On May 22, 1782, the Newburgh letter was sent to George Washington who was camped at Newburgh, New York; written for the army officers by Colonel Lewis Nicola, it proposed that Washington should become the King of the United States. Washington reacted very strongly against the suggestion, and was greatly troubled by it.
The letter could in many ways have been a turning point in American history. Nicola's proposal, while never fully formed, would not be suggesting tyranny (he rejected how others equated monarchy and tyranny) but instead a constitutional monarchy. The letter can be considered part of the Newburgh Conspiracy and the first grievance that Nicola highlights is the lack of adequate payment for troops.
- Nicola, Lewis. "To George Washington from Lewis Nicola, 22 May 1782,". Founders Online. U.S. National Archives. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- Washington, George. "To Lewis Nicola from George Washington, 22 May 1782,". Founders Online. U.S. National Archives. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
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- Image of Nicola's letter (American Memory, Library of Congress)
- Text of Washington's response
- Full text of letter to George Washington from Lewis Nicola, 22 May 1782
- Full text of Washington's unequivocal response to Lewis Nicola's proposal of a constitutional monarchy for the US, 22 May 1782
- Nicola's reaction to Washington's firm repudiation of Nicola's proposal of a constitutional monarchy for the US, 23 May 1782
- Nicola again writes to Washington to explain his motives for his first letter (and his uncertainty as to what he had written in the second one), 24 May 1782
- Nicola writes Washington again in distress over the "ill fated representation" he had sent him, 28 May 1782
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