George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General William Maxwell, 13 February 1779

To Brigadier General William Maxwell

Head Quarters Middlebrook 13 Feby 1779.

Dr Sir

I received your favor of the 11th Inst.1

In order to accommodate the affairs of the prisoners, who are coming out or going in to New-York and prevent the inconveniences you complain of, the inclosed directs Mr Adams one of the deputy Commissaries of prisoners to give his attendance twice or thrice a week, or as often as circumstances may require.2

The want of an established post between this and Elizabeth Town must prevent you from receiving the Philada papers regularly—But as often as I have opportunities, and get them myself—I shall send them.3

You will be pleased to transmit the enclosed dispatches to New York by a flag.4 I am &.


Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Maxwell’s letter to GW of 11 Feb. has not been found.

2The enclosure directing John Adam to assist with prisoners has not been identified. Despite some controversy, Adam served as deputy commissary of prisoners at Elizabeth, N.J., from February 1779 to June 1783 (see Adam to William Livingston, 3 Jan. 1781, Prince, Livingston Papers description begins Carl E. Prince et al., eds. The Papers of William Livingston. 5 vols. Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., 1979–88. description ends , 4:118–19; Samuel Huntington to GW, 1 May 1781, DLC:GW; and GW to Huntington, 11 May 1781, DNA:PCC, item 152; 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 , 25:758, 28:462, and 29:517). Seeking reimbursement for expenses, Adam wrote a letter to John Beatty on 11 April 1785 from Rahway, N.J., which reads in part: “When ordered by the Commander in Chief in Febry 79 to take charge of the Post of Elizth Town as Commissary of Prisoners, which is well-known to yourself, the Post proveing so expensive, that none of the Deputys wou’d give their attendance more than two or three days at a time, which obliged Genl Maxwell to be a little troublesome at Head Quarters and my apointment in this State from N. York State.

“I encountered with it, and struggled thro’ untill I recd the last British prisoner sent in” (DNA:PCC, item 138).

3See Maxwell to GW, 26–27 Jan., and n.3.

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