George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James McHenry, 10 July 1796

War Office 10 July 1796.


With the view of keeping you informed of the course of the most important business of the war department I here inclose, packets.

No. 1. which contains the last letters I have received from Gen. Wayne vz. one private of the 27 June and one of the 28, with copies of two letters to the general and one to the Quarter master general.

No. 2. contains the last communications from the commissioners to the Creeks, by which you will perceive, that (after a few embarrasements) the treaty had commenced.

I shall mention to you in my next the inquiries which I have made relative to running the Cherokee boundary line.

With respect to agents for the trading houses to be erected, you will see by the inclosed letter from the Secry of the treasury, that he does not think money can be furnished in all this year for the purchase of goods. It will of course be unnecessary at this time to make appointments.

Mr Dinsmore who is agent to the Cherokees, and a sensible and judicious man, and who receives one thousand dollars salary, may perhaps be considered as adequate to see the duties of superentendant required to be performed under the existing state of things.

I shall as the mail is about closing take the next oppertunity to be more full on both these subjects. With the greatest respect I have the honour to be Sir your most ob. st

James McHenry

Secy of war

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


War Office July 8th 1796.


I have received your letter of the 10th ultimo signifying your acceptance of the Commission of Quarter Master General.

It may be proper for the present that you should appoint an Agent in this City to accept your Bills nad receive the money from the Treasury which you may be authorized to draw for.

I shall expect to be furnished with a quarterly Estimate of the sum of Money and the Items for which it may be wanted, in your department, that I may take measures with the Treasury to meet your demands. You will forward the Statement for the present quarter as soon as possible, it being proper that I should see and decide upon Estimates previous to granting permission to draw.

In the mean while should any pressing occasion arise, you may draw to a moderate amount on such person here as you may constitute your Agent, giving me due notice of the amount and the purpose it is to answer. With great respect, I am Sir, your obedient Servant

James McHenry

Secy of War


Treasury department July 8 1796


In reply to your enquiry of this date I can only say, that the measures proposed by the Commissioners of the sinking fund for the sale of Stock, from the proceeds of which new loans in aid of the revenue were expected, have failed of success—As no substitute has yet been devised, that can be relied upon, I cannot promise that the sum appropriated for the Indian trade can be furnished this year.

I shall omit no exertion to provide for every branch of the public service, and shall regularly inform you of the result of my endeavours. I am very respectfully Sir your obedt servant

Oliv. Wolcott jr


War Office 25th June 1796


As Mr O Hara is only to deliver rations to the Army in the quantities and at such posts as you may direct, it will be necessary that a qualified person should be appointed at each post to receive the rations and issue them to the Troops.

The Business of issuing it is thought may be conducted by Subaltern Officers; you will therefore appoint one for each post with an extra monthly pay graduated from eight to twenty dollars according to the number of troops to be supplied.

It is essential that the Officers who may be selected for this duty should know something of accounts, have habits of attention to business, be œconomists, and of unimpeached character.

Under this arrangement the receipts given to Mr O Hara or his Agent by the several persons thus appointed will compose his vouchers for what he has furnished, which will be lodged with the Officer for settling his accounts. The same vouchers will evidence the amount of the rations each issuing Officer has received, and the returns for rations, signed by the Officer commanding at the post, will exhibit the quantity he has delivered.

But that the duty of the issuing Officers may be rendered more intelligible and simple, I shall request the Secretary of the Treasury to furnish me with forms for their accounts which I shall transmit and such additional instructions as he may judge proper. I am Sir with great respect

James McHenry


War Office July 8, 1796.


I have received your two packets dated the 27th and 28th ultimo.

Respecting the first I am satisfied that your measures and conduct will be proper, discreet, and energetic.

I approve of the supply of ammunition and Ordnance which you have directed to be sent to Fort Massac, and of the lodgment of the four six pounders at Presqu’ile subject to future disposition.

The only alteration I think necessary in your instructions to Colonel Butler, is that the Store-house should be a distinct Building and disconnected with the Barracks or Soldiers Quarters.

Soldiers lodged in the same Roof with the public Stores would augment the risques from fire, and from water passing through the floors, to their injury. I am truly and respectfully Your obedient Servant

James McHenry

Secy of War

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