George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Patterson, 11 April 1779

To William Patterson

Head Quarters Middlebrook 11th April 1779.


I have received your letter of the 3d Inst.

considering the great difficulties attending the immediate prosecution of discover[i]es, I would therefore wish for the present to postpone the employing the person you hint at—till you have an opportunity of consulting with general Hand on the subject, (who will soon be in your quarter) and taking his opinion or till my further advice on this business.

If in every instance the expence is to be as large as in Hick’s case, I am really at a loss what to think on the subject—It looks as if we should either be obliged to suspend the matter, or that the result will not counterbalance the expence.1 I am sir &c.

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Patterson had employed Gershom Hicks as a frontier scout, paying him $300 plus expenses and caring for his family. In his letter to GW of 3 April, Patterson suggested employing a certain “Honest man of good charactor & fortune” to aid Hicks in making “further discoverys.”

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