Philadelphia, 7 August, 1781.
By the journals of Congress we percieve, that an application to Congress, from the Executive of the state which we have the honor to represent, respecting the Exchange of General Elbert, was transmitted to you in february last year, in the course of which the Delegates of the State repeated the Application, and were honored with your answer. The late Cartel established in the southern Department, including all Militia captured by either side, prior to a certain day, has given us ground for supposing that he is now liberated from his parole. He was a Brigadier of the Militia, and acting as such, when he was taken; he was esteemed and held as such by the Enemy; And he signed all official papers, during his confinement, in that character. We understand that Major Hyrne, the Commissioner on the part of the United States, considers him included: but we would wish to have your Excellency’s sentiments upon the subject.
We will further mention, that the case of Governor Wright was lately taken up in Congress with a view of exchanging him for General Elbert; but upon the prospect of a general Cartel taking place, it was not prosecuted. It is possible that this case might have had some influence in bringing about a general Exchange.
We beg leave to embrace this opportunity of congratulating your Excellency on the wonderful change in the affairs of the Southern department. That the appointment of the Officer who has wrought this change, was judicious, the most important and fortunate events bear ample and lasting testimony—events too, brought about with the most inadequate means; And we are happy to assure you, that General Greene has the entire confidence and esteem of Congress, and of the approbation & praise of the Southern States. We wish you health & a successful Campaign, being with the highest esteem & respect, Your Excellency’s most Obedient servants
DLC: Papers of George Washington.