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Letter from the Massachusetts Council to General Washington



Council Chamber, Watertown, July 16, 1776.

SIR: Messrs˙ Jackson, Tracy & Tracy, merchants of Newburyport, are very solicitous to procure a release of the officers and men of their late Privateer Yankee Hero, which was taken, after a brave and manly resistance, by the Milford frigate; they are now in the hands of our enemies. They take leave to recommend their case to your Excellency' s consideration, not doubting but you will attend to any application made to you on their behalf, by the gentlemen above named, and afford every reasonable assistance to accomplish their benevolent purpose; and if they should be happy enough to effect it, it will give us a particular pleasure, as those men, by their past conduct, merit our regard, and


should they be obtained, may be greatly serviceable in the American Army.

We cannot neglect this opportunity of recommending to your Excellency' s particular consideration the case of Mr˙ James Lovell, who suffered a long and severe imprisonment in Boston, and was carried off in the fleet to Halifax, where he has remained a close prisoner ever since. His enemies have not been able to fix any crime upon him, and when he has repeatedly desired to be brought to a trial, they have always declined it. We are very desirous to procure his liberation; and if there is a possibility of effecting it, should esteem it a favour if your Excellency would give in exchange for him any prisoner you may think proper.

In behalf, and by order of the Council, I am your Excellency' s most obedient and most humble servant,

To His Excellency George Washington, General and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of the United States of America, New York.