George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Maxwell, 17 January 1792

From Thomas Maxwell

Newton [England] Jany 17th 1792


I am in great Straits to know what is Becom’d of a Brother of mine that came to America And Settled their before the Commotion of the war I was inform’d that he was an Officer in the American Service under your Honours Command His Name is William Maxwell,1 I have bean Inform’d by one Thos Hodgon that he died in new Providence and left a Daughter the rest of the Famley was all Dead and she has a Property In North Carolina, but where it was he could Not inform me Sir If your Honour Pleas to Inform me of what is b[e]com’d of him and the Famley I would ever wish for your Honour Your Humble & most Obedient Servent

Thos Maxwell

Sir if you Pleas to Direct to Thos Maxwell at Newton nigh Hexham Northumberland in England.


Thomas Maxwell was probably the son of Thomas Maxwell of Kirkland, Scotland, who died before 1772, and a godson and legatee of John Shaft of Hexham (A History of Northumberland [15 vols.; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1893–1940], 4:422).

1The only William Maxwell to serve as an officer in the Continental army was William Maxwell (c.1733–1796), a brigadier general under GW, but he was a lifelong bachelor of Scotch-Irish descent. Thomas Maxwell’s brother might have been William Maxwell of New Providence, N.J., who, having fled to the British lines, was listed as a Loyalist by a New Jersey inquisition in June 1778 (Jones, Loyalists of New Jersey, description begins E. Alfred Jones. The Loyalists of New Jersey: Their Memorials, Petitions, Claims, Etc., From English Records. Newark, N.J., 1927. In Collections of the New Jersey Historical Society, vol. 10 description ends 294). No reply from GW has been found.

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