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Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington Regarding His Observations

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Date: December 4, 1786
About this artifact

General Benjamin Lincoln corresponded regularly with his former commander in chief, George Washington. Washington, enjoying his well-earned in retirement at Mount Vernon,was anxious for news about the alarming situation in Massachusetts in 1786-87. He relied heavily on Lincoln and General Henry Knox for information. In a November letter, Washington had bluntly asked Lincoln, "Are your people getting mad?" Lincoln's description in this December letter of a state collapsing into virtual anarchy was hardly reassuring. These dire portrayals played an important part in convincing a reluctant Washington to give in to the urgings of James Madison and others to attend the constitutional convention at Philadelphia in May, 1787.

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Courtesy Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, NY, NY