George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Hurlbut, 26 March 1783

At Mr Jno. Ellison’s 26th March 1783


After having served with some degree of honor in the field, it is no less humiliating to myself than it may be troublesome to your excellency, that I am compelled to address your excellency from a sick bed, and to sollicit a further attention to my misfortunes.

The wound which I received almost two years ago is at length healed, but the disagreeable symptoms with which I have been afflicted during the winter past forbid me to expect a return of health. With this unhappy prospect before me, my only remaining wish is to return to New London, the place of my nativity and with an aged father & in the circle of my friends to wait a decision of my fate.

From my extreme weakness I am convinced of my inability to sustain a removal by land, and from the evident benefit which I received on the water the last summer, I am exceedingly anxious for that mode of conveyance, provided it will not be inconsistent with the arrangements of your excellency to obtain a flag from New York for the purpose.

If this favor should be granted, I have another to sollicit to which nothing could have prompted me but the experience of your excellency’s tenderness and attention to me during all my confinement. Among my other misfortunes a small patrimony in New London, on which I placed dependence, was destroyed by the enemy soon after I was wounded: This puts it out of my power to bear my heavy expences, and induces me to ask for some pub[lic] vessel or craft and permission for Captain Colfax my intimate friend & relation to make the voyage with me.

About the first of May I hope to be able to leave this place and as some time must necessarily be spent in obtaining permission from New York I had made application thus early.

The many favors I have received from your excellency are deeply impressed in my grateful heart; and if your excellency can comply with this my request and return me to my friends, I shall have another and a lasting inducement to wish for the happiness & prosperity of your excellency & Mrs Washington to whose humanity & tenderness I feel myself already much indebted. I have the honor to be with the most respectful gratitude & exteem your excellency’s most obedient servant

Geo: Hurlbut

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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