George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Artemas Ward, 12 April 1776

From Major General Artemas Ward

Boston 12 April 1776.


I am to inform your Excellency, that Col. Warren, the Paymaster Genl acquaints me he has not Money enough left in the Treasury (since what was drawn for the Commissary and Quarter Master) to pay the five Regiments which remain here, for the month of March.1

Mr Quarter Master Parke had a Warrant for £5500.12 and Mr Commissary Avery had a Warrant for £4500 to defray the expences in their several departments, and they both assured me they could not do with less.2

Your Excellency will be pleased to give the necessary directions with respect to a supply of Money.3 I am Your Excellency’s Obedient Humble Servant

Artemas Ward

LS, DLC:GW; LB, MHi: Ward Papers. Although the wording of the letterbook copy differs somewhat from that of the LS, there are no important changes in meaning.

1See James Warren to Ward, 10 April 1776, MHi: Ward Papers.

2Elisha Avery was a deputy commissary general until July 1776 when he retired from the service.

3The words, “Money, Powder, Occurences, Work,” written by Robert Hanson Harrison in the margin of the LS apparently served as an outline for his reply to Ward of 22 April. No money, Harrison informed Ward in that letter, could be immediately sent to him because GW had found at New York “a much smaller Sum in proportion to the demands than what he left for your department, which he hoped wou’d have been equal to every present claim, But If not, his Excellency apprehends that no great inconvenience can arise to the Regiments stationed in & about Boston to wait a little time for pay in March untill Money can be sent for that purpose; If they shou’d be in great want & very importunate, he doubts not but the Honourable Genl Court will on your Application lend you a sufficient sum to pay ’em off, on promise of repayment when money comes to hand.” Harrison also directed Ward to inform GW of any gunpowder supplies that may have reached Boston since GW left there, to proceed expeditiously with works for the defense of the town, and to send by the earliest opportunity news of any interesting occurences in his department (MHi: Ward Papers).

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