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1782. in our poffeffion. To remedy therefore as foon as pof

fible this mistake, you will be pleafed immediately to order, that lieut. Tumer, the officer you mention to be confined in York jail, or any other prifoner who falls within my description, may be conveyed to Philadelphia, under the fame regulations and directions as were heretofore given, that he may take the place of capt. Afgill." The fame day he ordered col. Dayton of the Jerfey line to permit capt. Ludlow, Afgill's friend, to go into New York with fuch reprefentation as Afgill would please to make to Sir Guy Carleton; and begged of him in the mean time to treat Afgill with every tender attention and politenefs (confiftent with his prefent fituation) which his rank, fortune and connections, together with his unfortunate ftate demanded. In a fubfequent letter to the colonel be faid-" I wish to have the young gentleman treated with all the tenderness. poffible, confiftent with his prefent fituation;" and after that"I am very willing, and indeed with every indulgence to be granted him that is not inconfiftent with his perfect fecurity." Capt. Afgill writing to gen. Washington, thus expressed himself" In confequence of your orders, col. Dayton was defirous of removing me to camp, but being ill of a fever, I prevailed on him to let me, remain at his quarters [Chatham] clofe confined, which indulgence I hope will not be difapproved of. I cannot conclude this letter without expreffing my gratitude to your excellency for ordering col. Dayton to favor me as much as my fituation would admit of, and in juftice to him I must acknowledge the feeling and attentive, manner in which thofe commands were executed." You may inquire, why was not Tumer, or fome other officer,


fent on to take the place of Afgill? It is not in my 1782. power to answer.

Mean while the British court-martial proceeded on the trial of capt. Richard Lippincot, thought to be the principal in executing capt. Huddy. When it was finished, the proceedings of the court were fent to gen. Washington by Sir Guy Carleton. It appeared in the course of the trial, that gov. Franklin, the prefident of the board of affociated loyalifts, gave Lippincot verbal orders for what he did, and that the fame were known and agreed to by feveral of the board, without being exprefsly oppofed by any. The board feemed defirous of exculpating 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 affociates, 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 fet of vindictive rebels, known by the defignation of Monmouth retaliators, affociated and headed by one general Forman, whofe horrid acts of cruelty gained him univerfally the name of Black David. It fet forth, that many of their friends and neighbours were butchered in cold blood under the ufurped 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 treafon against their states; and that their affociators thought it high time to begin a retaliation: that they therefore pitched upon Jofhua Huddy as a proper fubject, he having been a very active and


1782. cruel perfecutor of their friends, and having boasted of being inftrumental in hanging Stephen Edwards, the firft of their brethren who fell a martyr to republican fury in Monmouth county. Huddy, it afferted, tied the knot and put the rope about the neck of that inoffenfive fufferer. The plea urged by the parties, who defended the execution of Huddy, was-" By a ftrange fatality the loyalifts are the only people that have been treated as rebels during the unhappy war, and we are constrained by our fufferings to declare, that no efforts have been made by the government, under whofe protection we wish to live, to fave our brethren from ignominious deaths. The rebels punish the loyalifts, under their usual distinction of prisoners of ftate from prisoners of war."

When the business had been fully and impartially heard and.difcuffed, it was finished by the following declaration-" The court having confidered the evidence for and against the captain, and it appearing that (although Joshua Huddy was executed without proper authority) what the prifoner 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 direc tors of affociated loyalifts, and his not doubting their having full authority to give fuch 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 affurances of profecuting a further inquiry. This changed


the ground the general was proceeding upon, and placed 1782. the matter upon an extremely delicate footing. 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 confidered, 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 fo. The ground which the general was proceeding upon being changed, he by a letter of the 19th of Auguft laid the whole matter before 19. congrefs for their direction. The affair being put into this train, the general fent word to col. Dayton on the 25th, "You will leave capt. Afgill on parole at Morriftown, 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 unlimited, 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 furrounding country, for several miles, with his friend and companion, major Gordon, conftantly attending him. Every military character muft fuppofe that these indulgences flowed from the American commander in chief: which was the real cafe, and is not to be ascribed to the interference of count Rochambeau. Congrefs referred gen. Washington's letter and the proceedings of the British court martial upon Lippincot to a committee, who delivered in their report on the 17th of October. Ten days before, Washington wrote in a private letter to the oa. fecretary at war" The cafe of capt. Afgill is now 7. before congrefs. Was I to give my private opinion re




1782. fpecting Afgill, I fhould pronounce in favor of his being released from his dureffe; and that he should be permitted to go to his friends in Europe." Congress delayed bringing the matter to an iffue. 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 effe& upon the king and upon the queen, to whom I communicated it. The goodness of their majefties hearts induces them to defire, that the inquietudes of an unfortunate mother may be calmed, and her tenderness reaffured. There is one confideration, Sir, which though not decifive, may have an influence upon your refolution. Capt. Afgill is doubtless your prifoner, but he is among those whom the arms of the king contributed to put into your hands at York Town. Although this circumftance does not operate as a fafeguard, it however justifies the interest I permit myself to take in this affair. -In feeking to deliver Mr. Afgill 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 fent copies of the letters, with one of his own of the 25th of October, to congrefs. On the 7th of November, they "refolved, That the commander in chief be and he is hereby directed to fet capt. Afgill at liberty." It afforded gen. Wafhington Nov. fingular pleasure to have it in his power to transmit a copy of this refolve to the captain on the 13th; and as he fuppofed the latter would wish to go into New York





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