George Washington Papers

From George Washington to General Henry Clinton, 14 February 1779

To General Henry Clinton

Head Quarters Middle Brook February 14th 1779


I am honored with your letter of the 9th instant. You will find inclosed three passports for the ships you mention in the Margin, to proceed to Hampton Road, there to receive further directions from His Excellency the Governor of Virginia—I prefer this mode to that of giving passports immediately for Richmond, as when they are arrived at Hampton, the Governor can regulate their future progress in the manner which will be most convenient to both parties. I have notified him on the subject, that he may be prepared to meet the vessels with the necessary directions to avoid delay.1

I have not added the passport for the vessel to proceed to Baltimore, as the supplies for the prisoners2 at Fort Frederick and Winchester can be conveyed to them3 in the ships, that go to Hampton4 and being addressed to the care of Major General Phillips, can be transported to those places by way of Charlotteville.5 I have the honor to be with due respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedt servant

Go: Washington

P.S. I shall do myself the pleasure of forwarding your letter to Major General Phillips. Governor Henry will furnish passports for the return of the Vessels.

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, P.R.O., 30/55, Carleton Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The enclosed passports for the ship Polly, the brig Lady Howe, and the schooner General Phillips have not been identified, but see GW’s instructions concerning them in his letter to Patrick Henry of 13 February.

2At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote “troops.” He then struck out that word and wrote “Prisoners” above the line.

3At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton wrote and then struck out the phrase “with full as much if not more convenience and expedition.”

4At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton wrote and then struck out “as by way of Baltimore. The distance will be rather less from the landing in Virginia.”

5Near this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton wrote and then struck out what appears to be a possible extension of this sentence and another sentence, which read: “and the trouble of sending an additional vessel will be saved—If you think proper the articles for these prisoners can also be addressed to the care of Major General Philips.” For GW’s subsequent issuance of a passport allowing the schooner Argyle to sail only as far as to Hampton Roads, Va., see Henry Clinton to GW, 27 Feb.; GW to Henry Clinton, 1 March; and GW to Patrick Henry, 1 March (two letters [1] [2]).

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