George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Peters, 17 June 1781

War Office June 17th 1781


We have the honor to enclose to you a copy of a letter from Ebinezer Hazard to the President of Congress on the subject of a Mr Vernor a British Commissary of Prisoners frequently visiting and staying at Elizabeth Town. Not being acquainted with the matter so far as to know whether Vernor’s coming to Elizabeth Town may not be on business and under some licence from the Commissary Gene. of Prisoners by authority from your Excellency and which possibly he may have made an improper use of, we do not deem it proper for us to interfere in the affair farther than to communicate the information to you and request that you will be pleased to take such measures in consequence as you shall be pleased to think proper. Vernor is certainly a dangerous character and has both Talents and connexions sufficient to enable him to obtain and convey every degree of inteligence from this Quarter. We shall be obliged to your Excellency to inform us of any measures taken on this head that we may communicate them to Congress. We have the honor to be with great respect & esteem your very obedient Servts

Richard Peters By order

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Philadelphia June 16. 1781


I think it my duty to acquaint you that from Information which may be relied on I find that one Vernor (or Vernon) a Commissary of Prisoners in New York is sometimes allowed to remain a whole night in Elizabeth Town where he lodges at Doctor Wynans’s—This Vernor was formerly under Sentence of Death in this City as a British Spy and is now Commissary for the prisoners taken by the Refugees. He is said to be sensible and artful—When your Excellency considers the constant intercourse which subsists between Elizabeth Town and the adjacent Country The great number of disaffected persons or at least suspicious Characters in that Neighbourhood and that there are two or three Stage Waggons—which go regularly twice in a Week from this City to Elizabeth Town, I apprehend the impropriety of allowing so great Indulgence to such a Man will immediately appear; and am persuaded that Orders will be given to present it in future. I am Sir Yours &c.

Eben. Hazard

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