George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Elias Dayton, 7 April 1781

Chatham April 7th 1781


Your letter of the fourth with the annexed duplicate came safe to hand—The original was no doubt taken into New York, as I see by the papers, that the post was carried there.

On recollection, your Excellency will remember a plan suggested at Morris town in December last which I was desired to execute. Lieut. McMichael who was the person in view I have ordered to be taken from a flag of truce, granted by Capt. Ward, as a deserter from my Regiment; for which I have a precedent, ’tho I would wish to have your Excellency’s opinion upon the propriety of the measure, which will be very necessary if for any reason your Excellency should not approve of my intentions with respect to McMichael. He seems to agree very heartily to engage in our service and assures me that he has it greatly in his power to serve us; how far he is sincere, a trial only can evince. He has intrigue, firmness, understanding and ev’ry other requisite to answer every expectation. I have proposed to suffer him to make his escape, which I shall do as soon as I receive your Excellency’s approbation. I would request to know what rewards may be promised him if he proves faithful and to have some directions which I may communicate to him, about what he is to undertake. I am with the greatest respect your Excellency most Humble servant

Elias Dayton

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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