George Washington Papers

General Orders, 10 April 1777

General Orders

Head Quarters, Morristown April 10th 1777.

Parole: St Clair.Countersign: Muhlenberg.

John Laurence Esqr. is appointed Judge Advocate, in the room of William Tudor Esqr. who has resigned.1

The General desires that the Quarter Master General will immediately take measures to have the Camp cleared of every kind of garbage and filth with which it is at present incommoded.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Laurance served as judge advocate general of the Continental army until June 1782. Tudor, who had held that office since July 1775, wrote his mentor John Adams on 23 Mar. 1777 from Morristown: “I yesterday ask’d Permission to resign my Post of J.A.G. and to retire from the Army, but met with a Refusal, which, though softened by a Compliment from the General [GW], gave me some Chagrine. A Person at my Time of Life ought to be, if possible in the Road to Wealth or Fame, or both, my Office will never intitle me to either. For the Pay annexed to it, from the Depreciation of the Currency and the real and artificial Scarcity of every Thing has sunk 50 Dollars to the intrinsic Value of 20 only. And as to Fame, a Man might continue a Judge Advocate to Eternity without ever acquiring a single Particle of it.

“How it happened that all of the Staff, when the rest of the Officers Pay was rais’d, continued upon the old Establishment I cannot conjecture. I am the only General Staff Officer whose Pay is equal but to a Captain’s of Artillery.

“As the General appears desirous of my continuance in the Office, I would remain provided Congress would make the Pay adequate to the Department. But as I suppose You will not raise any of the Staff, I am determined to quit the Place which at present barely supports me. This I presume You will not blame me for. He must want Spirit indeed who would hold a troublesome Office, exposed to the Inconveniences of perpetual Movements, a Camp Life and long Absences from home, for a bare Livelihood. My Duty is much augmented this Year from the last, by my being ordered to swear in the New Recruits. Hence I am every Day employed, when no Court Martial is sitting, in writing Certificates and administering Oaths, for which not the least Allowance is made. I will wait Sir your Advice, before I renew my Request to resign” (Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977—. description ends , 5:123–24).

Although Tudor resigned as judge advocate general by this date, he remained in the army, serving as lieutenant colonel of Col. David Henley’s Additional Continental Regiment until April 1778. Tudor later established himself as an attorney in Boston. He represented Boston in the Massachusetts General Court from 1791 to 1794, and he served as a state senator from 1801 to 1802 and secretary of the commonwealth from 1808 to 1809.

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