To Colonel [John] Laurens October 4, 1781

To Colonel [John] Laurens October 4, 1781

PHILADELPHIA,

DEAR SIR:

I received your favor (by the post) dated Sept. 9th, Head of Elk, respecting a mislaid letter. A gentleman who saw you at that place about the same time told me he had likewise a letter from you to me which he had lost, and that you mentioned something to him respecting baggage. This left me in a difficulty to judge whether after writing to me by post, you had not found the letter you wrote about, and took that opportunity to inform me about it. However, I have wrote to Gen. Heath in case the trunk should be there, and enclosed in it a letter to Blodget in case it should not. I have yet heard nothing from either. I have preferred forwarding the trunk, in case it can be done in a reasonable time, to the opening it, and if it cannot, then to open it agreeably to your directions, though I have no idea of its being there.

I went for your boots, the next day after you left town, but they were not done, and I directed the man to bring them to me as soon as finished, but have since seen nothing of him, neither do I wish him to bring them just now, as I must be obliged to borrow the money to pay for them; but I imagine somebody else has taken them off his hands. I expect Col. Morgan in town on Saturday, who has some money of mine in his hands, and then I shall renew my application to the boot-maker.

I wish you had thought of me a little before you went away, and at least endeavored to put matters in a train that I might not have to re-experience what has already past. The gentleman who conveys this to you, Mr. Burke, is an assistant judge of South Carolina, and one to whose friendship I am much indebted. He lodged some time in the house with me.

I enclose you the paper of this morning, by which you will see that Gillam had not sailed (or at least I conclude so) on the 4th of July, as Major Jackson was deputy toast master, or Burgos-master, or something, at an entertainment of that day. As soon as I can learn anything concerning Gillam I will inform you of it.

I am with every wish for your happiness and success, &c.

THOMAS PAINE.

Please to present my Compliments and best wishes to the General. I have wrote to the Marquis and put all my politics into his letter. A paper with Rivington's account of the action is enclosed in the Marquis' letter.