George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 9 August 1780

From Thomas Jefferson

Richmond August 9th 1780.


Agreeable to the resolutions of Congress of January 13. 1780,1 we have turned over to the Continental Commissary of Prisoners at Winchester forty prisoners of war, a roll of whom I now take the liberty of enclosing to your Excellency.2 I have the Honor to be with all possible respect & esteem Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servt

Th: Jefferson

LS, DLC:GW; LB, UkLoBM: Add. MSS 38650; copy, DLC: Jefferson Papers.

1For the two resolutions of 13 Jan. requesting a list of prisoners of war held by the states and that all such prisoners be turned over to Continental authorities, see Samuel Huntington to GW, 14 Jan., n.1.

2The enclosed document was titled “A list of the prisoners of War, sent from Williamsburg, and other places in Virginia by order of the Supreme Executive of that State, under the care of Lt Thomas Bryant of the State Garrison Regiment, to Winchester, there to be delivered to the Continental Commissary of prisoners at that place, agreeable to the resolution of Congress of the 13th of January 1780.” Dated 8 Aug., the document gives the names, service, rank, and corps of the prisoners, along with when and where each was captured. It lists a captain, surgeon, interpreter, “Volunteer,” assistant quartermaster, seven sergeants, two corporals, eighteen privates, a “Servant,” five sailors, and two ship masters (DLC:GW).

In his reply to Jefferson of 5 Sept., GW questioned why Henry Hamilton, former lieutenant governor of Detroit, who had been captured by Virginia troops at Vincennes in the Indiana country on 25 Feb. 1779, was not on the list (DLC:GW). For the reasons given for his retention, chiefly his influence on the frontier and his “embittered Zeal” against Virginians, see Jefferson to GW, 26 Sept. (DLC:GW).

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