Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Muter, with Reply, 20 January 1781

From George Muter, with Reply

War office Jany 20. 1781.


I beg leave to inform your Excellency that Mr. Mattw. Anderson’s time he engaged for is out, and the shop under his direction at a stand. I beleive he is willing to engage for sometime longer (if the shop can be properly supported) and I expect him here this forenoon.

Capt. Nathl. Irish (Continental commissary of military stores) sollicits your Excellency, for a supply of cloathing from the public store. He is in great necessity and can’t get his money to enable him to purchase elsewhere.

Permitt me to mention to your Excellency the necessity of appointing a Commissary of military stores, with proper assistants, or authorised to appoint them. ’Twill be utterly impossible to have the arms properly collected and repaired, or the ammunition duely taken care of unless there is some person who can be depended on, whose only business it will be [to] manage the arms and ammunition. At the same time I beg leave to observe, that the post of Commissary of military stores, has not a single shilling of sallary annexed to it.

I have the honour to be Your Excellency’s Most hl Servant,

George Muter. C.

In Council Jan. 20. 1781.

The board are of opinion that Mr. Matthew Anderson’s shop as a public one should be discontinued and that he should be engaged to work for the public such materials as they shall furnish at the old prices, to be paid in provisions in fixed proportions at the old prices also.

The discontinuance of the public store by act of assembly cuts short all questions about furnishing cloathing.

Th: Jefferson

RC (Vi); addressed and endorsed; reply, in TJ’s hand, written below Muter’s letter Tr of reply in War Office Journal (Vi).

Mattw. Anderson: Matthew Anderson was in charge of the shoe manufactory (Official Letters description begins Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 297). Discontinuance of the public store: By an Act of Assembly passed at the Oct. 1780 session, “for making good the future pay of the army, and for other purposes,” the public store was replaced by a clothier general, appointed by the governor (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends x, 373–5). Necessity of appointing a commissary: See George Muter to TJ, with enclosures, 19 Jan. 1781, and Muter to TJ, following.

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