George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 17 August 1778

To George Clinton

Head Quarters White Plains Aug. 17th 1778

Sir,

Mr Benson having signified to me, that you would stand in need of a flag to conduct some persons to the enemy’s lines on the 19th instant;1 I am to inform Your Excellency, that an officer will attend at Fish Kill on the day appointed to receive and execute the orders, which shall be given him for that purpose.2 I have the honor to be With the greatest respect Sir, Your most Obedt servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, PWacD: Sol Feinstone Collection, on deposit PPAmP; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Robert Benson, secretary of the New York provincial congress in 1775 and 1776 and secretary of the New York senate, 1777–84, reputedly also acted as Clinton’s private secretary. The persons in question were “Mr. Saml. Bayard & family & a second Cargo of banished Tories” (Clinton to William Malcom, 18 Aug., in 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 , 3:657).

2GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton wrote to Col. William Malcom on this date: “You will appoint a genteel sensible officer to go to Fish Kill the 19th instant, where he will receive orders from the Governor or the Commissioners for conducting in character of a flag some inhabitants who are to [be] sent to New York. You will caution him to treat the persons in his charge with decency and politeness. It will be necessary to be very exact as to the time; and so to order it that the officer may be at Fish Kill the night before or early in the morning” (DLC:GW).

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