George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Daniel Murray, 6 July 1775

From Daniel Murray

6 July 1775.

States “that he has received the repeated Commands of his Father, now a resident in Boston, to assist his Sister & two Brothers now at Waltham; in procuring them a pass into the town of Boston.” He requests GW to grant such a pass.

ALS, M-Ar: Revolution Letters.

Daniel Murray (1751–1832) of Rutland, Mass., and his family were zealous Loyalists. During the summer of 1774, Murray left his legal practice in Brookfield, Mass., to take over the family estate at Rutland from his father, Col. John Murray (d. 1794), who fled to Boston in order to escape the wrath of a Patriot mob that wished to force him to resign from the mandamus council instituted by one of the Intolerable Acts. Two of Murray’s younger brothers, John Murray (b. 1758) and Robert Murray (b. 1760), and one of his sisters were now trying to join their father in Boston. GW instructed Joseph Reed to send Murray’s letter to the Massachusetts committee of safety. In a covering letter dated 6:00 p.m., 6 July 1775, Reed explained to the committee: “As the General is wholly unacquainted with the Circumstances of the Case & the Propriety of granting or refusing the Request; he refers himself to your Advice & would be glad of your Opinion on the Subject as early as convenient” (M-Ar: Revolution Letters). The committee of safety promptly forwarded both Reed’s and Murray’s letters to the provincial congress, which on 7 July rejected Murray’s request as part of a general policy, in effect since 24 June, of denying entry into Boston (Mass. Prov. Congress Journals description begins William Lincoln, ed. The Journals of Each Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of Safety. Boston, 1838. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 387, 463, n.1, 465). The three Murray children eventually did get into the town and accompanied their father to Halifax in the spring of 1776 when Boston was evacuated by the British army. In early 1777 Daniel Murray abandoned the family property at Rutland to move inside British lines. In June 1777 he became captain of a company of Loyalist volunteers, and in Feb. 1781 he was appointed a major in the King’s American Dragoons.

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