George Washington Papers

To George Washington from General William Howe, 16 April 1778

From General William Howe

Philadelphia 16th April 1778


At the earnest Request of Mrs Higgins who desires to have the Honor of waiting upon you, I am induced to trouble you with this Letter by her to offer Mr Lawrie (one of your principal Commissaries) in exchange for her Husband and Mr Clarke, both Deputy Commissaries & under the Convention of Saratoga.1 If this proposal meets with your approbation; I shall immediately give up Mr Lawrie’s Parole; and trusting that the fair Lady will be a more prevailing Advocate in obtaining your Compliance for the Return of her Husband than I can possibly presume to be, I decline urging any thing further in favour of her Request. With due Regard I am Sir, Your most obedt Servant

(Signed) W. Howe

P.S. Mrs Moore, a Relation of Mrs Higgins’s will attend her, in which I hope you will not see any Impropriety.

Copy, P.R.O., 30/55, Carleton Papers, no. 1102, f. 152; second copy, P.R.O., 30/55, Carleton Papers, no. 1102, f. 171.

1Jonathan Clarke was an assistant commissary general for Gen. John Burgoyne’s army. Higgins was not among the commissary officers who signed a parole of the Convention army at Boston on 13 Dec. 1777 (Hastings, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 2:450–53). GW responded with a counteroffer on 19 April 1778, and Deputy Commissary General Thomas Lowrey was exchanged for Higgins on 20 April.

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