George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Clinton, 8 October 1778

From George Clinton

Poukeepsie [N.Y.] 8th October 1778.

Dear Sir

I am extreamly sorry to trouble your Excellency about an Unhappy Affair which I am sensible will give you Pain—Last Evening I was favoured with the inclosed Letter from Genl Nixon giving an Account of some violent and unprovoked Abuses having been lately committed by Officers of the Army on three of the Subjects of this State.1 The Parties injured mean to seek Justice of the Offenders in the ordinary Courts of Justice & I am perswaded the mention of this only will be sufficient to procure your Excellency’s Order that they be held in Custody till Process can be made out against them (which will be as soon as their Christian Names can be discovered) And that they then be delivered over to the proper Civil Officer I am Sir with the greatest Respect your Excellencys Most Obedt Servt

Geo. Clinton

ALS, DLC:GW. Clinton wrote in the lower-left corner of the addressed cover: “By Nathan Birdsall.” At this time, Nathan Birdsall lived a short distance south of Fredericksburg in Southeast Precinct, where he was one of the precinct’s assessors (see Pelletreau, Putnam County description begins William S. Pelletreau. History of Putnam County, New York, with Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men. 1886. Reprint. Brewster, N.Y., 1975. description ends , 121, 156–57). He may be the Nathan Birdsall who is listed in the 1790 New York census as a resident of Pawling, N.Y., about four miles north of Fredericksburg.

1The enclosed letter to Clinton from Brig. Gen. John Nixon has not been identified. Clinton also enclosed an unidentified deposition concerning this matter (see GW to Clinton, this date). GW enclosed Clinton’s letter and both of its enclosures in his letter to Alexander McDougall of this date.

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