George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 10 September 1778

From Major John Clark, Jr.

Audrs Office [Harrison’s Purchase, N.Y.]
10th Septr 1778

May it please your Excellency

A difficulty has arisen between the Officers of the State of Newhampshire & me, in settling their Accounts: The State some time since, transmitted to the Board of Treasury a list of Monies advanced to the Officers, including the Continental Bounties, which have since been transmitted to me:1 I have called upon the Officers & they alledge they ought not to be charged with those sums—as the State intended those sums in lieu of Cloathing: for my own part I wish that justice shou’d be done, but it seems to me that the money advanced, was that belonging to the United States and as such ought to be accounted for, or why wou’d the State have transmitted those Accounts? the settling them with me don’t preclude the Officers from obtaining what was voted by the State, but the evil at present, is they have not Money sufficient to pay the Soldiers the Subsistence due them—I am loth to trouble you, but am so situated that I conceive I cannot admit what they alledge in their defence, you will observe that even the Resolve of the House of Representatives say they shall hereafter account for the sums advanced them, as the Accounts on Oath cou’d not then be lodged with the Board of War. I am in haste with the greatest Respect your Excellencies Most obedt

Jno. Clark Junr Audr of Accts


GW’s aide Robert Hanson Harrison replied to Clark: “His Excellency has been favoured with your Letter of this date respecting the New Hampshire Officers. As they are now under marching orders and have not an opportunity of applying to the Council of the State to get further & full satisfaction about the Money in dispute; and as stopping it out of their accounts for their own and their Mens subsistence at this time will be injurious to the service—The General desires, that they may be paid without a deduction of the sum transmitted by the State to the Board of Treasury & by them forwarded to you as advanced the Officrs on Contl account. At the same time you will give no release exonerating them from the charge or that will preclude a settlement at a future day when circumstances will admit of a full investigation of the points in Question” (DLC:GW).

1The list has not been identified, but the sums involved are suggested by a letter from New Hampshire president Meshech Weare to Henry Laurens of 18 Sept., enclosing the state’s account against the United States. Weare explained: “In Said Charge is Included £41,000 Expended for Cloathing & other necessaries, and Transportation for the three Battallions raised in New Hampshire for the Continental Service now in General Washingtons Army, Some part of which was in Such necessaries as the Soldiers are to pay for at the price they were Sold when they enlisted, which will Refund back but a meer Trifle to the State” (DNA:PCC, item 64).

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