George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 18 January 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor 18 Jany 1781


Under the circumstances, Your Excellency states in your letter of the 12th, there is to me no doubt that Wilson may be detained and punished notwithstanding the sanction of a flag. But there is a fact alleged by the enemy, which would intirely change the nature of the case. They pretend, that Wilson came out under a passport or permit from Col. Wells of your Militia, while Commanding Officer at Horseneck or in that vicinity. If this is true, however censurable Col. Wells might be, in giving the permit, I should advise to respect it and release Wilson. This is a point, if possible, necessary to be ascertained, previous to an application to General Clinton. If upon investigation, Your Excellency finds the pretended passport to be false, I will make a demand as you request of Capt. Marsh; unless Your Excellency should prefer doing it yourself as the whole affair has been hitherto without my participation.

I am happy to be able to inform your Excellency agreeable to the resolve of Congress, that a detachment of the Jersey troops has been already marched to Wyoming. With the warmest sentiments of respect and esteem, I have the honor to be Yr Excellency’s Most Obedient and humble servt

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Ct: Trumbull Papers.

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