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1782. in our possession. To remedy therefore as soon as pof

sible this mistake, you will be pleased immediately to
order, that lieut. Tumer, the officer you mention to be
confined in York jail, or any other prisoner who falls
within my description, may be conveyed to Philadel-
phia, under the same regulations and directions as were
heretofore given, that he may take the place of capt.
Algill.” The same day he ordered col. Dayton of the
Jersey line to permit capt. Ludlow, Asgill's friend, to
go into New York with such representation as Afgill
would please to make to Sir Guy Carleton; and begged
of him in the mean time to treat Afgill with every tender
artention and politeness (consistent with his present situ-
ation) which his rank, fortune and connections, toge-
ther with his unfortunate state demanded. In a fubfe-
quent letter to the colonel he said "I wish to have the
young gentleman treated with all the tenderness. poffible,
consistent with his present situation ;” and after that-
“ I am very willing, and indeed wish every indulgence
to be granted him that is not inconsistent with his per-
fect security.” Capt. Afgill writing to gen. Washington,
thus expressed himself-m. In consequence of your orders,
col. Dayton was desirous of removing me to camp, but
being ill of a fever, I prevailed on him to let me, re-
-main at his quarters [Chatham] close confined, which
indulgence I hope will not be disapproved of. I cannot
conclude this letter without expressing my gratitude to
your excellency for ordering col. favor me as
much-as my situation would admit of, and in justice to
him I must acknowledge the feeling and attentive man-
Aer in which those commands were executed.” You
may inquire, why was not Tumer, or some other officer,


fent on to take the place of Asgill? It is not in my 1787.

power to answer.

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Mean while the British court-martial proceeded on the
trial of capt. Richard Lippincot, thought to be the prin-
cipal in executing capt. Huddy. When it was finished,
the proceedings of the court were sent to gen. Washing-
ton by Sir Guy Carleton. It appeared in the course of
the trial, that gov. Franklin, the president of the board
of associated loyalists, gave 'Lippincot verbal orders for
'what he did, and that the same were known and agreed
to by several of the board, without being expressly op-
posed by any. The board seemed desirous of excul-
pating themselves wholly, and of leaving Lippincot to
his fate. A paper was produced in court as being in
the hand writing of Mr. Alexander, a member of the
board. It mentioned that one of their associates, Philip
White, was inhumanly and wantonly murdered by the
guard who were carrying him to Monmouth jail. It
complained of many daring acts of cruelty, perpetrated
with impunity' by a set of vindictive rebels, known by
the designation of Monmouth retaliators, associated and
headed by one general Forman, whose horrid acts of
*cruelty gained him universally the name of Black David.
"It fet forth, that many of their friends and neighbours
were butchered in cold blood under the usurped form
of law, and often without that ceremony, for no other
crime than that of maintaining their allegiance to the
government under which they were born, audaciously

called by the rebels treason against their states; and that
their associators thought it high time to begin a retalia-
tion: that they therefore pitched upon Joshua Huddy
as a proper subject, he having been a very active and


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3782. cruel persecutor of their friends, and having boasted of

being instrumental in hanging Stephen Edwards, the first of their brethren who fell a martyr to republican fury in Monmouth county. Huddy, it asserted, tied the knot and put the rope about the neck of that inoffensive sufferer. '; The plea urged by the parties, who defended the execution of Huddy, was~" By a strange fatality the loyalists are the only people that have been treated as rebels during the unhappy war, and we are constrained by our sufferings to declare, that no efforts have been made by the government, under whose tection we wish to live, to save our brethren from ignominious deaths. The rebels punish the loyalists, under their usual distinction of prisoners of state from prisoners of war.”

When the business had been fully and impartially heard and discussed, it was finished by the following declaration—" The court having considered the evidence for and against the captain, and it appearing that (although Joshua Huddy was executed without proper authority). what the prisoner did, was not the effect of malice or ill will, but proceeded from a conviction, that it was his duty to obey the orders of the board of directors of associated loyalists, and his not doubting their having full authority to give such orders, the court is of opinion that he is not guilty of the murder laid to his charge, and therefore acquit him.”

Sir Guy Carleton, in a letter which accompanied the trial of capt. Lippincot, declared in unequivocal terms to gen. Washington, that notwithstanding the acquittal of the captain, he reprobated the measure, and gave assurances of prosecuting a further inquiry. This changed

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the ground the general was proceeding upon, and placed 1782.
the matter upon an extremely delicate fcoring. Sir Guy
charged him with want of humanity in selecting a victim
from among the British officers, fo early as he did. But
Sir Guy should have considered, that by the usages of
war, and upon the principles of retaliation, the general
would have been justified in executing an officer of equal
rank with capt. Huddy immediately upon receiving
proofs of his murder, and then informing Sir Henry
Clinton he had done so. The ground which the gene-
ral was proceeding upon being changed, he by a letter

Aug. ,
of the 19th of August laid the whole matter before 19.
congress for their direction. The affair being put into
this train, the general sent word to col. Dayton on the
25th, “ You will leave capt. Afgill on parole at Morrif-
town, until further orders.” The captain was admitted
to his parole even within ten or twelve miles of the British
lines. He was indulged with a confidence yet more un-
limited, by being permitted, for the benefit of his health,
and the recreation of his mind, to ride not only about
the American cantonment, but into the surrounding
country, for several miles, with his friend and compa-
nion, major Gordon, constantly attending him. Every
military character must suppose that these indulgences
flowed from the American commander in chief: which
was the real case, and is not to be ascribed to the inter-
ference of count Rochambeau. Congress referred gen.
Washington's letter and the proceedings of the Bricish
court martial upon Lippincot to a committee, who deli-
vered in their report on the 17th of October. Ten
days before, Washington wrote in a private letter to the pa.
secretary at war—" The case of capt. Afgill is now
before congress. Was I to give my private opinion re-
Vol. IV,



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1782. specting Afgill, I should pronounce in favor of his being released from his duresse; and that he should be

permitted to go to his friends in Europe.” Congress delayed bringing the matter to an issue. At length the general received a letter from the count de Vergennes, dated the 29th of July, interceding for capt. Afgill. It was accompanied with an uncommonly pathetic one from Mrs. Afgill, the mother, to the count. Vergennes in the most polite, humane and powerful manner, pleaded her cause. “ Your excellency (he faid) will not read this letter without being extremely affected : it had that effect upon the king and upon the queen, to whom I communicated it. The goodness of their majesties hearts induces them to desire, that the inquietudes of an unfortunate mother may be calmed, and her tenderness reafsured. There is one consideration, Sir, which though not decisive, may have an influence upon your resolu. tion. Capt. Asgill is doubtless your prisoner, but he is among those whom the arms of the king contributed to put into your hands at York Town. Although this circumstance does not operate as a safeguard, it however justifies the interest I permit myself to take in this affair. -In seeking to deliver Mr. Asgill from the fate which threatens him, I am far from engaging you to seek another victim; the pardon, to be perfectly fatisfactory, must be entire.” Washington sent copies of the letters, with one of his own of the 25th of October, to congress. On the 7th of November, they “ resolved, That the commander in chief be and he is hereby directed to fet

capt. Asgill at liberty." It afforded gen. Washington Nov. singular pleasure to have it in his power to transmit a

copy of this resolve to the captain on the 13th; and as he supposed the latter would wish to go into New York

Oct. 25.



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