To John Jay
Head Quarters Middle Brook 12th April 1779
I have been honored with yours of the 4th and 7th instants.
Inclosed you have the proceedings of the Court Martial held, by order of Congress, upon the Officers of the Elaboratory and Deputy Qr Mr at Springfield, upon a representation from the Council of Massachusetts.1 I also inclose a letter which I received two days ago from Majr Harnage in behalf of himself and Capt. Hawke both of the 62d Regt British. Should not an exchange take place in which these Gentlemen may be included, it will be an act of humanity to indulge them, under their peculiarity of circumstances, with a liberty of joining the Corps to which they belong, by making use of a Water Conveyance as far as possible: But as I did not think it proper to comply with the request without the concurrence of Congress, I must beg the favr of you to lay the Major’s letter before them for their determination.2 I transmit you the York papers of the 7th and 8th and have the honor to be with the greatest Respect Your Excellency’s Most obt Servt
LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. The enclosed court-martial proceedings have not been identified, but for information on the trial, see GW to Israel Putnam, 22 Feb., and n.2 to that document, and Jedediah Huntington to GW, 7 April, n.5. After reading this letter on 14 April, Congress resolved “that the proceedings of the court martial be returned to the Commander in Chief, and that he take such order thereon as he shall judge proper” (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 , 13:449; see also John Jay to GW, 14 April). The men eventually were acquitted (see General Orders, 14 May).
2. For the plight of Maj. Henry Harnage, whose wife was pregnant, and Capt. Erle Hawker, who was ill, see Harnage to GW, 27 March. Congress read this letter on 14 April and resolved to deny the officers’ request (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 , 13:448–49; see also John Jay to GW, 14 April).