there is nothing I wou'd do with greater cheerfulness than to serve you, or with you; therefore I beg you will command me, or if there shou'd not be an occasion, pray consider the line of my military existence, How, or whether, the arrangement of the army to take place in January, will affect me as a junior Officer, and oblige me with your advice My affectionate compliments await Mrs. Greene and all the Gentlemen of my acquaintance, to whom I must be excused for not writing now – I have not time even to correct this, as much as it wants it; Mr. Osborne is gone from his Quarters in Virginia and this follows him by a sudden, unexpected opportunity – I am, D.r [Dear] General, with sincerest affection Most truly, Yours Gen. l [General] Greene O.H. [Otho Holland] Williams [End Page 4]
Title:
Letter from Otho Holland Williams to Nathanael Greene
Creator:
Williams, Otho Holland, 1747-1794
Date:
1782-10-02
Description:
Letter from Otho Holland Williams to Nathanael Greene detailing his trip to Bath, the purchase of a tract of land in Maryland, and his wish to receive orders from General Greene.
Collection:
Charleston Museum Collection of Revolutionary War Letters
Contributing Institution:
The Charleston Museum Archives
Media Type:
Manuscripts
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786--Correspondence, Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786--Military service, Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786--Military leadership, Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786
Topical Subject:
War, armed forces, and society
Geographic Subject:
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783, United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--American forces, Williamsburg County (S.C.)
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications:
600 ppi, 24-bit depth, color, Epson Expression 10000XL, Archival Masters are tiffs.
Copyright Status Statement:
Public domain.
Access Information:
For more information contact The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403.