George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General William Maxwell, 17 February 1779

To Brigadier General William Maxwell

Head Quarters [Middlebrook] 17th Feby 1779.


The Bearer Mr Thomas Smith a Gentleman particularly recommended by Govr Henry of Virginia—has my permission to go into New York on his private affairs—You will therefore furnish him with a Flag for that purpose.1 I am Sir Your most obedt servt.

Df, in John Laurens’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Thomas Smith, from Gloucester County, Va., where he was a planter and merchant, was appointed agent for state trade in December 1777. Captured on 2 June 1779 while sailing overseas on public business, Smith was taken to New York but released soon after and allowed to return to Virginia, which he reached in late July (see Smith to “The Board of Trade in Williamsburg,” 28 Oct. 1779, Virginia Board of Trade Records, CSmH [photocopy at Vi]; Philip Mazzei to Thomas Jefferson, 27 Nov. 1779, Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends , 3:201–2). For a description of the agent’s duties, see McIlwaine, Letters of the Governors description begins H. R. McIlwaine, ed. Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia. 3 vols. Richmond, 1926–29. description ends , 1:209–10.

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