George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel James Clinton, 20 June 1776

To Colonel James Clinton

New York June 20th 1776.


On the Execution of the Inclosed Warrant with expedition, care & exactness, much may depend; I therefore desire you will perform the Service therein required, yourself—In the Instant he is siezed (& his Papers) inform him that there are indubitable Evidence of his being concernd in a Scheme of Inlisting Men for the Kings Service, & note his answers—Communicate this matter to no Person living till you perform the Office required of you.1 I am Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, PWacD: Feinstone Collection, on deposit at PPAmP.

1The enclosed warrant for the arrest of Fletcher Mathews of Orange County, N.Y., a brother of Mayor David Mathews of New York City, has not been identified, but it undoubtedly was issued by the secret committee that the New York provincial congress had appointed three days earlier to investigate an alleged Loyalist conspiracy to recruit soldiers for the king and sabotage American military efforts (see Arrest Warrant from a Secret Committee of the New York Provincial Congress, 21 June, source note). For Mathews’s arrest on this charge and his subsequent release, see James Clinton to GW, 22, 27 June, and GW to Clinton, 23, 29 June–1 July. In September 1778 Gov. George Clinton ordered Mathews to be confined at Goshen, N.Y., because of his Loyalist sympathies, and in November 1779 he was moved to the Albany County jail. Mathews remained a prisoner at least until November 1780 when his exchange was proposed to the British.

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