George Washington Papers

From George Washington to General Henry Clinton, 20 November 1780

To General Henry Clinton

Head Quarters [Passaic Falls] November 20th 1780


I am authorised by Congress to propose a meeting of Commissioners for the purpose of “effecting an exchange of all Continental prisoners of War, now in your possession, and of the hostages given in Canada, as well as of all officers on parole, and officers violators of parole, and militia actually taken in arms and remaining prisoners of war, for an equal number of The Convention troops, and other prisoners in our hands, rank for rank, and where similar rank will not apply to persue the exchange on the footing of Composition, according to the valuation or tariff agreed on by The Commissioners at Amboy in march last.”1 In this business will of course come into contemplation an equitable adjustment and payment of the account⟨s⟩ of The Convention troops. I think it necessary to apprise you of this circumstance, that there may be no misapprehension and that if the Commissioners meet they may come clothed with proper powers to render the meeting effectual. I request your speedy answer; after which the time and place of meeting may be regulated.2

I beg leave to recall your Excellency’s attention to my letter of the 15th of September, proposing an exchange of Lt Morris of the Georgia Artillery, for Mr Burke of the Island of Antigua, to which you have not yet favoured me with an answer.3

To the application in behalf of Mrs Mathews I take the liberty to add another for a similar permission to Miss Anne-Sarah Camber in the same vessel.4 I am Sir Your most Obedient servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, P.R.O.: 30/55, Carleton Papers, no. 3157; Df, DLC:GW; copy, P.R.O.: C.O. 5/101; copy, P.R.O.: C.O. 5/183; copy (extract), enclosed with GW to Samuel Huntington, 8 Dec., DNA:PCC, item 152; copy (extract), DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The extracts contain the first paragraph of GW’s letter.

1See Huntington to GW, 12 Nov., and n.3 to that document.

3GW refers to a letter he wrote Clinton on 17 Sept. (see GW to Georgia Delegates in Congress, 15 Sept., n.2).

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