From a Board of General Officers
New Windsor 28th June 1779.
The Board of General Officers orderd to sit the 25th1 to decide respecting a number of persons prisoners With the Enemy, who of them have broke their Parole, and who of them are Military Prisoners. Beg leave to Report the following state of their Cases and their Opinion upon them.
Colonel John Hannom was a Militia Colonel in Chester County Pensylvania; was in actual service, and made prisoner by the Enemy on their way from Brandiwine to Philadelphia. He was afterward admitted to a limitted parole at the Golden swan in the City: That from an indulgence of walking the street, granted him by Serjeant Serrit without authority, he took the opportunity of a dark night of making his escape. The Board are of opinion that he broke his parole.2
Lieutenant Colonel Persival Frazer and Major William Williams belonging to the Continental army, were kept close prisoners, either in the State-house, or new Goal in Philadelphia. They were afterwards admitted to a limitted parole in the City for their health. In this situation they received a verbal summons left at their quarters to repair to the Golden Swan, where they were put under close confinement. Under these circumstances they made their escape, having never given any other parole, either verbal or written, which all the other prisoners in the Swan had done. The Board are of opinion therefore, that their escape was justifiable.3
Mr Bowne was not an Officer when he was made prisoner, which appears from the best information we can get. To decide positively upon this matter, it will be necessary to have the Muster-rolls of Colonel Bonds Regiment of Massachusets State. If it shall be found that he was an Officer, the Board are clearly of opinion, that he has broke his parole.4
Pardon Burlingham appears, by Major Skinners information to have been a private in Captain Vandyckes company of Granadiers in Colonel Lashers Regiment of New york five-months-men. He made his escape and cannot be accounted for except as a private.5
William Bowers being made a prisoner not under arms, nor in actual service, cannot be accounted for as a military prisoner, but only as a common Citizen.6
Lewelling Young being taken under similar circumstances with Mr Bowers, cannot be consider’d as a military prisoner.7
Lt Andrew Forest a prisoner on parole, taken from Long Island by Mr Mariner, with a party of Continental troops. The Board are of opinion that his release depend upon a future contract with the Enemy; whether all prisoners taken hereafter under similar circumstances shall be held by their paroles.8
Lt Daniel Cressop made his escape from a guard order’d by Colonel Axtell to take him into custody while he was a prisoner on parole. The Board are of opinion that his escape is legal; his parole being cancel’d by his being put under guard.9
Lt Thomas Mercer. The Board from enquiry can find no such person, ever having been in any of the Jersey Regiments, and therefore he cannot be accounted for.10
Isaac Warrel was a Citizen taken near Frankford from his own house not in actual service, and therefore cannot be consider’d a military prisoner.11
Lt Robert Cammell was not justifiable in coming away, and therefore ought to be accounted for.12
Lt Jonathan Porter made his escape from the State house while under guard in Philadelphia. The Board are of opinion his escape was justifiable.13
John McClure, James Fletcher, Jonathan Rogers, and Holderby Lankford, Navy prisoners, and therefore cannot be accounted for in the Land service.14
John Ogburn, Thomas Millard, John Blake, and Robert Rankin, all Citizens and not in service when taken prisoners, as appears by a subscrib’d list,15 taken of the prisoners in the possession of the enemy; given in by the prisoners themselves of their situation, Rank and manner of being taken, a Copy of which list, was lodg’d in Mr Loring’s Office.
William Marriner continued in New York when the Enemy took possession of the City; was not in service, and therefore cannot be consider’d in a military character.16
John Brown Surgeon. The Commissary General of prisoners can give no information, whereby the Board can decide in his case.17
Charles Roberts Commissary, made prisoner by the Enemy while in Philadelphia, was kept under confinement for some considerable time, and afterwards releas’d by the Enemy without parole for services render’d them in informing them of the manner in which our Officers made their escape. The board think he ought not to be accounted for.
