George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel Udny Hay, 23 September 1778

To Lieutenant Colonel Udny Hay

Head Quarters Fredericksburg 23d Sepr 1778


Inclosed you have a Warrant for the impress of Teams agreeable to an Act of this State. Be pleased to be as moderate in the use of it as possible, and follow the directions of Govr Clinton in his letter to you of the 23d June, as far as you can consistent with the expedition and good of the Service.1 I am &c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The draft of the impress warrant of this date in DLC:GW, which is also in Tilghman’s writing, reads: “Whereas by the Clause of an Act of the General Assembly of the State of New York passed the 2d day of April 1778 Intitled an Act for regulating Impresses of Forage and Carriages and for billetting troops within this State, it is enacted ‘That in Case of any special and extraordinary movement or emergency, it shall and may be lawful, for the person administring the Government of this State, for the time being, or any General in actual service in this state, without the Aid of a Justice or Justices of the peace to issue their Warrants to make a general impress of all such teams, Carriages, Horses and Drivers as they may think necessary, duly providing for the payment for such Services; any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.’

“These are therefore by Virtue of the power above recited to authorise you to impress such a number of Teams, Carriages, Horses and Drivers within this State as you may deem at this time necessary for the transportation of the provision and Baggage of the Army, taking care to impress them from such parts of the State as have been least burthened with this kind of service provided time will permit the exercise of that precaution” (see also N.Y. Laws description begins Laws of the State of New-York, Commencing with the first Session of the Senate and Assembly, after the Declaration of Independency, and the Organization of the New Government of the State, Anno 1777. Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 1782. description ends , 28–30).

Gov. George Clinton says in his letter to Hay of 23 June 1778 that he had been told by a member of the general assembly “that the Sense of that House is that the present Occassion is such as by the Law of this State for regulating Impresses the Genl. Commanding in the Department is sufficiently authorized to issue his own Warrant for Impressing the necessary Number of Teems & Carriages for the present Service. They only wish that in executing such Warrant a Constable may be called upon to assist in each District & that The Teems & Carriages be taken from such Parts of the State as has been least Burtherned with this Kind of Service providing Time will permit the Exercise of that Precaution” (Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 3:486).

Index Entries