Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Steuben, 17 February 1781

To Steuben

Richmd. Febry. 17. 1781


I have laid before the Council the proposition for exchanging two of the British souldiers for Mr. Hurst and Mr. Locke, on condition that we give Colo. Alligood for Colo. Warner [Warneck]. I am sorry the enemy should annex impossibilities to their proposition, as it seems to throw on us the refusal to exchange. Colo. Alligood has been proposed in exchange for Colo. Matthews, a full colonel who has been in captivity ever since the Battle of German town. Warner is only a Lieutenant Colonel taken the other day, if he were taken at all, of which no evidence has come to my knowledge. Both rank and turn therefore prohibit this part of the exchange. I have the honor &c &c.

FC (Vi).

Colo. Alligood: Jacob Ellegood (variously spelled), of Rosehall on the Lynnhaven River, Princess Anne co., was a substantial landowner and justice of his county who remained loyal to the crown, raised troops in his neighborhood in support of Gov. Dunmore in 1775, and was given command of them as colonel; at some time prior to 29 Feb. 1776 he was captured, and in Nov. 1780 Gen. Phillips proposed that he be exchanged for Colo. Matthews (George Mathews); Ellegood was paroled in Apr. 1781 and after the Revolution settled in the Province of New Brunswick (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography description ends , xiv [1907], 252; xxx [1922], 373–4; Tyler’s Quart., V [1923–1924], 144; numerous references in Va. Council Jour., i–ii; William Phillips to TJ, 28 Nov. 1780). Colo. Warner: This is almost certainly a mistaken reference to Frederick Warneck (see TJ to Muter, 29 Jan., and reply, 30 Jan. 1781). Under date of 20 Feb. the Va. Council Jour., ii, 297, contains the following entry: “Lieutenant Colonel Warnick, Engineer to the Commonwealth, acknowledging himself to have been taken by the enemy and producing a Copy of the Parole he gave; the board advise, that the said Parole be submitted to a board of Officers to declare their Opinion whether an Officer giving one in such a form should not be remitted into the hands of the enemy; that the same may be cancilled; or whether any, and what other proceedings, should be had thereon.”

TJ’s clerk also probably erred in putting down the names of Mr. Hurst and Mr. Locke, for Steuben must have been referring to these two when he approved an exchange of “Parson Hurt, Capt. Pearce, and Mr. Cocke” (Steuben to Lawson, 28 Jan., NHi). On 18 Feb. Steuben sent to Muhlenberg “the Governors answer to the proposition for exchanging Colo. Elligood” and at the same time wrote a letter to Simcoe concerning another exchange. Arnold refused the terms offered and on 26 Feb: Muhlenberg reported to Steuben: “I have sent him [Arnold] the Governors Answer relative to the exchange proposed between Colo. Elligood and Warneck, which I suppose will end the negotiations for exchanging” (Steuben to Muhlenberg, 18 Feb.; Steuben to Simcoe, 18 Feb.; Arnold to Muhlenberg, 23 Feb.; Muhlenberg to Steuben, 26 Feb.; and Lawson to Steuben, 28 Jan., all of which are in NHi).

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