George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to John Jay, 27 January 1779

To John Jay

Philada 27 January 1779

Sir,

I am to request that Congress will be pleased to give directions to have the military chest supplied with a sufficient sum of money to enable me to carry into execution their resolve of the 23 instant for recruiting the army during the war.1 Every moment is so precious, that it is to be wished notime may be lost in improving this important measure to the greatest advantage.

In the papers from Mr Beatty referred to the Committee of Conference—I find it is mentioned, that “by an agreement made between General Philips and myself a number of invalids belonging to the Convention army were to be sent into New York”2—The agreement referred to was not between General Philips and myself but between him and General Gates—They were permitted to go in, as I have since understood on very strong, if not positive assurances from General Philips that they would be exchanged.

Inclosed is a letter containing an application to me from Capt. Stoddard of the dragoons for permission to go to France for the benefit of his health—This it appears, by the certificates accompanying the letter, is recommended to him by his Physicians—As I do not think myself authorised to permit an officer to leave the states, I take the liberty to trouble Congress with a referrence of his case.3 I have the honor to be With the greatest esteem & respect Sir Yr most Obed. serv.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on this date, and after granting the requested furlough to Capt. Josiah Stoddard, it referred the letter to the Board of Treasury (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 , 13:117).

1In response to a report from the committee of conference, Congress on 23 Jan. had passed two resolutions for re-enlisting and recruiting the Continental army. The first of these resolutions authorized GW “to grant to each able bodied soldier now in the service & who shall voluntarily reinlist during the war, a bounty according to the circumstances of his present engagement, but not to exceed in any case two hundred dollars; And to each new raised recruit who shall enlist in any of the continental battallions during the war, such a bounty as the commander in chief shall judge proper, but not to exceed two hundred dollars.” These bounties were allowed in addition to the clothing and land bounties previously authorized by Congress. The second resolution authorized GW to reward officers who re-enlisted soldiers and recruited new ones as he saw fit, but “in the first case not to exceed ten dollars, nor in the last twenty dollars for each abled bodied man who shall pass muster, with three dollars per day for his expenses whilst in the recruiting service” (copy, 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 , 13:107–9). For the supplying of funds for these purposes, see GW to Board of Treasury, 30 January. For Congress’s passage of a revised recruiting act on 9 March, see GW to James Duane, 27 Feb., and Jay to GW, 12 March.

2GW is closely paraphrasing part of British adjutant general Lord Rawdon’s instructions of c.10 Jan. 1779 to British commissary of prisoners Joshua Loring, an extract of which John Beatty had enclosed in his letter to Jay of 19 Jan. (DNA:PCC, item 78). Beatty’s letter and its enclosures had been referred by Congress to the committee of conference on 23 Jan. (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 , 13:104).

3GW enclosed Josiah Stoddard’s letter to him of 14 Jan. and the medical certificates that had been sent with it, all of which are in DNA:PCC, item 152. For Congress’s act of this date granting Stoddard the furlough that he requested, see Jay to GW, this date, n.1; see also GW to Stoddard, this date, and n.1 to that document.

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