Flatt Bush March 27th 80
May it please Your Excellency
Assur’d, this will be delivered You, by Mr Bradford now Exchang’d: I could not in Justice to myself, & Family, forego so good an oppertunity, to mention my Situation to You Sir; particularly as it is to escape the prying Eye, of Impertinent Curiosity.
Once more, in Anxious Expectation, of a Change, in our unfortunate Situation; we have waited the Result of the Commissioners meeting at Amboy: The Breaking off, that Negotiation (as we are inform’d) without Effect, has thrown a Damp upon our Spirits, and in a peculiar manner Affects me. It is perhaps, Unworthy a Soldier to complain, as he is to Lay his Account, in Similar Difficulties, upon his becoming one: but, when He daily Sees, an affectionate & delicate wife, and four small Children, heretofore Tenderly brought Up; driven from their Native Home, and encountring every difficulty of Poverty, & Distress, on his Account; it calls up, in him, the feelings of an Humane Husband, and a Tender, & affectionate father: It would be unpolite, to detain Your Excellency, with a Detail of personal Sufferings; But appealing to your well known Tender feelings, & Humanity, I most Earnestly Request: you will endeavour my Exchange, on the Ground of my peculiar Situation: as I know of but one, of my Rank before me in Turn, and he a Single Man. Or that you would be graciously pleased, to order a Reasonable provision to be made, for my Wife, & Family in our lines, where I would Send them, (being unable any Longer to support them Here) and then if we are to continue Prisoners, Let England, Hallifax or Prison Ships, be our Doom I hope the Same Love of my Country, that dri[ves] my Sword, will Support me with a Manly fortitude, thrô Every Scene of Accumulated Distress.
With a Wish for a line from Col. Harrison in Return to this by any officer Coming in who could bring it. I have the Honor to be your Excellencies most Obedt & Most Hble Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.