George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Wharton, Jr., 6 April 1778

From Thomas Wharton, Jr.

In Council Lancaster [Pa.] April 6 1778


I have the Honor of receiving your Letter of Yesterdays date encloseing one from Mrs Mary Pemberton to you—I am to inform your Excellency that Council chearfully comply with the request of that Lady, being desirous that the Situation of the Gentlemen in confinement should be made as agreeable as may be consistent with the safety of the state—you will please therefore to receive enclosed a Passport for one or two Waggons and such necessarys as these Gentlemen may realy need1—It is proper to acquaint your Excellency that the House of General Assembly have Passd a Law that will apply to the cases of these Prisoners2—and that Council has obtained a Resolve from the Honorable Congress to deliver them to the state of Pennsylvania and a person will be sent in a day or two to Winchester to escort them to this state, when they will have an opportunity to take a decided part—and this the Act absolutely requires of them.3 As your Exellency purposes to forward the Passport I beg you will take the trouble to mention this circumstance as it ⟨may⟩ in some measure govern Mrs Pemberton & the other Ladies in the quantity & kind of supplies intended to be sent out.

ADf, PHarH: Records of Pa.’s Revolutionary Governments, 1775–1790.

1The enclosed passport has not been identified.

2Wharton apparently is referring to “An Act for the further Security of the Government” of 1 April, which prescribed penalties for those who failed to take an oath of allegiance (Pa. Laws description begins Laws Enacted in a General Assembly of the Representatives of the Freemen of the Common-wealth of Pennsylvania. Begun and held at Philadelphia the Twenty-eighth day of November, A.D. One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-six, and continued by Adjournments to the Twenty-first day of March, A.D. One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-seven. Philadelphia, 1777. description ends , 127–30).

3For the congressional resolution of 16 Mar., passed in response to Wharton’s letter to Henry Laurens of 7 Mar. (DNA:PCC, item 69), see 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 , 10:260. On 8 April the Pennsylvania supreme executive council voted to send Francis Bailey and James Lang to conduct the prisoners to Shippensburg, Pa. (Pa. Co. Records, 11:460–61).

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