George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Alexander McDougall, 3 March 1779

To Major General Alexander McDougall

Head Quarters Middle Brook March 3d 1779

Dr Sir,

About a fortnight since,1 I sent you by Mr Laurance, fifty guineas2—I have now given Colonel Malcolm One hundred and fifty more to be delivered to you.3 These two parcels will nearly amount to the sum you requested from Congress.4 I am with great regard and esteem D. Sir Your most Obed. serv.

Go: Washington

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, CSmH; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1On the draft, Hamilton initially wrote “Some time since.” He then struck out those words and wrote “About a fortnight since” on a new line.

2GW’s ledger for 15 Feb. reads: “To 50 Guineas sent Generl McDougall at West Point for Secret Services by Jno. Lawrence Esqr” (Revolutionary War Expense Account, 1775–1783, DLC:GW, Ser. 5). McDougall receipted for this money “by the hands of John Laurance Esqr” at Peekskill, N.Y., on 20 Feb. (vouchers and receipted accounts, 1775–1783, DLC:GW, Ser. 5). While McDougall’s son-in-law John Laurence, judge advocate general of the Continental army, may have conveyed the money from GW, that person also may have been Jonathan Lawrence, a New York senator who frequently undertook military assignments. Another possible carrier was Jonathan Lawrence, Jr. (1759–1802), a lieutenant in Col. William Malcom’s Additional Regiment between January 1777 and April 1779 who served as a captain in the sappers and miners from June 1781 to November 1782 (see Lawrence, Jr., to GW, 15 May 1789, Papers, Presidential Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series. 17 vols. to date. Charlottesville, Va., 1987—. description ends , 2:302–4).

3For corroboration of GW’s statement, see William Malcom’s receipt, this date, vouchers and receipted accounts, 1775–1783, DLC:GW, Ser. 5.

4For McDougall’s request that Congress order him “one thousand Dollars in hard Cash without delay,” see his letter to GW of 11–15 Jan.; see also GW to John Jay, 19 Feb., and Jay to GW, 23 February.

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