George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Livingston, 27 January 1781

To William Livingston

Ringwood [N.J.] Jany 27. 81

Dr Sir,

I have the pleasure to inform your Excellency that the measures concerted for quelling the mutiny in the Jersey line were this morning carried into full execution. The mutineers were unexpectedly surrounded and awed into an unconditional surrender with little hesitation and no resistance. Two of the principal actors were executed on the spot, the rest pardonned—The spirit of mutiny seems now to have completely subsided and to have given place to a genuine repentance. This was very far from being the case previous to this step, nottwithstanding the apparent submission which the assurances of redress had produced—they still continued insolent and refractory, and disobedient to the commands of their officers.1

A general pardon was promised by Colonel Dayton, on condition of an immediate and full return to duty2—This condition was not performed on the part of the mutineers and of course they were not in-titled to the benefit of the promise, besides which the existence of the army called for an example.3 I have the honor to be with perfect respect and regard Yr Excellys Most Obedient st.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

3For Livingston’s reply on 4 Feb., see GW to Livingston, 13 Feb., n.1.

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