George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joshua Loring, 8 April 1777

From Joshua Loring

New York 8th April 1777


Since I wrote You last1 his Excellency Sir William Howe has had a further Examination respecting the Rank of the Canadian Gentlemen, and it is determin’d that the four persons You mention are the only Gentlemen that [are] entitled to any Rank viz. Captain Duchesnay, Lieut. Hertel, Lieutenant Schmit, Lieutenant La Magdaleine, and even those at that time were serving as Volunteers,2 This Alteration has made it necessary to send You another Return, which you’l please to accept and to destroy that sent you in my last3—You will see that I had paid a due Attention to your Nomination of some Gentlemen to be first exchang’d and I shall in future comply with your Desire in exchanging those first who have been longest in Captivity, with due Respect I am Your most obedient & most humble Servt

Josa Loring
Commissary for Prisrs

P.S. You’l be kind enough to order the Parole of Lt Col. Greene to be return’d.4

LS, DLC: Boudinot Papers.

1Loring’s letter to GW of 24 Mar. regarding the parole and exchange of prisoners of war has not been found, but see the letter-not-found entry for a description of it from Charles Hamilton’s auction catalog.

2For GW’s inquiry about the status of seventeen Canadians who had been captured at St. Jean in November 1775, see his letter to Loring of 13 Mar. (see also “Return of French Officers, Taken prisoners at St John’s November 3d 1775,” DLC:GW). Antoine Juchereau Duchesnay (1740–1806) and Jean-Baptiste-Melchior Hertel de Rouville (1748–1817) were wealthy seigneurs who had served as ensigns in French regiments during the French and Indian War. They supported the British when the Americans invaded Canada in 1775, and they both volunteered their services for the defense of St. Jean. They were released from captivity during the summer of 1777 and returned to Canada, where Juchereau Duchesnay began rebuilding and improving his plundered estates, and Hertel de Rouville became a captain in the British service for the remainder of the war. “La Magdaleine” may be a son of François-Jean-Daniel d’Ailleboust de La Madeleine (1702–1793), a merchant-voyageur who lived at Pointe-aux-Trembles near Montreal.

3Neither of these returns has been identified.

4Christopher Greene was not exchanged until August 1777.

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