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Complaints and demands of the British Officers, prisoners at Lancaster


Lancaster, January 20, 1776.

We, the undermentioned officers, having perused the Resolves of the Congress relative to us, transmitted to the Committee of this town, think proper to make the following answers to them:

Answer to 1st Resolution. — That the officers are of opinion they may accept of the offer of drawing for their subsistence; at the same time, from the situation they are in, they cannot help expressing a doubt of their bills being honoured, as an alteration may take place in Great Britain, as well as in America, with regard to bills of exchange; but expect that, in this case, nothing detrimental be offered to their persons.

Answer to 2d Resolution. — That, although the officers at Lancaster do not think themselves, by any means, concerned in the article of the Resolve relative to the officers at Trenton, yet they think proper to declare, that their having been placed in taverns by those officers under whose conduct they were brought to this place, laid them under the necessity of living in a more expensive manner than they otherwise would have done, and that they had frequently made application for private lodgings, but without effect.

Answer to an article of said Resolution. — That the offer of an allowance of two dollars per week, for board and lodging, is so inadequate to the manner which they, as


gentlemen and British officers, have been accustomed to live in, in every part of His Majesty' s dominions, that they decline accepting of the loan.

That, as to the article respecting innkeepers' accounts, they do not, really, comprehend the meaning of it, and, therefore, request an explanation.

In answer to the last article, respecting the officers being separated from their men, they cannot help expressing their surprise at it, having had promises to the contrary, particularly General Schuyler' s; that this promise from him, and a confirmation of it under the hands of the Congress, in their orders to Captain Nott, rendered them easy; that, in consequence of this, the officers, without hesitation, gave their parole to the Committee of this town, in the manner as has been already transmitted by them. The officers will be extremely sorry to be reduced to the disagreeable necessity of cancelling that promise.

The men are in great want of their clothing, not having, now, sufficient to cover them from the inclemency of the weather. Motives, therefore, of humanity and justice suggest to the officers the necessity of remaining with them, at least until the baggage arrives, which is daily expected, in order to make a proper distribution of it.

The officers beg leave to represent their own situation, which is such as will not admit of their changing quarters at this inclement season of the year; many of them lying in a bad state of health, and without the greatest part of their baggage, some, indeed, without any part of it.

The officers willingly embrace this opportunity of returning their thanks to the Committee and others, of this town, for their humanity in raising a subscription for the women and children, and, likewise, for other civilities.

GEO˙ PEACOCKE, Royal Fusileers.
Twenty-Sixth Regiment.
DANIEL ROBERTSON, Royal Highland Emigrants.

To the Committee of Lancaster.



*Agreed to set Dr˙ Huddlestone at liberty on the terms he mentions; and Bent by him a proposition to General Carleton, that it be stipulated on both sides, not only to release all Surgeons, but that, if, by the fortune of war, the hospital of either army should fall into the power of the other, the same care should be taken of the sick and wounded as if friends, and that neither they nor the attendants of the hospital should be considered as prisoners; and, if Governour Carleton should not agree to the present release of Surgeons, Dr˙ Hutddlestone is to be on his parole to return immediately.

Officers' Answer at LANCASTER.

1. To be left on the footing it was placod on in our letter of the 18th.

2. Resolve related merely to the officers at Trenton, no complaint having been received of those of Lancaster.

3. Two dollars per week was the allowance of Congress; the officers may refuse it or add to it on their own account, as they please.

4. Inquire the meaning, high accounts from Trenton.

5. See the Resolution of Congress; express stronger than before what relates to General Schuyler' s promise.

6. We shall be extremely sorry to be reduced to the necessity of confining them in prison, if they cancel their parole.

7. Clothing ordered by us; their clothing ordered to be brought up.

8. Provided for in our former letter.

9 and 10. It is not desired to remove any officer to the prejudice of his health.

Directions given in former letter relating to the women and children.