Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 15: Information From Prisoners

   In letter of February 15, 1776, George Washington informed John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, of British movements in New Jersey, “From the latest advices that I have of their movements, by some prisoners, and others, they appear to be leaving Trenton, and to be filing off towards Princeton and Allentown.” 
   
The Allentown in this case was Allentown, New Jersey, not the Allentown, Pennsylvania well known in later years as a coal and manufacturing center saluted in a Billy Joel song.  

   In 1776, George Washington insisted on kind, humane treatment of enemy prisoners of war.  In the words of a 1777 poem, Washington “treats his captive with a parent’s care!”  Washington treated prisoners well and still obtained information from them.  
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