George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Clinton, 30 September 1780

From George Clinton

Pokeepsie [N.Y.] 30th september 1780


The Bearer of this Letter Mrs McClaughry—Wife of Colo. Mc-Claughry taken at Fort Montgomery—is desirous of visiting her Husband at Newyork who is in a very low state of Health—The Enemy have ungenerously determined to suffer no Lady in her Situation after being permitted to come into the City to return again into the Country but tho’ this Practice will oblige her to leave her Family Affairs without any Person to direct them she would rather submit to the Necessity of remaining in the City than be absent from her Husband in his present Indisposition—I am therefore to request your Excellency to grant her a Pass for the above Purpose1—As also one to Mrs Allison & Mrs Halstead Wifes of Colo. Allison & Lieut. Halstead Prisoners with the Enemy.2

Applications have been repeatedly made to me by Colo. McClaughry & Allison Lieut Colo. Brown3 & Major Logan and some other of the Officers taken at Fort Montgomery4 (havg Families) who have been in Captivity near three Years to endeavor to obtain for them the Liberty of coming into the Country on Parole for a few Days to settle their private Business which from their long Absence has of Course become deranged5—If any Indulgence of this Nature can be obtained for these Gentlemen it will lay me under particular Obligations. I am Dear Sir with the highest Esteem & Respect your Excellency’s most Obedt Servt

Geo: Clinton


1Agnes Humphrey McClaghry (1743–1808) became James McClaghry’s second wife in 1763. She cared for her husband at a New York City hospital during his captivity (see Ruttenber, New Windsor description begins Edward M. Ruttenber. History of the Town of New Windsor, Orange County, N.Y. Newburgh, N.Y., 1911. description ends , 128).

2Mary Jackson Allison (c.1736–1806) was the wife of Col. William Allison, who was exchanged in December 1780.

Benjamin Halstead (1740–1801) was a New York militia lieutenant captured at Fort Montgomery, N.Y., in October 1777 and not exchanged until 1782.

Ruth Howell Halstead (born c.1745) married in 1766.

3Clinton probably means Lt. Col. Jacobus Severyn Bruyn.

4For the British capture of Fort Montgomery, see Israel Putnam to GW, 8 Oct. 1777 (first letter).

5Imprisoned New York officers had petitioned Clinton and the state legislature from Long Island, N.Y., on 24 May 1780 to request that “some mode may be adopted to relieve us at present and secure us from want hereafter” (Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 5:750–52).

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