George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel John Jameson, 27 September 1780

From Lieutenant Colonel John Jameson

North Castle [N.Y.] Septr 27th 1780


This will be delivered you by John Paulding one of the Young Men that took Major André and who nobly refused any sum of Money that he should demanded, The other two Young Men that were in Company with him are not yet found as soon as they arrive they shall be sent on.1 I have just seen L——Kennicutt he thinks it will be impossible for him to go below again he begs your instructions and assistance almost all his Furniture Cloaths and Money are below Some of the Plunderers from above have Stolen his Horse which makes him very poor he has gone down between the lines to try to get out some of his things and to give Notice to ⟨some⟩ people that have assisted him in his business.2

I should take it as a particular favour if you woud use your influence with Governor Clinton to have some board appointed to enquire into (and determine) the horrid practice of Plundering that is carried on in this part of the Country I have no doubt but that the Plunderers above and below are connected If some proper board could be appointed or the commanding Officer on the lines vested with proper Authority from Governor Clinton many petty Villians near the lines may be detected (I make no doubt) who hold a correspondence with Delanceys Cow boys.3 I am very sorry that I wrote to G——Arnold I did not think of a British Ship being up the River and expected that if he was the Man he has since turned out to be, that he wou’d come ⟨down⟩ to the Troops in this Quarter in which case I sho⟨u’d⟩ have secured him (I mentioned my intention to Major Tallmage and some others of the Field Officers all of who⟨m⟩ were clearly of Opinion that it wou’d be right) until I could hear from your Excellency.4

The Queens Rangers I am informed marched from Oyster bay last Saturday for Kingsbridge5 the 17th on Sunday and som⟨e⟩ others Ordered to hold themselves in readiness.6 Two British Officers went on board the Vulture just above Tarrytown they were out in the Country cloathed in mean ragged Country Cloathes and at the River side changed them for fine Laced Regimentals. Some Gentleman came out from Kingsbridge about a fortnight ago with a Handkerc⟨hief ⟩ full of Gold changed his Cloathes for an old Nan Ceen Jack Coat and pushed up the North River. I am with regard and esteem Your Excellency’s most Obedient & very humble Servant

John Jameson


1For John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wart, the captors of Maj. John André, see Documents I, n.2, and XVI, n.7, with Maj. John André’s Capture and Execution, 23 Sept.–7 Oct., editorial note.

2Jameson sought help for Luther Kinnicut (d. 1833), who spied in Westchester County, New York. Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene wrote Jameson from West Point on 15 Oct. to urge assistance for Kinnicut and his family (see Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 6:390; see also Jameson to Greene, 10 Oct., in Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 6:363–64). For more on Kinnicut’s straitened circumstances and espionage activities, see Elijah Hunter to GW, 12 April 1781 (DLC:GW; see also Scharf, Westchester County description begins J. Thomas Scharf. History of Westchester County, Including Morrisania, Kings Bridge, and West Farms, which have been Annexed to New York City. 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1886. description ends , 2:476; Hadaway, McDonald Papers description begins William S. Hadaway, ed. The McDonald Papers. 2 vols. White Plains, N.Y., 1926-27. In Publications of the Westchester County Historical Society, vols. 4–5. description ends , 2:38; and Koke, Joshua Hett Smith description begins Richard J. Koke. Accomplice in Treason: Joshua Hett Smith and the Arnold Conspiracy. New York, 1973. description ends , 276–77).

3No correspondence between GW and New York governor George Clinton covered this concern, but see Greene to GW, 13 October.

4GW criticized Jameson for allowing Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold to escape (see his letter to John Laurens, 13 Oct.; see also The Discovery of Major General Benedict Arnold’s Treachery, 25 Sept.–24 Nov., editorial note).

5The previous Saturday was 23 September. For accurate intelligence regarding the Queen’s Rangers and 17th Dragoons, see Benjamin Tallmadge to GW, 4 Oct., n.1.

Index Entries