George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Paterson, 13 August 1778

To William Paterson

York State, White plains August the 13th 1778


You will perceive by the Inclosed Copy of the proceedings of Congress, that they have appointed you, to assist and co-operate with the Judge Advocate in conducting the Trial of the General Officers, who were in the Northern Department, when Tyconderoga and Mount Independence were evacuated.1 I think it proper to inform you, that a General Court Martial will sit at this place on Monday the 24th Instant, to try Major General St Clair, who is one of the Officers under this description. I am sir Your Most Obedt servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, NNU-F: Richard Maass Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW signed the cover of the LS. A note on the draft reads: “the same to Jonathan D. Sergeant, Esqr. Attorney Genl of pensylvania,” and there is a similar notation on the Varick transcript.

William Paterson (1745–1806), a graduate of the College of New Jersey at Princeton who represented Somerset County in the New Jersey provincial congress of 1775–76, was chosen to be attorney general of New Jersey in September 1776. Although elected to the Continental Congress in November 1780, he declined to serve, remaining as attorney general until 1783. He later served as a New Jersey delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787; U.S. senator, 1789–90; New Jersey governor, 1790–93; and justice of the Supreme Court, 1793–1806.

1For the resolution of 5 Feb. appointing Paterson and Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant to assist in the trial, see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 10:125.

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