George Washington Papers

Orders to Carpenter Wharton, 21 December 1776

Orders to Carpenter Wharton

[Bucks County, Pa., 21 December 1776]


Lay in Provisions for Twenty thousand Men—at the following Places—and in the following quantities. At York Four Months. At Lancaster Two Ditto[.] At Mill Town Ten days.1 Besides the Provisions at these places, which are to be considered as Magazines, you should have some deposited on the Roads leading from Lancaster to Winchester in Virginia—And from the Head of the Bay to Alexandria in the same State, for the accommodation of the Troops in their March from the Southern Colonies.

You should also so far look round you as to know that there are in the vicinity of Philadelphia & in the City itself Provision enough to serve Ten thousand Men at least Six Weeks. but there will be no Occasion as yet for large purchases, or large deposits in this Quarter. Given at Head Qrs Bucks County this 21st Decr 1776.

ADfS, DLC:GW; copy, enclosed in Carpenter Wharton to John Hancock, 31 Dec. 1776, DNA:PCC, item 78; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Wharton writes in his letter to Hancock of 31 Dec. from Philadelphia: “I transmit You inclosed a Copy of the Instructions, I have received from his Excellency General Washington, for the laying in large Magazines of Provisions in this State—at such places, as per the Inclosed order—And as a very considerable Sum of Money, is wanted for that immediate purpose—I request you will please to Order the Treasurer to pay On My Account, to Mr Joseph Pennell Assistant Commissary Seventy thousand Dollars, for the sole purpose of procuring necessary provisions to form the Magazines” (DNA:PCC, item 78). Congress read Wharton’s letter on 6 Jan. 1777 and immediately appropriated the requested money (see 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 , 7:14–15).

1Mill Town is now Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

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