Colonel Thomas Thomas, West Chester Militia. It is doubtful whether he was a military prisoner; but if he was, his escape was unjustifiable.18
Colonel Hale has return’d.19
Colonel Swoop, Lt Colonel Frederick Bellenger and Lt Colo. Nicholas Luz, prisoners on parole, and not return’d agreable to the summons of the Commissary General of Prisoners. The Board consider them as breakers of their paroles.20
Lt Colonel Christopher Greene. The Board consider him as actually exchang’d; his parole having been given up. Nevertheless, if it shall appear hereafter, that the Cannadian Officer for which he was exchang’d, did not hold the Rank which he sign’d a parole for, than an equivalent shall be given in lieu of him.21
Major William Ellis appears from a Certificate of his Neighbours, incapable of obeying the summons of the Commissary General of prisoners and therefore to be accounted for when his right of exchange shall happen, or return when his health will permit.22
Major Brigade, Daniel Hamel, is consider’d a suspicious character, being now in confinement by order of Governor Clinton, to whom we think the matter should be refer’d; the suspicions appearing to us such as to render him an unfit person to be exchang’d.23
Captain Samuel Fisher has return’d.24
Captain John Spotswood is prevented returning from the State of his wounds. A satisfactory account of which has been made to the Commissary General of prisoners.25
Captain George Gilchrist, prisoner on parole, has never been order’d to return, being omitted in the enemy’s former list.26
Lt James Smith has return’d.27
Lt William Cohoon has been summons’d but not return’d, nor given any satisfactory reasons for his conduct, which is consider’d a breach of parole.28
Jacob Bright cannot be consider’d a military prisoner being taken from his own house and not in service.29
Lt Henry Jeans and Peter Wiser, Officers on parole have been summons’d to return and have not obey’d, nor given any satisfactory reasons for their conduct, and therefore consider’d by the Board as breakers of their paroles.30
Benjamin Hickhock return’d as a Lieutenant. It is very doubtful whether he holds any Rank, or ever did in the Continental service. But if he was in Commission and in actual service at the time of his being taken, The Board are of opinion that he has broke his parole.31
Samuel Wilcox Lt a prisoner on parole, has been summons’d to return, and has not obey’d it, nor given any reasons for the neglect. The Board therefore consider him as having broke his parole.32
Mr Ryerson not being in Commission at the time he was made prisoner by the enemy, can be consider’d in no other light than a Citizen.33
Andrew McMinn being taken not in actual service cannot be accounted for only as a Citizen.34
Ensign John spoor, prisoner on parole, summons’d to ret⟨urn⟩ but has not obey’d the summons, nor given any reason for the neglect, is theref⟨ore⟩ consider’d as having broke his parole.35
Solomon Bush D. A. General, in the Militia service; ⟨pri⟩soner on parole, has furnish’d a certificate from Docr Glentworth of his ina⟨bi⟩lity to return; The Board think it sufficient, and that he return as soon as he is able; or that he be accounted for, when his right of exchange may happen.
Daniel Kanady Adjt under similar circumstances with Major Bush; The Board are of the same opinion with respect to him.36
Lt William Brentnal, prisoner on parole, has been summons’d to return, but has not obey’d it, nor given any satisfactory rea⟨son⟩ for the neglect. The Board consider him as having broke his parole.37
The Board consider all prisoners on parole, that have made their escape from the enemy, and have not given satisfactory reason⟨s⟩ to justify their conduct, as having broken their paroles.
Nath. Greene38 Major Gene⟨ral⟩ Presid⟨ent⟩
Stirling, Major Genl
The Baron De Kalb. M.G.
