George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lewis Pintard, 16 December 1780

From Lewis Pintard

Baskenridge [N.J.] 16th Decr 1780.


Since my last of the 6th Inst. I have received Your Excellency’s favor of the 9th and have been giving the Subject thereof the most serious Consideration1—Nothing short of the most thorough Conviction that my longer Stay in New York could be neither advantagious or Honorable to my Country or myself, would have led me to sacrifice my whole Fortune in that City for the Present, or to have left my fellow Citizens in Captivity, to suffer for want of proper attention—From the best information I can get from my Family & Friends I am well convinced that I could not return to my late Charge without great Personal Danger, unless I would submit to measures which I could never reconcile either to my own feelings or the Interest of my Country—Nothing has raised this personal aversion to me, but a strict attention to the distresses of the Prisoners and an honest attachment to the welfare of my Country, as I have religiously avoided every appearance of real offence to the Enemy on every Occasion whatever.

I most cordially wish for my own Interest, as well as that of my Country, I could return with Propriety, as I have no Expectations here but that of spending what little property my Family has brought out with them—I could wish Your Excellency was fully possessed with the absolute necessity of sending in a Person of Character, Estate & strictest Integrity—The Enemy does not regard any Person who is not of estimation with their own People, a Man ought to be above the danger of temptation in Money Matters, and it will require the best Principles to prevent the Effect of the Maneu[v]res with which they try every Person with whom they have to do—the Gentn You mention I do not think would Answer for many reasons, some of which I do not chuse to mention—it is necessary the Commissary there should understand Mercantile Business or he will be Cheated out of ⅔ds of his Expenditures—He should be a Citizen of some of the States & at all times subject to the recall & the Justice of Congress or You can put no Confidence in him—I know of but one Man I could heartily recommend, that is Mr John Franklin now at Philada lately Banished from New York, this could be no Objection as they intend to send a Man here under the like Circumstances2—If he could not be had, I am told Mr Abraham Brashier is out of Business and would Accept of it—His Character I am informed is unexceptionable as a Whig, but I dare say Your Excellency is better acquainted with him than I can be since this dispute.3 I have the Honor to be with great Respect & Regard Your Excellencys most Obedient Humble Servant

Lewis Pintard


1See Pintard to GW, 6 Dec., and GW to Pintard, 9 Dec., both found at Pintard to GW, 14 Nov., n.4.

2For GW’s selection of John Franklin as resident commissary of prisoners in New York City, and the British rejection of his appointment, see GW to Franklin, 28 Dec., and n.3 to that document.

3Pintard probaby refers to Abraham Brasher (1734–1782), who had served in the New York legislature and was driven from his native New York City for his commitment to American independence. He died in Morristown, New Jersey.

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