George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Abraham Skinner, 5 January 1781

From Abraham Skinner

New Windsor January 5th 1781


Since my last Letter to your Excellency in which I informed you of the several Officers Exchanged for those of the Enemy in our hands,1 I have been able to collect a number more, of whom I had no return, and have enter’d into their exchange for an equal number of our next oldest in Captivity as you will observe by The enclosd List No. 10.2

Most of the Officers whose exchanges are ratified, have come out, and agreable to the directions of the Board of War, I have become answerable for the payment of their Board upon Long Island to their respective landlords. The Colonels and other Officers remaining Prisoners on Long Island and unexchanged are exceedingly distressed and much in want of many of the necessarys of life, particularly the article of firewood, which their Landlords will not furnish without money, and the Officers have it Not,3 in consequence of this I promised Colonel Marbury to represent the matter to your Excellency, and to send them a quantity (which is now ready) provided it meets with your approbation.

I enclose a list of several Persons prisoners to the Enemy, whom they claim as holding military rank and to which I have always objected4—those persons together with a number of Citizens who are upon Parole on Long Island, and who were taken from their different places of abode are in a very peculiar situation; they receive no public supplies, and I could wish to have your command with respect to them, particularly Captain Willing who was serving as a Captain in the Service of the States when taken, and whom the Enemy have frequ⟨ent⟩ly treated in the most cruel manner, refusing to Exchange him unless for the Ratio of a Colonel.5 I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellencys Mo. Obed. Hum. Servt

Abm Skinner Comy Genl pris.


1This letter has not been found.

2The enclosed document docketed “(No. 10)” reads: “Copy of a List of Exchange of American and British Officers made between Abm Skinner Esquire American Commissary General of Prisoners and Joshua Loring Esqr. British Commissary General of Prisoners at New York the 10th day Decemr 1780.” A table then detailed exchanges involving a total of fifteen British, German, Loyalist, Continental, and state militia officers (DLC:GW).

Corps Rank and Names Corps Rank and Names
Brunswic Capt. Dommes for Congress Regt Capt. McConnel
Lt Richrodt Webbs Lt John Riley
No. Carola Norman McLeod 6th penna Arnold Grace
Nova Scota Vol. 27th Cunningham Jersey Mila Henry Jeans
Ens. Parks N. York Cons Ens. Swartwout
Brunswick Doctr Verbrodt Webbs Adjt Elisha Hopkins
—Mate Dukel } Pens. Mila. Ens. Wm Dempsey
[Mate] Gross


3For this prisoner exchange, see GW to Skinner, 8 Nov. 1780, and n.1 to that document.

4This enclosure has not been identified.

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