Letter from Allen Jones to Thomas Burke
Jones, Allen, 1739-1807
Volume 22, Pages 539-540
GEN. ALLEN JONES TO GOV. THOS. BURKE.
Wheeler’s, July 4th, 1781.
Ever anxious to assist those in Distress, and more especially such as by a steady perseverance have set an example worthy of imitation to our Countrymen, I am induced to trouble you with a few lines relative to our mutual Friend, Mr. Hooper. Deprived of his Fortune and cruelly separated from the most endearing connections, this Gentleman wished to obtain a Flagg, if possible to draw his family and some small portion of the wreck of his Fortune, out of Wilmington. As he has formerly been a member of Congress, it is thought by most Persons that the Enemy would find some means to detain him, unless cloathed in some Public Character. I could wish, therefore, it consistent with your Judgment, that he
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might be commissioned to treat with the Officer commanding at Wilmington, as to an exchange of Prisoners, taken in private Ships, whether citizens or seamen, and our Militia. Humanity and Policy both point out this Step or some thing like it as highly necessary. Our Militia Officers have long languished in Captivity. Congress knows nothing of them, and I have in vain endeavoured to get our late Governor to take some Measures for their relief. This has also a bad effect on the Officers with us, who dread taking the field, because there is no Cartel settled as to them. We have many prisoners now in the State, taken in private Vessels, of whom Congress knows nothing and who might be exchanged, I think, with propriety for such of our fellow Citizens as now lead a life scarce worth preserving in the hands of the Enemy. But, taking it for granted that no advantage would arise to the Public from such a Commission, yet under the Colour of it, and during the negotiation, our Friend at least would have an opportunity to see his family and perhaps get leave to draw them from Wilmington. I could add much more on the occasion, but I know your Own Benevolent Disposition and Judgment will readily suggest the most eligible Mode.
I refer you to Mr. Hooper for the news now circulating here, and shall conclude with assuring you that it is with the most sincere respect and Esteem and the greatest pleasure that I subscribe myself,
Your Excellency’s most obedient and humble Servant,
Gen’l Jones (private), July 4th, 1781; answered July 8th.