George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Tallmadge, 9 November 1780

Bedford Novr 9th 1780


At the particular Request of Capt. [Hunter] of this Place, I have set down to write Your Excellency a Line. He desires me to inform Your Excellency that he feels himself very unhappy under the supposed Censure of General Washington, whose favorable opinion he think he has not justly forfeited. When at Head Quarters, soon after Arnold’s Desertion, he was not a little mortified in being refused a Passport thro’ the Army. Tho’ the situation of our affairs was very critical at that Juncture, Yet he fears a suspicion of his Character was the reason of any Indifference which was shown him at Head Quarters. He begs Not to have his own word taken as the Criterion of his Conduct, but desires that those who have been particularly knowing to his Conduct, may speak for him. Genl McDougall in particular, he says, is well acquainted with his Proceedings, as well as other Officers who have Commanded on the Lines. To this Account of him, he begs to refer Your Excellency for information. On the whole Capt. [Hunter] begs that he may not incur the Displeasure of the Commander in Chief on bare suspicion, or false information, especially as the only Reward he seeks for his Labours, is the approbation of honest Men, & his own heart.

I write this at the very particular Instance of Capt. [Hunter] who wishes to hear whether his suspicions are justly grounded or not. I have the Honor to be, With great Regard, Your Excellency’s most Obedt Servt

Benja. Tallmadge

P.S. Your Excellency will undoubtedly remember the Character of one George Howel, so often mentioned by C—. His Character has been so notorious, that I have long expected he would have been taken up. I wrote Col. Wadsworth, some time ago some particulars of his Conduct, that he might watch him, since which he has been taken up by the supreme Authority of Rhode Island. Col. Wadsworth has requested me to beg Your Excellency to favor Governor Green or Cook with such information respecting H——l as can be given without bringing the Author of the Information to light. I am aware that this cannot be used as positive Proof against the Man, however it may serve as Collateral Evidence, & will corroborate other suspicions.


DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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