Thomas Jefferson Papers

William Cherry’s Account of Expenses, with Jefferson’s Certification, 5 April 1781

William Cherry’s Account of Expenses, with Jefferson’s Certification

1781 Richmond
Dr. Capt. Cherry To Richd. Hogg
 3rd. To Supper 50 Dollars. lodgn. 10.   60
 4 To Breakfast 50 Dinner &c 90  140
To Beer 30   30
 5 To lodg. 10. horse 50 dram 10   70
To Breakfast 50 dinner &c 90  140
 440 Dolls

W Bowler

In Council Apr. 5. [1781]

Capt. Cherry has been detained here a day on requisition of the Executive and promise to pay his expences while detained.

Th: Jefferson

MS (Vi: Contingent Fund Vouchers); endorsed: “William Cherry 60. Apl. 5th. 1781 Contingent Exd.” TJ’s certification, in his own hand, is on verso.

Captain William Cherry was an officer in George Rogers Clark’s Illinois regiment; Gwathmey, Hist. Reg. of Virginians in the Revolution. He probably carried to Richmond an unidentified (and missing) letter from Clark to TJ; it could not have been that of 27 Mch., which was borne by Lt. Bradford, nor could it have been that of 10 Feb., which was borne by Col. Crawford. No letter from Clark to TJ between these dates is known to be extant, but it is very likely that Clark wrote TJ during Mch. and that his letter, carried by Cherry, requested money for supplies and that it indicated that the terms of enlistment of some of his men were drawing to a close. For on 3 Apr. the Council directed the auditors to issue to Clark a warrant for £200,000 “upon account for the purpose of carrying on the expedition to the Westward and reinlisting such of the Troops in that Department whose terms are near expiring” (Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 325). This sum of money was carried back to Clark by Capt. Cherry (see TJ to Clark, 20 Apr.). Since TJ detained Clark’s officer from Tuesday, 3 Apr. to Thursday morning, 5 Apr., it is very likely that TJ gave to Cherry a written reply to Clark; if so, neither the letter nor any record of it has been found. It is possible, of course, that both Clark and TJ on this occasion communicated verbally through Cherry, but this was not a customary practice for either when express riders or officers went from one to the other during the months of mounting an expedition that both considered so vital.

1Inserted in the hand of one of the auditors.

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