George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel James Livingston or Officer Commanding at Kings Ferry, N.Y., 30 October 1780

To Colonel James Livingston or Officer Commanding at Kings Ferry, N.Y.

Head Quarters [Preakness] 30th October 1780


Lieutenant Meydenger will deliver Mr Joshua smith into your custody.1 You will immediately send him by Water from King’s Ferry to General Heath at West point, under charge of an Officer with a proper Guard. You will likewise forward all the dispatches which Lt Meydenger will deliver you.2 I am Sir Yr most obt.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Lt. John Jacob Mytinger of the Maréchausée Corps commanded the escort that accompanied Joshua Hett Smith (see Koke, Joshua Hett Smith description begins Richard J. Koke. Accomplice in Treason: Joshua Hett Smith and the Arnold Conspiracy. New York, 1973. description ends , 180–83).

2Livingston began a letter to Maj. Gen. William Heath from Verplanck Point, N.Y., on 31 Oct.: “I am directed by his Excellency Genl Washington to forward Mr Joshua Smith to West Point. Capt. Ten Eyck of my Regiment, will deliver him to you together with the Dispatches” (MHi: Heath Papers). Heath began his reply to Livingston from West Point on 2 Nov.: “Your favor of the 31st ulto came to hand yesterday and Mr Joshua Smith this morning” (MHi: Heath Papers). Heath ended his letter to New York governor George Clinton on the same date: “Joshua Smith is Just Sent here to be Confined, Should you demand him it is my Duty immediately to deliver him” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Document XVI, and n.3).

Heath also wrote the “Captain of the Main Guard” on 2 Nov.: “Mr Joshua Smith is to be Confined in a room in the Artillery Barracks his Confinement is not to be rigorous but Such as will hold him perfectly Secure, a Commission[ed] Officer of the Main Guard is at all times to be in the room with him, and one Sentinel a nother Sentinel is to be Constantly kept at the door no person whatever is to be allowed to go into the room or Speak to him without express leave in writing from the General for that purpose, he is not to be allowed the use of pen Ink or paper but in the presence of the officer of the Guard, and no Letter or billet is to be Sent from him untill it be inspected by the General and has his permission” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Document XV, postscript).

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