George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Samuel Holden Parsons, 22 February 1781

Hd Qrs New Windsor Feby 22d 81


Capt. Walker has communicated to me some discoveries made of a plot among the tories of Stratford and Fairfield Counties of which I have directed him to give you the particulars. It seems a clue has been found to it which if rightly improved will enable us to detect the affair in all its extent and punish the principals and their accomplices. I need not observe to you of how dangerous a tendency combinations of this nature are nor of how much importance it is to put an effectual stop to them.

Your knowledge of the country and characters of the people will enable you best to conduct the investigation, and as you live in one of the counties where it seems to originate, you may do it with the less risk of suspicion.

I am therefore to request you will undertake the affair in the manner you think most likely to succeed and will set about it immediately. You may want a party of men, when you have matured the discovery to seize the persons concerned. These you may take from the Connecticut line as a guard to the part of the country where they will be necessary; in the present state of our force they cannot exceed a subalterns command.

The two points most essential will be to detect any characters of [importance] who may be concerned in it; and if possible to get into our hands the register of the associators names.

The person who will serve you as a spy must be assured of some generous compensation such as will be an object to his family and secure his fidelity. This I leave to you to manage. I am with great regard Sir Yr most Obedient servant.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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