George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Stirling, 19 September 1779

To Major General Stirling

Hd Qrs West-point 19 Sepr 1779

My Lord.

I have been favored with your Lordships letter of the 18th and that of Col. Taylors.1

Very particular applications have been made to me of late, similar to that from your Lordship, which I have uniformly refered to the civil authority: Your Lordship will readily perceive the necessity for preserving the same conduct in all cases. In the present instance, however, I should find myself peculiarly unhappy in refusing the permission you have asked for Lady Mary, to visit her Mother and sister, was I not assured that in referring it to the Governor the indulgence will be readily obtained.2

You will be pleased to forward Col. Taylors letter3 which incloses the money he has mentioned. I am my Lord &.

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Stirling’s letter has not been found. Lt. Col. John Taylor’s letter, which has not been found, was dated 17 Sept. (see GW to Taylor, this date).

2Stirling was requesting a pass for his daughter Mary (“Lady Mary”) Alexander Watts 1749-1831)—who was married to New York Loyalist Robert Watts—to cross the lines from New York into New Jersey. Mary’s sister was Catherine (“Lady Kitty”) Alexander Duer (1755-1826), who had married William Duer in July.

Stirling wrote to New Jersey governor William Livingston the following day requesting the pass, but Livingston denied the request and recommended that he ask GW for the pass (see Prince, Livingston Papers, description begins Carl E. Prince et al., eds. The Papers of William Livingston. 5 vols. Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., 1979–88. description ends 3:169). For GW’s response to Stirling’s second request, see GW to Stirling, 30 September.

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