George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Mordecai Gist, 19 January 1781

Annapolis 19th Janry 1781

Dear Sir,

I am honor’d with your Favor of the 2d Inst. This House of Delegates from an apprehension that the people wou’d not submit to a Draught upon such principles, as now containd in this plan laid before them (of which you have a copy) pass’d a Bill Yesterday for raising 1000 men for Three Years; which ’tho far from answering my former expectations, is preferable to voluntary enlistments for that Term.

The Inhabitants of the state with their property are to be Class’d in Classes of £16,000 & each of those Classes to find a Recruit in 20 Days and to pay him £32—specie: otherwise the [effectives]in such Class to be Drafted to serve ’till the 10th Decr Next. This Bill is now with the Senate & will pass with some few Amendments.

The enclosed Report of a Committee of the House has been read the first time & concur’d with. I have the Honor to be With perfect Respect & Esteem Yr Excellency Mo Obdt Servt

M. Gist

N.B. it is just now reported that the Enemy after returning from their expedition to Richmond have embark’d and are laying in Hampton Road.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


c.19 January 1781

The Comittee to whom was refered the Letter from General Gist respecting the Officers and Soldiers of the Maryland Line beg leave to Report—

That from a variety of Causes the United States have not complyed with their Engagements heretofore made with their Officers and soldiers, which has Occasioned great & unavoidable Difficulties and distresses in the Services as well as much injustice to the said Troops to whose virtuous and disinterested Exertions America is much in debted.

your Committee have therefore come to the following Resolutions to wit.

1st That it is the Opinion of the Committee that the pay of the said Officers and soldiers shou’d be made as good in Specie or the value thereof from the first of January 1777 to the first of August 1780.

2. That it is the Opinion of the Committee that the several Sums of Continental Money received by the Officers and Soldiers on Account of their Pay within the dates aforesaid shou’d in the Settlement of these Accounts be estimated in Specie, according to the Value thereof— at the Times of its becoming due and that all Cloathing, and other things Furnished by the state to its Officers and not properly chargeable to the United States out to be deducted out of their pay at the Value in Specie.

3. That it is the Opinion of the Committee that one Commissioner should be appointed to settle the Accounts of the Officers and Soldiers of the Troops of this State in the Continental service agreeable to such Scale of Daepreciation as may be agreed upon by the House, and that the Commissioner proceed to the Army there to settle such of those Accounts as they cannot settle without.

4. That such Commissioner be authorised and directed to give the Officers and Private Men to whom pay as aforesaid may be found due, after deducting for Cloathing or other things furnished as aforesaid one Certificate or more bearing Interest from the date thereof and specifying the sum due in Specie so that no Certificate shall be for less than 1/5 part of the sum due to the person to whom the same shall be given and that the whole of the Certificates given to the same person shall amount to the sum only due him, which Certificates shall be paid out of the Money[ Arring ]from the Sale of of the Confiscated property or in such other Manner as the Circumstances of the State will permit.

5. That the Widows and Children of Officers and Soldiers of this State in the Continental Service who have fallen or died in the service during the said period shou’d be entitled to the allowances and Benefits above Mentioned.

6. That it is the opinion of the Committee that the part of the 37th Article of the form of Government which declares that person employed in the Regular Land service or Marine of this State or of the United States should have a Seat in General Assembly or the Council of this State be [repriated] in the manner prescribed by the Constitution and form of Government, and that provision be made that in Time of War any Regular Officer [   ] or Member of the Assembly or Council shall not Qualify or dissent before he resigns his Commission.

7. That it is the Opinion of the Committee that as Doubts have been entertained wheather Officers in the Regular Service are eligible during the Time of holding their military Commissions to Civil offices in this State, that it be declared by Law that any Regular Military Officer of this state or belonging to its Quota of Troops having the Qualifications required by the Constitution be eligible to any Civil Office of trust or profit—but shall not Qualify or Act in any Civil Office before he resigns his Commission.

All which is submitted to the Honorable House

By Order

John Knapp

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