George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Irvine, 25 October 1780


October 25th 1780


After due acknowledgments for your Excellency’s attention to our wants at every period of our unhappy captivity, more particularly at the present time when through your interposition a very considerable number of the officers and (all) the privates here are led to expect speedy liberation, We cannot conceal the emotions we have severely felt on hearing that Congress have resolved on the Exchange of brigadier general Du Portail and lieutenant colonel Laurens both lately captured in Charles Town, in preference to officers here of the same rank much longer in Captivity, and in principle injurious to the whole: But we leave your excellency to judge of our sensations when we are informed from undoubted authority that the insisting on the exchange of those gentlemen at this time will totally retard the humane purpose of relief which your excellency and we have so much at heart. It is foreign to the ideas of the british commander in chief that brigr general Du Portail or lieut: col: Laurens should be the subject of the negotiation now about to take place, they not having been involved in the original proposal, of the present Plan.

We therefore most earnestly request your Excellency to remove an objection which if insisted on will be ruinous in its consequences to numbers here.

We hope the length of our Captivity and sufferings doled to the partiality of the principle reprobated and objected to, will apologize for this hasty address. We have the honor to be. &ca

Signed James Irvine B: Genl

R: Magaw . Col:

L: Marbury Col:

J: Ely. Col:

W: Allison Col.

J: McClaghery Lt Col:

E: Tillard Major

A: Giles Major

PHi: Papers of Brigadier General William Irvine.

Index Entries