Steuben M: Gl
H. Knox B.G. Artillery
Wm Woodford Brig: Ge⟨nl⟩
P. Muhlenberg B.G.
Wm Irvine B: Genl
This board of general officers apparently considered at least 100 individuals charged with breaking their paroles. In a return dated 10 July and headed “Return of Officers charged with having broke the Parole,” John Beatty, commissary general of prisoners, appears to have condensed the board’s work (DLC:GW). This return lists the rank, name, and in most cases, affiliation of each alleged parole violator, which aggregated to four colonels, four lieutenant colonels, three majors, one brigade major, twenty captains, two captain lieutenants, fifty lieutenants, eleven ensigns, one deputy adjutant general, one quartermaster, one surgeon’s mate, one commissary, and one adjutant for a total of 100 officers. Beatty then explained in a closing note: “Mr Loring in one of his late Letters Challenges 116 but has not furnished us with the Names of more than are here inserted which are taken from his different Returns of Officers having made breach of Parole, and those at home on Parole who have not returned agreable to the Summons.” Beatty’s return is a principal source to clarify names in the board’s report.
2. Col. John Hannum countered the board’s conclusion in a reply taken down at “Bradford” (either East Bradford Township or West Bradford Township, Chester County, Pa.) on 17 Sept. and authenticated on 20 September. The reply reads: “This day Recvd your favor of the seventh and am Much surprised to find that the Enemey can have any claims on me under Pretence of my Voliateing my Parrole I return you my unfaned Thanks for your Care and freindly Conduct on my part and will in as Concise a manner as possible give you Information of the manner of my being Taken prisoner and the maner of makeing my Escape believeing at the Time that I was under no sort of Parrole whatsoevr Twas Evidently the Opinion of all the Principal Officers Confind with me who Asisted me in my Enterprise. Twas Taken Prisoner the Night of the seventh of October 1777 by a Detachment of the 16 Ridgm. of British Dragoons was Conveyd to the City and was Lodged in the State house with A number of American off[ice]rs Some time after was sent to the new goal and there confind till Febuary following when Majors Gyles Harper and myself Petitioned Sir William Howe in behalf of all the Officers in Person Praying to be Permited on Parrole or to be confind in some more helthy Place Disorder Raging much at that Time in Goal In a short time after Mr Ferguson the then British Commisary of Prisoners informd us that our Patition was Favourd and that We should be parrold to the swan Tavron in third street if we Chosed and Requested Colo. Coates Major Harper and myself To go to sd Place and View the conveniances se[e] if it would Do Saying that it was the Intention of Sir William to make the Situation of the Prisoners as agreeable as Possible Informing us at the same time that it would not be necessary for the officer Prisoners to Be at the swan only at Rool Call which would be Twise a Day in a few Days our Parroles was brought into Goal to be signed I made some Objections and sd the Parroles Restricted us to the swan Only and that if we Left it it Perhaps would be a Sufficent Reason for Our being confind again Mr Ferguson made Answer it was only mater of form and that our Privalages Should be greater then he had yet mentioned we then signd the Parroles with this condition that we should not think ourselves bound by them while any guard Remained over us which Mr Ferguson Said Should be no Longer then till we got to the Place Apointed I then made Answer and said that if any Prisoner made his Escape while under guard or on their way to the swan we Should not think Ourselves Culpible on his Acct as we were under the Care of the guard we had agreed to be security for the good Conduct of some we arived at the swan Aforesd but contrary To our Expectation the Centries was Placed Round the house as Usual at other Places of Confinement with a Circumstance Extra ⟨viz.⟩ One at our Lodging Room Doar at night and so continued we wa⟨s⟩ Refusd the Previlige of speaking to any of our Friends or Even to ⟨the⟩ guard we were not allowed the Privilige of having our Provisions brought[t] to us otherwise then one of their sentrys which with our Clothes was allways serchd we was not Permitted the use of The necessary without a centry with us so Remained for some Days When the courtious Mr Ferguson came to our Prison where we was more Close confind then we had Either been in the state hous⟨e⟩ or in the new goal. a number of the Officers Complaind to Mr Ferguson my Self in Perticular Mr Ferguson seemd surprisd as he Ever did if he heard of any Ill usuage given the Prisoners and Said it was through mistake and the guard should be removed