George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Samuel Blachley Webb, 25 February 1779

To Colonel Samuel Blachley Webb

Head Quarters Middle brook 25th feby 1779.

Dear Sir.

Agreeable to my promise, when you were at Head Quarters, I have had a calculation made from the last returns of the Commissary of Prisoners, of the number of privates which upon the several propositions that have been made by the enemy, we should have to give them in a general exchange of our officers for officers and privates of the Convention Troops—By submitting this to Congress, if necessary, they will be the better able to decide on the propriety of adopting the measure sollicited in the memorial which you1 have been appointed to present.2 I am with great regard Dear Sir Your most obedt Servt

⟨Go: Washington⟩

L[S], in John Laurens’s writing, CtY: Webb Family Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW’s signature was clipped from the LS but apparently is with the document. The cover of the LS is addressed “To Colonel Webb Philadelphia.”

1At this place on the draft manuscript, which is in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, Hamilton first wrote and then struck out the phrase “communicated to me.”

2Webb had gone to Philadelphia to present to Congress the undated “Memorial of the American Officers Prisoners of War on Long Island” that Congress read on 17 Feb. and referred to a committee consisting of Samuel John Atlee, James Duane, and Eliphalet Dyer (DNA:PCC, item 41; see also JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 13:191). For Congress’s action on this memorial, see John Jay to GW, 5 March (see also Webb to Jay, 5 March, DNA:PCC, item 78).

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