A General of the Revolution: John Sullivan of New Hampshire

By Charles P. Whittemore | Go to book overview

X: RETURN TO CONGRESS
DECEMBER, 1779-MAY, 1781

Sullivan looked forward to retirement, but he was not to enjoy it for long, because in the summer of 1780 he agreed to enter Congress. In the meantime, however, he had a few months of rest and change. It probably was toward the end of December, 1779, that he arrived in Durham, his first visit to New Hampshire since his short trip the previous March before undertaking the Indian campaign. Now safely back home, General Sullivan welcomed the adulation which came in his direction. In February, by vote of the General Court, the President of New Hampshire and the Speaker waited upon John Sullivan, who at that time was in Exeter, to congratulate him upon his return and the mending of his health. The legislators trusted that the General would support the civil rights of the people as bravely as he had opposed the enemy on the field of battle. 1 Sullivan's answer was flamboyant, in the style of the day, yet gracious. He hoped that at all times his conduct would "sufficiently testify my Zeal for the common Cause." 2

As his health improved, Sullivan got his law practice going again, "to repair the repeated & almost inconceivable Losses" he had sustained. 3 By May he was advertising that his mills once more were operating and suited for dying silks and dressing cloths. 4 Although he seemed to be making an easy transition into the activities of his community, he could not remain in Durham for long. Against his desire, the legislature chose him as a delegate to the Continental Congress, to serve one year beginning in November. He was out of the state at the time of his se

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