From George Clinton
Poughkeepsie [N.Y.] 7th Sep’r 1778.
I have received your Excellency’s Letters of the 27th of last Month & 1st Instant.1 I am greatly concerned for the Unhappy Fate of Van Tassel, who I am informed always maintained a good Charecter & his Familly have afforded many Proofs of their Attachment to the Cause of their Country in which some of them have been great Sufferers. At the same Time as Capt. Colson has already Quit the Army Until It can be discovered to what Place he is gone I think it will be most prudent to make as little stir about the Matter as possible. When this is the Case, if your Excellency’s aid in securing him shall be necessary, I will take the Liberty of asking it. In the mean Time your Excellency will please to accept my warmest acknowledgments for the Regard you have paid to the Rights of the Civil Authority.
Before Mr. Smith left the Country, he applied to me concerning his Male Servants, which the Commissioners did not conceive themselves authorized to permit him to take with him as they might be imployed to fight against their Country. The Slaves he might have sold if he had pleased. The white Servants he mentions in his Letter to your Excellency, tho they are hardy Scotch Hierlings in whom he has no Property, yet I promised to send them into him in Exchange for any Two subjects of this State in the Power of the Enemy which he shoud procure to be sent out for that Purpose. This being the Case I cant help thinking Mr. Smith’s Letter to your Excellency complaining of Injustice in the Commissioners as well as his Request of having his Servants sent into him not only exceptionable but very unjust & unreasonable. I am with the highest Respect Your Excellency’s Most Obed’t Serv’t
Public Papers of George Clinton, 4:6–7.