George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Allen, 20 April 1776

From Jonathan Allen

Cambridge, 20 April 1776. Requests payment for service as a chaplain in the Continental army. “I left my congregation 200 miles without a single dollar for my support . . . I laboured near 4 months without provision or pay but charge but three being ill some part of the time. . . . I deliver’d in my Bill to General Sulivan, who promis’d to deliver it to Your Excellency but by his sudden march for New York, I presume he forgot it—For the payment of this small pittance I presented two petitions to your Excellency by the hand of Squire Mayland who return’d me for answer that your Excellency could not grant an Order without the Names of the Col. or Colo’s. to the Bill.”1


The writer may be Jonathan Allen (1749–1827) who graduated from Harvard College in 1774 and became a minister at Bradford, Mass., in 1781.

1The petitions that Allen gave to Stephen Moylan have not been identified. During the next several months Allen continued pestering GW about his bill. On 19 July 1777 GW wrote to Gen. William Heath: “Inclosed is a letter which is one of many I have recd upon the same subject from the Revd Mr Allen. I refer the Matter to you, and if you find that he has the least shadow of right to his Claim pray pay him his demand, or he will write me and travel himself to death” (MHi: Heath Papers).

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