Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Daniel Brodhead, 17 January 1781

From Daniel Brodhead

Fort Pitt, 17 Jan. 1781. Acknowledges receipt of letter of 12 Oct. 1780. Has information from Detroit that the Indians are in council there and expects “they are meditating with the British to attack these frontier posts, as soon as the season will permit.” The orders to James Francis Moore to purchase rations “on this side the Mountain” will distress the troops there “and probably greatly disappoint … the Commander in chief, if he has not been consulted respecting the measure.” Despite his great respect for TJ, Brodhead cannot “be justified in suffering the Provisions which are designed for the Troops … to be transported down the River” unless ordered to do so by the Commander in chief. Col. Gibson will present this letter and can give particular information concerning the western district.

RC (Vi); 3 p.; addressed and endorsed; printed in George Rogers Clark Papers, 1771–1781, p. 494–5.

For the purchase of provisions by Virginia in the West, see James Francis Moore to TJ, 20 Nov. 1780. On 23 Jan. 1781 Brodhead wrote to George Washington (DLC: Washington Papers) concerning the purchase of grain by Virginia, stating that “this purchase, together with the Consumption of multitudes of emigrants, arrived and expected within this District (chiefly to avoid Militia Duty and Taxes) will scarcely leave a pound of Flour for the Regular or the other Troops, which your Excellency may judge it expedient to employ against the Enemy.” See TJ’s reply to the present letter, 13 Feb. 1781.

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