Summary of Content: Written by Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as Governor of Maryland to General Washington. Signature has been clipped and added. Says there is reason to believe the British crown has prohibited offensive operations on the continent. Claims that if that is true, it has been violated by armed vessels in the Chesapeake. Says a party under Wheland landed and plundered the town of Benedict, Maryland. Mentions that Colonel Plater’s negroes were plundered. Wants Washington to know about these violations so he can bring them up in any future negotiations with British officers.
Full Transcript: In Col. [illegible] 21 Feby 1783, Sir:, From the [struck: late Correspondence] [inserted: Letters which lately passed] between your Excellency & Genl. Carleton and from the speech of the British King to his Parliament of the 5th. of December last there is some Reason to think that orders have been given by the British Crown prohibiting offensive Operations on the Continent. Under this Impression we beg Leave to inform your Excellency that if such orders now are given they have been most shamefully violated by the Enemy’s Barges and armd vessels in the Bay of Chesepeake. There are now in the Bay Eleven Barges and one sloop and two schooners who > the detachd parties not only capturing [strike-out] our vessels but landing on our Shores and wasting and plundring the property of the people of this State. On Tuesday last [struck: the] a Party [inserted: under the Command of Wheland] went up >, plundered the Town of Benedict and burnt & destroyed the dwelling Houses & Out Houses of M. > Mackall with [struck: most of] [inserted: most] his [struck: movable property] Furniture, Tobacco Corn & other moveable Property.  Col. Plater [struck: his also >] [inserted: was also] plundered of some of his negroes. Another Party the Day before Yesterday consisting of five Barges and a Sloop came as high up as Kent Point nearly opposite to this City and [struck: and now] were cruizing by last > in the Eastern [inserted: Bay] & about Poplar Island. The most of the barges > about the Tangier Islands & from there [strike-out] make Excursions up the River or the Eastern Shore robbing & plundering on the shores, The Intention of this address is to posess your Excellency [inserted: with Information] of the Enemy’s Conduct & Operations in this State in order that if your Excellency should [strike-out] be of Opinion that such Outrages are not authorized by the British Crown or his officers your Excellency may be enabled to make such a Communication to the British General & Admiral as [inserted: struck: think proper][struck: may benefit them to put a stop to further Depredations] your Excellency may consider proper and likely to put a Stop to further Depredations., Wm Paca, His Excy Genl Washington, [docket], 21st. Febry. 1783, His Exy. Genl. Washington, [struck: 101] , [struck: 103], 102, Entd