Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Patterson and Andrew Ellicott, 9 May 1801

From Robert Patterson and Andrew Ellicott

Philada., May 9th. 1801


Should the office of Superintendant of the military stores of the United States, created by an Act of Congress passed the 2d of April 1794, and now held by Mr. Harris, become vacant; we would take the liberty of recommending Mr. George Ingel, of this place, as a suitable person for that office.

For several years during our revolutionary war, and till the close of it, he served in a similar department, under Col. B. Flowers, at Lancaster: and, we believe, with integrity and reputation. He has, for some years past, been a Representative from the county of Philada. in our State Legislature. His character stands high in the estimation of every Patriot to whom he is known; and we have no doubt, would do honour to the appointment his friends are soliciting for him.

We are Sir, with sentiments of high respect and esteem, your most obedt. servants

Rt. Patterson

Andw; Ellicott

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); in Patterson’s hand, signed by him and Ellicott; at foot of text in Ellicott’s hand: “President U.S.”; endorsed by TJ as received 13 May and so recorded in SJL with notations “for Ingel” and “Off.”; TJ canceled Patterson’s and Ellicott’s names from the endorsement and replaced them with: “George Ingel. vice Harris Superintendt. military stores.”

In March 1801, TJ replaced Samuel Hodgdon, who had been the superintendent of military stores since 1794, with William Irvine. As military storekeeper at the Schuylkill Arsenal near Philadelphia, John Harris managed the stocks of military articles. In 1802, TJ appointed George Ingels, an inspector of lumber in Philadelphia who had served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, to the military storekeeper’s position (NDQW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France, Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 1935–38, 7 vols. (cited by years) description ends , Feb. 1797–Oct. 1798, 37–8, 83–7, 334; Aug.-Dec. 1799, 236; George D. Moller, American Military Shoulder Arms, 2 vols., [Niwot, Colo., 1993], 2:24–5, 102; Stafford, Philadelphia Directory, for 1800, 67; Journal of the First Session of the Eleventh House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [Lancaster, 1800], 3; Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , 16:504n; 22:129n; Thomas McKean to TJ, 10 Jan., 21 Mch. 1801; Ingels to TJ, 5 Oct. 1804).

Through much of the Revolutionary War, Colonel Benjamin Flower was the commissary general of military stores (Charles R. Shrader, U.S. Military Logistics, 1607–1991: A Research Guide [New York, 1992], 289).

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