George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Duer, 11 October 1780

From William Duer

Philadelphia October 11th 1780.


Since my Arrival in this City I have received a Peice of Information which I esteem it my Duty to communicate to you. Mrs Lewis Junr (Daughter of Mr Lewis late a Member in Congress from our State) who is returned about three Weeks since from a Visit to her Sister in the City of New York informs me, “that it was currently asserted by a Number of Persons of Character in that Town that Mr Thomas Smith Brother to Joshua Smith was in New York, about the 14 or 15th September last; that she saw Persons, who declared they had seen him; and that she has no doubt but that the Fact was so. From Mrs Lewis’ Character, and her Connections in New York, who are attached to the British, I think the Evidence she gives may be relied on.1 I therefore submit to your Excellency the Propriety of immediately ordering Mr Thomas Smith to be apprehended, and his Papers seized. Should you think fit to decline giving these Orders, I have to request the favor of you to transmit to Governor Clinton a Copy of this Letter that the State may take such Measures, in consequence, as they shall think for the public Benefit.2 I have the Honor to be with great Respect, Your Excellency’s Obedt Hble servt

W. Duer

ALS, DLC:GW. For GW’s receipt of this letter on the evening of 20 Oct., see Document XIV.

1Elizabeth Ludlow Lewis (1755–1831) had married Francis Lewis, Jr., in May 1775, making her the daughter-in-law of Francis Lewis.

For Ludlows who “were steadfast in their attachment to Great Britain,” see Yoshpe, Loyalist Estates in New York description begins Harry B. Yoshpe. The Disposition of Loyalist Estates in the Southern District of the State of New York. New York, 1939. In Studies in History, Economics and Public Law (Columbia University), No. 458. description ends , 45.

2See Document XIII.

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