Imediately which was Done a bout 9 Oclock sd Day but About 4 Oclock sd Day Another guard was sent which if Posible was more severe than the former we Omitet no Opertunity of Remonstrateing To Mr Ferguson who seemed to have the whole Direction of us who sometime would say it was not consistent with his Desire, That the Prisoners Should be treated in the maner they war and Other times would say that Our Parroles was not binding on us—the Last time I spoke with Mr Ferguson was some time in march I think About the 12th when I Remonstraded or Comp[lained] of the mean and unmanly method he took to Procure our signing th⟨e⟩ Parroles Promising us great Priveliges and not and without the Least Intentions of Ever Performing the Least or most slight Promise I told Mr Ferguson in my Opinion the Parrole was not Binding nor that I should not think myself bound by it that They had broken or Voliated it on their Part which undoutedly Disolved it on all sides he said in a short time he hoped it Would be better but on the Evening of the 17th of march I made my Escape in the Fore Part of sd Day I see the Town major Come to the serjant of the Guard and Damd him and asked him Why he gave the Damd Rebels so much Liberty that if he suffered any Person to speak to them or suffered them to Walk in the yard he would brake him—This Sir is a True state of the mater as neer as I Can Recollect this Information I made to his Excellancy General Washington at the Time I made my Escape in the Presence of a Numb⟨er⟩ of Gentlemen in the Armey who all said I had Acted Right and they ware sorrey some Others that was Left behind had not behaved in the same manner” (DLC:GW).
3. For a defense of Lt. Col. Persifor Frazer and Maj. William Williams on the basis of contemporary documents, including an affidavit of 26 March 1778 given by William Serrett, assistant commissary of prisoners, see Persifor Frazer, “Lieutenant-Colonel Persifor Frazer, of Pennsylvania, Did Not Break His Parole,” Pa. Mag. description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 138 vols. to date. 1877—. description ends 18 (1894): 73–80.
An undated statement that Lieutenant Colonel Frazer prepared reads: “The Golden Swan was to every intent a prison, Centrys were fixed in the front and Rear of the House with orders to suffer no person to speak to the prisoners, neither to speak with them themselves, they had their Bayonetts fix’d & constantly loaded their pieces at sun set. Our nearest connexions & acquaintances were refused the satisfaction of speaking with us.—And it was often with much difficulty our Victuals & Cloathing could be brought to the end of the alley, that led to the Passage to our apartments, & then both examined in the strictest manner for fear of intelligence being convey’d, Many of the Officers have been treated with the grossest insult by the guard. A stinking stable yard to walk in a few at a time, & looking out of the door and windows were all the Liberty, we were suffer’d to take & the Town Major was heard the day I left them to reprimand the Sergeant for suffering ‘those Fellows’ (as he called Us) ‘to have so much Liberty,’ … The facts here stated are most scrupulously true & am sorry to add that this charge should be made use of among many others equally groundless, to justify at different times the severe treatment of many worthy Gentlemen now in confinement in Philada. And I do with pleasure mention that during Six Months that I was a prisoner I never knew an Officer make a bad use of any indulgence and I was well acquainted with their transactions” (“Persifor Frazer,” 75–78). An undated affidavit from Frazer, authenticated in Chester County, Pa., on 20 Sept., reads: “I Persifor Frazer late Lieutenant Colonel of the fifth Pensylva Regt do declare, that I was prisoner of War with the British Forces from the 16th of Septemr 1777. ’till the 17th March 1778. that Colonel Hannums was taken & put into confinement at the State House in Philada about the 9th or 10th October 1777. About the 4th day of January We were remov’d to the New Goal, where I remain’d till about the 20th, when I obtain’d a parole to go to Sick quarters in the City; I remain’d in this situation ’till about the last of Feby following, when I was orderd by a deputy of Mr Ferguson the British Commissary of Prisoners, to repair to the Sign of the Golden Swan in Third Street. Colonel Marbury who also was out on parole and myself went together the same afternoon, & were put into confinement, no Paroles being demanded of either of Us—Here we found Colonel Hannums & a Number of other American Officers who had been remov’d from the New Goal to this place—about this time the greatest part of the Officers who were on parole at Sick quarters in the City were order’d in & confin’d here also—upon enquiry I understood that those Gentlemen