George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant Caleb Brewster, 11 August 1778

To Lieutenant Caleb Brewster

Head Quarters White plains 11th Augt 1778


I perceive by a letter of yours to Genl Parsons that Genl Silliman had granted liberty to Lieut. French to return to Long Island upon parole.1 Genl Parsons tells me that upon rect of your letter he directed Mr French to be detained untill he consulted me upon the propriety of the Measure. I desire that he may be immediately sent back to the place from whence he came, and inclosed is a letter for Genl Silliman informing him of my reasons for as doing.2 I am &c.

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

1Brewster’s letter to Brig. Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons has not been identified. Lieutenant French may have been Arthur French of the 47th Regiment, who had surrendered with Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne at Saratoga, or perhaps the Loyalist James French (c.1745–1820), who was commissioned a lieutenant in Delancey’s Brigade in August 1777.

2The enclosed letter to Brig. Gen. Gold Selleck Silliman of the Connecticut militia reads: “By a letter from Lieut. Brewster who is stationed at Norwalk, I am informed that you had granted permission to Lieut. French a prisoner of War to return to Long Island upon parole. There are very particular reasons for putting a stop to this matter at present, and I have therefore ordered Mr French back to the place from whence he came.

“As many inconveniencies arise from a variety of persons undertaking to negotiate exchanges, I must desire that neither Mr French or any other prisoner may be sent out of the State, except by order of the Commander in Chief, The officer commanding in a separate department, or the Commy General of prisoners” (Df, DLC:GW).

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