Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Matthew Godfrey, 6 January 1781

From Matthew Godfrey

Norfolk January 6th. 1781.


In Consequence of William Godfrey, Henry Whiting, John Livingston, Richard Lee, and John Cook, falling into the hands of Comodore Symonds, of the Brittish fleet off Newport News I sent down Colo. Mathews with a flagg in order to get off the prisoners, or if that could not be obtain’d, to Supply them with some Specia.

In Consequence the Comodore releas’d on parole Henry Whiting and wrote the inclosed. Having no Chance of Collecting any of his brittannick Majesties Subjects, unless some of their present party should fortunately fall into our hands here, having none at present, hope your Excellency will order an exchange of the above mentioned Young men as early as your Excellency pleases. I am Sir Your Mo Obedt. Hble Servt.,

Matthew Godfrey

RC (Vi); addressed and endorsed. Enclosure; see below.

The inclosed letter: Thomas Symonds to Matthew Godfrey, “Charon off Newporte Nuse,” 4 Jan. 1781 (Vi), stating that he has granted a parole to Henry Whiting and that he has no wish to keep the prisoners on the Charon except for exchange; “if that cannot be Complyed with soon, shall have no Objection to send them on parole also” (printed in CVSP description begins Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond description ends , i, 417–18). Matthew (or Mathew) Godfrey was county lieutenant of Norfolk (Gwathmey, Hist. Reg. of Virginians in the Revolution); see further, Thomas Newton to TJ, 21 Jan. 1781.

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