George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Wilkinson, 17 October 1780

Phila Octr 17th 1780


Since my Letter of the 11th Inst: I have had an Interview with the Board of War and obtained the inclosed state of their Purchases; I am sorry that the subsequent Correspondence (of which a Copy is inclosed) should damp the expectations raised by my first Information: I have every reason to conclude that the Woollens alluded to in the Letter of the 16th Inst comprehend the whole of the Blankets & Winter Clothing in the Hands of Otis & Henly, and I am morally certain, from some deception in the Contract, that the Public will never be the better for them. I have not yet been able to obtain a farthing of Money, tho I expect this day to borrow a sufficient sum to carry me to your Excellencys Quarters, and propose seting out Tommorrow or next day.

Col: Febiger is here & will I doubt not carry every Article which can be scraped together in this Quarter to the southward—The Western Dept has not I beleive the least Provision made for it. I have the Honor to be with the highest respect Your Excellencys Most Obdt ready Servant

James Wilkinson

N.B. I hope to be able to carry your Excellency the determination of the Committee now seting on the Clothing Dept. J. W.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


War Office 14th October 1780

There are in Otis & Henleys hands—Woolens enough for 14.000 blankets 2,300 Suits & 400 or 500 Vests, & breeches, exclusive—and Linen for 8 or 10,000 Shirts and 2 or 3,000 Overalls.

J. Reynolds at Rhode Island—has on hand Woolens enough for 3 or 400 Suits—and Linen for 3, or 4000 Shirts and some Overalls.

William Gardner has Linen for 2 or 3000 Shirts perhaps more—he has also a quantity of Hatts—Some Linen Overalls

Col. Blackden at   has 1500 or 2000 Shirts—probably more.

Samuel Caldwell has linen for 5000 Shirts—some linen Overalls.

This estimate made upon a Supposition, that the Agent Clothiers have not made any deliveries to the Clothr Genl Since his Return of August the 8th.


Benjn Stoddart Secy


War Office Octr 16th 1780


The Board have been favored with yours of this day—Having already given you all the general information in their power relative to your department, they have nothing further to add on the Subject—only that the business of procuring supplies has been taken up by a Committee of Congress, who the Board understand, but not officially have reported to Congress, that the several States be called upon for the articles wanted. I am Sir Yr Most Obedt humbe Servt

by Ord. Ben Stoddert Secy

N.B. Since the information alluded to above, the board have received a letter from Otis & Henly of a very disagreeable nature from which it appears that there will be some difficulty in obtaining the woollens at Boston.



Philada Oct. 16th 1780


In addition to the Genl Information which I have already received, I shall be glad to have it in my Power to communicate to his Excellency on my Arrival at Head Quarters, the further prospects of the hono. Board & the Objects of the Committee of Congress (as far as have come to your knowledge) now setting on the subject of the Clothing department. I am &.

J. Wilkinson Cloth. Gen.


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