Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Washington, 26 August 1779

From George Washington

West Point August the 26th 1779

Your Excellency I make no doubt has been made fully acquainted with the Ordinance established by Congress by their Act of the 23d of March for regulating the Cloathing department, and recommending the Respective States to appoint State or Sub Cloathiers. I addressed the Other States on this subject on the 22d of May, but deemed the measure unnecessary with respect to Virginia, as a Gentleman had been already appointed to act as such.

I have filled up Two of the Commissions transmitted by Your Excellency for John Allison, Gentn. as Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st State Regiment to rank as such from 1 Jany. 1779 vice Brent promoted and for Thos. Meriwether as Major of the same to rank from same date vice Allison promoted.

Dft (DLC: Washington Papers). In hand of R. H. Harrison and written on the back of Washington’s circular letter of this date to ten state executives (whence the date at the head of the present letter is taken).

It is not clear from Harrison’s memorandum on the draft whether this communication, addressed exclusively to Gov. Jefferson, preceded, followed, was accompanied by, or was sent instead of the circular letter addressed to the nine other governors. The circular itself, printed in Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, xvi, 173–4, points out that “there is but too much reason to apprehend, that unless the Respective States interpose with their exertions, our supplies of this essential Article [clothing] will be very deficient; and that the troops may again experience on this account a part of those distresses which were so severely and injuriously felt in past Stages of the War.” Moreover, “the condition of the officers in this respect” is “in many instances painfully distressing.” For the act of the 23d of March recommending the appointment of state clothiers, see JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends , xiii, 356–60.

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