From Captain William Nichols
Reading [Pa.] May 6th 1778
May it please your Excellency
Capn Wm Nichols, late Commr Of His Brittannick Majestys packet the Eagle, most humbly beg leave, to petition Your Excellency, to grant him leave to go on his parole to philadelphia, to see if Could get a Capn in the Continental Service, who is now a Prisoner, to be Exchang’d for him, As am Inform’d, by Elias Boudinot Esqr. Commissary General for prisoners, that Capn Edward Travis, whom Your Excellency did me the honour to Nominate against me, is Already Exchang’d; If your Excellency would do me the great Honour, to propose any Commr of a Continental Ship of War, (Below a Frigate,) flatter my Self, The Admiral, The Rt Honble Lord Viscount Howe would Immediately Comply with,1 which with my most humble, & respectfull Compliments, beg leave to Subscribe my Self Your Excellency’s Much Oblig’d, & most Obedient Humble Servant
1. For more on Nichols’s attempts to get himself exchanged for Capt. Edward Travis, see John Clark, Jr., to GW, 8 Nov. 1777, and Henry Lee, Jr., to GW, 20 Jan. 1778 (second letter), n.2.