George Washington Papers

To George Washington from a Committee of the Continental Congress, 6 September 1777

From a Committee of the Continental Congress

Philadelphia 6th Sepr 1777


The Representation made to your Excellency by a Board of General officers, touching the Inconveniences arising from the Mode in which regimental officers have drawn their Rations, having been committed to Us by Congress, We propose to report the inclosed Resolve, upon which We previously wish to have your Sentiments.1

We are not to consider the proposal for drawing more provissions than are allowed by the Establishment, which appears to be attended with many Difficulties, & have therefore confined our Veiws to the Removal of the Inconveniences complained of, being with much Esteem sir your very hume Servts

Richard Henry Lee

Nathel Folsom

E. Gerry

LS, in Elbridge Gerry’s writing, DLC:GW.

1The memorial proposing the formation of regimental officers’ messes that a board of general officers wrote on 7 Aug. was enclosed in GW’s second letter to Hancock of 9 August. After reading that letter, Congress on 11 Aug. referred the memorial to a committee consisting of James Wilson, Jonathan Bayard Smith, and William Smith (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 , 8:629). That committee apparently failed to report, however, and on 4 Sept. Congress appointed the committee that wrote this letter “to consider under what regulations and restrictions regimental officers shall, for the future, receive their rations” (ibid., 710). A short time later on 4 Sept., Congress tabled a resolution proposed by the Board of War that would have authorized GW to order the creation of regimental officers’ messes (ibid., 711). The proposed resolution enclosed in this letter empowers “the Officers of each regiment, Corps, & Detachment, . . . to divide themselves, as often as they shall think proper, into Messes not exceeding [ ] to a Regiment” (DLC:GW; see also ibid., 732–33). When the committee reported the unchanged resolution to Congress on 11 Sept., it was referred to a committee consisting of John Adams, Samuel Chase, and Joseph Jones (ibid.). No report from that committee has been identified.

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