George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lewis Pintard, 14 November 1780

From Lewis Pintard

Baskenridge [N.J.] 14th Novr 1780


Being from home, I was not favoured with Your Excellency’s favour till this Day, otherwise should have done myself the Honor of Answering it sooner.1

Having been informed that Sir Henry Clinton had given an evasive Answer to Your Excelly’s last Application,2 and being fairly worried out with waiting in my disagreable Situation I wrote in for my Family to come out immediately if permission could be Obtained, and have been expecting them for two days past every Tide.

on Rect of Your Excellency’s Letter, I wrote to my Nephew if he had not disposed of my Effects, to give up the design of coming out3 and that I would immediately prepare for going in agreable to Your Excellency’s proposals.

I expect to wait for his Answer, when if he does not come out will wait on Your Excelly without delay, at all events Your Excy shall hear from me as soon as possible.4 I have the Honor to be with great Respect Your Excellencys most Obedient Humble Servant

Lewis Pintard


1GW had written Pintard from headquarters at Theunis Dey’s house on 9 Nov.: “Sir Henry Clinton has at length consented to the establishment of Agents for prisoners upon terms which have been settled between us. If you therefore still incline to enter upon that business, upon our part, I will make you out a proper Warrant and will apply for your admission into New York in your official Character, as soon as it is convenient for you to remove—Should you decline the matter—You will oblige me by recommending a Gentleman whom you may think in every respect capable and proper to transact the Business” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; see also Henry Clinton to GW, 4 Nov.).

2Pintard presumably refers to GW’s letter to Gen. Henry Clinton written on 22 Oct. regarding resident commissaries of prisoners.

3GW had requested Clinton to permit Pintard’s family to leave New York City (see GW to Clinton, 5 July, source note).

John Pintard (1759–1844) graduated from Princeton in 1776 and served as his uncle’s assistant when the elder Pintard was resident commissary of prisoners in New York. He later became a prominent businessman and philanthropist.

4Pintard again wrote GW from Basking Ridge on Friday, 6 Dec.: “Agreable to what I informed Your Excellency at Morris Town I went to Eliza. Town on Saturday last, in order to prepare Matters for my return to New York, where I was Agreably surprized with the Arrival of my Family—This Occurrence will entirely prevent any Thoughts on my Accepting the Honor Your Excellency designed me in the appointment to the Care of the Prisoners in that City—and indeed the very severe Treatment my Family has met with in my Absence, and the Threats publickly made use of against me in case of my return, fully Convinces me, if there was the least doubt before, that my Return would have been at least attended with many unforeseen difficulties—I have the highest Sense of Your Excellency’s past goodness, and shall ever bear the most greatful Remembrance of the favourable attention Your Excellency has paid to my peculiar Circumstances.

“It would give me real Pleasure could I in any future department of Life Oblige Your Excellency in the smallest Instance or be in the least Serviceable to advance or prosper the Common Cause of America” (ALS, DLC:GW).

GW subsequently wrote Pintard from headquarters at New Windsor on 9 Dec.: “I am exceedingly sorry to find by your letter to Mr Tilghman that you decline going into New York as Agent for Prisoners, as your family have come out—Should you persist in your determination, I shall be much obliged to you to recommend a proper person to me—Genl Irvine and the Gentlemen who came out with him mention a Mr Bogart who is in their opinion qualified for the business—but you may perhaps be better acquainted with him. I shall be glad of your opinion of him, if you decline the Office” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; Pintard’s letter to GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman has not been identified). Pintard replied to GW on 16 December.

Numerous individuals with the surname Bogart or Bogert lived in New York City or its vicinity.

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