George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Sim Lee, 18 February 1781

From Thomas Sim Lee

Annapolis February 18th 1781


Colo. Luke Marbury who Was Made Prisoner at the battle of German Town and still remains in the hands of the Enemy, expresses the utmost anxiety & Solicitude for a speedy release, his friends too, who are respectable are no less importunate for his return, and have repeatedly desired me to apply to Your Excellency to favor him should an opportunity offer for exchanging Officers of his Rank. As yet I believe none have fallen into our hands that would apply, unless it should be those Tory Colonels lately taken at King’s Mountain in Carolina.1 The peculiar Circumstances of this Gentleman are alone sufficient to recommend him to your Excellencys attention & if there should be no impropriety in the measure I flatter myself Your Excellency will instruct Major General Greene on the Subject of negociating the Desired exchange—It may not be improper to inform Your Excellency that Colo. Marbury with a Competency has felt, in his present situation, the pressure of indigence in addition to the rigour of a Close Confinement for a Considerable length of time after he was carried in Captivity & the Sufferings of his Wife & several Small Children in his Absence has Contributed to increase his distresses.2 With the highest personal Respect & esteem I have the honor to be Your Excellys Most Obedt

Thos S. Lee


GW replied to Lee on 22 March, advising him “that every attention shall be paid to the Exchange of Colo. Marbury in his due turn” and that Marbury had been paroled (DLC:GW).

1GW reported 800 prisoners taken at the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina (see General Orders, 27 Oct. 1780, and n.2 to that document).

2Col. Luke Marbury (c.1742–1809) had married his cousin Elizabeth Beanes (b. 1746) in 1770.

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