George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Huntington, 8 November 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philada November 8. 1780


Your Excellency will receive herewith enclosed, the Copy of an Act of Congress of the 3. Instant, expressing the high Sense they entertain of the virtuous & patriotic Conduct of John Pualding, David Williams & Isaac Van wert, and granting to each of them a Pension of two hundred Dollars during Life, with a silver Medal to be delivered to each of them by your Excellency, so soon as they can be procured by the Board of War.1

I have also enclosed three other Copies of the above mentioned Act of Congress, which you will please to transmit to those three worthy Militia Men above named.2 I have the Honor to be &c. &c.


LB, DNA:PCC, item 15.

1The enclosure, with a resolution that Congress adopted on 3 Nov., related that a committee considering a recommendation in “Genl Washingtons Letter of 7th of Octor” reported a measure praising “John Paulding, David Williams and Isaac Van Wert, three Young Volunteer Militia Men of the State of New York,” for capturing “Major John André Adjutant General of the British Army, on his return from the American lines, in the character of a spy,” refusing bribes, and bringing “him to the Commanding Officer of the district, whereby the dangerous and traitorous conspiracy of Benedict Arnold was brought to light, the insidious designs of the Enemy baffled, And the United States rescued from impending danger.” Congress awarded each of the three men an annual lifetime payment of $200 “in specie or an equivalent in the current Money of these States” and “a silver Medal.” GW was to present the medal “with a Copy of this resolution” (DLC:GW; see also JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 18:918, 1009–10). For much more on John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wart, see Documents I, n.2, and XVI, n.7, with Major John André’s Capture and Execution, 23 Sept.–7 Oct., editorial note.

2The other enclosed copies of the congressional resolution have not been identified.

For GW’s reply, see his letter to Huntington, 20 Nov., postscript.

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