George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel John Lamb, 26 September 1780

To Colonel John Lamb

Robinson’s House the 26 Sepr 1780

Dr Sir

I have received Your favor of to day.1 We cannot find on examination any charges against Thomas Smith and therefore We cannot with propriety take any measures respecting him. His situation however may become a subject of the State’s consideration.2 As to Joshua Smith he is in safe custody, and has had a good share in the matters which have been carrying on. He furnished Major André with a Coat to disguise himself, who left his Uniform One and which Captn Carnes will get in consequence of a Letter from Mr Smith for the purpose. You will send the Captain the inclosed.3 I wish You to say nothing of this matter, as we may possibly receive further intelligence with respect to the plot or at least of Other characters. I Am Dr sir Yr Most Obedt st

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, NHi. GW signed the cover, which is addressed to Lamb at Verplanck Point, New York. “Important” is written on the docket.

A letter dated 27 Sept. from an unidentified writer in the Continental army camp at Tappan indicates confusion over the involvement of the Smiths in Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold’s treachery: “Since writing you yesterday, I am informed that it was Joe, instead of Tom Smith, who acted as an accomplice in this horrid plot; he is taken, and with Major Andre, I suppose will grace a Gallows this day—No other particulars have come to my knowledge—The Commander in Chief is still at West-Point, providing for its security, and searching the treason to the bottom” (Dawson, Papers Concerning André description begins Henry B. Dawson, comp. Papers Concerning the Capture and Detention of Major John André. Yonkers, N.Y., 1866. description ends , 84).

1See Document I.

2For suspicions concerning Joshua Hett Smith’s brother Thomas, see Document IX.

3For the letter from Joshua Smith to his brother Thomas, misdated 25 Sept., see the editorial essay above and n.10.

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