George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Buchanan, 18 August 1777

From William Buchanan

Philadelphia 18th Augt 1777

May it please your Excellency

The Quantity of Rum mentioned in Col. Trumbulls Return of publick Stores, and the Accounts I recieve of large Stocks of Whiskey lying in several Magazines in this State, induced me to think this a very proper Juncture to attempt a Reduction of the present exorbitant Price of the last Article. To effect this I had some thoughts of not purchasing any more Whiskey for the present unless it could be had at something like a reasonable Rate. But the Rum being at a very great Distance from Camp, and having recieved no Authentick Return of the Quantity of Whiskey on hand I feared there might be some Risque of occasioning a Scarcity in Camp, and therefore applied to the Board of War for their Advice. They referred me to your Excellency as the most proper Authority to permit such a Trial. I now do myself the Honor of requesting your Excellency’s Orders on this Subject. Permit me also to remark that if the Suttlers &c. attending the Army are not restrained in the Prices which they demand from the Soldiery, every Endeavour of mine to reduce the Price of Whiskey must necessarily prove inneffectual. I am your Excs. Obdt humble Servt

Wm Buchanan C:G:P:

Whiskey 20/ per Gal. & rapidly on the Rise.


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