Flatt Bush Octobr 26th 1780
I Beg leave to address your Excellency on a Subject in which to repeat Greavences or to Complain were I the sole Object would put me severely to the Blush.
I ever Esteemed it an Honour that I early Ingaged in Opposeing the Unjust measures of Britain, and that I have ever been active in the service of my Country Since Lexington Battle Untill the Unfortunate 10th of December 1777 at which time I was made prisoner of war to the British.
My Interest and all was Situated In and Contiguous to the Sound between Long Island and the main. I had been for five years before this Contest, Purchaseing a Small Island known by the name of Duck Island on which two Hospitals were Built at my Private Expence which has long since been Pilliged and Plundered.
What adds to my Misfortune the man to whom I had Rented my Small Plantation being a Refugee from this Island and Thretened by friend to Goverment has been long since obliged to Quit from his Exposed Situation by which my large Family Consisting of a Wife and Seven Children are Exceedingly Distressed and Unhappy.
I therefor beg your Excellencys kiend Interposition in Behalf of them and my Self that I might be Liberated either by Exchange or Parole in Such a Manner Agreable to your Wisdom as will be least Onearous to the [Hetes] or Injurious to my Brother Prisoners in Captivity. I have the Honnour to be with the most Perfect Confidents and with the Greatest Respect and Esteem Your Excellencys Most Obedient and Very Humble Servant
John Ely Colonel of the
Second Connectcutt State
DLC: Papers of George Washington.