. On 6 Dec. the congress, in response to the King's declaring the colonists rebels,
adopted a declaration that promised retaliation against British prisoners for ill-treatment
of American prisoners by the British (
, 3:409–412). Being general in tone, it did not in Sullivan's mind meet the need presented
by the situation of the Washington
crew and Ethan Allen. In a letter of 18 Dec., however, George Washington told Gen.
Howe that should the mistreatment of Allen continue, he would retaliate against Gen.
Richard Prescott, whom Americans had captured at Montreal, and who was largely responsible
for Allen's treatment (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick
, 4:170–171; French, First Year
, p. 423–424).