Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Matthew Pope, 2 April 1781

From Matthew Pope

Without place, 2 Apr. 1781. Is at a loss to know how to make out his account to present to the auditors “owing to the several different Orders he has had the Honour to receive from the Board.” As things now stand, he would be justified in charging 350 ℔s. of tobacco a day for his services, but that is “more than he expects or desires.” “He begs leave to repeat or rather explain his meaning in that Memorial (viz.) that either 150 pounds of Tobacco Pr. day with the rations and forages may be allowed him for his services only, and the State pay the Person necessarily and constantly employ’d in the Apothecarys Shop; or 250 Pounds of Tobacco and he pay him out of it.” RC (Vi); 3 p.; endorsed: “Doctr. Pope’s Memorial.”

Pope’s memorial was enclosed in his letter to TJ of 22 Jan. On 1 Feb. the Council ordered that Pope be allowed 200 lbs. of tobacco per day, plus “two rations and two forages”; on 9 March the Council directed that “there should be made to the person whom Doctor Pope shall appoint to act at Richmond in his stead during his necessary absence, an allowance of 50 lb. tobacco per day”; and on 2 Apr., in response to the above letter, the following action was taken: “A misunderstanding having arisen on the several orders of the board as to the allowance to Dr. Pope as chief Surgeon, the board declare it their intention that he be allowed two hundred pounds of tobacco a day as expressed in their resolve of February 1st and paid as therein provided with two rations and two forages a day … so long as it shall be necessary to continue an army of militia in the field, or until the further order of the board: that the board by appointing Doctor Pope to this Office did not mean to remove him from his former office of Surgeon, Apothecary, &c. at Richmond, but required that he should find a substitute to act at that place for him who should be paid by Doctor Pope himself, his former allowance of 100 lb Tobacco by the day being admitted to continue for this purpose exclusively of the allowance of 200 lb by the day as chief Surgeon” (Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 282–3, 305, 324–5). On 3 Apr. TJ, on advice of the Council, directed the auditors to issue a warrant to Dr. Pope “for thirty thousand pounds upon Account, for the different Hospitals established during the invasion” (MS: Vi; Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 326).

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