who had been remov’d from the New Goal, had been persuaded to Sign Paroles upon promises made to them of many Liberty’s & priviledges w[hi]ch I found in almost every instance violated; As they as well as myself were under as much restraint here as We had been either at the State House or New Goal—Two Centries were plac’d at the front & two others at the back part of the House, who frequently prevented any of our acquaintance from holding any conversation with Us threatning to run their Bayonets into those who attempted it—Our provision & Cloathing was frequently search’d by the guard to prevent as I understood any intelligence being convey’d to or from Us, And the persons who brought those necessarys for our Use were often prevented from coming to Us—during our confinement at this place Mr Ferguson came into the Room where Colonel Hannum myself & sundry other Officers were in confinement when Colonel Hannum complaind in a very spirited manner, that, the priviledges promis’d by the said Mr Ferguson to him and others, at the time of their removal to that place, had not been complied with, and mention’d many of the hardships We at that time suffer’d contrary to the agreement—upon the relating of which Mr Ferguson express’d surprize, & said, the guards had misunderstood their Orders, but that he would rectify the matter & for the future We should have more Liberty—For a few hours after this conversation, We were suff[ered] to speak to some friends who came to Visit Us—but the same Evening the Serjeant or Corporal of the guard inform’d some of Us, that they had receiv’d fresh orders not to suffer Us any more to enjoy those indulgencies—and without any cause that We could learn, we were afterwards under very Severe restrictions—Two Prisoners were as I was informed walking in the Stable Yard under the eye of the guard, the Town Major coming by at this time, reprimanded the guard for allow[in]g ‘those fellows’ (as he call’d Us) so much Liberty, I remain’d in this siutation ’till the evening of the 17th of March when I made my escape & the same evening as I understood Colonel Hannum & Major Williams likewise escap’d—When we got clear of Philadelphia We made all possible haste to Camp & went to Head Quarters, and upon a just & particular Account given to his Excellency General Washington by Colo. Hannum of the circumstances of his confinement and escape (as far as I was acquainted with the matter) His Excellency, express’d himself satisfy’d with his conduct During the whole time of Colonel Hannum & myself being Prisoners (except some small time when We were at Sick quarters in the City) We constantly mess’d together and Lodg’d in the same Room, by which means I became acquainted with some of the facts here Stated” (DLC:GW).
4. A margin note “Quære?” written to the left of this paragraph suggests a desire for further information on this case.
Beatty’s return shows “Benja[min] Bowne” as a major, with no information on his affiliation.
5. Beatty’s return shows Pardon Burlingham as a captain in “Jays Militia.” Pardon Burlingham (1744–1789) apparently served in the Westchester County, N.Y., militia. The pension application of his widow, dated 22 July 1845 and signed with her mark, indicates that Burlingham “served in the dragoon or horse company under Capt. Delevan in Col. Fishers or Lashers regiment” and likely “performed more than three Years service in all in different Years” (DNA: RG 15, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800–1900).
Capt. Abraham C. Van Dyke commanded a Grenadier Company in Col. John Lasher’s regiment of militia independents between September 1775 and July 1776.
6. Beatty’s return shows “Will[ia]m Bowers” as a captain in the Philadelphia militia.
7. Beatty’s return shows Lewelling Young as a captain in “Wains” militia, possibly a reference to Anthony Wayne, who raised troops near Philadelphia in late 1775.
8. A margin note “Quære?” written to the left of this paragraph suggests a desire for further information on this case.
Andrew Forrest (c.1754–1818), who trained as an apothecary in Philadephia, served as a lieutenant in the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment from January 1776 until taken prisoner at Fort Washington, N.Y., that 16 November. For his imprisonment and rescue from Long Island, see Graydon, Memoirs of a Life, description begins Alexander Graydon. Memoirs of a Life, Chiefly Passed in Pennsylvania, within the Last Sixty Years; With Occasional Remarks upon the General Occurrences, Character and Spirit of that Eventful Period. Harrisburg, Pa., 1811. description ends 290–94. Forrest did not rejoin the army after his exchange in October 1780 and subsequently moved to Harrisburg, Pa., where he represented Dauphin County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for one term (1793–94).
