Fitzpatrick ( 1876-1940), archivist at the Library of Congress from 1897,
resigned in 1928 to edit the library's George Washington papers, the edition appearing
as The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources,
1745-1799, 39 vols. ( 1931-1944). At the time of the present letter only the first nine
volumes of the Writings had been published, and Fitzpatrick had sent them to Anderson
for his work on Valley Forge. The nine volumes covered Washington's career through November 3, 1777, while the play dealt with the months from December, 1777, to June, 1778.
47. TO JOHN C. FITZPATRICK
New City March 16, 1934
Dear Mr. Fitzpatrick--
I have received the bundle of proof which you sent, and wish to
thank you more than it's easy to put into words for your generosity.
These volumes are exactly what I needed. I have had great difficulty in
finding any accurate data over the winter I am treating, but with this
help expect to do the best work I have ever done. --One question I'd
like to ask you--did Washington have any regular military aide at
Valley Forge--or were his associates mainly secretaries?
And again many thanks-- Maxwell Anderson
You may be sure that I will read the proofs carefully and return them
intact. I should like to keep them several weeks if possible. Address
me, in case you write--323 West 112th St., N.Y. City.
In response to no. 46 Fitzpatrick had sent page proof of vols. 10 and 11 of The
Writings of George Washington and vol. 12 in galley proof ( Fitzpatrick to Anderson, March 13, 1934; LC). The three volumes contained Washington's writings from November 4, 1777, to September 30, 1778, thus covering the Valley Forge period
( December, 1777, to June, 1778) during which Valley Forge was set.
Fitzpatrick's reply ( March 19, 1934; LC) lists nine military aides to Washington
at Valley Forge: Robert Hanson Harrison, John Fitzgerald, Richard Kidder Meade, Alexander Hamilton, Peter Presley Thornton, John Laurens, Tench Tilghman (who
becomes a prominent character in the play), Caleb Gibbs, and George Lewis.