To Henry Knox
June 20. 1794.
A Commissary of Stores having been appointed,1 it is necessary to fulfil the main object of that appointment that a very regular system of accountability should be established. As the accounts of the expenditures of money are connected with the subject I submit to you whether it will not be adviseable to instruct Mr. Hodgdon to concert with the Comptroller of the Treasury2 a plan for regulating that accountability so as to afford the requisite information to both departments.
With great respect I have the honor to be Sir Your obedient servant
The Secretary for the
Department of War
Copy, RG 54, Hodgdon and Pickering Papers, National Archives.
1. On April 10, 1794, Knox had written to George Washington concerning “An Act to provide for the erecting and repairing of Arsenals and Magazines, and for other purposes” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 352 [April 2, 1794]). Knox stated: “The third section specifies a person to superintend the receiving, safekeeping, and distribution of Stores, & also for the due accounting of the same. It would seem by the law that this appointment is vested solely in the President of the United States, and it is so explained by the members of both houses. Samuel Hodgdon is submitted as the person most proper for this office. He has been in the practice of some of the most essential of its duties for sixteen years, and his integrity & competency appear to have been amply tested by experience” (LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress). Hodgdon had served in the commissary department of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. From March 4, 1791, until April 12, 1792, he was quartermaster general of the United States Army, and from the fall of 1792 until June, 1794, he served as “agent for procuring certain supplies for the War Department” and Army storekeeper at Philadelphia (RG 217, Miscellaneous Treasury Accounts, 1790–1894, Account No. 5937, National Archives). On June 16, 1794, Washington “Signed a Commission for Saml. Hodgdon as Superintendent of military Stores &c” (JPP description begins “Journal of the Proceedings of the President,” George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 300).
2. Oliver Wolcott, Jr.