George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel William Palfrey, 18 November 1776

To Lieutenant Colonel William Palfrey

Heckenseck [N.J.]1 Nov. 18. 1776

D. Sir

I just now received the favor of your Letter of the 17th. I confess, I did not expect that any Warrants would have been presented to you for payment, except those which I signed myself. The Inconveniences which might arise, if several persons in the same Army were allowed to draw are obvious & such as might produce great uneasiness & injustice to the public. All who applied to me were told, that the Abstracts were to be deposited with you & sent down in order to be signed by me at once, or that they would be compleated by my signature, if brought ⟨at⟩ different times. I cannot allow double pay to Major Lee ⟨or a⟩ny other Officer. It is expressly against the Resolves of Congress.2 The Militia will be paid on making out proper Abstracts & such as are satisfact[or]y to you, as Other Troops are. You must inform their Officers that they should be very particular in not chargg for a longer time than the Men were in actual service & the Abstracts should be certified by their Brigrs or Cols. Commandants.

As I cannot conceive it will be for the public good, that Warrants should be drawn by difft Officers & to prevent further mistakes on that account, I request that you will remove your office near my Head Qrs and pay no Warrants hereafter but such as come from me, giving notice of your removal.

I shall mention to Congress the demands that will be on you, desiring that provision may be made for the same.3 I am &c.


Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; LS, sold by Kenneth W. Rendell, Inc., Winter 1985; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Mutilated portions of the text are supplied within angle brackets from the Varick transcript.

1GW apparently returned to Hackensack from Fort Lee on this date, and he remained there until 21 Nov. when he moved some eight miles farther west to Acquacknack (now Passaic), N.J., on the Passaic River (see GW to William Livingston, that date). During his stay in Hackensack GW probably lodged at Judge Peter Zabriskie’s stone house on the village green (see Leiby, Hackensack Valley description begins Adrian C. Leiby. The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley: The Jersey Dutch and the Neutral Ground, 1775–1783. New Brunswick, N.J., 1962. description ends , 7, 57).

2See Congress’s resolution of 14 Oct. in JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 6:874.

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