To William Livingston
Head Quarters West Point 7th Sepr 1779
I yesterday recd your favr of the 3d Inst.1 I thank your Excellency for your attention to mine on the subject of Officers who have violated their paroles—and on the prospect of a scarcity of Flour.2 I have little doubt but that the farmers will thresh out part of their Grain earlier than usual, when influenced by a few virtuous individuals in each district.
It hath been our constant practice hitherto to exchange Officer for Officer of equal Rank giving a preference to those who have been longest in captivity. We have several times endeavoured to settle a Tariff for enlarging the scale of Exchanges by composition where circumstances of equality of Rank would not apply, but we have not been able to agree upon one. I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect & Esteem Yr Excellency’s most obt.
Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. This letter has not been found.
2. See GW’s circular letters to the states of 26 Aug. (second circular) and 28 August. When the council of New Jersey met on 7 Oct., Livingston presented GW’s 26 Aug. circular on parole violators; the council advised Livingston “to issue a proclamation requiring the said Delinquents to return to the Enemy agreeable to parole and in all respects to conform themselves thereto” (Berstein, N.J. Privy Council Minutes, 127).