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I herewith send you two copies of the laws passed in the last sessions. There are several inaccuracies in the printing, but it luckily happens that there is not one in the law giving extraordinary pi wers. In my last letter I forgot to take notice of the circumstances of the prisoners. I had a complaint made me some time ago, of their severe treatment, and represented it to Gen. Greene, who, in consequence thereof, sent down the Commissary of prisoners to examine into the affairs, and on his return reported that he could find no marks of ill treatment of the prisoners, except that some of them were in want of clothing (which you know they are not obliged to find them). Whether he was deceived in his investigation of the matter, by false appearances, or what, we can t tell; but I have again spoken to Gen. Greene, and he will have a further enquiry made. As to his taking prisoners out of our hands, you know the law of Congress authorises him so to do, and, as one of the United States, we are compelled to submit to it, however disagree able to our feelings. I have sent you thirty blank commissions, which are all I have. You will observe they are printed with Mr. Rutledge's name (and a few with mine); but, for want of others, I am obliged to make use of them, for our printer is sick, and I can get nothing done by him Ut present; nor has he printed any newspaper for some time past.
I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
- John Matthews
- Documentary History of the American Revolution Consisting of Letters and Papers Relating to the Contest for Liberty, Chiefly in South Carolina, from Originals in the Possession of the Editor, and Other Sources, 1776