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Board of War to Pennsylvania Council of Safety


War Office, November 19, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: General Washington having very pressingly requested Congress that all British prisoners of war should be collected and sent to Fort Lee, in New-Jersey, to be exchanged, you will be pleased immediately to give directions that all such prisoners in this State be forthwith sent under proper escorts to General Greene, commanding at that fort. The officers should go separately from the privates. Those prisoners who were captivated in North-Carolina are not meant to be included. They should take the route directly from their respective places of residence to Fort Lee, and should not be suffered to pass Philadelphia. You will be pleased to direct the Committees to furnish you with accounts of all expenses disbursed for prisoners, which with those laid out by you and the late Committee of Safety of this State, you will transmit to the Board of War, by whose order I write on this subject. The Board would most earnestly recommend the most speedy compliance with their request, but are conscious that motives of publick concern as well as private humanity will induce you to fall upon immediate measures to relieve our distressed fellow-citizens from bondage, and restore them to their country and friends.

I have the honour to be your most obedient servant,


Honourable the Council of Safety of Pennsylvania.