George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Brigadier General Henry Knox, 11 April 1779

From Brigadier General Henry Knox

Artillery Park [Pluckemin, N.J.] 11 April 1779

Sir

The Captain-Lieutenants of Artillery have desired me to forward the enclosed letter to your Excellency.1 It respects their pay, which, by a resolution of Congress last April or May, was reduced from 40 to 33 1/3 dollars per month, without any reason assigned for its being done.2 The Committee of Arrangement, when at White Plains in September last,3 assured them that they would lay their representation before Congress, not doubting but the grievance therein complained of would be instantly redressed. Since that period the Captain-Lieutenants have heard nothing of the matter. I am, with the greatest respect, Your Excellency’s most obedient servt

H. Knox B.G. Artillery

LS, DLC:GW. Richard Kidder Meade docketed this letter in part: “answd to Major Shaw,” but no letter from GW to Knox on this subject has been found.

1The enclosed undated memorial to GW, signed by captain lieutenants William Fleming Gaines, Ebenezer Finley, and Samuel Shaw, reads: “We the Capt. Lieutenants of the Corps of Artillery did ourselves the honour of handing to your Excellency a Letter dated Augt 30th 78 relative to our Situation in the Army: but as we have not yet been able to obtain an answer to the points therein contained, we attribute it to the more important and extensive business, which your Excellency has constantly been engaged in. We therefore beg your Excellency’s Pardon while we apply ourselves to your Excellency’s known Disposition to do Justice to every one, to use your interest in obtaining an answer to our former Letter from the Honble the Congress” (DLC:GW). GW enclosed this memorial in his letter to John Jay of 24 April, and Congress read it on 1 May and referred it to the Board of War (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 , 14:537). The Board of War did not report on the subject until 16 March 1781, when it informed Congress that the rate of pay should remain unchanged; and Congress resolved accordingly on 26 April 1781 (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 , 20:446).

2This pay rate was established in a resolution of 27 May 1778 (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 , 11:540).

3For the report of the Committee of Arrangement at White Plains, N.Y., see General Orders, 9 Sept. 1778.

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