George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Artemas Ward, 1 March 1776

To Major General Artemas Ward

Camp at Cambridge 1st Mar. [1776]


A Gentleman or two from Maryland, having some business of Importance to negotiate at the Lines, have applied for, & been refused leave to attend personally; but I have indulged them in letting Colo. Mifflin go; a meeting with whom being desird by Major Small, on some business he thinks, relative to the Prisoners at Philadelphia.1

Let none but the Officer of the Guard, or one of your Aids go down with Colo. Mifflin.2 I am Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

Gridley & Baldwin Notice of this that I may not be detaind when I come down.


1Capt. John Small of the 21st Regiment of Foot was a brigade major in the British army at Boston. In 1777 Small took command of the 2d battalion of the 84th Regiment (Royal Highland Emigrants) in Nova Scotia, and in 1780 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. For the supplying of British prisoners in Philadelphia, see GW to Hancock, 14 Feb. 1776.

2GW wanted to restrict communication between Boston and the American army to prevent the British from learning about the preparations being made for the occupation of Dorchester Heights. On 21 Feb. 1776 Horatio Gates wrote to Ward: “I am to acquaint you, That The General intirely approves of your Stopping all intercourse of Persons at the Lines; & was, Just as your Letter arrived, going to send you His Possitive directions so to do. His Excellency Thinks much harm may possibly come by any longer continuing that sort of Communication with Boston, & intirely Joins with you in thinking, it ought be immediately Stopp’d” (NjMoHP). Ward’s letter regarding the halting of communications has not been identified. On 23 Feb. 1776 Robert Hanson Harrison wrote to Ward: “By his Excellency’s command, I inclose you Doctor Morgans Letter to John Loring, Esq., in Boston which is to be sent in today on account of the Child, But not to be drawn into precedent in future nor will any other application of the sort be granted. His Excellency desires that when Mr Lorings Child is brought in order to go into Boston that you will have Its Cloaths examined lest there should be Letters concealed in them, and that no persons be permitted to carry It to the Lines, but such as you judge necessary, Doctor Morgan by his Letter is to do It himself” (MHi: Ward Papers).

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