William Mariner participated in the whaleboat warfare in the waters around New York City. After the war, he operated taverns, including one that GW visited on 10 Oct. 1789 (see Diaries, description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends 5:458–59).
9. Daniel Cresap (d. 1794) was a lieutenant in Col. Hugh Stephenson’s Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment when he was taken prisoner on Long Island on 27 Aug. 1776. Cresap did not rejoin the army following his escape. For money sent Cresap while imprisoned, see Robert Morris to GW, 12 Feb. 1777.
William Axtell (c.1720–1795), a wealthy Loyalist with a country seat in Flatbush, N.Y., received a commission as colonel from Gen. William Howe in 1778. After his estate was confiscated at the end of the war, he went to England and received a half-pay pension.
10. Beatty’s return shows “Thomas Mercer” as a lieutenant in the 1st New Jersey Regiment. That name is a mistake for John Mercer, who became a lieutenant in the 1st New Jersey Regiment in October 1776. He was taken prisoner near Bound Brook, N.J., on 1 Feb. 1777 and exchanged in November 1780. Mercer was promoted to captain while a prisoner, but he did not rejoin the army following his exchange. He later served as a lieutenant and captain in the United States Army between 1784 and 1790.
11. Beatty’s return shows “Isaac Worrill” as a lieutenant in the Pennsylvania militia.
12. Beatty’s return shows “Robt Campbell” as a lieutenant in “Congress Regt.” Robert Campble, who was promoted from lieutenant to captain upon rejoining the 2d Canadian Regiment, disputed the board’s findings (see Campble to GW, 22 Sept., and GW to Campble, 25 Sept., both DLC:GW; see also GW to Beatty, 29 Sept., DLC:GW).
13. Beatty’s return shows Jonathan Porter as a lieutenant, with no information on his affiliation.
14. A margin note “Quære?” written to the left of this paragraph suggests a desire for further information on these navy prisoners.
15. The subscribed list has not been identified.
John Ogborn (Ogburn, Ogbourn) served in Pennsylvania state artillery units under Jehu Eyre’s command (see Peter D. Keyser, ed., “Memorials of Col. Jehu Eyre,” Pa. Mag. description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 138 vols. to date. 1877—. description ends 3 : 412–25). John Blake and Thomas Millard apparently were taken prisoners at their homes on 14 Feb. 1778 (see Heitman, Historical Register, description begins Francis B. Heitman. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1783. 1893. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C., 1914. description ends 106 and 392). Robert Rankin, who served under Col. Thomas Taylor in the 6th Battalion of the Chester County, Pa., militia, apparently was taken prisoner from his home on 14 Sept. 1777 (see Heitman, Historical Register, description begins Francis B. Heitman. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1783. 1893. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C., 1914. description ends 458).
16. Beatty’s return shows “William Marriner” as a lieutenant affiliated with New York. This soldier probably was William Marinus, a corporal in the 1st Regiment of Tryon County, N.Y., militia who was wounded and apparently taken prisoner at the Battle of Oriskany on 6 Aug. 1777. Marinus became an ensign in the 3d Regiment of Tryon County, N.Y., militia in June 1778.
17. A margin note “Quære?” written to the left of this paragraph suggests a desire for further information on this case.
Beatty’s return shows John Brown as a surgeon’s mate affiliated with the “Gen[era]l Hospital.”
