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Letter from General, Washington to the Deputy Governour of Rhode-Island: Requesting to be furnished as soon as possible with a list of all the Continental prisoners in the State



Head-Quarters, Heights of Harlem, September 29, 1776.

SIR: I have been honoured with your two favours of the 14th and 23d instant, and am to return you my thanks for the measures you have taken to forward the two Continental battalions from your State.

In respect to the exchange of the persons you mention, I apprehend it cannot be effected till a general one takes place. This I am trying to carry into execution as well in the naval as the land service. And therefore must request the favour of your State, to make out and transmit me a return as soon as possible, of all Continental prisoners in their hands, distinguishing the names and ranks of the commissioned and staff officers, and the corps to which they belong, and the number of non-commissioned and privates; observing the same rule in regard to those in the sea service. It will be well to have the whole collected at one or two commercial places, in order that they may be sent forward as soon as the plan is properly digested, of which I shall advise you as soon as I obtain the return.

I have wrote to the other Eastern States upon the same subject, and to me it appears that the prisoners with you had better join those in Connecticut, that they may come together. I would recommend your writing to Governour Trumbull for information where their prisoners are to be assembled, and for his sentiments in this instance. It also seems advisable that they should come by water rather than by land; but of this you will have due notice, as I mean to settle upon some regular mode with the Admiral and General Howe against the time I am furnished with the returns by the States.


I have the honour to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient servant,


To the Hon˙ William Bradford, Deputy Governour of Rhode-Island.