Alexander Hamilton Papers

George Washington to Major General Arthur St. Clair and Lieutenant Colonels Edward Carrington and Alexander Hamilton, [7 March 1780]

George Washington to
Major General Arthur St. Clair and Lieutenant Colonels Edward Carrington and Alexander Hamilton1

[Morristown, New Jersey, March 7, 1780]

By His Excellency George Washington Esquire General and Commander in Chief of the Forces of the United States of America.

To Major General Arthur St: Clair and Lieutenant Colonels Edward Carrington and Alexander Hamilton—

Whereas a proposition hath been made and acceded to for a meeting of Commissioners at Amboy on Thursday the 9th: instant for the purpose of settling a General Cartel—

In order to carry the said proposition into effect and to make the most liberal permanent and extensive provision for the exchange and accomodation of prisoners of War

You Major General St: Clair and Lieutenant Colonels Carrington and Hamilton in virtue of full powers to me given by the Honorable the Congress of the United States are hereby appointed and authorised to meet such Commissioners of suitable Rank as shall come duly authorised on the part of His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton or His Excellency Lieutenant General Knyphausen2 in virtue of powers from His Britannic Majesty at the time and place above mentioned and at any time and place afterwards to which it may be thought proper to adjourn—with them to treat, confer, determine and conclude upon a General Cartel for the exchange and accommodation of prisoners of War including the Troops of the Convention of Saratoga and all matters whatsoever which may be properly contained therein on principles of justice humanity and mutual advantage and agreeable to the custom and practice of War among civilized Nations:

For all which this shall be your Warrant and your engagements being interchanged shall be ratified and confirmed by me

Given under my Hand and Seal at
my Head Quarters at Morris Town
this 7th: day of March 1780

Go: Washington

By His Excellency’s Command
Rob: H: Harrison: Secy

DS, in writing of Tench Tilghman, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; also a transcript, PRO: C.O. description begins Transcripts or photostats from the Public Records Office of Great Britain deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends , part 5, vol. 99; copy, Reel 184, Item 167, p. 85, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.

This document was enclosed in Washington to Arthur St. Clair, Edward Carrington, and H, March 8, 1780.

1Carrington, a Virginian, served in the Continental Artillery.

2Baron Wilhelm von Knyphausen had been placed in command of the British forces in New York in December, 1779, when Sir Henry Clinton left for South Carolina.

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