LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
BALTIMORE, December 1, 1930.
To The Maryland Historical Society.
This volume of the Archives of Maryland is the forty-seventh of the gen-
eral series, and the seventh of the subseries relating to the Revolution. The
sixth volume of this subseries, which appeared in 1927, dealt with the Journal
and Correspondence of the State Council for portions of the years 1780 and
1781. In that volume will be found the Proceedings of the Council and letters
emanating from the Council itself for the twelve-month period extending from
November 13, 1780, to November 13, 1781, and letters addressed to the Coun-
cil from July 1st to December 31st, 1780. The present volume is devoted to
letters addressed to the Council from January 1st, 1781, to December 31, 1781.
The material which goes to make up the present volume is derived in part from
the more important letters preserved in the three series of scrap books desig-
nated by the color of their bindings, as the Red, Brown and Black Books, and
from the mass of loose papers belonging to the State, now on deposit with the
Maryland Historical Society. It is to be noted that the correspondence ad-
dressed to the Council shows a progressive increase in volume as the Revolu-
tion dragged on. The letters themselves deal with a wide variety of subjects,
ranging from vital problems involving the conduct of the war to less impor-
tant personal matters.
Covering as these letters do the critical period of the Revolution, when the
troops under La Fayette, and a few months later the army under Washington,
were hurrying through Maryland by land and water on their way to Virginia to
take part in the operations which were to culminate in the siege of Yorktown
and the surrender of Cornwallis, we have brought vividly before us in their
reading the efforts of the Maryland authorities to feed and to facilitate the
transportation of these armies. Vessels, horses, and food had to be bought or
requisitioned on a large scale, and the difficulties which confronted the local
commissaries, who had at their disposal only a depreciated currency with which
to make their purchases, were almost insurmountable. Perhaps the plight of
Colonel Henry Hollingsworth of Cecil County, Commissary for the Eastern
Shore, was the most trying, for upon his shoulders fell the task of supplying
vessels and food for the numerous American and French troops that embarked