George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Duane, 27 April 1779

From James Duane

Philada 27th April 1779

Dear Sir

I beg Leave to recommend the enclosed papers transmitted by Governour Clinton to your Excellency’s Attention—As you have full power to conduct the Exchange of Prisoners it is needless to lay them before Congress. Permit me to request your Excellency to favour Governour Clinton with the Directions you may think proper to give on this Subject.1 I have the Honour to be—for myself and the Delegates of New York—with the utmost Respect—Dear Sir Your Excellency’s most Obedient humble Servant

Jas Duane


1The enclosures included a letter and enclosures that George Clinton had sent on 11 April to the New York delegates to Congress, respecting the exchange of civilians captured during the raid on Cherry Valley, N.Y., in November 1778. Duane responded to Clinton on 27 April 1779 that he had forwarded the papers to GW, who supposedly had authority over all prisoner exchanges (Hastings and Holden, 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 , 4:710–11, 761–62). As GW informed Clinton and Duane in separate letters on 3 May, however, he had no authority over civilian exchanges on the frontier.

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