George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Frederick Frelinghuysen, 3 February 1781

From Frederick Frelinghuysen

Pumpton [N.J.] Feby 3d 1781.


The Commissioners have spent three days in examining into the Claims of the Jersey Soldiers, & contrary to their expectation find the Term of all the Enlistments which have been produced to be during the War. A few, however, of the Soldiers have been discharged, on the Evidence of the Officers who enlisted them, & other concurrent Proofs of their having only engaged for three Years.

The absence of so many Officers, & the detached state of the Brigade has obliged us to adjourn untill the 20th of February, when we propose to hear such of them, as shall not have obtained Satisfaction from Seeing their enlistments in the hands of their Officers; And from their being now fully convinced that nothing, but the most unequivocal Evidence in their Favour, will authorize us to discharge, I concieve we shall be troubled with few more Applications.

The Conduct observed towards the Pensylvania Line proves very injurious to us, in our attempt to quiet the Minds of our Soldiers; They entertained the highest expectations that where no Enlistments could be produced, their own Oaths would be taken as Evidence—their disappointment very much chagrines them, & no pains are spared by the disaffected Inhabitants to keep alive their discontent.1 The Whigs of Jersey are highly pleased with the method taken to subdue the Jersey Mutineers, & from the Conduct of the Militia when the Pensylvanians revolted, and when the Jersey line arrived at Chatham, I am confident they will, whenever required, cheerfully step forth to quell such dangerous Insurrections.2 I am Sir Your Excellency’s most obedient Servant

Frederick Frelinghuysen


GW replied to Frelinghuysen on 7 Feb. from headquarters at New Windsor: “I am much obliged to you, for your favor of the 3d Inst.

“When the Commissioners reassemble on the 20th of Febry they will find the Jersey Troops removed to Morris, which I flatter myself will facilitate the settlement, and answer several other very valuable purposes” (Df, in David Humphreys’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). For the orders for the troops to move to Morristown, N.J., see GW to the Officer Commanding the New Jersey Brigade, 7 February.

1For the mutiny of the Pennsylvania line, see Anthony Wayne to GW, 2 Jan., and the source note to that document; see also Elias Dayton to GW, 24 January.

2For the suppression of the mutiny in the New Jersey line, see Robert Howe to GW, 27 Jan.; see also Israel Shreve to GW, 20 Jan., and the source note to that document.

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