George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 17 December 1780

Garrison West Point December 17th 1780

Dear General

I take the liberty to enclose a representation made to me by Mr Frye Ensign and Paymaster to the 9th Massachusetts Regiment. He has been a faithfull & diligent Officer. I beg leave to submit his case to your Excellencys consideration. It will I believe be agreeable to him to join the Corps of Invalids at Boston if you think proper—I am informed that there are one or two other Officers, nearly in the same predicament as they are not supernumeraries they cannot retire on the benefit of half pay—Enclosed also are the proceedings of the former General Court Martial on the tryal of Joshua Ferris. They were obtained from Major General McDougall; and did not come to my hands untill this morning.

For some days we have been discharging six of the New Levies per Day from each regiment. Their numbers are now very much reduced. Shall we continue to discharge this number daily, untill the whole are gone, which will be soon; or lessen the number; or desist from discharging any more untill their times expire. I have the honor to be With the greatest respect Your Excellencys Most Obedient Servant

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


c.17 December 1780


Being deprived of my Hearing, to a degree which Renders me unfit for the service of my Country in the Field, and also lays me under many Disadvantages, as to making my way thro’ Life—Emboldened by a Consciousness of four Years faithfull Service to my Country, in which time my Infirmity has come upon me; I beg leave to approach Your Honor, Humbly Requesting you would be pleased to Consider me, as one Possessing but small Interest, the Locallity of which, is such, as will not afford me an immediate Support. And that it is as much from an Inclination to continue a Soldier, or Necessitous Circumstances, which my past Services have been productive of: As in Avaricious Spirit, that I now Solicit the continuance of my Commission.

I have Labour’d thro’ my Duty for several Months past, in hopes the New Arrangement of the Army, would give me Opportunity to retire upon a more Advantageous footing than to Resign, But since it does not, I Pray your Honor, might be pleased to permit me to Retire for a few Months, so that I may be in a situation, to make use of some Means, for the recovery of my Hearing; which, if propitious Heaven sees Cause to Restore, I shall willingly Return to Service again. Or grant me a Transferrence to the Corps of Invalids at Boston, where I may prehaps, be of some service in the Glorious Cause of our Independence, and Reap the Benefit of my Commission in the same time.

With the fullest Relyance upon the Justice, and Humanity, of Your Honor’s disposal of my now Useless Person. I am Sir—With the greatest Respect, Your Honor’s Most Obedt Humble Servant

Nathaniel Frye

Ensn Paymaster to the 9th Massachusetts Regiment

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