George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Board of War, 4 May 1780

Head Qurs May 4th 1780


I have received the Honour of your letter of the 25th Ulto with the Inclosure. In consequence of the requisition by His Excellency the Governor of Maryland—and the Boards opinion of the propriety of the Claim—Mr Skinner has been directed to propose to the Enemy the exchange of L. Colo. Ramsay for Lt. Colo. Connolly. Previous to this, I had supposed that Citizens or Inhabitants captured by the Enemy were the Objects to whom the act of the 13th of January meant, a preference should be given in exchanges for prisoners taken by particular States—and that all officers in captivity were to stand upon a common footing to be released on the usual principle of priority of capture. But be this as it may, the act is only recommendatory and the Council of Maryland have settled the point in the present case, in favour of a Military officer by claiming his exchange & the rights that have been exercised on several similar occasions by other States. The indulgence has never been directed in any instance to a more deserving officer than Colo. Ramsay. He set out for New York yesterday and would carry the proposition for his release. I have the Honour to be Gentn

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