George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Stoddert, 8 August 1780

From Benjamin Stoddert

War-Office [Philadelphia] August 8. 1780


In consequence of information recd by Mr Bradfurd Comy of Prisoners here, from the persons who forwarded them on—that Lieutenants Leonard & Thompson & Ensign Lawrence of Bartons Regt in the service of the Enemy were captured in a place which left strong suspicions of their being Spies1—the board have ordered them to be confined in Goal until your Excellency’s determination on the papers transmitted you by the Captors on this subject, is known.2 I have the honor to be With the highest respect. Yr Excellency’s Most Obed. Most humble Servant.

Ben Stoddert Secy

ALS, DLC:GW. GW replied to the Board of War on 14 August.

1Lt. Col. Joseph Barton commanded the 1st Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers, a Loyalist regiment.

Samuel Leonard (c.1756–1825), a New Jersey farmer, became a lieutenant in the New Jersey Volunteers in December 1776 and rose to captain in August 1781.

New Jersey farmer John Thompson (c.1751–1801) joined the New Jersey Volunteers as an ensign in December 1776 and became a lieutenant in August 1780.

John Lawrence (1754–1821), a New Jersey farmer, joined the New Jersey Volunteers as an ensign in June 1777, rising to lieutenant in August 1780.

The New-Jersey Gazette (Trenton) for Wednesday, 2 Aug., reported: “Yesterday were brought to town under guard, being on their way to Philadelphia, Col. George Taylor, Lieut. Samuel Leonard, Lieut. John Thompson, Ensign John Lawrence, and Chrineyonce Van-Mater, late inhabitants of Monmouth, and three others.—They were made prisoners at Shrewsbury on Wednesday last by a party of our militia.”

2The papers transmitted to GW have not been identified.

Index Entries