George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Coggeshall Olney, 27 February 1783

Saratoga Feby 27th 1783


Inclosed I transmit to your Excelency the answers of Capt Macomber on oath, to the interogations of the Honbe Jonathan Arnold in his letter of the 11th inst.-- The scattered situation of the Regiment and suffering of the frozen troops returned from the western expedition, has rendered it impracticable to forward the same at an earlier period—Having nearly forty men who must loose their limbs.

The orders for the reduction of the Regiment having come to hand, I take the liberty to inform your Excelency that the senior officers are at home on furlough with Colonel Olney, which will render the compleating of the arrangement impracticable for some time. I have wrote the Col: on the subject, and expect a speedy answer, with regard to the determination of the absent officers, and also whether the recruits reinlisted will be retained in service by the State. I have the Honour to be Your Excelencys Most obedient Servt

Coggell Olney Major


DLC: Papers of George Washington.


27 February 1783

1 question put by the Honorable Mr Arnold see Arnold to GW and enclosure, 11 Feb. 1783.

When Said Smith Gave you the information aluded to above was the conversation immediately respecting the said Knowlton and Wells absence from home! In Answer to the Best of my Remembrance it was the Conversation had been general, relative to the precedings of a number of the inhabitants of the State of Vermont (as he termed them) in the course of which he mentioned Knowlton and Wells as the most active against the United States in that quarter.that they had Posts from the Southward Northward & Eastward, who collected inteligence for them which they communicated to Quebeck and New York. He also said that, three Posts had arrived there in one day (about ten days before); and that soon after Wells and Knowlton went off; where they were gone, he did not know: but he immagined they had went away in consequence of dispatches brought by some of the Posts; and that there was a letter from Jonathan Arnold Esqr. at Congress (part of which was reported publickly) & informed that affairs in Congress were unfavourable to them & advised them to look out for themselves, or take care of themselves. How Mr Smith came by this inteligence I dont know, as this Discourse so nearly touched on my buisiness, I was unwilling to be inquisitive through fear of suspicion. In answer to the 2nd question—I am not positive whether Mr Smith told me he saw the letter himself, or Got it by information or in what manner it came to his knowledge.In answer to the 3rd question All the information I received respecting the above mentioned Letter was from Mr Smith & I do not recollect whether he told in what manner it was made publick or not; but I remember he said that from what he had observed, he was well convinced that the people of Vermont had bought Mr Arnold to their interest, and that it was his opinion he had been concerned with them a considerable time. Previous to this conversation with Mr Smith, I heard it observed by Gentlemen in the Territory of Vermont among which was Colo. Ethan Allen that they had some friends not with Standing all their disputes, and mentioned Mr Arnold in a very particular manner, but at that time I thought nothing of it & cannot recollect how the discourse was introduced—Soon after Mr Smith Gave me the information as I before Related and finding that it cooperated with what i had heard before.I thought my Self bound in duty to my Country to report the same. Mr Smith have been in this Garrison Since and Reported before Major OlneyEnsign Kirby & my Self the Bigest part of what I have here related. In answer to the 4th question Lieut. Sherburn of the Rhode Island Regiment was present when i had this discourse and no other person to my knowledge.

the 5th question, I conceive to be designed only as an insult, and foreign to the matter of my report; I therefore consider my self under no obligation to gratify the Gentlemans curiosity with an answer. but in obedience to his Excellences order which I am all ways happy in obeying I answer that the report I formed and writ my Self from the Information i received with out the assistance of any person and was copied by Lieut. Wheaton of the Rhode Island Regt—but I cant recollect as he either added dominished or corrected. (but it appears by the Honorable Mr Arnolds letter there is one word added) by that means I have sent a copy of the original so fair as it relates to Mr Arnold, "he the Said Israel Smith further told me they Received a letter from Jonathan Arnold Esqr. at Congress part of which was made public he informed them that afairs in Congress ware very unfavourable to them and would have them look out for them Selves or take care of them Selves which ware the words made use of"—whether Mr Smith Said this letter aluded to, was directed to Said Knowlton & Wells or whether it was Directed to Received and Communicated to them by another person I cannot Recollect)

Ebenezer Macomber Capt.

Saratoga Feby 27th 1783

Then personally appeared before me Capt. Ebenr Macomber and made solemn oath that the foregoing answers to the interogations of the Honbe Jonathan Arnold Esqr. (by him submited) are the truth in every particular.

per Coggell Olney Major Com[   ]

R.I. Regt

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