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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 41   View pdf image (33K)
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Edward Langworthy: Teacher, Printer and Historian
American Spectator. Perhaps one of the terms of partnership was that
the letters of General Charles Lee were to be printed, with Goddard
furnishing the manuscripts and Langworthy writing the memoir and
editing the mass of material. On June 10, 1785 the prospectus for the
edition in three volumes was issued with such a detailed analysis of
the contents that it is apparent that the work was practically ready
for press. Just before the prospectus was issued Goddard wrote to Wash-
ington advising him that a publication of the letters of Lee was under
consideration and asking him if he had any request to make regarding
its contents. Washington wrote the following reply:
"On the 8th instant I received the favor of your letter of the 30th of May. In answer to it I
can only say, that your own good judgment must direct you in the publication of the manuscript
papers of General Lee. I can have no request to make concerning the work.
I never had a difference with that gentleman but on public ground, and my conduct towards him
upon this occasion was such only, as I conceived myself indispensably bound to adopt in discharge
of the public trust reposed in me. If this produced in him unfavorable sentiments of me, I yet can
never consider the conduct I pursued, with respect to him, either wrong or improper, however I
may regret that it may have been differently viewed by him, and that it excited his censure and
animadversions. Should there appear in General Lee's writings any thing injurious or unfriendly to
me, the impartial and dispassionate world must decide how far I deserved it from the general tenor
of my conduct.
I am gliding down the stream of life, and wish, as is natural, that my remaining days may be
undisturbed and tranquil; and, conscious of my integrity, I would willingly hope, that nothing
would occur tending to give me anxiety; but should anything present itself in this or any other pub-
lication, I shall never undertake the painful task of recrimination, nor do I know that I should even
enter upon my justification. I consider the communication you have made as a mark of great atten-
tion, and the whole of your letter as a proof of your esteem."6
The publication did not appear, probably because there were not
enough subscribers at one guinea each for the three expensively planned
volumes. But in 1792 J. S. Jordan of London published in one volume
the Memoirs of The Late Charles Lee, Esq....... To Which Are Added
His Political and Military Essays Also, Letters To, And From Many
Distinguished Characters, Both In Europe And America. The seventy
page Memoir was written and signed by "Edward Langworthy, Balti-
more, March loth, 1787." The preface states that:
"The following Memoirs and Letters of the Late Major General Lee have been in the posses-
sion of the Editor since the year 1786.7 They were transmitted from America to England by the
gentleman whose name is subscribed to the Memoirs, and who was a member of Congress for the
state of Georgia, for the purpose of publication. In their manuscript state they have been seen by
6 W. C. Ford ed, The Writings of George Washington, X, pp. 459-460.
7 Note the discrepancy in date with that of the Memoir.
[ 41 ]

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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
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