George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Guy Carleton, 11 December 1782

New York December 11th 1782


I have received Your Excellency’s letter of the 20th November and transmit herewith the Report of the Deputy Judge Advocate here, in consequence of the orders I had given him to make further Inquisition concerning the unfortunate death of Huddy, and to collect evidence for the prosecution of such other persons as should appear to have been criminal in that Transaction. But such, Sir, has been the Circumstances of that event, that nothing, as appears by this report, could, in the way of prosecution, be further effectually done, and I have been obliged to content myself with manifesting my full desire and Intention of taking every measure and precaution which might prevent the commission or provocation of acts, on both sides so disgraceful to humanity, and in consequence of these precautions, not only the custody of prisoners has been taken from the Board of Directors, but the Efficiency of the Board itself is no more.

I do not wish, Sir, to use the language of Recrimination in any other view than for prevention, but many proofs are before You of acts which have perplexed the course and principles of Justice, and I could wish, Sir, from the best motives, that they may be mutually forgotten, and that no directions be further given your Excellency or recommendations made to the civil powers in the different provinces, by which asperities may be renewed in bosoms, which ought, in my judgment at least, to cherish milder thoughts.

The liberation of Captain Asgill was I trust sounded on the equal principles of justice and humanity, and I could wish, Sir, that Captain Schaack was also released, not only to close a question of such Intricacy that justice cannot act upon it on either side without losing its quality, but as there are also circumstances of ill health and infirmities, I presume, not unknown to your Excellency, attending that Gentleman, which may render his confinement to both sides perhaps, equally unpleasant and unbecoming. I am, Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient and most humble Servant

Guy Carleton

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Judge Advocate’s Office New York Novr the 30th 1782


In answer to your Letter of the 27th Instant, containing a requisition, similar to one, I had sometime before, received from the Adjutant General, I have the honor to acquaint You for the information of His Excellency the Commander in Chief, that I have used every endeavour to discover, according to the tenor of the Adjutant General’s Letter, Whether sufficient Evidence could be brought against any other persons, concerned in the execution of Captain Huddy; and that of Yours, Whether further inquisition into the death of Huddy could be made; and I have now to report, my not having been able to gather any further information relative to this transaction, that could give me hopes of prosecuting any other person with effect. I have the honor to be Sir, Your fMost Obedient humble servt

Step. P. Adye

D. Judge Advocate

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