“Philad. is still their Object”

In March 1777, MARY WHITE MORRIS returned from Maryland to Philadelphia to be with her husband Robert, her spirits buoyed by the promise of French help. (See previous posts here and here.) Her pleasure at being home was short lived as it soon became clear that the British planned to attack the city. She wrote her mother 25 March 1777:

My dear Mamma
last Wensday noon I had the pleasure to arrive safely in Dear Philadelphia after a much pleasanter Journey than I expected from our Seting off, it made me very Happy to find my Self at home, after so long an Absence, with the terrible Apprehensions we fled with of never seeing it again, it looks more like it Used to do a great deal, than what I expected to see it, from the Accounts we had, in Short I have seen so many more of my Acquaintances then I expected, and with such Chearfull Happy Countenances as made me forget for a Day or two, that I must not look upon my Self as at home, but prepare my mind for alarms, which its expected we shall have; as soon as the Roads will Admit of the Enemys moving theres Varyous Opinions, w[h]ere they mean to open this Summers Campane, General Gates, who is jest gone from here, thinks they Intend to the North River, to join Carltons Army, and compleat there First Plan, others think Philad. is still their Object, while some beleive it will be on the Eastern Shore in Maryland. However a very little time will Determine, and we Shall want to know before we move to our Farms. . . .
[E]verybody Exclaim at my Thinness, Several of my Acquaintances did not know me, till they had time to recollect, and then declared there was very little traces of my former Self, I attribute it to want of Exercise, as I enjoyd such good health . . . .
I remain with the Utmost Affection your
Dutifull Daughter M. Morris

Billy has been told, that the Congress appointd Him there Chaplain, when in Baltimore, but has not yet heard it from them, and begs it may not be mentiond.

As you may surmise from the letter, Mary was pregnant. Her fourth son was born July, 1777. Billy was her brother William. Born in Philadelphia and ordained in England, he returned to America in 1771 and served as chaplain to the Continental Congress 1777-1789, and then as chaplain to the United States Senate. He later became bishop of Pennsylvania.

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

posted June 8th, 2015 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Morris, Mary White, Morris, Robert, Philadelphia


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