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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Revolutionary War: Treason

The younger brother of Lachlan McIntosh was George. The day that Lachlan won the military post as Georgia's commander, the younger brother was not present, his wife having died that day. But, he turned up at the meeting on March 4, 1777 and refused to sign Gwinnett's commission and in the presence of the whole council he arose and said that Gwinnett would be the last person in the world he would choose for the office. Gwinnett retorted angrily "By God, then, this will be the last day you and I ever sit together in council." Two weeks later Gwinnett received a very disturbing communication from John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, accusing George McIntosh of treasonable condut. "This gentleman, it seems," Hancock wrote of George McIntosh, "is a member of the Congress of Georgia and under that character is secretly supporting by every act in his power, the designs of the British King and Parliament against us." Hancock enclosed an intercepted letter from Patrick Tonyn, British Governor of East Florida, which set forth that George McIntosh was helping a Mr. Preston to procure rice for the British forces in Florida. These were serious charges. This letter provoked an outcry from McIntosh's friends and the proposed a bail of 50,000 pounds which Gwinnett refused to accept.  It was through this personal background of bitterness that Gwinnett challenged General Lachlan McIntosh to a duel.

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