George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Joshua Loring, 1 February 1777

To Joshua Loring

Head Quarters Morris town 1st Feby 1777


Since I wrote to you on the 20th of last Month I have recd a Return of the Officers and privates sent from Connecticut by Govr Trumbull, a Copy you have inclosed.1 I desire that Capt. Dearbone who was taken at Quebec on the 31st decemr 1775, and whose Parole has not yet been sent out, may have it done by the first Opportunity, in the room of one of the Captains, and that Captains Trowbridge and percival of the 17th Continental Regiment taken upon Long Island upon the 27 Augt may be exchanged for the other.2 As Brigade Major Wyllis who will deliver you this, was permitted to go out of New York upon his parole, either to return or send in a Captain, I would have requested that one of the three Captains sent in by Govr Trumbull might have been exchanged for him, could I have done it without doing injustice to Captains Dearbone, Trowbridge or percival who have been longer in Captivity.3 But if there is a Captain, as I think there is sent in by us, and not yet accounted for, I desire that Major Wyllis may be exchanged for him. There are yet the paroles of Eight of the Officers besides Capt. Dearbone, who were taken at Quebec, which have never been sent out. I wish to have them among the first. I observe that none of the Maryland Officers who were taken upon long Island have ever been released, and that the pennsylvanians have had more than their proportion, I therefore desire that in future the Officers from the Eastern States, and those from Jersey, York and Maryland may have a due preference. I am &c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW is referring to the unidentified return of prisoners sent to him by Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., on 23 January.

2Caleb Trowbridge (d. 1776), who served as a captain in the 1st Connecticut Regiment from May to December 1775 and as captain in the 17th Continental Regiment beginning on 1 Jan. 1776, was wounded at the Battle of Long Island on 27 Aug. 1776 and died two days later while in British captivity. Timothy Percival (1733–1815) served as a first lieutenant in the 8th Connecticut Regiment from July to December 1775 before being commissioned a captain in the 17th Continental Regiment on 1 Jan. 1776.

3Henry Dearborn (1751–1829) commanded a company of minutemen before being commissioned a captain in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment on 23 April 1775. Captured at Quebec on 31 Dec. 1775 and paroled in May 1776, Dearborn was exchanged on 10 Mar. 1777 and shortly thereafter named major of the 3d New Hampshire Regiment, to rank from 8 Nov. 1776. Dearborn was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 19 Sept. 1777, and from June 1781 to 1 Mar. 1782 when he resigned from the army, he served as deputy quartermaster general of the Continental army (see General Orders, 30 June 1781). He became the U.S. marshal for the District of Maine in 1789, where he had resettled in 1784, and from 1793 to 1797 he represented the district in the U.S. Congress. Dearborn was Thomas Jefferson’s secretary of war from 1801 to 1809, collector of the port of Boston from 1809 to 1812, major general of the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, and minister plenipotentiary to Portugal from 1822 to 1824.

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