George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Elias Dayton, 11 June 1782

Head Quarters 11th June 1782


After writing to you Yesterday, your Letter of the 8th came to me—a Letter from Justice Symes, remandg Mr Depyster to be delivered over to the civil power, accompanied yours.

I more & more lament the Conductg of this Matter—your knowg that a habeas Corpus was taken out to rescue [the] prisoner from the Military, ought at least to have Occasioned your delaying to send on Mr Depyster, until you had obtained my further Instructions—Some fatality seems to attend this Business, & I fear is such, as will prevent any thing being effected for the Detection of Mr Depyster in his Correspondence—On Enquiry I can learn nothing of Cadmus, unless it is that he has been so loosely kept, that he is suffered to be taken off. by which means your principal proofs will be defeated.

Mr Depyster is now delivered over to the Civil Authority of the State that he may be bro’t to his Trial upon a civil process—It rests therefore upon you & Colo. Ogden to use your utmost Industry & Vigilence to obtain & produce every Evidence in Support of the Charge that can possibly be come at—This I shall rely upon—The paper said to have been taken from the prisoner, & which you sent to Maj. Genl Heath, is now returned to you by Ensn Hopper.

You will inform me as early as possible the present Situation of Capt. Asgill, the prisoner destined for Retaliation—and what prospect he has of relief from his Application to Sir Guy Carleton, which I have been informed he has made thro his Friend Capt. Ludlow. I have heard noting yet from N.York in Consequence of this Application—His Fate will be suspended ’till I can be informed the Decision of Sir Guy but I am impatient least this should be unreasonably delayed—the Enemy ought to have learnt before this, that my Resolutions are not to be trifled with. I am &c.

P.S. to Colo. Dayton

11th June 1782


I am informed that Capt. Asgill is at Chatham, without Guard, & under no constraint—This if true is certainly wrong—I wish to have the young Gentleman treated with all the Tenderness possible, consistent with his present Situation—But untill his Fate is determined, he must be considered as a close prisoner & be kept in the greatest Security—I request therefore that he be sent immediately to the Jersey Line, where he is to be kept close prisoner, in perfect Security ’till further Orders.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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