George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major John Clark, Jr., 29 September 1778

From Major John Clark, Jr.

[Fredericksburg] Septr 29th 1778

May it please your Excelleny

Lieut. Crittenton has produced an Account of sundry sums of Money paid by Order of Col. Mason to Officers & Soldiers of different Corps in the Virginia line—He says he has Vouchers to prove his Expenditures—But as Col. Mason stands charged in this Office for the whole of the Money thus paid, I think he ought to settle Mr Crittentons Acct as it don’t appear for what purposes many of the sums were expended, If I am to call on each of the Gent. to know how he has disposed of the Money, paid by Mr Crittenton, I apprehend the Accts will never be settled—& therefore as Col. Mason gave him those Orders ’tis proper he shou’d settle it with him for he (Col.) may dispute with me at a future Day & indeed ’tis giving me an infinity of trouble.1

As many of the Officers are not present—Congress have transmitted me a late Resolve by which they mean that they Colo. shall stand charged for all monies paid by their Orders unwarrantably & I am ordered forthwith to call them to account for the same2—I am sensible of the hardship on Mr Crittenton but the burthen must fall somewhere—& submit it to you—I am in haste Your Excellenys Most Obedt

Jno. Clark Junr Audr


GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison replied to this letter later this day: “His Excellency [GW] received your Letter of this morning. The case of Lt Crittenden both from your and his own representation, appears to the General to be attended with some difficulty. He does not know how to advise in the matter; but holding it to be the duty of every Officer to repair to Camp and adjust his Accounts before he resigns or quits the service Mr Crittenden, who has been with the Army, seems to him to stand in a much more favourable point of view than Colo. Mason. . . . P.S. Yr letter to his Excellency of Yesterday evening was delivered him sealed” (DLC:GW).

1For Col. David Mason’s recent resignation from the army, see his letter to GW of 31 July 1778. John Crittenden (1756–1806), who had been commissioned a second lieutenant in Colonel Mason’s 15th Virginia Regiment in June 1777, continued serving in that regiment after it was redesignated as the 11th Virginia Regiment on 14 Sept. 1778. Crittenden became a first lieutenant in the 5th Virginia Regiment in May 1779 and was promoted to captain-lieutenant in 1780. Resigning his Continental commission in February 1781, he subsequently served as brigade major of Brig. Gen. George Rogers Clark’s Illinois Regiment and settled in Kentucky, representing Fayette County in the Virginia general assembly 1783–85.

2For this resolution of 17 Sept., see General Orders, this date, and note 1 to that document.

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