George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Howlett, 4 August 1781

Provost augut 4th 1781

May it please Your Excellency

From my long and tedious Captivity of two years, to gather with the Anxiety of Liberation, I am inducd to Acquaint Your Excellency, with the horrid and distressed situation, I am in—about three Weeks past, I was told my destiny—which is to remain in Prison during the war, at the same time was return’d as a British subject and no longer admitted to draw provisions with the prisoners of war, but with a set of murderers and robbers, which are Confind in this place all in Consequence of my Piloting, Count De Easting at the time he came on this Coast happy I should be, to again injoy the same Honour; therefore I do in the most pressing submissive and urging manner besach and implore your Excellency to take some meathed to deliver me Out of the hands of my cruel and unrelenting persecutors, how Can I surmount the thoughts of Continuing in this [manekin] of distress during my life or at Least the war. and a wife and six small Children a suffering for the want of Bread and other necessarys to render there lives Comfortable, it seemes that my friends and fellow Countrymen have intirely forsaken me in the day of distress and calamity. if your Excellency will be pleasd to extort, relief—I shall Ever Consider it the highest honour and satisfaction to serve my Country, as far as I am Capable in any Capacity your Excellency may require. I fear all I can say on this subject, which surmounts almost every other Consideration will not be sufficiant to prevent my falling a sacrafice to my injurrd and slaughtered Country, if finally that be my fate I shall submit with patiance. I have the Honour to remain your Excellencys most Humble Petitioner

James Howlett

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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