On this day in 1776 [okay, yesterday; sorry], a Thursday, Landon Carter, still obsessed with the weather, the credit given to Patrick Henry, and his runaway slave Moses, entered the following into his diary:
A little sprinkling in the night after incessant lightning for a long while […]
I asked [Richard Henry] Lee who came home with me if he did not remember who gave the first breath for Liberty in America; he said he well remembered it; and it was an absurdity to give it to P. Henry, the Govr., for he actually was not at the assembly, though they gave him the reputation of it. I may truly say Hæc ego primus tentavi tulit alter honores. This man only assisted in the resolves after the stamp act came in by the advice of another […]
A strange dream this day about these runaway people. One of them I dreamt awakened me; and appeared most wretchedly meager and wan. He told me of their great sorrow, that all of them had been wounded by the minutemen, had hid themselves in a cave they had dug and had lived ever since on what roots they could grabble and he had come to ask if I would endeavor to get them pardoned, should they come in, for they knew the should be hanged for what they had done. I replied a good deal. He acknowledged Moses persuaded them off and Johnny, his wife’s father, had helped them ot the milk they had, to wit, 4 bottles. He was to have gone with [them] but somehow was not in the way; declared I had not a great villain belonging to me. I can’t conceive how this dream came into my brain sleeping, and I don’t remember to have collected so much of a dream as I have done of this these many years. It seems my daughter Judy dreamt much of them too last night. I am just weak enough to fancy we shall soon hear about them.
IMAGE: Richard Henry Lee