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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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7430. RETALIATION, Governor Hamilton's case.—[continued].
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7430. RETALIATION, Governor Hamilton's case.—[continued].

On receipt of your letter
of August 6th, during my absence, the Council
had the irons taken off the prisoners of war.
When your advice was asked, we meant it
should decide with us; and upon my return
to Williamsburg, the matter was taken up and
the enclosed advice [424] given.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 230. Ford ed., ii, 258.


Page 764

The advice was in the form of an Order of Council
which was written by Governor Jefferson as follows:
“The Board having been at no time unmindful
of the circumstances attending the confinement
of Lieutenant Governor Hamilton, Captain Lamothe
and Philip Dejean, which the personal cruelties of
those men, as well as the general conduct of the
enemy had constrained them to advise; wishing,
and willing to expect, that their sufferings may lead
them to the practice of humanity, should any future
turn of fortune, in their favor, submit to their discretion
the fate of their fellow-creatures; that it
may prove an admonition to others, meditating like
cruelties, not to rely for impunity in any circumstances
of distance or present security; and that it
may induce the enemy to reflect what must be the
painful consequences should a continuation of the
same conduct on their part impel us again to severities,
while such multiplied subjects of retaliation
are within our power; sensible that no impression
can be made on the event of the war by wreaking
vengeance on miserable captives; that the great
cause which has animated the two nations against
each other is not to be decided by unmanly cruelties
on wretches, who have bowed their necks to the
power of the victor, but by the exercise of honorable
valor in the field; earnestly hoping that the enemy,
viewing the subject in the same light, will be content
to abide the event of that mode of decision, and
spare us the pain of a second departure from kindness
to our captives; confident that commiseration to
our prisoners is the only possible motive to which
can be candidly ascribed, in the present actual circumstances
of the war, the advice we are now about
to give; the Board does advise the Governor to send
Lieutenant Governor Hamilton, Captain Lamothe
and Philip Dejean, to Hanover Court House, there
to remain at large, within reasonable limits, taking
the parole in the usual manner. The Governor
orders accordingly.”—Editor.