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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 25   View pdf image (33K)
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Eleazer Oswald, Printer and Patriot
business because of the long delay in getting the equipment from
Europe. Oswald informed Lamb of his business prospects and future
plans, in a letter written from Poughkeepsie on December n, 1780.
"[I].... am much obliged to you for your kind Inquiry respecting my Welfare and Success in Busi-
ness, which has not as yet been so ample as I expected, owing to an unavoidable Delay in Europe,
of the sending out our printing Materials. I have still the strongest Assurances, and the most flat-
tering Hopes of their speedy Arrival. In my other Plans of Business preparatory to our original
and extensive one, I have succeeded to my Wishes, which I know you are already persuaded are
not immoderate. A decent and honorable Competence is all I aim at—to accomplish it in the peace-
ful, tho' not retired, Walk of private Life, is the ultimate End of my Pursuits;—'My Ambition,
as a Soldier,' to adopt Burgoyne's Sentiment, 'is dead.' 23
The "original and extensive" plan to which he referred may have been
that of printing an edition of the Bible, which was announced in the
Maryland Journal on June 8, 1779, but was abandoned soon after.
Shortly after the partnership was formed, Lee wrote Goddard on
July 17, 1799, expressing his intention of helping his friends to the fullest
extent of his abilities:
"I understand my friend Col. Oswald is entered into Partnership with you. Without this con-
sideration I should have done your press all the service in my power, as I have a very particular
regard for yourself personally, but I have now a double motive. I have many papers which will
be of service to you, and you may be assured, that to you alone, they shall be consigned.—I hope
you will not think it improper to insert the Queries I enclosed. You have and ought to have the
first reputation for impartiality as a Printer, on the Continent." 24
The "Queries" which he enclosed in an earlier letter of June 9 were
printed in the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser on July 6,
1779, under the heading "Some Queries, Political and Military, Humbly
Offered to the Consideration of the Public." This vitriolic attack on
Washington was written by General Lee and sent to Goddard and Os-
wald for publication with the purpose of vindicating his reputation by
tainting the name of the Commander-in-chief. Among the "Queries"
were the following which are typical examples:
"9th. Whether it is salutary or dangerous, consistent with, or abhorrent from the principles and
spirit of liberty and republicanism, to inculcate and encourage in the people, an idea, that their
welfare, safety, and glory, depend on one man? Whether they really do depend on one man?
23 Lamb Papers, Box III, No. 258. Oswald to Lamb, Poughkeepsie, 11 Dec. 1780.
24 The Lee Papers, Vol. III p. 340. In Collections of the New York Historical Society, 1873.

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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 25   View pdf image (33K)   << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>

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