George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Howe, 6 October 1776

To Major General William Howe

Head Qrs Harlem Heights Octr 6th 1776


I beg leave to inform you that in consequence of my directions founded on your favor of the 21st Ulto, Governors Browne & Skeene are arrived within the Neighbourhood of this place and will be conveyed to morrow between the Hours of One & two to one of the ships of War in the North river, when it is hoped that my Lord Stirling will be permitted to return, as also Mr Lovell if he has come from Halifax.1

The particular manner in which you rest upon me, by your Letter of the 4th Instt, a performance of the Agreement between Genl Arnold and Captn Foster, was entirely unexpected, as I inclosed you some time ago the Resolutions of Congress upon the Subject, by which you would perceive that they, to whom I am amenable, had taken upon themselves the consideration of the matter;2 As to the prisoners mentioned in my [letter] of the 23d3 their Exchange shall be effected as soon as the circumstances I made you acquainted with will admit of.

The enclosed Note for Mrs Delancey you will be pleased to have conveyed by the earliest opporty.4 I am Sir with great respect &c.

LB, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; two copies, P.R.O. 30/55, Carleton Papers; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Joseph Reed conveyed GW’s instructions regarding the implementation of this exchange to an unidentified correspondent in a letter of 7 October. “The General,” Reed writes, “Desires you would Just before you get to Spiking Devil Creek draw the Curtains close & keep them so till you get near the Shiping—then you will wait for Ld Stirling—The Genl Desires his Compliments to the Governor [Browne] & that He should have been happy to have Received them here if the usual Restraints to which they must Submit in passing this a fortified Camp would not prove more inconvenient than any Pleasure or Convenience which they could derive from it” (owned [1993] by Mr. Richard Maass, White Plains, N.Y.).

3The copies in P.R.O. both read “my Letter.”

4This reply to Elizabeth Colden De Lancey has not been found. Howe forwarded the note to her with a cover letter of 7 Oct. that reads: “General Howe presents his Compliments to Mrs D’Lancey, & has the honor of Enclosing General Washingtons answer to her Note, in which he should have had more pleasure had it been correspondent to her wishes” (DRC).

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