18. A margin note “Quære?” written to the left of this paragraph suggests a desire for further information on this case.
19. The board is referring to Col. Nathan Hale of the 2d New Hampshire Regiment.
20. Beatty’s return shows Nicholas Lutz as lieutenant colonel in the Pennsylvania militia then at home on parole.
Michael Swope (1725–1792), born in Heidelberg, Germany, became colonel of the Pennsylvania Battalion of the Flying Camp in July 1776 and was taken prisoner at Fort Washington that 16 November. A proposal to exchange Swope for the prominent Loyalist and former New Jersey governor William Franklin never came to fruition (see Hugh Ferguson to Elias Boudinot, 6 March 1778, DNA: PCC, item 78). In a letter to John Jay written at Middlebrook, N.J., on 10 May, Beatty expressed concern over Swope’s “long delay in not returning to his Captivity agreable to the Summons of the Enemy of the Parole he had given for that purpose” (DNA:PCC, item 78; see also Jay to Beatty, 4 May, in 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 12:426). Swope finally was exchanged in January 1781.
Frederick Bellinger (c.1735–1803) was a lieutenant colonel in the New York militia when he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Oriskany on 6 Aug. 1777. A deposition that Bellinger gave on 27 Oct. 1778 in part reads: “That this Deponent has been detained in the City of Quebec and Isle of Orleans from the thirteenth Day of November 1777 to the Beginning of August last when he embarked on Board of a Ship for Hallifax.
“That during his Detention in Quebec this Deponent was informed by several of the Inhabitants of that City that the Tories and Canadians who had in Consequence of the Saratoga Convention been permitted to return to the province of Quebec, had been directed to take up Arms and had actually complied with the Order after their Return to Quebec as aforesaid—That the Artificers who were included in the Convention were at Work in the Service of the King of Great Britain. That the Reason assigned for such procedure was that Congress had been guilty of an Infraction of the Convention aforesaid and that consequently the British Troops were not obligated to comply with it” (DNA:PCC, item 57). For a proposal to exchange Bellinger for Maj. Henry Harnage, see William Phillips to John Jay, 8 Aug. 1779 (DLC:GW), and GW to Jay, 5 Sept. 1779 (DNA:PCC, item 152).
21. A margin note “Quære?” written to the left of this paragraph suggests a desire for further information on this case.
Beatty’s return shows Christopher Greene as a lieutenant colonel then home on parole.
22. Beatty’s return shows William Ellis as a major, then at home on parole, in the 2d Regiment of Gloucester County, N.J., militia.
23. Beatty’s return shows “Daniel Hammil” as a brigade major, then at home on parole, in Brig. Gen. James Clinton’s brigade.
Daniel Hammill allied himself with the British while in captivity and became a spy (see Samuel Holden Parsons to GW, 22 May 1778, and n.1 to that document; GW to Peter Gansevoort, 13 Aug. 1778, and n.1 to that document; and George Clinton to GW, 19 Sept. 1778; see also George Clinton to William Malcom, 9 June 1778, in 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 3:442–43).
24. Samuel Fisher (c.1757–1813) served as a captain in the Pennsylvania militia until taken prisoner at Gulph Mills, Pa., on 11 Dec. 1777. His release occurred in December 1780.
25. Beatty’s return shows John Spotswood as a captain, then at home on parole, in the 10th Virginia Regiment.
26. George Gilchrist served as a captain, in the 9th Virginia Regiment from July 1776 until taken prisoner at the Battle of Germantown, Pa., on 4 Oct. 1777. He was exchanged in November 1780 and retired from the army as a major in February 1781.
27. The board probably is referring to Lt. James Smith of the 4th Continental Artillery Regiment.
28. William Calhoon (Calhoun) served as a lieutenant in the 1st Pennsylvania Battalion of the Flying Camp from July to December 1776. He became a lieutenant in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1777 and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Germantown that 4 October.
29. Beatty’s return shows Jacob Bright as a lieutenant in the Pennsylvania militia then at home on parole.
30. Beatty’s return shows Henry Jeans as a lieutenant in the New Jersey militia then at home on parole.
Peter Weiser (1751–1785) became a lieutenant in Col. William Thompson’s Pennsylvania Regiment of Riflemen in January 1776 and transferred to the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment the following January. He was wounded and taken prisoner at the Battle of Germantown on 4 Oct. 1777.
