George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major General Israel Putnam, 5 February 1777

To Major General Israel Putnam

Morris Town Feby 5th 1777

Dear Sir

Your favor of Yesterday representing the Case of Mr John Taylor I have received & Assure you that I never Intended to exclude any from the benefit of my Proclamation who were not particularly Active in persecuting, and destroying the Property of the friends to our cause The case of Mr Taylor & any others that are brot to you, or confin’d, must therefore depend upon this1—As to the Circumstance respecting the Families of those who went over to the Enemy, previous to the Proclamation, it is not my Intention that they should be under any necessity of withdrawing themselves—provided their future good behaviour warrants such Lenity towards them, If any application should be made to you for leave to withdraw to the Enemy; & upon examination you see no Impropriety in granting it, you have my consent to agree to it, but let no Property be convey’d with them.

Df, in John Fitzgerald’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Putnam’s letter to GW of 4 Feb. has not been found. John Taylor (1716–c.1798) of Monmouth County, N.J., a wealthy landowner, high sheriff, and local judge known as “Squire John,” served as Lord Howe’s commissioner of the peace for New Jersey. He was arrested and confined by the New Jersey provincial congress in July 1776, and his estate at Middletown was confiscated for the use of Continental army troops marching through the county. Taylor subsequently was released only to be apprehended again by the New Jersey council of safety in April 1777 and placed in the jail at Burlington. Taylor apparently took the American oath of allegiance in July 1777 before fleeing to New York City, where he lived for part of the war with his children, who were themselves staunch Loyalists.

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