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Letter to Matthias Ogden, March 28, 1782

George Washington. Autograph letter signed: Morristown, to Matthias Ogden, 1782 March 28. 1 p.

To Col[onel] Ogden of the 1 Jersey Regiment


The spirit of enterprise so conspicuous in your plan for surprising in their quarters, & bringing off the Prince-William Henry & Admiral Digby, merits applause; and you have my authority to make the attempt in any manner, & at such a time as your own judgment shall direct.

I am fully perswaded, that it is unnecessary to caution you against offering insult or indignity to the persons of the Prince, or Admiral should you be so fortunate as to capture them; but it may not be amiss to press the propriety of a proper line of conduct upon the party you command.

In case of success, you will, as soon as you get them to a place of safety, treat them with all possible respect, but you are to delay no time in conveying them to Congress, & reporting your proceedings with a copy of these orders.

Given at Morristown this 28th day of March 1782.
Go: Washington

Note Take care not to touch upon the ground w[hi]ch is agreed to be Neutral – viz from Raway to Newark & four miles back.

Notes: Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington. 24: 91. Punctuation has been standardized. Matthias Ogden became Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st New Jersey Continentals in 1776 and assumed command of the regiment in 1777. Ogden proposed a plan in September 1781 for the capture of Prince William Henry, (the future king William IV), when the Prince was in New York City with Admiral Digby. Washington approved the plan, but it was later compromised and abandoned.