George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Samuel Huntington, 29 February 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philadelphia Feby 29th 1780

Sir

You will receive herewith enclosed a Letter from Genl Irwine of the 23d of January and an Act of Congress of this Day referring the same to the Commander in Chief to settle the Claim of Genl Irwine respecting Rank.1

You have also enclosed an Act of Congress of the 25th Instant, calling on the several States to procure their respective Quotas of Supplies for the ensuing Campaign.2 You will please to observe the Articles except Tobacco are to be collected and deposited in each State in such place as the Commander in Chief shall Judge most convenient.

It is most earnestly to be desired that the several States may exert themselves and procure such Suplies and Magazines as may relieve the quarter master and Commissary General from their Embarrassments, and prevent any future Distress in the Army for Want of provision.

I am favoured with yours of the 23d Inst. enclosing Gaines Newspaper. I have the honour to be with the highest respect your Excy’s hble servt

Sam. Huntington President

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 14. GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison endorsed the letter as received on 6 March.

1The copy of the resolution of Congress authorizing GW to direct an inquiry into Brig. Gen. William Irvine’s claim of rank and to order a settlement is in DLC:GW (see also JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 16:215). The enclosed letter from Irvine to Huntington, dated 23 Jan. at “Camp near Morristown,” reads: “When Congress honoured me with the rank of Brigadier, I informed that Honble body that I conceived I had a right to rank of General Hand, in particular; and also of Generals Guist & Hogan; as these Gentlemen were promoted; whilst my promotion was kept in suspence on account of its being undetermined what State General Hand should belong to—Congress were pleased to refer it to the Board of War—and they to General Washington—His Excellency informed the Board of War he did not think himself Authorised to settle rank between General officers—at the same time wished me not to urge the matter at that time, as Genl Hand was gone on the Western Expedition, consequently would not interfere with me during the Campaign The other Gentlemen were then absent also—I rested the matter at his request till now—As disputes of this kind, may on some occasions be attended with fatal consequences, and are always injurious to service—I earnestly request Congress will be pleased to take the matter into consideration and direct such mode as they shall think proper for a final determination—I will not take up your Excellencys time with stating my claims as I presume the Honble the Deligates for Pennsylvania are well acquainted with the Justice of them—I believe I am the only Prisoner—who has not obtained (on their exchange) the rank they were intitled to, had they never been Captivated—agreeable to an Act of Congress of Novr 1778.

“I have the most perfect confidence in the Justice & Candor of Congress” (DLC:GW).

2The enclosed document, dated 25 Feb., is in DLC:GW. On that date, Congress resolved “That the several States be called on forthwith to procure their respective Quotas of Supplies for the ensuing Campaign.” The resolution directed that the state authorities deposit the provisions, except for tobacco, at locations specified by GW. Congress placed tobacco under the control of the commercial committee. To supply the army with fresh beef, the states were to provide their quotas of beef in cattle unless the commissary general of purchases requested them to provide salt beef. The resolution also specified the dollar amounts per quantity of provisions that Congress would credit to the states (DLC:GW; see also JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 16:196–201). Huntington notified the states of their quotas in a circular letter of 26 Feb. (see Smith, Letters of Delegates, description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends 14:446–47).

Using the quotas listed in the resolution, GW wrote out the “Articles required of the States respectively by Congress,” in which he recorded the quantity and types of provisions owed by each state. New Hampshire was to provide 11,200 hundredweight of beef and 35,643 gallons of rum. Massachusetts owed 56,000 hundredweight of beef, 12,126 bushels of salt, and 195,628 gallons of rum. Rhode Island’s quota was 2,240 hundredweight of beef, 2,000 bushels of salt, 18,621 gallons of rum, and 400 tons of hay. Connecticut’s quota was 78,400 hundredweight of beef, 1,011 bushels of salt, 68,558 gallons of rum, and 500 tons of hay. New York owed 11,200 hundredweight of beef, 13,969 barrels of flour, 500 tons of hay, and 30,000 bushels of short forage (such as Indian corn). New Jersey was to provide 18,000 hundredweight of beef, 10,000 barrels of flour, 3,758 bushels of salt, 3,500 tons of hay, and 30,000 bushels of short forage. Pennsylvania owed 40,000 barrels of flour, 14,189 bushels of salt, 24,423 gallons of rum, 1,700 tons of hay, and 200,000 bushels of short forage. Delaware was to furnish 3,055 barrels of flour, 500 tons of hay, and 18,662 bushels of short forage. Maryland’s quota was 40,000 hundredweight of beef, 20,000 barrels of flour, 200 tons of hay, 56,152 bushels of short forage, and 1,000 hogsheads of tobacco. Virginia was to provide 47,000 hundredweight of beef, 1,278 barrels of flour, 10,700 bushels of salt, 400 tons of hay, 200,000 bushels of short forage, 6,000 hogsheads of tobacco, and 100,000 gallons of rum. North Carolina owed 49,875 hundredweight of beef, 15,000 barrels of flour, 4,500 bushels of salt, 800 tons of hay, and 80,000 bushels of short forage. South Carolina was to furnish 16,000 hundredweight of beef, 52,000 hundredweight of rice, 5,000 bushels of salt, 120,000 gallons of rum, 800 tons of hay, and 80,000 bushels of short forage. GW recorded the total quantities of each category of provisions owed for the coming campaign: 329,915 hundredweight of beef, 103,302 barrels of flour, 52,000 hundredweight of rice, 562,873 gallons of rum, 53,284 bushels of salt, 694,814 bushels of short forage, 9,300 tons of hay, and 7,000 hogsheads of tobacco (AD, DLC:GW). GW docketed the document “Congress[’]s demand upon the States for Specific Supplies.” He did not date the document, but it is filed with Congress’s resolution of 25 February.

On 11 Dec. 1779, Congress had called on six states to furnish quotas of provisions to the army to meet immediate needs. On 14 Dec., Congress extended the new system of supply to all the states (see JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 15:1371–72, 1377–78; see also Smith, Letters of Delegates, description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends 14:261–63, 267–69). This resolution of 25 Feb. represented the culmination of that effort.

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