George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Burr, 22 May 1781

Fairfield 22d May A.D. 1781

May it Please Your Excellency

We have it from good Authority that Thomas Langley Collier of Fairfield is Under the Sentence of Death by a Court Martial of Your Excellency’s Appointment for crimes Committed within and against this and the United States We do not Undertake to call in Question the Propriety of this Proceeding, nor do we pretend to say any Thing to justify the Conduct of the Man we Suppose him to be Unfriendly to the Rights of America and wish to have him and every other Person of his Character so far Confined and restrained as to be Unable to injure the Country. at the same Time we are in general averse to the Shedding of Blood yet not Universally so. We Consider this Collier to be a man whose Capacity is not Competent to Execute great Schemes or influence any Persons of Consequence, he is Connected by Marriage with some respectable Families whose Attachment to the Cause of America is unquestionable. and who are Shock’d at the Idea of this Proceeding Considered as bringing in some Sense of Disgrace on them, or at least exposing them to the Censure of the Undiscerning and inconsiderate Part of Mankind he is Husband of an amiable Woman and Father of two lovely Children by diverse Wives which Children should he die will still keep up the Connection & relationship before mentioned his Distress’d Wife Starts at every Noise as being that of the messenger who brings the dreadfull Story. we fear the Consequences of such News will prove fatal to her. we mean not to give any high Colouring to your Excellency but Simply relate Facts and at the same Time impress our earnest desire that the Life of this deluded Man may be spared and that for the sake of his disconsolate Wife, poor Children and worthy Connections instead of being put to Death he may be Confined in such Place and for such Time as your Excellency Should think will most subserve the Cause of the Country. We are with Every Sentiment of Respect & Esteem your Excellencys most obedt & very humle Servts

George Burr Juse Peace

Increase Bradley Justice peace

Abram Andrews Jus. Peace

Saml Squier Jus. Peace

Saml Wakeman jus. Peace

James Johnson Minister of the Gospel

Robert Ross Minister of the Gospel

Andrew Wakeman Capt.

Ezekiel Hull Capt.

Ebenr Still Capt.

Jabez Wheeler Capt.

Najah Bennitt Capt.

Daniel Benitt Capt.

David Hawley Capt.

Samuel Thorpe Leut.

David Silliman Lt

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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