George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 14 August 1778

From Major General William Heath

Head Quarters Boston Augst 14th 1778

Dear General,

The Express who came from Congress being taken Sick here, prevents his returning at Present I am therefore to request the favor that your Excellency would be pleased to Send on the Packet addressed to the Hon. President by the First Express that goes from your Quarters—which will lay me under great obligation.1 I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect your Excellencys most Obt Hbble Servt

W. Heath

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers. GW apparently acknowledged this letter as one of 13 Aug.; whether GW erred or Heath wrote a different date on the letter sent has not been determined.

1At this place on the draft, Heath crossed out all of the remaining text except for the closing. The deleted text reads: “as the Papers contain matters of Importance in particular respecting Ensign John Brown of Colonel Greaton Regt who was Some Time Since Tryed at a General Court Martial Here—and Sentenced to be shot, for leaving his Regiment without permision, after his return home presenting for Muster by rong names Seven or Eight men part of whom were before inlisted & part not inlisted at all, Except by feigned names—and for entering himself as a Private Marine on Board a Continental vessel to all which He plead Guilty and received Sentence as above—I approved the Sentence and ordered Execution—the Culprit beged leave to Petition Congress for a Pardon which I granted—Congress denied the Prayer of the Petition, and wrote me to have him executed, upon receiving the order of Congress, a number of Inhabitants Petitioned the Council to Desire me to Stay Execution untill another Petition was prefered to Congress, I did it and forwarded the Petition.” The packet probably included Heath’s letter to Roger Sherman, Henry Marchant, and William Henry Drayton of 10 Aug., as well as his letter to Laurens of 11 Aug. (both DNA:PCC, item 157).

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