Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LORD HOWE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
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TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LORD HOWE. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. IV (1776).
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TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LORD HOWE.
Head-Quarters,New York, 17 August, 1776.
Being authorized by Congress, as their commanders in every department are, to negotiate an exchange of prisoners, and presuming, as well from the nature of your Lordship’s command, as the information that General Howe has been pleased to honor me with, that the exchange in the naval line will be subject to your Lordship’s directions, I beg leave to propose the following mode of exchange for your Lordship’s consideration, namely, “Officers for those of equal rank, and sailors for sailors.” If this proposal should be agreeable to your Lordship, I am charged in a particular manner to exchange any officer belonging to the British navy in our hands, and of equal rank, for Lieutenant Josiah, who was lately made prisoner in a ship retaken by the Cerberus frigate. The reason, my Lord, of my being charged to propose the exchange of Lieutenant Josiah, in preference to that of any other officer, is, that authentic intelligence has been received, that, regardless of his rank as an officer, he has not only been subjected to the duties of a common seaman, but has experienced many other marks of indignity.
As a different line of conduct, my Lord, has ever been observed towards the officers of your navy, who have fallen into our hands, it becomes not only a matter of right, but of duty, to mention this to your Lordship, to the end that an inquiry may be made into the case above referred to. From your Lordship’s character for humanity, I am led to presume, that the hardships imposed on Lieutenant Josiah are without either your knowledge or concurrence, and therefore most readily hope, that, upon this representation, your Lordship will enjoin all officers under your command to pay such regard to the treatment of those, who may fall into their hands, as their different ranks and situations require, and such as your Lordship would wish to see continued by us to those, who are already in our power, or who may hereafter, by the chance of war, be subjected to it. I have the honor to be, my Lord, with great respect, your Lordship’s most obedient servant.1
[1 ]In his reply, dated August 19th, Lord Howe, concurring in the proposition for an exchange of prisoners, added: “Principles and conduct form the true distinctions of rank amongst men; yet, without competent habit in the manners of the world, they are liable to meet with unmerited disregard. But insults and indignities to persons of whatever rank, who are become parties in these unhappy disputes, cannot be justified, and are, I persuade myself, as much disapproved of by every officer under my command, as they can never cease to be by me.”