George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jeremiah Olney, 19 March 1782

Providence 19th March 1782


In my Letter of 26th Ulto I had the Honor to acquaint your Excellency the State had Come to a Resolution to Compleat their Continental Battallion to the Establishment, I have now that of Inclosing your Excellency an act of the Genl Assembly passed 1st Inst on that Subject—Since which I am Sorry to Say the Recruiting Service has not answer’d my Expectations, Owing principally to a Clause in the act affixing one hundred Dollars as a Fine for each Class that Shall be delinquent on the first Day of April ÷ of which the men take advantage & Contend for as a Bounty, but the Respective Classes do not as yet Incline to come up to their Extravigant fine—the Sum given for Bounties at present are Various from Fifty to Eighty Dollars & I presume it will be as high as the Fine in the act for Delinquent Classes to pay before many Recruits will be Obtained & for which I believe the men may be had—I have as yet muster’d only 40, Recruits which I propose Sending on as Soon as I Can procure Knapsacks, Blanketts, Shoes &c., and Shall loose no time in forwarding those who Shall here-after Inlist—I wish your Excellencies Directions as to the Rout I must order the Several Detachments after they Leave Hartford—The Service haveing Suffer’d greatly the last year Through designing men imposing improper persons on us for Soldiers, I have therefore Endeavour’d as far as it Comes within the Compass of my power to guard against the like Impositions in Future, as your Excellency will See by the Inclos’d advirtisement. I hope my Ideas on that Subject may meet your Excellencies approbation—The Genl Assembly at their last Session order’d another Continental Tax of £6,000 to be assess’d and Collected in Specie by the first Day of June next, which I presume will be Inadequate to this States quota of the public Exigences, and even this Sum was with Some diff[iculty] Voted by the House—many members arguing the Inability of the Respective Towns to Comply with any more Requisitions for [   ] than the £6,000 Continental & £12,000 State Taxes order’d the prec[ed]ing Session to be Collected by the former by 1st April & the Latter by 1st of August next, however I am induc’d to hope if great Exertions are made the Taxes order’d may Chiefly be Collected—as Five Recruits are yet muster’d & this Town being the only place of Rendezvous assigned in the State for assembling, preparing and Sending them forward, I Shall give my whole time & attention to this Service—but as it may probably Happen Some time may pass before the principle part of the Recruits are muster’d and march’d on & there being no officer in this Town but myself I Shall wait your Excellencies Instructions as to the time you think proper for me to Remain on this Service, & as I am very Sensible much Depends on haveing the Quotas of Recruits from the Several States as early as possible in the Field, no Exertion therefore on my part Shall be Wanting to forward the Recruiting Service in this State, & I presume we Shall not be behind our Sister States in this very Interesting point—I have the Honor to be with great Esteem Your Excellencies Most Obedt Servt

Jereh Olney

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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