George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 16 July 1777

To John Hancock

Camp at the Clove [N.Y.] July 16th 1777.


I beg leave to congratulate Congress on the Captivity of Major Genl Prescot & One of his Aids. The particulars of this fortunate event, you will find in the Inclosed Extract of a Letter this Minute received from Genl Spencer, which I presume are at large in the packet Mr Greenleaf will deliver.1 Lt Colo. Barton & the Small handfull under his Command, who conducted the Enterprize have great merit. I shall immediately propose to Genl Howe his Exchange for that of Majr Genl Lee, which, if acceded to, will not only do away One ground of Controversy between Genl Howe & Myself, but will release Lt Colo. Campbell & the Hessian Field Officers & procure the enlargement of an Equal number of Our’s in his Hands.

In mine of this Morning, I desired that Colo. Proctors Regiment should join this Army without loss of Time. Upon consulting Genl Knox, we are of Opinion, they had better halt at Trentown with Genl Nash till further Orders, as the Operations of Genl Howe are not yet perfectly understood. I have Nothing New from the Northern Department and only to add, that I have the Honor to be with great respect Sr Yr Most Obedt servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152 Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter and referred it to the committee of intelligence on 19 July (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 8:564).

1The enclosed extract from Joseph Spencer’s letter to GW of 11 July 1777 is in DNA:PCC, item 152. “Mr Greenleaf” may be John Greanleaf of Portsmouth, N.H., who ran a tavern and held postal contracts along the East Coast in the 1780s.

Index Entries