George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Ephraim Blaine, 16 March 1779

From Ephraim Blaine

Philadelphia March 16th 1779

May it please Your Excellency

Your Order to the Commissary General I receiv’d respecting the Magazines at Fort Pitt and Sunbury1—and immediately gave the necessary Orders to my Assistants West of Susquehannah River for that purpose—Every Assistance shall be granted the Western Department with Provisions and have the pleasure to inform you that I hope it will be considerable, and that it will be in my power nearly to comply with your Order on the Susquehannah—and mean to set out next Friday to see this business properly executed2 and shall proceed as far as Winchester in Virginia before I return—My Success in executing this business I shall report to you immediately upon my return.3

My doubts about being able to procure a plentiful Supply of Flour for our Army is very great—there are near seven Months before we can have any relief from the Crops now in the Ground—and indeed sorry I am to inform you that the scarcity of Grain is not so real as Artificial—Extortion seems generally to prevail with Mankind—Some from a desire of obtaining large prices hold back from Sale—Others from disaffection and dislike to our Currency. I am with due Respect Your Excellencys Most Obedient & Most humble Servant

Eph. Blaine D.C.G.P.


2The next Friday was 19 March.

3See Edward Hand to GW, 26 April, and Blaine’s report to Hand of 24 April enclosed with that document (DLC:GW); see also John Sullivan to GW, 31 May, and Blaine’s report to Sullivan of 24 May enclosed with that document (DLC:GW). Commenting on Blaine’s report in his letter to GW, Hand wrote that Blaine “has given me the strongest Assurances that he will do what he there promises, & perhaps more.”

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