Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Muter, 31 January 1781

To George Muter

In Council Jan. 31. 1781.

If Mr. Peters means to perform military and other duties required by the laws, as would have been, had he given no parole, he is at liberty to remain: if he does not mean this, he must deliver himself up to the enemy.

Th: Jefferson.

RC (Vi); written on verso of Walter Peters to George Muter, 30 Jan. 1781 (see below); endorsed: “Walter Peters respecting his being a prisoner on parole & Govrs. answer Jany. 30th. 1781.” Tr in War Office Journal (Vi); another Tr in War Office Letter Book (Vi).

Mr. Peters: Walter Peters was employed by the state at Hood’s (see Muter to TJ, 8 Sep. 1780). On 26 Jan. 1781 Muter wrote “Walter Peters Esq: at Hoods inclosing a Warrant for ten thousand Pounds and informing him of the reason for not sending it before” (War Office Journal, Vi). On 30 Jan. Peters replied, stating, in part: “by the Enclos’d letter You will be able to judge of my present situation. I woud make personal aplication to his Excellency on the occasion, but my horses have been so harass’d … they coud not carry me to Richmd. in three days. I have done no Malitia duty this two Years on Account of my having the Gout and being short sighted, and I am still willing to pay my Clubb of all Publick Charges. Please take his Excellencys opinion on this matter” (Vi). The letter enclosed by Peters has not been located (see Muter to TJ, preceding).

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