George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Peter Scull, 18–19 June 1779

From Peter Scull

War-Office [Philadelphia] 18[–19]th June 1779.


A Captain Featherstone of the 21st british regiment, is one of the gentlemen mentioned in the list of officers, forwarded to your Excellency by General Thompson for exchange on parole. He yesterday arrived in this city with the inclosed letter from Colonel Bland;1 and is anxious to have your Excellency’s determination on his case. He is directed by the board to continue here ’till favour’d with your answer.

I transmit your Excellency by order of the board, a petition of Cap. Judd of the 3d Connecticut regiment;2 and a return of Col. Brodhead’s officers—With respect to the latter, the board would be glad to be favoured with it, if it meets with your approbation, and you think the commissions ought to issue.3 I have the honour to be with the highest respect Your Excellency’s very hb. serv.

P. Scull Secretary

19th June. Since writing the foregoing Captain Featherstone is ordered by Congress to remain at Mount-holly in Jersey ’till your Excellency’s pleasure is known.4


1The enclosure was a letter from Col. Theodorick Bland to Scull, written at Charlottesville, Va., on 31 May: “This will be deliverd you by Capt. Featherstone one of the Officers belonging to the troops under the Convention of Saratoga now on his way to Philadelphia by Permission of His Excelly Govr Henry, on an application, made me by Majr Genl Phillips, on behalf of Capts. Featherstone & Edmonstone, the latter an Aid to Majr Genl Riedesel, who will by the same Authority ⟨mutilated⟩ Some time hence, he (Capt. Edmonstone) being ⟨mutilated⟩ at his own instance to settle some private Matters. ⟨An ap⟩plication from Majr Genl Phillips is enclosed and will fully explain to the Honble the board of War, the motives on which those gent[leme]n have obtaind the Governers Indulgence. I have also the Honor to Enclose a Copy of an application of a Similar nature from the Young Baron de Geismar, whose request if the Board think reasonable I shall grant a passport to go by such route as they think proper to direct” (DLC:GW; see also n.4 below, and GW to Board of War, 22 July).

2In the enclosed petition, written at “Camp Redding,” Conn., on 21 May, Capt. William Judd requested the Board of War to make him the most senior captain in the Connecticut line on the basis of his prior service as major in that state’s militia (DLC:GW).

William Judd (1743–1804) graduated from Yale in 1763 and moved about 1774 to Wyoming, Pa., then claimed as part of Connecticut. He served as a major in the Connecticut militia from that disputed jurisdiction between August and October 1775 and then acquiesced in taking the lower rank of captain in the 3d Connecticut Regiment. He apparently enlisted on 11 Oct. 1776 but was not commissioned until 1 Jan. 1777. Judd retired from the army in January 1781 and practiced law in his native Farmington, Conn., often representing that town in the state legislature. Oliver Ellsworth asked GW to consider Judd for a federal judgeship in a letter of 2 Feb. 1790 (see Papers, Presidential Series, description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series. 17 vols. to date. Charlottesville, Va., 1987—. description ends 5:92). Judd was a controversial figure in Connecticut politics at the time of his death.

3The enclosed return of officers in Col. Daniel Brodhead’s command has not been identified, but GW enclosed it with his letter to the Board of War of 25 June. In that same letter, GW also authorized Capt. William Featherstone to go to New York on parole and rejected Judd’s appeal for higher rank.

4See 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 14:744. For more on Featherstone’s parole and exchange, see William Phillips to GW, 6 June, and Board of War to GW, 12 June, and n.1 to that document.

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