George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 31 October 1780

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters near Passaic Falls Octr 31st 1780

Dear Sir

I have received your Letter of the 24th Instant. As the characters and circumstances of the Prisoners at West Point are much better known to you on the spot, than they can possibly be to me, I have only to request that you will use your discretion with respect to them. The Proceedings of the Court on Burtiss have never been in my hands.1

There is I am informed by Gen. Irvine, a Chest belonging to Col. Kosciuszko containing principally Papers of a public nature; which General Greene had determined to have removed from Mrs Warrens to a place of more security—but in the hurry of business might have omitted. If the chest still remains at West Point, you will be pleased to take it into Your charge, or have it removed to a place of safety—As the Drafts & Papers are of consequence to the Public.2 I am with great regard Dear Sir Your Most Hble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in David Humphreys’s writing, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. This letter was delayed in reaching Heath (see his reply to GW on 7 Nov., first letter).

1In Heath’s letter to GW dated 26 Oct., the West Point commander had sought advice on death sentences for deserters (see also Heath to GW, 1 Nov.).

2Col. Thaddeus Kosciuszko’s papers probably related to the fortifications at West Point, where he had served as engineer prior to his going to the southern department during summer 1780.

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