Augt 22d 1780
In obedience to orders from Major Lee in consequence your Excellencies Letr of the 20th Inst.
I yesterday offer’d to Mr Anderzon a horse seiz’d from him for public service & at present in the 2d troop of cavalry. Mr Anderson refus’d accepting his horse as he was gelded, & insist’d on 300£ Specie Conscious that the original appraisement is his full value, I cou’d not consent to an act so injurious to justice and to the public.
Mr Anderzon left me to wait on the govenor & presume my reputation or purse must suffer for my zealous execution of my orders—when left by Major Lee to execute your Excellencies instructions in Monmouth, I accept’d of the command with reluctance & in the prosecution of the business act’d altogether by advice of Genl Furman. The horse in controversy is the joint property of a Mr Thompson & a Mr Anderzon, son to the Old gentleman who wait’d on your Excellency. Mr Thompson is noted for his disaffection & has a brother a cornet in Genl Skinners Cavalry; & young Mr Anderzon has been convict’d of illicit trade to N. York, & has never taken the oath of allegiance to the States. I conceiv’d their property the object of your Excellencies orders. Genl Furman was of the same Opinion & press’d me repeatedly to seize the horse When he was taken it gave joy to every Whig I saw and spoke to, as it was generally presumed that the horse woud be convey’d to the Enemy after the covering Season was over for the use of cornet Thompson. In my certificate I gave full allowance for the horse, rather more than my judgment approv’d—during the whole of my transactions in the county, I conducted myself with the greatest moderation so much so, that I by no means seized for the public one fourth of what was pointed out to me by Genl Furman—I do not mean by this to asperse Genl Furman, for I possess the highest opinion of his virtue & public spirit, I only wish to explain to your Excellency the humanity of my conduct on Mr Andersons return to Monmouth he will no doubt publish your Excellencies decision in his behalf which will operate much to my prejudice. I feel very unhappy when I find my conduct exposed to the insults of the interest’d & ignorant by an order which never wuld have taken place, had I have been heard before it was issued—I have the honor to be your Excellencies most ob. & very hbl. servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.