George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Phillips, 26 January 1779

To Major General William Phillips

Head Quarters Philadelphia 26th Jany 1779.


I have had the honor of receiving your favor of the 4th December two of the 6th and one of the 16th Jany.1 The application relative to Lieut. Maxwell I find was answered in my absence from Camp2—that respecting a conference intended to serve as a basis for a final negociation of the exchange of the Convention Troops, you have withdrawn3—It only remains therefore for me to say on the subject of the Flag Ships destined to carry necessaries for your Troops—that whenever it is judged proper to dispatch them from New York—the Passports required will ⟨be⟩ immediately granted, upon my being made acquainted with the names of the Vessels and their Commanders.

With regard to the most convenient place for discharging their Cargoes I must beg leave to refer you to the Governor of Virginia—who will send directions to Hampton—as far as which place my Passports will authorise the Vessels to proceed4—I inclose a Letter from His Excelly The presidt of Congress5 and have the honor to be with great Consideration sir Yours &.

Df, in John Laurens’s writing, DLC:GW; copy (extract), P.R.O., 30/55, Carleton Papers; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The extract consists of the entire letter except for the first two sentences and the final sentence. The unfound receiver’s copy apparently was enclosed in GW’s letter to Phillips of 30 Jan. (see n.1 to the latter letter, and Phillips to GW, 1 Feb.).

2For Major General Stirling’s refusal of Lt. Hamilton Maxwell’s request to go to Canada, see Stirling to GW, 18 Jan., and n.4 to that document.

3For the failure of this conference, see Commissioners for the Exchange of Prisoners to GW, 15 Dec. 1778, and n.1 to that document.

4See GW’s letter to Patrick Henry of 13 Feb. and two letters of 1 March [1] [2].

5GW enclosed John Jay’s letter to Phillips of 23 Jan., which enclosed a copy of Congress’s resolution of that date directing GW to order Phillips immediately to proceed to Charlottesville, Va. (see Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 11:508–9; see also 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 , 13:104).

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