George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Livingston, 6 February 1777

From William Livingston

Haddonfield [N.J.] 6 Febry 1777


I am requested by Congress to procure one or more Affidavits on the following Subjects. 1 The Enemy’s Treatment of Prisoners. 2 Their abusing and mangling Persons upon the Field or elsewhere after Surrender. 3 Their Depredations of Property. & 4 Their ill treatment of Women.1

With respect to the 2d Point, if I remember right, I understood from Collo. Flower when I was at Morris Town, that he was a Spectator of their Barbarity towards Capt. Neal of the Artillery.2 If his Affidavit on that Subject or that of any other Gentleman who can prove the Charge could be ordered to be taken, & transmitted to me, I should esteem it as a particular Favour. Perhaps some Gentlemen about your Excellency’s Person are able to direct me to Witnesses in support of the other Accusations against the Enemy; for my being in this remote Corner of the State where I can have no personal Intercourse with the Gentlemen of the Army renders it extremely difficult for me to execute the Directions of Congress with the Accuracy I could wish, without some such Assistance—This Consideration, will, I hope, apologize for my thus intruding on your time, which I know must be wholly ingrossed by your Attention to our military operations.

Copy, appended to Livingston to GW, 10 Feb., DLC:GW; ADf, MHi: Livingston Papers. A note at the bottom of the draft, which is mutilated, reads: “The like (except the mention of Coll Flower) to Genl Putnam 11 Feby.”

1Livingston is referring to Congress’s resolution of 16 Jan. 1777 (see Samuel Chase to GW, 23 Jan., and GW to Chase, 5 Feb. 1777). On 22 and 24 Mar. 1777, six young women gave depositions concerning their mistreatment by British soldiers stationed in New Jersey in December 1776 (see GW to William Livingston, 3 Mar. 1777, and note 4).

2Daniel Neil of the New Jersey militia was killed on 3 Jan. at the Battle of Princeton (see GW to Hancock, 5 Jan. 1777).

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