Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 25, 1776

On 25 July 1776, Chairman John Hanson, of the Committee of the Middle District of Frederick County, Maryland, wrote to the Maryland Council of Safety about prisoner requests for parole: “The Committee have often been applied to by the prisoners in the Tory Jail for an enlargement [i.e., release], on giving sufficient security not to depart the bounds which may be allotted them, and for their good behaviour; but they…would be glad to be favoured with the opinion of your honourable Board; and as some of these prisoners are officers, whether they are not entitled to their parole, agreeable to the resolution of Congress respecting prisoners.”
Hanson added, “Yesterday, were brought to this place, under a guard from Burlington, fifteen officers, taken at St. John’s [in Canada], who are ordered by the Board of War to be kept here.  Those who refuse to sign the parole are ordered to be confined in Jail.  Three of them have signed, and the other twelve who refused were last night sent to the Tory Jail, which we hope will occasion them in a short time to take advantage allowed them.”
Described conditions in the Tory Jail, Hanson wrote, 
“It is a dreadful place (but the best we have) to be confined in, and so crowded at present (being twenty-seven) that it may be dangerous to their health.” 
   
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