Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Muter, with Reply, 13 March 1781

From George Muter, with Reply

War office March 13. 1781


I have the honour of inclosing to your Excellency, a note to Mr. Ross to furnish sundry articles to Mr. Mayes who is employed in the Countrys service by Capt. Brown, if you approve it. Mr. Ross’s furnishing the articles at Petersburgh, which I understand he can do, will save the expence of transportation from hence.

There is also inclosed a certificate from Capt. Browne respecting Mr. Mayes’s drawing provisions; if your Excellency approves of it, it is to be delivered to him. I have the honour to be Your most hl servt.

George Muter. C.

In Council Mar. 13. 1781.

We have no right to order a Continental Commissary to furnish provisions to a state artificer. The State Commissary must take measures for furnishing them.

Th: Jefferson

RC (Vi); addressed and endorsed. TJ’s reply is written in his hand on verso of Muter’s letter. Enclosures missing.

Brown’s certificate has not been found, but there is in Vi a letter from Captain Winsor Brown to Muter dated 13 Mch. 1781, as follows: “The Bearer Mr. Mayes informs me he cant Carry on his Business for the want of some Materials such as Iron, Steel and Files. Mr. Ross of Petersburg he thinks could furnish those Articles. Dont you think it would be best for his Excellency the Govr to give him an order to Mr. Ross for them? Mr. May’s has engaged a Compleat Gun Stocker on the same Term the other Artificers were. I think it a pity that so many good Workmen should be kept idle for the want of Materials. For my part it cant be supposed that I have Money or Interest to get them on my own Account.” There is a minute in the War Office Journal, 13 Mch., the following: “An order to the State Commissary to furnish Mr. Matthew Mayes, and six hands under him, with Provisions regularly, they having engaged to work Six Months for the Publick. Sent to the Governour.”

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