George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Reed, 26 December 1778

From Joseph Reed

Council Chamber Philadelphia December 26th 1778


The Council of this state, have been favoured with your Excellencys letter of the seventeenth Instant proposing to regulate the Intercourse between the inhabitants of these states, and the enemy at New York, so as that flag boats may pass at stated periods only.1 In answer to which, I have now the honor to acquaint your Excellency that this Board entirely approve thereof, and as soon as the times are fixed and the regulations communicated will grant their licences conformably.

This Board having been authorised by the late Assembly to supply the troops with certain enumerated articles at a price more proportioned to their pay than the present rates,2 we should be much obliged to your Excellency to be informed in what manner other states have conducted this business: What checks there are upon the Issues? and upon the Issuing Officer and what allowance is made him? Whether the officers of the state direct the Issues when the articles are delivered at Camp—or the military Gentlemen do it.

Our wishes to promote the comfort and satisfaction of the troops will we trust, apologize to your Excellency for giving you this trouble as we are anxious to forward the supplies, and put the Issues on the most satisfactory footing. I have the honor to be with very great respect Your Excellencys most obedient humble servant

Jos. Reed Presidt


2On 5 Dec. the Pennsylvania general assembly authorized the Supreme Executive Council to draw funds from the state treasury while the assembly was in recess, and “to appoint commissioners to lay out the same in the purchase of the following articles, viz. rum, sugar, coffee, tea, molasses, chocolate, tobacco, hard soap, and in the purchase of each other matters as may appear to the said Council to be absolutely necessary for the comfort of the said troops; all which articles to be sold at one fourth part of the original cost for cash only, to the said troops in such quantities and proportions as the said Council may think proper to direct, having a due regard to the real wants of the troops and the general interest of this state” (Pa. Gen. Assembly Minutes, 26 Oct. 1778-10 Oct. 1779 description begins Minutes of the third General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Which met at Philadelphia, On Monday the Twenty-sixth Day of October, A.D. One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-eight . . .. Philadelphia, 1778. description ends , 32).

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