“Rout that Impious Army”

MARY WHITE MORRIS wrote again from Aberdeen, Maryland (see previous post), where she had fled with her children against the expected advance by the British on Philadelphia in the winter of 1776, to her husband Robert who had remained behind.

December the 30 [1776]Dear Mr. Morris
We had been for many Days Impatiently wishing for a Letter from you, as the News we hear from any Other Quarter is not to be Depended on, but when the Welcomed one arrived, which brought those glad Tidings [probably news of Washington’s successful attack on the Hessians on the day after Christmas], it more than Compensated, for what our late Unfortunate Curcumstances, Prepared our Minds to Expect, which was Nothing more, then our Armys being on the Defencive, and fearing least their Numbers were not even Equal to that, but Retreat as Usiall, but I hope indeed the Tide is turning, and that our Great Washington will have the Success His Virtues Deserve, and Rout that Impious Army, who from no Other Principle but that of enslaveing this Once Happy Country, have Prosecuted this Cruell War. [M]y Father was greatly, tho Agreably Affected, at such good news, and I was the Happy means of makeing many joyfull Hearts, as we had many Guests added to our large Family to Celebrate Christmas. . . .
Pray were do you Lodge, I was told at Mr. Beveridge’s Country House, for Security, if I Exact all I wish to know I’m Affraid youll write the Seldomer, but Remember, it’s the greatest Gratification I can have, till I see you. . . . Bob walkd 3 miles to School today with one of his Cousins, I take a great deal of Pains to Preserve their Learning, Anna was right about my Shifts, but my needles I left in the tea Tabel [sic] drawer, put them there Myself, intending to put them in my Pocket the last thing. . . .
your Affectionate Mary Morris

Robert Morris Collection: Henry E. Huntington Library, Lists No. 5, pages 53-55, transcribed by Louise North. [Microfilm, courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Nuxoll].


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