George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Henry Edwin Stanhope, 18 February 1776

From Lieutenant Henry Edwin Stanhope

Northampton [Mass.] Febry 18th 1776


May I venture once more to trespass upon your Excellencys Patience,1 what I should not do, but from the most urgent Motives, (to procure myself some Money a Commodity, which I never before knew the want off,) & which cannot possibly be done but by my going to Providence, where I have a Friend, who for my Note of Hand will supply me.

I hope your Excellency will condescend to grant this Request, no doubt your Excellency is sensible, it must be very disagreable to be a Prisoner, but to want the only Means, of rendering our Situation a little comfortable, must afford a very gloomy Prospect.

I flatter myself your Excellency will consider my Rank in Life, & not refuse, what cannot be of any Detriment to the Col⟨onies.⟩ I need therefore only add (should your Excellency do me the Honour to comply) how punctuall I shall be, to any Time that may be allotted me, to transact my Business; as well as sensible of your Excellency’s kind Indulgence.2 I have the Honour to subscribe myself Yr Excellency’s most obedient, humble Servant,

H. E. Stanhope


On 16 Feb. 1776 Stanhope wrote Stephen Moylan: “Though, I have not the Pleasure of yr Acquaintance, yet I have presumed to trouble You, to remind & intercede with his Excellency, to permitt me to go to Providence, a Liberty I should not have taken but from the Exigency of my Business, therefore hope will excuse me.” In a postscript to that letter Stanhope added: “I had sealed his Excellency’s Letter when my Landlord inform’d me he was uneasy least he should not be paid for my board as I was sent it by Governour Cooke of Rhode Island therefore shall be much obliged to You to mention this Circumstance to the General that my Landlord may be satisfied as he will not lett me stay with him any Longer” (DLC:GW).

1Stanhope had previously written GW on 25 Dec. 1775 and 16 Jan. 1776.

2No response to this letter has been found, but GW had earlier informed Congress of the need to provide money to captive officers in his letters to Hancock of 9 Feb. (third letter) and 14 Feb. 1776.

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