31. A margin note “Quære?” written to the left of this paragraph suggests a desire for further information on this case.
Benjamin Hickox became a lieutenant in the New Hampshire militia in September 1776 and joined the 3d New Hampshire Regiment that November. He was cashiered in June 1777 and deserted to the enemy. A record for a “List of Prisoners returned From Quebeck Novr 1777 in the Ship Andrew,” headed with Hickox’s name, includes a remark that reads: “A Traytor sent back” (DNA: RG 93, U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records, 1775–1783, 3d New Hampshire Regiment).
32. Beatty’s return shows Samuel Wilcox as a lieutenant then at home on parole, with no other information on his affiliation.
33. Thomas Ryerson (1753–1835) became an ensign in the 2d New Jersey Regiment in October 1775 and a lieutenant in July 1776. He was taken prisoner at Fort Washington that 16 November. Ryerson served in the Pennsylvania legislature as a representative from Washington County during the early 1790s but died while living in Philadelphia.
34. Andrew McMinn served as a private in the Bucks County, Pa., militia in August 1775, became a sergeant in December 1776, and advanced to ensign in May 1777. When the Board of War considered “a farther allowance of subsistence” on 4 Jan. 1780 for army officers then “in captivity on Long Island,” McMinn’s name appears with the notation that he was captured on 19 Feb. 1778 at “Newton,” almost certainly meaning Newtown Township, where he apparently resided in Bucks County (DNA:PCC, item 147).
35. John Spoor (1750–1834) became an ensign in the 3d New York Regiment in November 1776 and was taken prisoner on 3 July 1777. A letter from Col. Peter Gansevoort to Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler, written at Fort Schuyler, N.Y., that 4 July, described Spoor’s capture while “out on Fatigue, cutting turf about three quarters of a mile from the fort” (DNA:PCC, item 63). Spoor apparently returned from captivity on 5 Jan. 1778 and by 15 Jan. 1779 was “on command” at Saratoga, N.Y. (DNA: RG 93, U.S. Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records, 1775–1783, 3d New York Regiment). For Spoor’s court-martial and dismissal from the army for scandalous behavior toward another officer, see General Orders, 31 March 1780; see also Spoor’s own recollection of his military service in DNA: RG 15, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800–1900.
36. Daniel Kennedy served as a sergeant in the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment from September 1776 until he became adjutant of that regiment in February 1777. Subsequently promoted to ensign, he was taken prisoner at Bristol, Pa., on 17 April 1778 (see John Lacey, Jr., to GW, 20 April 1778, and n.4 to that document). Kennedy was exchanged in August 1780 and did not rejoin the army.
37. Beatty’s return shows “William Brintnal” as a lieutenant, with no other information on his affiliation. A notice for officers at home on parole to return to captivity, datelined Wethersfield, Conn., 18 Feb. 1779, included “Lieut. William Brintnall, Sailing Master … at Lake Champlain” (Connecticut Courant, and the Weekly Intelligencer [Hartford], 23 Feb. 1779). It is likely that the board considered this William Brintnall, who was captured again that May while in command of the privateer Wooster and taken to the West Indies (see Middlebrook, Maritime Connecticut, description begins Louis F. Middlebrook. History of Maritime Connecticut during the American Revolution, 1775–1783. 2 vols. Salem, Mass., 1925. description ends 2:245–46, 261).
38. Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene reflected on his work as president of this board of general officers in a letter to Col. Charles Pettit written at New Windsor on 30 June: “The General has movd his quarters to New Windsor and visits Westpoint almost every day, and generally obliges me to go with him. This has taken up the greater part of my time for ten days, or a fortnight past. And as if the fates had decreed that I should have no time to attend to my own business the General put me upon a Board of General Officers to determin upon the cases of a number of officers who have made their escape from the Enemy, and by them charged with breach of parole. This has kept me close at work for several days. That upon the whole in accompanying the General to reconnoiter the Country, attending the Board of Officers relative to our prisoners; and transacting the little ordinary business of Camp, which you know is a trifle, I have not had a moments leisure to write you” (Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 4:191–94).