George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Archibald Kennedy, Jr., 20 January 1778

To Archibald Kennedy, Jr.

Head Quarters Valley Forge 20th Jany 1778


I received yours of the 15th last Evening. When I arrived at Morris Town last winter, you applied to me, thro’ Colo. Moylan, for liberty to remove from thence to your farm near second River. I consented to this, as I looked upon it as a thing more convenient to you and more proper than for you to remain in morris town under your particular Circumstances. I considered you then, as I do now, a prisoner of the State, and do not therefore think myself at liberty to interfere in any determination which the Governor and Council may come to respecting your future place of Residence. I can only wish that your conduct may appear to have been so unexceptionable that there may be no occasion to remove you from your own House1—I am Sir Yr most obt Servt.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Kennedy’s letter to GW has not been found. GW’s first letter to William Livingston of this date contained the same information given in this letter to Kennedy. On 31 Jan. the New Jersey council of safety, after considering GW’s letter to Livingston, declared that it considered Kennedy “disaffected to the present Govt, and his residence at his present place of abode dangerous to the State” and ordered “That he remove within 8 days from the date hereof, into the County of Sussex, & there remain within one mile of the Court House at Newtown till the further order of the Board respecting him.” In May 1778 he was paroled and allowed to return home, but he left America for England in 1781 (see N.J. Council of Safety Minutes description begins Minutes of the Council of Safety of the State of New Jersey. Jersey City, 1872. description ends , 204, 235; see also Livingston to GW, 13 January). Second River, now Belleville, was a settlement on the west bank of the Passaic River three miles north of Newark, N.J.; Kennedy’s 400–acre farm near this place was known as Pavonia.

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