George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Franklin, 28 December 1780

To John Franklin

Head Quarters New Windsor 28th Decemr 1780


Sir Henry Clinton has at length consented to the mutual establishment of Agents for prisoners, who are to reside in New York, & at Lancaster in Pennsylvania or at such other place as the Bulk of the British prisoners may be1—Mr Pintard, who formerly acted as Agent for us in New York, has declined returning in that Capacity, as his family has come out of the City, and he has made arrangements for settling himself in Jersey—Thinking that he, from his general acquaintance, would be able to recommend a proper person for his successor, I applied to him for that purpose. He mentioned you2—and altho’ I have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with you, yet, from the favorable report of all our prisoners—independent of Mr Pintards recommendation, I should esteem it a happy event, if you would undertake the business in question. You will go in, in an official Character, and consequently not liable to any ill usage or insults. What M⟨r⟩ Pintard received for transacting the business I rea⟨lly⟩ do not know, but you will be intitled to the same I shall be glad of your Answer as soon as possible, that if you incline to accept I may propose You to Sir Henry Clinton.3 I am &.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DL:GW. The draft was addressed to Franklin at Philadelphia.

2See Lewis Pintard to GW, 16 Dec.; see also Pintard to GW, 6 Dec., and GW to Pintard, 9 Dec., both found at Pintard to GW, 14 Nov., n.4.

3British general Henry Clinton refused to allow Franklin into New York City as resident commissary of prisoners (see Franklin to GW, 4 Jan. 1781, and GW to Franklin, 10 Jan., both DLC:GW; see also GW to Clinton, 25 Jan., P.R.O.: 30/35, Carleton Papers, and GW to Franklin, 14 Feb., DLC:GW).

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