George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Joseph Reed, 16 February 1780

From Joseph Reed

In Council Philadelphia February 16th 1780

Sir

Our reluctance to take any step which may add to the many cares and embarrassments that necessarily attend your Excellencys station will we hope apologize for giving you this Trouble.

The Officers and Men enlisted from the state of Pennsylvania into Colonel Hazens regiment have applied to this Board to partake of the Bounty of the state in Cloathing shoes and other things which have been granted to compensate the depreciation of their pay and encourage them to persevere in the service.1 We were about to comply with their request when Colonel Hazen by the enclosed letter remonstrated against it as prejudicial to the service generally and injurious to his regiment in particular.2 We have therefore declined for the present, gratifying those Officers and concluded to wait your Excellencys advice which will govern our conduct in the business.3 I am with every sentiment of respect and regard Your Excellencys Most obedient and very humble servant

Jos: Reed
President

LS, DLC:GW. This letter, though dated 16 Feb., may have been discussed by the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania the next day. The minutes of the council for 17 Feb. read in part: “A letter was wrote to General Washington, with the papers respecting the application of the officers in Hazen’s Regiment” (Pa. Col. Records, description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends 12:252).

1The council had received the application on 29 Dec. 1779 and read it for a second time on 15 Feb. (see Pa. Col. Records, description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends 12:215, 252).

2The Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council received Col. Moses Hazen’s letter on 15 Feb. (see Pa. Col. Records, description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends 12:252). For that letter, dated at Morristown on 11 Feb., see Pa. Archives, description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends 1st ser., 8:105. The enclosed copy of the letter has not been identified. James Randolph Reid, Hazen’s major and a Pennsylvanian, had made the application on behalf of the other Pennsylvanians in the regiment. In his letter to the council, Hazen had protested any “Partial provision” for his officers and men. According to the minutes of the council, Hazen also sent them a copy of a petition presented by him to GW on the same subject as his letter to the council (Pa. Col. Records, description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends 12:252). This probably was a copy of Hazen’s memorial to GW of 20 Nov. 1779.

3GW replied on 23 February.

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