George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Maxwell, 2 January 1779

From Brigadier General William Maxwell

Elizth Town [N.J.] 2d Jany 1779


I have nothing to Inform Your Excellency of since my last,1 only that Lieut. Campbell of the Convention Troops is co[m]e2 out, and I have sent an Officer with him. I have got a London paper from him which I inclose of the 6th Octr wherein their is a passage that mentions Coll Houseker, and which I thought proper you should be acquainted with.3 I am your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servant

Wm Maxwell


2Maxwell wrote “cone.”

3Nicholas Haussegger (1729–1786), a Swiss-born mercenary, served during the French and Indian War as a sergeant in the Royal American Regiment, and as a lieutenant in the Pennsylvania Regiment. He settled after the war in Lebanon, Pa., and in 1776 he served as major of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment and as colonel of the German Regiment. Haussegger was captured at Princeton under suspicious circumstances in January 1777, and GW refused to admit him to headquarters when he came to visit after his parole a few days later. By the beginning of March, Haussegger had been removed from command of the German Regiment, and he returned home to Lebanon still officially a colonel and a prisoner of war. Although Haussegger maintained contact with the British over the next several years, he managed to maintain a low profile until 1 Feb. 1781, when he wrote GW resigning his commission. This brought him back to the attention of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council, which promptly declared him a traitor, confiscated his lands, and ordered his arrest for trial. He somehow eluded further punishment, however, and remained in America until his death (see Haussegger to GW, 16 Jan. 1777 and 5 Feb. 1781; see also Davis, A Man of No Country description begins James F. Davis. A Man of No Country: The Case of Colonel Nicholas Haussegger, 1729-1786. Edited by Thomas V. Uhrich. Lebanon, Pa., 1989. description ends ).

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